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HIST 277 (11)

Law and Practice to 1880

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University of Waterloo
HIST 277
Catherine Briggs

Wednesday, October 2, 2013 Monday, October 7, 2013 Lecture 4 Law and Practice in the Colonies: Marriage and Family Sexual Violence and Morality Period of Change (1800-1880) - Transitional period - Social and Economic Change - Industrialization/Urbanization o Separation of home and work o Separation of public and private spheres - Economic instability of commercial economy - Growth in the middle class - Challenge to means of social regulation: o Patriarchal authority o Individual rights - Increase in civil and legal regulatory measures - Ideological change: o “Separate spheres” o Gender and gender roles Impact on Marriage - Ideal of Marriage: - Two contending models of marriage o Patriarchal vs. companionate - Marriage law: - Federal government assumes jurisdiction 1867 - Does not pass a law o To avoid the issue of divorce-contentious Marriage and Divorce - Divorce by Legislative decree - Divorce in the provinces o Limited access based on Colonial Laws existing in 1867 - Greater control for women over property Property Law - Marriage contracts - Quebec – civil code provision - Modify basic provisions of “community of goods” - 1800s – couples choose “separation of property” o Property of each spouse separate during the marriage o Gives woman right to manage her own property  Allowed to be a distinctive economic entity o Egalitarian model of marriage or economic concerns?  Desire for woman to maintain some financial autonomy  Desire for fathers who want to leave and have daughters to have financial autonomy/well-being for their future Wednesday, October 2, 2013 Monday, October 7, 2013 Lecture 4  Trend: husband would give soon to be wife some property - Married woman’s property acts: o Gradual extension of control over property to married women o Essentially become their own legal entity with regards to their property - Response to social and economic concerns impacting on families o Final revisions to raise women’s status and change property arrangements in couples - First laws – allow married women, who are deserted, to retain and control property o Concerns with the fact that the husband has sole control of power o Temporary measures o Emergency relief for families in financial crisis  Otherwise would be a drain on community to have a family fall apart after desertion - Second laws – insulated a married woman’s property from her husband and his creditors o Emerging laws for women beyond emergent situations o Interpretation did not give women dispositive powers or right to contract o “Protective” purpose  The courts felt the need to help women retain some financial security beyond the marriage
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