Marriage, Legitimacy, Divorce

  • Franz Rothenbacher
Part of the The Societies of Europe book series (SOEU)


In 1965, John Hajnal distinguished between the ‘European Marriage Pattern’ and the ‘Non-European Marriage Pattern’ (Hajnal, 1965), with the dividing line between the two running from St. Petersburg to Trieste. This model claims to be valid for the time period until roughly 1940. The European marriage pattern is defined by a high age at first marriage, low nuptiality, and a large share of people remaining single for life. By contrast, the non-European marriage pattern is defined by a low age at first marriage, high nuptiality, and a small share of the population remaining single. According to this definition, the whole of Eastern and south-eastern Europe belongs to the non-European marriage pattern. Hajnal’s data refer to the time period until roughly 1900; in the subsequent time period, Hajnal concedes modernization processes on both sides: the non-European marriage pattern becoming more like the European marriage pattern and the European more like the non-European marriage pattern. The question here is whether this hypothetical convergence of marriage patterns for the time after 1900 can really be proved (see Rothenbacher, 1998b).


Nineteenth Century Divorce Rate Marriage Rate Marital Fertility Lone Parent 
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© Franz Rothenbacher 2002

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  • Franz Rothenbacher

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