Download Building and breaking families in the American West by Glenda Riley PDF

By Glenda Riley

This e-book is the 1st cultural interpretation of why marriages dissolve so usually within the West, which has had the top divorce expense on this planet because the 1870s. Riley devotes separate chapters to the existence cycle of relationships—courtship, the criteria influencing marriage, the problems of intermarrying, and the dissolving of unions via separation, desertion, and divorce. She unearths that kin clash happened throughout cultures through the West while traditions clashed and folks have been unwilling or not able to mixture ideals or practices. Riley seems at a variety of courtship and marriage practices between Anglos, local americans, Hispanics, and African americans. She argues that cultural and ethnic traditions usually overlapped yet by no means gave upward push to generally accredited norms.

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31 In fact thousands of men returned home to marry someone they already knew, or a woman suggested by a family member, friend, or former neighbor. 32 In the following years, literally thousands of farmers, miners, army officers, and other types of men replicated Bartlett's strategy and journeyed home to marry proverbial girls-next-door. S. Postal Service proved instrumental in the process of locating a potential mate. Such letters, largely written by men living alone or with other bachelors, enjoined friends, family members, and even casual acquaintances to assist in the search for potential wives.

14 Beginning during the 1850s, Asian immigrants also added to the stew their particular motivations for courting. S. experienced biting loneliness and thus yearned for spouses. 15 Page 11 On the other hand, Asian women living in their homelands entered relationships with such immigrants for a variety of reasons: their parents ordered them to do so; they hoped to escape a life of poverty and arduous labor; or they were attempting to avoid a social embarrassment, such as their own pregnancy. One Korean woman of the early twentieth century lamented her indigence and the adversities she faced as a Christian in a Buddhist society.

Other men simply initiated correspondence with a woman they had known previously. During the California gold rush, Frank Rumrill began writing to Henrietta Stewart, a woman he had known in Ohio. Eager in 1851 to make his fortune, Frank Rumrill established first a hotel, then a restaurant, and finally became an agent for Gregory's Express. " Apparently Stewart decided to gamble, because the correspondence continued. " Frank, finally unable to find either fortune or matrimony in California, returned to Ohio and married Henrietta.

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