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Annotated Bibliography: Gender Marriage, and Sexuality
Payling, S.J. (2001). The Economics of Marriage in Late Medieval England: The Marriage of Heiresses. The Economic History Review, 54(3), 413-429.
The aristocratic and male dominated society in medieval England is discussed in detail, providing various positions and set of standards to accommodate the natural desire to accumulate wealth. The unjust division of wealth among elder individuals deprives younger siblings from their natural rights. However, the highlighted male primogeniture law, accumulation of land and property, as well as the feminine rights as heiress were acceptable standards of medieval English society. The primitive nature of aristocratic society is played a major role in setting the stage for land dispersal and marriages.
The author takes a position contrary to the applauded practices of medieval England including the landed wealth, social prestige derived upon a monopoly of advantages, and marriages with desirable brides for heirs. It also resulted into ignoring the younger males. The article further establishes its position against the acceptable norms of the discussed age. The disagreement on the issues of priority in wealth distribution and the role of heiresses' marriages is based on the research of marriage contracts and marriages of heiress with governmental lords.
The research indicates that the rate of inheritances transfer from or to daughters was increased by more than 10% in the first half of fourteenth century and by the end of second half it stated decreasing, with a maximum increase up to 40%. Two major reasons are elaborated in the research and are identified as facilitating factors for such discriminatory treatments including Black Death Demographics and influential rights for daughters as heiresses. The bargains for cash and land properties that a female has to carry are regarded as simple trading of hands according to the market price of the property inherited by the heiress. These marriages ended without having any issues and leaving portions of their inherited properties for branches of their families.
The marriages were not only traded by the parents of the families. The royals were also involved in such practices settling the marriages for notable members of society. The involvement of crown also resulted into fines in case of non-compliance. In the research conducted by Queller and Madden (1993), similar practices have been showed to follow during the medieval era in Venice. The research is related to using feminine factor and marriages as economic trading. In Venice the practice was followed on the name of dowry as compared to England where the above mentioned practices were adopted to accumulate wealth. The relatedness of the research to sex, gender, and marriages provided a strong base to review historic background of the issues.
Queller, D.E., & Madden, T.F. (1993). Father of the bride: fathers, daughters, and dowries in late medieval and early renaissance Venice. Renaissance quarterly, 46(4), 685-711.
The article explains the societal view point about dowries, families in accordance with their wealth and social status, and daughters of these families as brides in Italy. Several examples are quoted to highlight the significance of hefty amounts for dowries paid and received as a matter of pride and social status. The implied benefits of wealth accumulation are also significant for the bride to reflect the status and as a result the impact on economic condition of the groom. The author states that the end of fourteenth century and middle age of fifteenth century has experienced similar cases of marriages. The marriages were considered as a matter of trading and chance to accumulate wealth.
The research further elaborates by giving significant examples regarding the relatedness of bride's father in terms of dowries brought by the brides. The factors of relatedness are explained in three distinct dimensions. First the impact of wealth holdings of the bride's farther on dowries, secondly the social and economic conditions of the groom as compared with the bride. Furthermore the interrelation of groom's social and economic conditions with the amount of dowries. It is observed that none to minimal interrelation is found in the three conditions. The relatedness of social and economic factors did not simply matter in negotiating marriage contracts.
Data analysis for the period of 1370 to 1389 reveals that on average 1000 ducats was paid in amounts for dowries as the maximum number is observed to be 1600 ducats. The interesting observation made by the research can be denoted as the share in dowry bouquet. The facts revealed that father's contributed 26% of her daughter's dowry while mothers slightly lower. Moreover, the maternal grandfathers were also encouraged to provide a significant amount for dowry. Finally, the unrelated benefactors also contributed to a bride's dowry. Later the article states that the Italian society not only accepted it as a norm but they also endorsed the practice by praising the fact that it is a women's right on her father's wealth.
The article is relevant for research in gender, marriage, inheritance, and sexuality. The relatedness of the subject and research work of Payling (2001) can also be identified in terms of economic factors influencing marriages in Europe during the medieval age. The research done by Palyling (2001) also highlights the underlying factors for male primogeniture and acts of transferring from and to heiresses. The crown, notables, lords, and common men all are found to be following similar practices within their capacity.
The dowry size was perceived as directly proportionate to her worth, her prospects, and family's lover for her. The perception was a major underlying factor for parents of women to provide large amounts of dowry. The article concludes that the paternal feelings of fathers were also satisfied along with the gesture that they have created a significant effort. After providing large dowry to their daughters the father also appraised the pride gained among the society and wishes that they have contributed for their daughter's new life with her groom. The concept is observed at height during second half of the fourteenth century to the middle of fifteenth century.
Ratcliffe, M. (1984). Adulteresses, Mistresses and Prostitutes: Extramarital Relationships in Medieval Castile. Hispania, 67(3), 346-350.
The author has described in detail the Spanish history of medieval era in relation to women, their rights, working style, perception, and marriages. The rights of married and unmarried women are described as distinct. It is further discussed that men enjoyed unprecedented freedom as compared to women in that age. The wives were considered as properties and matter of honor and pride was derived by men. The laws were significantly discriminatory as well as unjust. The legal system was in place to facilitate the wrong doings of men however women were abstained from their fundamental rights. The marriages were also treated as tradeoffs for money and dowry. The legal rights of women to witness against their husbands were not granted.
However the research articulates that married women were treated as business and working partners. They played a significant role in family well being as well as a notable support for their husbands. The businesses were run by women in absence of their husbands. A woman's status was known by her father's identity or husband's identity. The legal right to divorce was not allowed. It is also observed that women faced strict punishments for adultery whereas men were not perceived as guilty of these practices. The law was only applicable for married women. The author further established an account by stating that prostitution houses were not allowed in Spain during medieval times. These activities were controlled through restrictive areas and distinctive dress codes. Prostitution was considered a crime under the law as well as an intolerant social behavior was also observed towards women involved.
The article is a significant account of medieval Spain and provides detailed history regarding married and unmarried women. The work also outlines the basic rights for women with respect to the married relationship, social perceptions, and treatment with women. However, the legal system lacked to ensure equality for women and suffered in preserving contemporary women rights to a large extant. The author further investigates the social and legal aspects of adultery, mistress, and prostitution. The article is an essential read to understand and inter-relates the Europe's medieval age practices regarding females, family structure, marriages, and sex inequality.
Peters, C. (2000). Gender, sacrament and ritual: The making and meaning of marriage in late medieval and early modern England. Past & present, (169), 63-96.
The research provides a detailed account of the Christian and medieval social, religious, family, as well as economic structure and practices. The Protestant School of thought is discussed in great detail to provide a relationship between key rituals and social practices for marriages, social status, women rights, and treatment. Baptism is described as generally accepted and clerical and was preferred over emergency baptism.
The article has a clear position regarding the decline of spousals as significant in caparison with changes in marriage doctrine. The secular pressures are considered relevant to improvise social pressures in decline of spousals. The cash artifacts have an…[continue]
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