True to Border Traditions

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Material Information

Title:
True to Border Traditions The Construction of Marriage and Marital Roles in the Mid-Nineteenth-Century Upper South
Physical Description:
1 online resource (45 p.)
Language:
english
Creator:
Fredette, Allison D
Publisher:
University of Florida
Place of Publication:
Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date:

Thesis/Dissertation Information

Degree:
Doctorate ( Ph.D.)
Degree Grantor:
University of Florida
Degree Disciplines:
History
Committee Chair:
LINK,WILLIAM
Committee Co-Chair:
GALLMAN,JAMES MATTHEW
Committee Members:
NEWMAN,LOUISE MICHELLE
ADAMS,SEAN P
TERZIAN,SEVAN G

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
borders -- divorce -- gender -- households -- marriage
History -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre:
History thesis, Ph.D.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract:
This dissertation explores the connections between regional identity and gender role formation through an analysis of marriage and marital roles in the border South states of Kentucky and West Virginia during the mid-nineteenth century. Like other international and intranational borders, the border South occupied a pivotal place of cultural exchange, in which a combination of economic, political, social, racial, and ethnic influences shaped residents' attitudes toward marriage. Using legal records and personal manuscripts, this dissertation makes three central claims: that companionate relationships took root in the upper slave South despite the presence of a racial hierarchy in both society and the home; that residents' border attitudes created fertile ground for such household adaptability and fusion; and that their ability to balance these two seemingly contradictory ideals in their antebellum households allowed them to maintain the companionate ideal despite postwar threats to their racial system. The first part of this dissertation explores marital attitudes in the antebellum border South. During this period, border South residents established their commitment to companionate marriage, writing repeatedly of their desire for love and mutuality between husbands and wives. At the same time, many sought to end their marriages more easily if they did not meet these standards. In law and practice, antebellum border southerners demonstrated a desire for more flexible divorce standards. As the second part of this dissertation explains, the Civil War tested the companionate relationships of border South residents but ultimately gave many men new appreciation for the domestic sphere and many women a greater sense of their individual position in the marital relationship. The final part of this dissertation explores the war's impact on border South marriages. Wartime separation and economic uncertainty disrupted many relationships. However, no other postwar change challenged companionate marriage more than emancipation. Nonetheless, Kentuckians and West Virginians continued to pursue their commitment to the companionate ideal and a legal evolution of divorce law despite their profound frustration over emancipation. The borderland adaptability that had allowed them to accept companionate marriage in the first place also allowed them to maintain and strengthen it in the early years of Reconstruction.
General Note:
In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note:
Includes vita.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description:
Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description:
This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Allison D Fredette.
Thesis:
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2014.
Local:
Adviser: LINK,WILLIAM.
Local:
Co-adviser: GALLMAN,JAMES MATTHEW.
Electronic Access:
RESTRICTED TO UF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE UNTIL 2016-05-31

Record Information

Source Institution:
UFRGP
Rights Management:
Applicable rights reserved.
Classification:
lcc - LD1780 2014
System ID:
UFE0046472:00001