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Domestic SecretsWomen and Property in Sweden, 1600-1857$
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Maria Agren

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780807833209

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807898451_agren

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Deteriorating Rights & Compensating Practices The Eighteenth-Century Transformation

Deteriorating Rights & Compensating Practices The Eighteenth-Century Transformation

(p.100) ((4)) Deteriorating Rights & Compensating Practices The Eighteenth-Century Transformation
Domestic Secrets

Maria Ågren

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter focuses on the period prior to 1734, when a woman's natal family had been able to exert control over the land that she had taken with her into marriage, most of all through the right to veto sales by the son-in-law. This possibility may not have been used very often within the peasantry, perhaps because peasant households did not often experience the need to sell the wife's lands to somebody outside the kin group. Still, the right to veto was there, vesting women's relatives with considerable influence, if they wanted to use it, and no doubt affecting husbands' actions. After 1734, by contrast, the right to veto sales was gone, precisely at a time when we have very good reason to believe that peasant households would be increasingly prone to sell the wife's lands. The vitalized land market and the enclosure movement both tended to make separate land holdings for wives appear to be awkward, dysfunctional, and, above all, unnecessarily costly.

Keywords:   natal family, peasantry, peasant households, veto, vitalized land market, enclosure movement

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