1887

n Historia - Ten reasons for not marrying : sex and illegitimacy in mid-nineteenth century Cape Town

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Abstract

"Ten Reasons for Not Marrying" contributes to an investigation into illegitimacy in Cape Town in the nineteenth century - itself part of a larger exploration of out-of-wedlock births in South Africa's "Mother City" from its foundation to the present. Previous published works have examined issues such as family formation, unacknowledged paternity and the varied fortunes of the out-of-wedlock child. Studies of illegitimacy in nineteenth century Cape Town hinge inexorably on the institution of slavery, and on the aftermath of slave emancipation in 1838. Additionally they require attention to the proclaimed policies and more subtle influences originating in Britain and given force by the colonial government and the influx of British settlers, who represented every social class. In 1840 Cape Town gained municipal status, a milestone which enabled those newly empowered as commissioners and ward masters to regulate and, as far as possible, to mould the motley townsfolk along lines "modern" and "respectable". Despite their efforts, the incidence of out-of-wedlock births, with their implications for morality and social welfare, remained high. This article investigates some obstacles to marrying. Work is in hand respecting the demographics of illegitimacy in Cape Town prior to the institution of official census-taking and statistics collection.

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"Tien Redes om Nie te Trou Nie" is deel van 'n ondersoek na buiteegtelikheid in Kaapstad in die negentiende eeu - wat weer deel vorm van 'n breër ondersoek na buite-egtelike geboortes in die "moederstad" van Suid-Afrika van die totstandkoming daarvan tot die hede. Publikasies wat reeds hieroor verskyn het, ondersoek onderwerpe soos gesinsvorming, nie-erkende vaderskap en die uiteenlopende lotgevalle van buite-egtelike kinders. Studies oor buite-egtelikheid in Kaapstad in die negentiende eeu wentel noodwendig om slawerny en die nagevolge van die vrystelling van slawe in 1838. Verder vereis dit dat aandag gegee word aan die geïmplementeerde beleid van die tyd, asook die meer subtiele invloede wat hulle ontstaan in Brittanje gehad het, en deur die koloniale regering en die instroming van Britse setlaars vanuit alle sosiale stande, bekragtig is. In 1840 het Kaapstad munisipale status verkry, 'n mylpaal wat diegene wat pas as kommissarisse en wyksmeesters bemagtig is, in staat gestel het om die diverse dorpenaars sover as moontlik volgens moderne eietydse en respektabele lyne te reguleer en te slyp. Ten spyte van hulle pogings om die teendeel te bewerkstellig, het die voorkoms van buite-egtelike geboortes, met die verwante gevolge wat moraliteit en sosiale welsyn betref, hoog gebly. Hierdie artikel ondersoek enkele struikelblokke wat huwelike verhinder het. Aandag word gegee aan die demografie van buite-egtelikheid in Kaapstad voordat amptelike sensusopnames en die insameling van statistieke ingestel is.

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/content/hist/52/2/EJC38273
2007-11-01
2016-12-07
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