Cape Colony marriage in perspective

Cilliers, Jeanne (2013-03)

Thesis (MComm)--Stellenbosch University, 2013.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Despite the importance of studying marriage patterns for a better understanding of colonial life, the subject has received little attention from a purely economic perspective. In his seminal work, European Marriage Patterns in Perspective (1965), J. Hajnal introduces the notion of a European Marriage Pattern (EMP) emerging in the late Middle Ages which became characteristic of Western European society in the early modern period. Hajnal points out several distinct aspects to distinguish Western European marriages from all other societies of the time. While existing literature in this field has typically focussed on the demographic features of marriage patterns, such as the average age of marriage, the share of the population that had never married, and the effects of the EMP on fertility and resulting population growth, little attention has been paid to the underlying mechanisms and causes of the EMP. Using genealogical records to track the ancestry of colonial settlers in South Africa, this study will investigate the evolution of marriage in the Cape Colony. The focus is primarily on the persistence of the EMP and attempt to determine whether it continued to characterise the marriages of European descendents outside of Europe, or whether a distinct marriage pattern emerged in the Cape Colony in the eighteenth and early nineteenth century. It will explore the effect that such patterns may have historically had on family size, standards of living and life chances for European settlers at the Cape, with an aim to shed new light on the underlying causes of the EMP, by critically evaluating De Moor and van Zanden’s (2010) three hypotheses of the origins of this distinct marriage pattern.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Ten spyte van die bydrae wat ’n studie van huwelikspatrone tot ’n beter begrip van die ekonomiese ontwikkeling en sosiale konteks tydens die koloniale era kan maak, ontvang hierdie onderwerp min aandag vanuit 'n suiwer ekonomiese perspektief. In John Hajnal se bekende publikasie, European Marriage Patterns in Perspective (1965), stel hy die konsep van 'n Europese Huweliks Patroon (EHP) voor. Hierdie patroon het waarskynlik in die laat-Middeleeue verskyn en die Wes-Europese samelewing in die vroeë-moderne tydperk gekenmerk. Hajnal beskryf sekere unieke aspekte wat Wes-Europese huwelike van alle ander samelewings van hierdie tydperk onderskei. Bestaande literatuur oor hierdie onderwerp fokus tipies op die demografiese kenmerke van huwelikspatrone, soos die gemiddelde ouderdom waarop individue trou, die gedeelte van die bevolking wat nooit trou nie en die gevolge wat die EHP op fertiliteit en bevolkingsgroei het. Min aandag is dus aan die onderliggende oorsake van die EHP gegee. Deur gebruik te maak van die Suid-Afrikaanse Geslagregisters is dit moontlik om die herkoms van koloniale setlaars in Suid-Afrika na te spoor. Hierdie studie fokus dus op die ontwikkeling van ’n huwelikspatroon in die Kaapkolonie. Die vraag is of die EHP die huwelike van Europese afstammelinge buite Europa steeds gekenmerk het en of daar ’n ander huwelikspatroon in die agtiende en vroeë-negentiende eeu in die Kaapkolonie na vore gekom het. Die vraag word beantwoord deur ’n kritiese analise van De Moor en van Zanden (2010) se drie hipoteses oor die oorsprong van hierdie eiesoortige huwelikspatroon.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/79863
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