94 Law Libr. J. 459 (2002)
When a Woman's Marital Status Determined Her Legal Status: A Research Guide on the Common Law Doctrine of Coverture

handle is hein.journals/llj94 and id is 469 raw text is: When a Woman's Marital Status Determined
Her Legal Status: A Research Guide on the
Common Law Doctrine of Coverture*
Claudia Zaher*
This research guide collects and annotates books and journal articles about
the common doctrine of coverture, which held that a wife had no legal stand-
ing because her being was completely incorporated into that of her husband.
The doctrine was imported from England into Colonial America and has not
yet disappeared from the law.
Contents
Introduction  ................................................. 459
Research  Guide  .............................................. 463
Historic Analysis of the Coverture Doctrine ...................... 463
Coverture and Civil Rights for Married Women ................... 467
The Legal Profession  ........................................ 471
Marital Rape Exemption and Interspousal Tort Immunity ........... 473
Coverture in  England  ....................................... 476
Coverture in the United States  ................................ 476
Colonial Period  ........................................ 476
Nineteenth  Century  ..................................... 477
Twentieth  Century  ...................................... 480
Introduction
1 Discrimination against women throughout Anglo-American history has been
well documented. Solely on the basis of their sex, women were denied legal, polit-
ical, and economic rights. Traditional English common law, later adopted by the
American colonies, additionally discriminated against married women. The doc-
trine was called coverture or the unity principle, and it is best described by the
great English jurist William Blackstone:
() Claudia Zaher, 2002.
Acquisitions/Serials/Collection Development Librarian, Chase College of Law Library, Northern
Kentucky University, Highland Heights, Kentucky.

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