Marriage and Family


The American Founders viewed marriage—which they held to be one of the cornerstones of civil society—as a contract that conferred rights and responsibilities on both parties. Beginning in the 19th century, this understanding of marriage was rejected, first for the Romantic idea of marriage as a status. This change prepared the way for the Progressives, who thought marriage should be managed scientifically by state administrators.


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Kevin Slack is assistant professor of politics at Hillsdale College. He received his B.A. from Indiana University, his M.A. from the University of California Davis, and his Ph.D. from the University of Dallas.