Governing the Hearth

Law and the Family in Nineteenth-Century America

By Michael Grossberg

436 pp., 6.125 x 9.25

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8078-4225-6
    Published: August 1988
  • eBook ISBN: 978-0-8078-6336-7
    Published: January 2004

Studies in Legal History

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Awards & distinctions

1986 Littleton-Griswold Prize in American Law and Society, American Historical Association

Presenting a new framework for understanding the complex but vital relationship between legal history and the family, Michael Grossberg analyzes the formation of legal policies on such issues as common law marriage, adoption, and rights for illegitimate children. He shows how legal changes diminished male authority, increased women's and children's rights, and fixed more clearly the state's responsibilities in family affairs. Grossberg further illustrates why many basic principles of this distinctive and powerful new body of law--antiabortion and maternal biases in child custody--remained in effect well into the twentieth century.

About the Author

Michael Grossberg is associate professor of history and adjunct associate professor of law at Case Western Reserve University.
For more information about Michael Grossberg, visit the Author Page.