Coverture: For the Benefit of All Man[kind]

Main Article Content

Audrey Kiarsis


Coverture was a central facet of 18th and 19th-century jurisprudence and legal thinking. Coverture stipulated that upon entering into a marriage contract, the legal identity of a wife would be entirely subsumed by that of her husband. At a time when the courts, both state and federal, often functioned as agents of marginalization, coverture was presented as a system intended to protect and provide for the very women it legally incapacitated. This paper examines the motivations behind coverture, how it perpetuated a patriarchal society devoid of female socio-political mobility, and its practical consequences in legal precedent and doctrine.

Article Details

Bluebook Articles