Preserving the inheritance, rocking the future. Widows in business at the change of the century (1886-1919)

Authors

  • Carmen María Hernandez Nicolas Universidad de Murcia – Campus de Excelencia Internacional Campus Mare Nostrum
  • Susana Martínez Rodríguez Universidad de Murcia – Campus de Excelencia Internacional Campus Mare Nostrum

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1344/rhi.v28i77.28663

Keywords:

role, widow, family firm, business survival

Abstract

Once upon a time, widows were most of the women in Spanish multiowner enterprises. When the male owner of the firm passed away, the widow was the first resource to use since the legislation granted half of all the wealth generated during the marriage. The rules of the Mercantile Registry, immune to the social norm that made women invisible, has allowed us to rescue the discreet memory of windows in front of companies. Using this source (Books of Firms: 1886-1919), the article provides a quantitative analysis about the widows; besides, the study claims that the widow’s role within the company could be typified. Like men, they could be active or passive investors. Some widows controlled the company; but in many cases, they served family interests, preserving the inheritance to bequeath their heirs.

Published

2019-11-20

Issue

Section

Articles