By Maria Ågren
Among the 17th and 19th centuries, women's position within the Swedish economic system was once renegotiated and reconceptualized. Maria Agren chronicles alterations in married women's estate rights, revealing the tale of Swedish women's estate as not only an easy narrative of the erosion of criminal rights, yet a extra complicated story of accidental consequences.
A public sphere of influence--including the wife's kin and the neighborhood community--held sway over spousal estate rights all through many of the 17th century, Agren argues. round 1700, a crusade to codify spousal estate rights as an arcanum domesticum, or household mystery, aimed to extend potency in felony determination making. New regulatory adjustments certainly diminished familial interference, yet additionally they made households much less more likely to provide land to ladies.
The introduction of the print medium ushered estate matters again into the general public sphere, this time on a countrywide scale, Agren explains. Mass politicization elevated sympathy for girls, and public debate popularized extra innovative principles concerning the fiscal contributions of ladies to marriage, resulting in mid-nineteenth-century criminal reforms that have been extra favorable to girls. Agren's paintings complements our figuring out of the way societies have conceived of women's contributions to the elemental associations of marriage and the relatives, utilizing to illustrate a rustic with far-reaching impact in the course of and after the Enlightenment.
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Additional info for Domestic Secrets: Women and Property in Sweden, 1600-1857 (Studies in Legal History)
According to the novel, then, privacy appears as something highly desirable. Even in a precarious situation, Hertha is willing to sacrifice her own economic interests to avoid public exposure of the family history. Privacy is also, the reader suspects, linked to notions of middle-class respectability. More than anything else, Hertha is anxious not to have the family’s dirty linen washed in public. Nineteenth-century legislators were not impervious to these ideas. Indeed, one of the most influential of them, Johan Gabriel Richert, vehemently opposed all legal solutions that would expose the married couple to the public.
To an outsider with no access to local knowledge about the family history, the marital property arrangements would probably appear as impenetrable domestic secrets. Recourse to written documents would not necessarily clarify the matter. Buyers of land kept the sale document as a title deed. Minutes were taken at each court session, and one copy was to be kept under seal in the local community’s “chest” (häradskista). The Crown kept written records in the form of cadastres, including information on each farm from which taxes were due.
Privacy is also, the reader suspects, linked to notions of middle-class respectability. More than anything else, Hertha is anxious not to have the family’s dirty linen washed in public. Nineteenth-century legislators were not impervious to these ideas. Indeed, one of the most influential of them, Johan Gabriel Richert, vehemently opposed all legal solutions that would expose the married couple to the public. Publicity would hurt the delicate nature of marriage, he claimed. Marriage was not comparable to a company of shareholders; it was a very special union between two individuals, based on love, trust, and mutual support.