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By Robin C. Sager

In Marital Cruelty in Antebellum the United States, Robin C. Sager probes the struggles of aggrieved spouses laying off mild at the nature of marriage and violence within the usa within the many years sooner than the Civil battle. reading over 1,500 divorce documents that exhibit intimate information of marriages in clash in Virginia, Texas, and Wisconsin from 1840--1860, Sager deals a unprecedented glimpse into the non-public lives of standard american citizens shaken by means of accusations of cruelty.

At a time while the traditional for a great marriage held that either companions correctly practice their respective tasks, hostility frequently arose from ongoing family struggles for energy. regardless of an increase within the then novel expectation of marriage as a companionate dating, or even within the face of liberalized divorce grounds, marital conflicts usually enthusiastic about violations of accountability, no longer loss of love. Sager describes how, during this surroundings, cruelty used to be understood as a failure to satisfy expectancies and as a weapon to brutally implement extra conventional interpretations of marital accountability.

Sager's findings additionally problem historic literature's assumptions concerning the nearby affects on violence, displaying that married southerners have been not more or much less violent than their midwestern opposite numbers. Her paintings finds how definitions and perceptions of cruelty different in response to the gender of sufferer and culprit. Correcting historic mischaracterizations of women's violence as trivial, infrequent, or protecting, Sager unearths antebellum other halves either able and keen to devote a large choice of cruelties inside of their marriages. Her examine offers information about the truth of nineteenth-century conjugal unions, together with the deep sadness buried inside them.

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Marital Cruelty in Antebellum America (Conflicting Worlds: New Dimensions of the American Civil War) by Robin C. Sager

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