Courting and dating rituals 1400 1600

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One of the most obvious changes was that it multiplied the number of partners (from serious to casual) an individual was likely to have before marriage.So one important point to understand right up front (and about which many inside and outside the church are confused) is that we have not moved a dating system into our courtship system.The man and the woman usually were members of the same community, and the courting usually was done in the woman's home in the presence (and under the watchful eye) of her family, most often Mom and brothers.However, between the late 1800s and the first few decades of the 1900s the new system of "dating" added new stages to courtship.Back then, a woman literally belonged to her father or husband. Marriage was a business arrangement that two men would make, their bargaining chips being their sons' inheritance and their daughters' dowries. Also, bigger towns and more spacious settlements meant it was harder to keep track of people's private affairs with their privates. Society wasn't really upset that the girls were pregnant, as long as they got married to the father.They had something called "laws of coverture" which prohibited a married woman from owning property, even if it was hers before the marriage. The goal was to marry wealth and property together; the people were incidental. So now that neither parents nor fear of death were choosing spouses, young people began to do it themselves. But not all men were that honorable, especially since the towns were now drawing in unsupervised, strange men to work in seaports and industry.

Urges which would, in turn, provide the young couple with more laborers, so that this circle of mosquito-infested, frost-bitten drudgery could continue until they were released to God by sweet death. HAVE YOUR DADS ARRANGE IT After things were more settled in the (not-at-all-new) "New World," the living got a little easier, and marriage became more businesslike. America had gotten crowded; there were more ways to sustain life than farming and acreage.

In the early 18th century, the American patriarchal home was at its finest. OVERTHROW A MONARCHY, EROTICALLY Ah, but then came the Revolutionary era. It was no longer so deathly important that the farm of Goodman Figgenbottom share the water rights of Goodman Pundersnoot, by way of their children sharing bodily fluids.

And not patriarchal as we use the term today, where it can be applied to anything from the injustice of the glass ceiling to men who insist on standing up to pee. Plus, the idea of "patriarchy" and completely ruling your "subjects" was losing its popularity in an America that was screaming at a king to stay out of its room. PROMISE TO STAY ON YOUR SIDE OF THE BUNDLING BOARD By comparing marriage records with subsequent birth records, historians can tell that by the late 18th century, 30 to 40 percent of American brides were pregnant at their weddings.

Since most young adults will marry, the process employed in finding a husband and wife is still considered courtship.

However, an extra layer, what we call "dating," has been added to the process of courting.

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