Marriage in the 17th Century

1546 WordsJul 11, 20187 Pages
The seventeenth century was a fascinating time period of English history, and has always got a lot of attention from historians around the world. In this time period men had all the power over their women and had all the laws on their side of a marriage. During the seventeenth century marriages were slowly escaping the time when a lot of marriages were arranged by parents and people where starting to be able to choose their partners for themselves. This paper is going to be providing an outline of the seventeenth-century English marriage. Thing such as basic marriage values, concluding marriages, duties of a married woman and even possibilities of divorce were a lot different back then than they are now. In seventeenth-century England,…show more content…
While the number of arranged marriages was decreasing as opposed to the previous centuries in England, young women were still expected to consult their parents and relatives on their choice of a marriage partner. Generally the poorer a women was the greater freedom she had in choosing her future husband. Even people from poor families were expected to ask for their parents blessing even though money had a small part to play here. In this time period there were several criteria which decided that a couple was appropriate for one another to get married. Among those things the most important were that the couple should be of similar age, financial circumstances, background and have similar religious beliefs. Also having similar interest was beneficial as well. The husband and wife should like, or love, and respect one and look inner qualities and not just looks. It was always believed that love came after a couple was already married instead of them falling in love which would lead to marriage. One of the main qualities that a man looked for in a woman was her ability to run the household efficiently. This was normally the biggest factor for a man in his choice of a wife, especially in less fortunate families. A word ‘helpmate’ was a term commonly use when referring to a good wife during this time period in England. While being a good house wife was important, romantic love would sometimes overpower the want to have a woman who was
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