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Governing the Hearth: Law and the Family in Nineteenth-Century America (Studies in Legal History) 1st New edition Edition
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According to the book, colonial family law was patriarchal in structure, tied closely to the state, and relegated women and children to the control of men. The American Revolution threw the colonial legal system, already under stress from a variety of factors including but not limited to the ability of settlers to leave for new lands, into chaos. What appeared in its place after a lengthy period of legal transformation involving an amalgamation of English legal principles and an emerging belief in American common law was a form Grossberg calls the republican family. The republican unit displaced the old patriarchal legal system in favor of laws that recognized individuals within the family. Too, this new form believed that state intervention in domestic matters was an evil best avoided. From the middle to the end of the nineteenth century, family laws across the board came under frequent assault from social reformers seeking to increase the role of the state in every aspect of the family.Read more ›