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Summary Of Lawrence Stone's Family, Sex, And Marriage In England

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Lawrence Stone's Family, Sex, and Marriage in England, 1500-1800 swept aside the scattered remains of prior methods of interpretation. It attempted to construct a new understanding of family history through its innovative discussion of the development of the English family from the Reformation until the Industrial Revolution. Stone presented a compelling argument, which centered primarily on the gradual emergence of the intimate, modern family and he claimed that it emerged largely due to the rise and spread of the idea of “Collective Individualism” (221). Furthermore, whereas prior historiographic accounts emphasized the prominent roles that economic and demographic formations played on the development of family history, Stone differed because he based his research around the idea that major functional and psychological reasons ultimately caused fundamental changes in family life (18). Despite the loss of economic and social institutions like schools, asylums, and hospitals, Stone argued that families became closer. In a work of colossal size and aspiration, Stone discarded the idea of a clear linear transition. According to Stone, three stages of development occurred between 1500 and 1800, which overlapped each other.
Stone argued that between 1450 and 1630, the open-lineage family dominated England. He acknowledged the limitations of his fragmentary evidence, but ventured to draw conclusions about familial trends (116). Stone argued that because marriage occurred
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