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Victorian Attitudes

  • Date Submitted: 02/24/2013 09:28 AM
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Victorian Attitudes

Looking back at the nineteenth century life wasn’t so easy for women, especially in marriage and divorce. Marriage in the nineteenth century was seen as a trade in some ways. In the texts of, Marriage as a Trade Hamilton states that, “women were relied on men ever since they have been born” (page 9). The nineteenth century was a time in period known as the Victorian Age. Authorized by the law, and signifying the arbitrary power of husbands and fathers over wives and children, “patriarchal marriage” met its clearest challenge in 19th century legislation, reforming such crucial areas as married women’s property, divorce, and child custody. Women should not face such problems and have the right to be free.
Married women’s property was a major issue in the nineteenth century. In the year of 1882, the Married Property Act was signed and passed. The Married Property Act stated that when a woman got married, all her wealth would be passed to her husband.   In the Four Decades of Trends in Attitudes toward Family Issues in the United States: The 1960s through the 1990s, Thornton states, “basically all the woman’s earning after marriage belongs to her husband” (page 1027). The women couldn’t keep her hard work worth of earnings. That is because the men had rights over the women. In the nineteenth century men were seen as superior, so the wives had to obey their husbands. Thornton said, “a women’s job was to look after kids, do household chores, and take care of the husband” (page 1010). Women did not have much knowledge on educational bases, because they were left uneducated in some areas. Before marriage and after marriage, women were a property of the men. “It was seen that women had to stay dependent on a man: first as a daughter then second as a wife” (Lori, page 4). Therefore, in the nineteenth century, we can say that men ruled women ever since they set a foot into the world.
Attitudes towards divorce were very strict and bitter around the...

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