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Private Acts in Public Places: A Social History of Divorce in the Formative Era of American Family Law
     

Private Acts in Public Places: A Social History of Divorce in the Formative Era of American Family Law

by Richard H. Chused
 

Richard H. Chused examines more than 1300 petitions for divorce in Maryland filed during the first half of the nineteenth century. By weaving together information on the legislative handling of these petitions, the voting patterns of the state legislators, and the judicial treatment of related disputes, Chused shows the connections between politics, regional

Overview

Richard H. Chused examines more than 1300 petitions for divorce in Maryland filed during the first half of the nineteenth century. By weaving together information on the legislative handling of these petitions, the voting patterns of the state legislators, and the judicial treatment of related disputes, Chused shows the connections between politics, regional differences, and the development of American family law. His analysis also provides valuable insights into the social history of the time, a period when traditional Southern family values were at odds with the more modern values brought about by urbanization.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"This concisely written, richly researched study of divorce in Maryland during the first half of the nineteenth century offers the most thorough historical examination of the politics of divorce. . . . This book will be a valuable source of information not only for family and women's historians but for students of legal history and antebellum politics as well."—American Historical Review

Booknews
During the first half of the 19th century in Maryland, the only way to get a divorce was to petition the state legislature for a private bill. Chused (law, Georgetown U.) examines over 1,300 petitions and analyzes how they were dealt with by the lawmakers and how the courts dealt with the resulting legal disputes. He considers the impact of politics, religion, and regional differences in the formation of American family law. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780812232028
Publisher:
University of Pennsylvania Press, Inc.
Publication date:
08/28/1994
Pages:
248
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author

Richard H. Chused is Professor of Law at New York University.

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