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Marriage on the BorderLove, Mutuality, and Divorce in the Upper South during the Civil War$
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Allison Dorothy Fredette

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780813179155

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813179155.001.0001

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Torn Apart

Torn Apart

Chapter:
(p.131) 5 Torn Apart
Source:
Marriage on the Border
Author(s):

Allison Dorothy Fredette

Publisher:
University Press of Kentucky
DOI:10.5810/kentucky/9780813179155.003.0006

This chapter explores the impact of the Civil War on divorce in the postwar period. As in other parts of the United States, the Civil War had a profound impact on the psyche and emotions of the people involved, and years of distance and separation and battlefield trauma led to the breakdown of many relationships. The situation in Kentucky and West Virginia was exacerbated by two particular circumstances: the establishment of friendlier divorce laws in the antebellum era and the embrace of domesticity and mutuality before and during the conflict. Hastily arranged marriages and the flexibility to more easily end those relationships when they failed, led to a rash of divorces in the border South in the years following the war.

Keywords:   Divorce, Gender Roles, Civil War, Reconstruction, South, Appalachia, Emancipation, Marriage

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