A brief history of courtship and dating in america

At the same time that courtship grew freer, however, marriage became an increasingly difficult transition point, particularly for women, and more and more women elected not to marry at all.

Judge Sewall was a conscientious father, and like many Puritan fathers believed that he had a right and duty to take an active role in his daughter's selection of a spouse.Although most families in early New England did not practice strict primogeniture - the right of inheritance belonging to the eldest son - many families did assign older sons a larger share of resources than younger children.Receiving larger inheritances themselves, eldest sons tended to marry daughters of wealthier families.By the middle of the eighteenth century, parental influence over the choice of a spouse had sharply declined.One indication of a decline in parental control was a sudden upsurge in the mid-eighteenth century the number of brides who were pregnant when they got married.

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