A New Birth of Marriage

  • Love, Politics, and the Vision of the Founders

  • by Brandon Dabling

  • 294 pages, 6.00 x 9.00 , 3 tables

  • Hardcover | 9780268201975 | April 2022

  • eBook (Web PDF) | 9780268201999 | April 2022

  • eBook (EPUB) | 9780268201968 | April 2022


A New Birth of Marriage provides a history of the changes to marriage throughout the American experience and a theoretical argument for the goodness of the traditional American family in fostering private happiness and the public good.

A New Birth of Marriage argues that the American Founders placed marriage as the cornerstone of republican liberty. The Founders’ vision of marriage relied on a liberalized form of marital unity that honored human equality, rights, and the beauty of intimate marital love. This vision of marriage remained largely healthy in the culture until the Progressive Era and persisted in law until the 1960s. A New Birth of Marriage vindicates the Founders’ understanding of marriage and argues that a prudential return toward this understanding is vital to America’s political health and Americans’ private happiness.

Brandon Dabling argues that Founders at the state and national level shaped marriage law to reflect five vital components of marital unity: the equality and complementarity of the sexes, consent and permanence in marriage, exclusivity in marriage, marital love, and a union oriented toward procreation and childrearing. Devoting a chapter to each of these principles, A New Birth of Marriage gives a thorough account of how each tenet has been challenged and stands now vindicated in American political thought. The book provides a philosophical and political case for the beauty and vitality of each of these components to the nature of marriage and will appeal to students and scholars of marriage, family, the American founding, democracy, and liberalism.