The Change in Inheritance Issues in France from 1300-1600

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During the period 1300 to the mid 1600s, Europe experienced its great boom in trade and commerce. Newfound riches were pouring in and a new class of people arose, basing their wealth on this influx. Economic instability ensued, upsetting many old trade patterns and businesses. Also during this time, disease, warfare, and economic downturns added to the turmoil of everyday European life. It was amidst this changing world that the residents of Douai, France reformed their …

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…inclinations was a slow process, stretching out some three hundred years. During the years of transition, “a confusing mixture of old custom’s notion about conjugal unity and the new law’s ideas about the distinction between a wife’s and a husband’s property” troubled the courts, and many women manipulated this system to their own advantage. However, the new laws, once fully created and instated, greatly changed the relationship between man and wife.