The Three Waves of Married Women's Property Acts in the Nineteenth Century with a Focus on Mississippi, New York, and Oregon
47 Pages Posted: 28 Aug 2013 Last revised: 20 Sep 2014
Date Written: 2013
Paper starts with a brief section on early America and social reform that provides a background on why married women's property acts (MWPA's) passed when they did in nineteenth century America. After laying the foundation, the paper delves into the three waves in which the MWPA's were passed in the nineteenth century focusing for the first time in the literature on one specific state for each wave. The three states; Mississippi, New York and Oregon, are examined leading up to passage. Next, the paper will look into the judicial reaction of each State’s highest court. Were the courts supportive of the passed married women’s property acts or did they trend back toward the previous common law approach or equity? In evaluating the courts’ rulings, an examination of the judicial decision-making process is undertaken.
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