Key words: Ming and Qing Dynasties, women, remarriage, case law
Abstract: Though the governments of Ming and Qing Dynasties held that women should conserve chastity after the death of their husbands, women's remarriage was not rare. Sometimes, women remarried due to poverty, or they remarried under the duress of husband's family or their maternal families, who desired to obtain gifts and wealth. Traditional culture dictated that women should keep their chastity, but many local Administrators allowed remarriage in cases where it was deemed unruly factors harmful to morals. Case laws on women's remarriage in Ming and Qing Dynasties appeared to be stricter on punishing relatives who compelled women remarry and looser on men who forced women to marry them. Under the patriarchal rule, whether women wanted to keep chastity or longed for remarriage, they had little ability to decide on their own.
(Source: Collection of Women's Studies)
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