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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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Never Happier in Her Life

Never Happier in Her Life

(p.176) 7 Never Happier in Her Life
Marriage on the Border

Allison Dorothy Fredette

University Press of Kentucky

This chapter explores the lives of working-class and poor white women of the border South. Their story reveals the potential of border culture—how it gave a voice and agency to women whose stories could be more easily suppressed in a less fluid community. The border created fertile ground for ideas of mutuality and individualism. While this led many to pursue friendship, love, and partnership in their relationships, elite and middle-class husbands and wives of the border South still often adhered to a social ethic which dictated certain gendered behaviors to men and women. In working-class society, however, these philosophies gave women a greater sense of independence and authority, allowing them to push the boundaries of the household and assert themselves in new ways.

Keywords:   Women, Gender Roles, Class, Urban South, Domestic Violence, Race, Appalachia, Kentucky, West Virginia, Divorce

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