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Author Topic: Why tribalism was eliminated in Europe
LetterRip
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Interesting article, it argues that the Holy Roman Catholic Church was the force behind elimination of tribalism in Europe. In particular

quote:
The medieval church instituted marriage laws and practices that undermined large kinship groups. From as early as the fourth century, it discouraged practices that enlarged the family, such as adoption, polygamy, concubinage, divorce, and remarriage. It severely prohibited marriages among individuals of the same blood (consanguineous marriages), which had constituted a means to create and maintain kinship groups throughout history. The church also curtailed parents’ abilities to retain kinship ties through arranged marriages by prohibiting unions in which the bride didn’t explicitly agree to the union.
https://hbdchick.wordpress.com/2011/04/04/whatever-happened-to-european-tribes/
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LetterRip
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Also an interesting article on the history tribalism and how it leads to particular cultural values and psychological outlooks.

http://www.meforum.org/1813/the-middle-easts-tribal-dna

[ June 12, 2015, 01:11 PM: Message edited by: LetterRip ]

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NobleHunter
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I am not well-disposed to an article about Christianity that starts with the tribes inhabiting pre-Roman Europe. Especially since both Ireland and Scotland (notably not conquered by Europe) had much more prominent clan-based societies even though they were Christianized at the same time (or earlier) than the rest of Roman Europe.

And while the Church's animosity towards remarriage is well known, I don't know how much of an effect it had on actual practice. True, the Church effectively eliminated polygamy and divorce (though it likely helped Romans did not engage in plural marriage [uh, right?]), it was significantly less successful in eliminating marriage, towards which it was also ill-disposed. Both marriage and remarriage were vital to the creation and maintenance of households, so the Church's failure in this matter is no surprise.

It seems more plausible to me that it was Romanization that destroyed tribal loyalties rather than Christianization. First the gallic, iberian, and southern british tribes through conquest and second the germanic through assimilation and acculturation. Strikingly, the article claims the germans had abandoned tribal insitutions by the 8th century even though they were well short of 500 years of Christianization (at least) the article claims correlates with an absence of tribalism.

One question I can't answer is how did the Romans deal with the tribal institutions in the regions they conquered. Obviously, if they let them hum along merrily, my argument is in trouble. I assume, however, that they fully assimilate the tribes into a Roman model of family and state.

This has been a historical geek-out brought to you by someone who is far too excited to talk about early medieval marriage.

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KidTokyo
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quote:
From as early as the fourth century, it discouraged practices that enlarged the family, such as adoption, polygamy, concubinage, divorce, and remarriage. It severely prohibited marriages among individuals of the same blood (consanguineous marriages), which had constituted a means to create and maintain kinship groups throughout history. The church also curtailed parents’ abilities to retain kinship ties through arranged marriages by prohibiting unions in which the bride didn’t explicitly agree to the union.
The ruling class seems to have escaped these proscriptions.
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NobleHunter
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The second article would do well to remember most Muslims aren't Arabs. And that reference to "people of the book" when the rest of the article talks about slavery and humiliation is a bit of a stretch. Huntington is not what I would consider a reliable source.

ETA: regarding "explicit agreement" there are sources doucmenting marriage where the family is standing around holding clubs. Theoretically, one could only enter into marriage by freely consenting. In practice, not so much.

[ June 12, 2015, 02:03 PM: Message edited by: NobleHunter ]

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KidTokyo
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Marriage was a ceremony of property transfer from one family to another until fairly recent history (i.e, the last 150 years).

"To have and to hold" is a term originating from real property contracts conveying deeds to land.

Consent under such conditions is little more than a surface formality, saying next to nothing about the true preferences of bride.

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NobleHunter
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Except from the Church's point of view it was (and is) a Sacrament. While it had important social and economic functions, it could not fulfill those without a religious imprimatur. Hence the millenium or so of arguing just what was and was not a marriage. While the big controversies involved significant property, marriage was an institution for the masses. Fo9r the vast majority it was more about finding someone you could live with and could help with maintaining a household.

Aslo, by the time the Church reconciled itself to the necessity of marriage (and the fact they weren't a doomsday cult, imo), two elements came to define the sacrament of marriage. Free consent and the exchange of vows (specific words either in the present tense or the future tense followed by sex). Everything else (as far as the Church was concerned) was bookkeeping. Theoretically.

ETA: NB We're kinda falling into the trap of treating European marriage from 800-1800 as a single construct when there was immense temporal and geographic variation.

[ June 12, 2015, 02:27 PM: Message edited by: NobleHunter ]

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KidTokyo
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I agree with you about the immense variation, but I am referring to the formal ceremonies, which, as I understand it, were generally not performed (at least by the church) for the peasant masses, since there was no significant property to be transferred.
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NobleHunter
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I don't know about the church ceremonies. They become commonplace in England. And even peasants benefited from officially recognized marriages (and unofficial divorces). Even if you didn't own the land you worked, there could still be inheritable rights involved. I mean, peasants got married and had them witnessed and recorded. The involvement of priest was variable, though I think they trended towards having a priest perform it over time.

I hate talking about the medieval rural poor, they left such bad records. [Razz]

ETA: Though the Church's lack of involvement in marriage does argue against the first article's thesis. Only lawyers and theologians would care about relations beyond first and second cousins.

[ June 12, 2015, 02:50 PM: Message edited by: NobleHunter ]

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Pete at Home
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LR, surely you havent been snookered by this leftnut claptrap that the Catholic churxh invented ex nihilo the concept of female consent to marriage.
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NobleHunter
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Uh, what Pete? Who said anything about inventing the concept of female consent?
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Pete at Home
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Mh is mostly right.

In family law class i was taught that the Catholic church had recognized common law marriage (which benefitted the poor, obviously). much of shakespeare, especially measure for measure, adresses tge ccontroversy surrounding commonlaw handfast marriages no longer being recognized by the state. Shakespeare was 99% apolitical or kissing up to powers that be but on the handfast marriage he shrilly proclaimed that the new law was sanctimonious oppressive bull****. And he was right. It was statists nobles and kings that forced the Church to abandon common law marriage. Easier to cheat peasants out of property without marriage rights.

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Pete at Home
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Nh. Here:

OTE]Originally posted by KidTokyo:
Marriage was a ceremony of property transfer from one family to another until fairly recent history (i.e, the last 150 years).

"To have and to hold" is a term originating from real property contracts conveying deeds to land.

Consent under such conditions is little more than a surface formality, saying next to nothing about the true preferences of bride.
[/QUOTE]

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KidTokyo
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Pete, what part of my statement are you actually claiming is incorrect? I mean my actual words, not some inference you've drawn.

I cannot follow what you've written.

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