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Table of contents
THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES-8.1
THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES-8.2
THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES-8.3
THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES-8.4
THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES-8.5
THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES-8.6
FOOTNOTES
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.1
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.2
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.3
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.4
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.5
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.6
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.7
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.8
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.9
MARRIAGE-10.1
MARRIAGE-10.2
MARRIAGE-10.3
MARRIAGE-10.4
MARRIAGE-10.5
MARRIAGE-10.6
MARRIAGE-10.7
MARRIAGE-10.8
MARRIAGE-10.9
MARRIAGE-10.10
MARRIAGE-10.11
MARRIAGE-10.12
FOOTNOTES
THE ART OF LOVE-11.1
THE ART OF LOVE-11.2
THE ART OF LOVE-11.3
THE ART OF LOVE-11.4
THE ART OF LOVE-11.5
THE ART OF LOVE-11.6
THE ART OF LOVE-11.7
THE ART OF LOVE-11.8
THE ART OF LOVE-11.9
THE ART OF LOVE-11.10
THE ART OF LOVE-11.11
FOOTNOTES
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.1
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.2
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.3
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.4
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.5
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.6
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.7
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.8
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.9
FOOTNOTES
INDEX OF AUTHORS

 

 

Switzerland, again, which has been regarded as the political laboratory 

of Europe, also stands apart in the liberality of its divorce legislation. 

A renewable divorce for two years may be obtained in Switzerland when 

there are "circumstances which seriously affect the maintenance of the 

conjugal tie." To the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, finally, belongs the 

honor of having firmly maintained throughout the great principle of 

divorce by mutual consent under legal conditions, as established by 

Napoleon in his Code of 1803. The smaller countries generally are in 

advance of the large in matters of divorce law. The Norwegian law is 

liberal. The new Roumanian Code permits divorce by mutual consent, 

provided both parents grant equal shares of their property to the 

children. The little principality of Monaco has recently introduced the 

reasonable provision of granting divorce for, among other causes, 

alcoholism, syphilis, and epilepsy, so protecting the future race. 

 

Outside Europe the most instructive example of the tendency of divorce is 

undoubtedly furnished by the United States of America. The divorce laws of 

the States are mainly on a Puritanic basis, and they retain not only the 

Puritanic love of individual freedom but the Puritanic precisianism.[346] 

In some States, notably Iowa, the statute-makers have been constantly 

engaged in adopting, changing, abrogating and re-enacting the provisions 

of their divorce laws, and Howard has shown how much confusion and 

awkwardness arise by such perpetual legislative fiddling over small 

details. 

 

This restless precisianism has somewhat disguised the generally broad and 

liberal tendency of marriage law in America, and has encouraged foreign 

criticism of American social institutions. As a matter of fact the 

prevalence of divorce in America is enormously exaggerated. The proportion 

of divorced persons in the population appears to be less than one per 

cent., and, contrary to a frequent assertion, it is by no means the rule 

for divorced persons to remarry immediately. Taking into account the 

special conditions of life in the United States the prevalence of divorce 

is small and its character by no means reveals a low grade morality. An 

impartial and competent critic of the American people, Professor 

Muensterberg, remarks that the real ground which mainly leads to divorce in 

the United States--not the mere legal pretexts made compulsory by the 

precisianism of the law--is the highly ethical objection to continuing 

externally in a marriage which has ceased to be spiritually congenial. "It 

is the women especially," he says, "and generally the very best women, who 

prefer to take the step, with all the hardships which it involves, to 

prolonging a marriage which is spiritually hypocritical and immoral."[347] 

 

The people of the United States, above all others, cherish ideals of 

individualism; they are also the people among whom, above all others, 

there is the greatest amount of what Reibmayr calls "blood-chaos." Under 

such circumstances the difficulties of conjugal life are necessarily at a 

maximum, and marriage union is liable to subtle impediments which must 

forever elude the statute-book.[348] There can be little doubt that the 

practical sagacity of the American people will enable them sooner or later 

to recognize this fact, and that finally fulfilling the Puritanic drift of 

their divorce legislation--as foreshadowed in its outcome by Milton--they 

will agree to trust their own citizens with the responsibility of deciding 

so private a matter as their conjugal relationships, with, of course, 

authority in the courts to see that no injustice is committed. It is, 


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