History of Marriage
An Arranged Marriage of Louis XIV and Maria Theresa
Generally, the history of marriage of Europe can be traced back to the 5th century. From the 5th to the 14th centuries, the Roman Catholic Church conducted special ceremonies to bless same-sex unions of marriage. At that time, these were spiritual, if not sexual, unions. In 1076, Pope Alexander II issued a decree prohibiting marriages between couples who were more closely related than 6th cousins. Not until the 16th century did European states begin to require that marriages be performed under legal auspices. Until the ninth century marriages were not church involved. Up until the twelfth century there were blessings and prayers during the ceremony and the couple would offer their own prayers. By the eighteenth century the wedding was a religious event in all countries of Europe.
A Jewish Wedding
The history of marriage of America started from as the pilgrim set their feet on this land. However, until the mid-19th century, the American colonies officially required marriages to be registered. Before 1662, there was no penalty for interracial marriages in any of the British colonies in North America. By the 1920s, 38 states prohibited whites from marrying blacks, “mulattos,” Japanese, Chinese, Indians, “Mongolians,” “Malays” or Filipinos. In 1848, New York became the first state to pass a Married Woman’s Property Act, guaranteeing the right of married women to own property. Throughout most of the 19th century, the minimum age of consent for sexual intercourse in most American states was 10 years. In 1978, New York became the first state to outlaw rape in marriage. By 1990, only a total of ten states outlawed rape in marriage. In thirty-six states rape in marriage was a crime only in certain circumstances.
As for the history of marriage of the whole world in general, it is very hard to be able to establish a true date on the first marriages. Virtually, all scholars agree that we have witnessed a major transition in the meaning of marriage in the years from 1600 to 1995. In 1600, marriage had very little to do with love and for almost all Europeans and Europeans in America, marriage was primarily an economic arrangement negotiated between families in which family considerations of status, future economic stability, and prosperity were the most important considerations in selecting a potential spouse. By 1995, with the “Love Revolution,” the concept of marriage took an entirely different turn. Most Americans consider the primary purpose of marriage to be a commitment to emotional and psychological support between two individuals.
From the history of marriage, we can make a conclusion, the progress in marriage indicate the advancement of human beings. As time goes by in the long history of marriage, the present, with the knowledge learnt from our forefather, begin to hold the view that regardless of how people enter into matrimony, marriage is a bond between two people that involves responsibility and legalities, as well as commitment and challenge. That concept of marriage hasn’t changed through the ages.