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By Stephen Parker

By the writer of "Cohabitees", this e-book lines the limits of criminal marriage because the commercial Revolution, from casual marriage practices to trendy cohabitation. alterations are put of their financial, political and social contexts, visible to be the made from category and gender conflict.

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Extra info for Informal Marriage, Cohabitation and the Law 1750–1989

Sample text

R. Gillis (1985) being the obvious example. In some rural communities the production of children was an economic necessity, because children could be productive at an early age, whereas in others children would simply drain scarce resources. With the advent of industrialisation and the increase in out-working, children were useful in assisting cottage workers and, of course, when factory production gradually took over from cottage industry, the children's wage earnings were an important supplement to the family income.

The logical consequence of the need to ensure fertility and compatibility was some form of trial marriage. We have already looked at the notion of processual marriage in the context of marriages being created retrospectively to ensure the support of dependent women 26 Informal Marriage and children. We can also see it from another angle by regarding it as a deliberate and conscious device to ensure compatibility. In chapter 1, I used the early work of the Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure as an illustration of a rather simple view of marriage.

Land had to be sold off to pay debts. Increasingly hedonistic life-styles amongst the gentry led to overspending and polite retirement to spa towns, typified by Sir Walter Elliot's removal to Bath in Jane Austen's Persuasion. At the same time we see the growth of merchant and industrial capital; in other words, wealth not directly linked to land. Economic activity had been rising steadily during the reigns of the Stuarts in the seventeenth century but the development of the colonies and freedom from major wars during the early eighteenth century provided Lord Hardwicke's Act 1753 33 considerable boosts.

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