Spichak А. V. The reasons for divorce of peasant women in the late XIX — early XX c. (On materials of Tobolsk diocese), p. 88 — 103

In the last two decades the interest to the problem of peasant families and women’s roles in it (in regional studies) has increased; however, the topic of peasant women voluntarily leaving their families remains virtually unexplored. The peasantry was the bulwark of tradi-tional Russian culture. The reasons for filing a petition for divorce in the Tobolsk diocese de-pended on the specific conditions women were in both the family and rural society; these
conditions were obviously affected by modernization changes in Russia in the late XIX — ear-ly XX c. Archival materials allowed to identify main reasons for divorce petitions by pea¬sant-women on the territory of the Tobolsk eparchy in the late XIX — early XX c.: adultery, cruel treatment (beatings), spouse’s banishment to a penal colony (or his refusal to follow a convicted wife), the husband’s inability to perform the conjugal duty, spouse’s condition of being a missing person. Petitions are very different in emotional coloring: from regret and sor-row to cold, calculating presentation of all the violated spouse rules and suggestions about spe-cific types of punishment. The author traced the link between the type of presentation and a level of education. For example, the more educated the woman was, the better she could write the petition and specify the articles of the normative documents according to which she had a right to divorce. Peasant women often postponed the submission of the petition for a few years after realizing that saving the marriage was impossible. This decision affected their education and social position in the family and the village.
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