18th Century Societies

18th Century Societies - SexandMarriage 18/10/201019:47:00...

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Sex and Marriage 18/10/2010 19:47:00 1. Sex and the City Almanacs were popular yearly compendia that contained astrological  predictions, down-home advice and proverbs Casual sex before marriage and outside of marriage Prostitution o Men should not solicit prostitution (STDs) o Numerous brothels in Philadelphia—in high demand o Was illegal in 18 th  century society Philadelphia did not punish for extramarital sex Extra-marital pregnancies were common in 18 th  century Philadelphia.  Biological father, if they could be tracked down, were asked to marry their  children’s mother, or pay a fine (most paid the fine) 2. Wayward Wives Married life was the norm was for most 18 th  century Americans Most relationships were monogamous and loving When wives ran away, husbands would put ads up condemning their wives o Put off future suitors o Absolve himself from responsibilities for her actions or her debts o Include descriptions of wife’s transgressions o Shows that the wife has broken the marriage contract o Only 7% of husbands accused wives of adultery explicitly, most kept  the accusations very broad uphold the husband’s own image o Ads gave clues that wives had run away before, but returned Sometimes the ads would get outspoken replies, providing specific details  that the husband had left out, accusing the husbands of driving them away Husbands were responsible for financials of legal wives o Legally married meant that the woman was obedient and faithful to the  husband Men had the upper hand in the relationship Why wives left: o Affairs
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o Domestic violence o Husband cannot support the wife financially When a wife ran away temporarily, she would use her running away to  negotiate with her husband 3. Not all Wives Many women, esp. in urban areas, were not married A significant number of women in 18 th  century American cities were single o Not all women ever got married (one in four in one study of Quaker  women) o Even among women who did get married, none were married their  entire lives Husbands typically died first Even if husband died first, number of women who were  remarrying was falling o Unmarried women were usually concentrated in the highest numbers 
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18th Century Societies - SexandMarriage 18/10/201019:47:00...

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