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Essie Manuel Rutledge

Sociologically speaking, marriage is the cornerstone of the traditional nuclear family. It is the basis for the formation of the family as an institution and as a group that contains both individuals and relationships: husband-wife, parent-child, and sibling-sibling. These relationships indicate bonds, connections, attachments, and obligations between individuals. The bonds and attachments are conjugal and consanguine, with the former based on husband-wife relationships and the latter on blood ties. But both relationships are intrinsically connected. Therefore, many of the responsibilities of the conjugal relationship are connected to the family.

Marriage in the United States is highly valued. More than 90 percent of Americans express a desire to marry at some point in their lives. This reflects the country’s Judeo-Christian ethic, which emphasizes marriage as a requirement for heterosexual sex and childbearing. But because of changing attitudes about sexuality and intimate relationships, neither sexuality nor childbearing is confined to marriage.

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Article

Valerie Cunningham

New Hampshire's African American communities became clearly defined in the twentieth century. During the colonial era, as few as one to three enslaved African or black Americans were living in nearly all the towns and villages in the state, with larger clusters in and near the Atlantic trade and shipbuilding center of Portsmouth. As the former slaves gained their freedom after the Revolutionary War—not by legal statute but through individually negotiated emancipation—employers gave preference to white workers, displacing blacks from the labor force. The black population as a percentage of the total for the state had peaked in 1767 with 633 slaves representing 1.2 percent of the total population. Throughout the nineteenth century, while the white population multiplied, the number of black people, now free, declined; 494 blacks, at .15 percent of the total population in 1860 was the lowest number reported in the federal census during the period ...