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Old 08-03-2018, 11:18 PM   #162
gmw
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Sir Edward View Post
Was that French domestic law? That was English law at the time, it was most definitely not Spanish law at the time. Spain had strict community property domestic law. . .

In practice, on a day-today basis, it was a matter between spouses, to be hashed out between them. It would only come to legal notice if a legal filing was made.
Given that Spain was strongly Catholic, and the church is not known for its fair treatment of women, this seems an extraordinary claim. Consider this article (PDF downloadable at link) on Divorce and Abuse in 16th, 17th and 18th Century Spain:
Spoiler:
Quote:
"Although initially free, every woman who marries enters into a state of perpetual subjection to her husband for the rest of her life by virtue of the marriage itself. None can escape from this subjection during marriage, since it is the natural law, authorised by divine order from the beginning of the world" (Mejía, 1566).
[...]
In this paper, we have attempted to conduct a global analysis of the phenomenon of domestic violence against women in Spain in the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. To this end, we began by analysing the secondary role that - in the eyes of the moralists and jurists of the time - wives were expected to play in marriage. This submission was the result of a strengthening of the patriarchal order, a phenomenon which occurred not only in Spain but also throughout Europe. The Tridentine reform, the strengthening of the modern state and the gradual intensification of the importance of the conjugal family all played a major role in this process. Accordingly, by virtue of human and divine laws, women fell under the authority and rule of their husbands, and were expected to obey their decisions without questioning. In contrast, husbands were obliged to love and respect their wives, but also to maintain constant control over them in order to protect their own honour. As a means to uphold this authority at all times, husbands were entitled to inflict violence on their wives, although always within the limits considered acceptable at the time.
[...] a clear limitation imposed by the ecclesiastical authorities on their judges when hearing women's claims, whereby these were restricted exclusively to cases which, due to their truly outrageous nature, it was absolutely necessary to address. Lastly, additional evidence to that already mentioned can be observed in the judgements, which were generally more favourable to men.


To bring this back to France (and therefore The Three Musketeers), French law at the time apparently fell under two influences: Roman (as with the Spanish noted above) and Customary (as with the English). Neither of which, in practice, gave married women real equality with regard to property rights. Go back another 600 years and things can be different, but the Renaissance was not much of a renaissance for women.

Last edited by gmw; 08-03-2018 at 11:28 PM.
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