A brief history of courtship and dating in america australia online dating website
Indeed, they associated romantic love with immaturity and impermanence.True love, the Puritans believed, would appear following marriage.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.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.In seventeenth and early eighteenth century New England, courtship was not simply a personal, private matter.The law gave parents ‘the care and power..the disposing of their Children in Marriage’ and it was expected that they would take an active role overseeing their child's choice of a spouse.A father in Puritan New England had a legal right to determine which men would be allowed to court his daughters and a legal responsibility to give or withhold his consent from a child's marriage.
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.
Angelina responded by confessing her own faults - her temper, her pride, and the fact that she had once loved another man - and revealed her fear that the vast majority of men ‘believe most seriously that women were made to gratify their animal appetites, expressly to minister to their pleasure.’ Only after Theodore and Angelina were convinced that they were emotionally ready for ‘the most important step of Life,’ did they finally marry.
Between 1708/9, when Samuel Gerrish courted Mary Sewall, and 1835, when Theodore Weld courted Angelina Grimke, the rituals of courtship underwent profound changes.
Angelina replied by acknowledging her own love for him: ‘I feel, my Theodore, that we are the two halves of one whole, a twain one, two bodies animated by one soul and that the Lord has given us to each other.’ Like many early nineteenth century couples, Theodore and Angelina devoted much of their courtship to disclosing their personal faults and dissecting their reasons for marriage.
They considered romance and passion childish and unreliable motives for marriage and instead sought a love that was more tender and rational.
A proper marriage, in their view, was based not on love and affection, but on rational considerations of property, compatibility, and religious piety.