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Lecture 4

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HIST 2800
Linda Mahood

HIST*2800-01; Jan.23/13; Manhood Pg. 1/5 Lecture 3 - The family is historically and socially constructed - Standards are naturally low for fathers - Court records/criminal records are the most revealing insights into the family and its roles o However, only the most negative aspects are shown In the Name of the Father - In the early modern period, the time of youth for boys was a time of sowing wild oats, challenging authority, rough and tumble - There is also a biblical reference of a boy who defies his father, leaves, and eventually returns after coming to the realization that his father was right o A parable for coming back into the Church - Control of wealth was in the father’s hands and was passed along to his son (biological heir) - The behaviour of sons was very important o Father and master(s) held the responsibility of forming a boy’s behaviour - Boys that were not wealthy became apprentices and around ages 12-14 would go and live with their masters - Marriage contracts and wills can give an insight into problems/concerns with boys - It is difficult to understand the voices of peasants and their aspirations o Few people at the time could read and write o Journals and wills survived only among the wealthy - We will be looking at a case study of two families - What happened in families was everybody’s business in early modern Europe o People in the community paid attention o Keeping families under surveillance was a community job Case Study: Guerre Family…the family in court records… - A love story: Martin and Bertrande - Some terms: o Patriarchy (male power) o Inherita nce (prodigal son) o Wills/widowhood o Betrothal (engagement) o Dowry o Fertility (love potions) o Cannon law and civil law o Patrimony o Deserted wives o Adultery/bigamy/illegitimacy o Roman Catholic marriage o Protestant marriage - Family had some farmland - The men of the family developed a small factory (tile factory) o Showed some entrepreneurial initiative - Life was not that easy 2/5 o Always the threat of warfare o People however, could feel optimistic about the future - Village women were very outgoing, forthright o They were headstrong  This would later lead to accusations of witchcraft o All village women dressed in embroidered clothes - Servants were respected - Bertrande was a wealthy girl o Stayed home where she helped mothers and aunts - Most heirs in the village were men - Only men could be on the town council, could select the priest and could make decisions about livestock - Women did the everyday tasks o Sheered sheep, worked beside husbands in the field o Only exceptional women were allowed inside the “male’s world” - Typically, when a man died, all his money was transferred to his son, regardless how much was contributed by the wife through her dowry Martin Guerre: Boy Meets World: - Only son o He had 4 sisters - Martin eventually married a young, wealthy village girl o Bertrande - They were very young to get married o Martin was 14 and Bertrande was 10 or 12 (records are unclear as to exact age) - There was no legal objection to this couple getting married - Both families were wealthy - Dowry (money or property that the bride’s family [or by the girls themselves if the girl is poor] gives/provides at the time of marriage) - She had good clothes, bed, sheets, pillows, a bed cover, a trunk and 3 dresses - Bertrande was to move in with Martin’s parents (tradition) - Fertility drink o Heavy scented herbal drink  Supposedly had magical powers that helped with fertility - Even though she drank it, nothing happened that night o Martin was impotent - Bertrande blamed it on witches - Other explanations by historians: o Martin had self-esteemed issues  Martin was an outside, inelegant name  Was very young o He had too many sisters  Four sisters and numerous female cousins o Immature  Only fourteen -> barely hit puberty 3/5  Father may have pushed him into the marriage  Wouldn’t have been in this position if he wasn’t the son of a wealthy man o Witchcraft  After being impotent for 8 years, Bertrande asked for help from witches to remove the evil potions o Hetro/homosexuality - Whatever the reason, it was humiliating because everyone knew and were pressuring them to break up - Bertrande did not want the marriage annulled o Maybe she wanted to just finish living her childhood o Maybe she had a sense of pride and honour, and wanted to stand by her man o Maybe she didn’t want to have a remarriage Young Men of the Village: Martin’s Charivari: - Anyone not living up to the sexual standard were hazed or bullied o Attempt to humiliate someone by dressing up and mocking them (groups of people would participate) o The only way to get the charivari to leave was to throw money at them - Community retributions were the responsibility of the young apprentices o For example, unmarried girls who
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