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Perfect Age for Marriage
· young people did not rush to tie the knot.
· men married at the age of 26
· women married at the age of 23
· in Puritan society there was a strong obligation to get married

Requirements on Marriage? Arranged marriages

There were no arranged marriages. Puritans married for love. Women and men were free to accept or reject a spouse. Parents took an active role in the selection of their daughter’s suitors. A woman usually obeyed her parents’ wishes when selecting a husband. Puritan children had to bring property to the marriage. A proper marriage was really based on possessions, compatibility, and spiritual piety. Weddings were simple affairs although the courtship practices were strict. Weddings were a civil contract. Puritan weddings were managed by a judge or a magistrate and sometimes took place at the bride’s home or at a church.

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Children and Names

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· During childbirth, the men were excluded and the women were calmed with beer and also prayers.

· Puritans had large families and disapproved in doing anything to prevent pregnancy.

· 90% of all Puritan children had Biblical names.

· Certain names for boys were John, Josiah, Joseph, Samuel, etc.

· The most common names for girls were Mary, Sarah, Elizabeth, and Hannah.

· The Biblical names were given to children in hope that the children would follow the footsteps of their namesake.

Puritan Women
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Women were supposed to value, love, and obey their husbands. If she was a good wife, she had satisfied her “God-given duty”. Women were inferior to men. Married women were not allowed to posses property, contract, or any type of business. The husbands owned everything, even the children. Puritan women had to bow to their husbands and fathers. They also had to obey their orders. Women had to dress modestly, covering their hair and arms in public. If women were found dressing otherwise, they would be stripped and whipped until their backs bled. To embarrass the women, they were forced to declare their sins to the whole church congregation and be publically humiliated. Puritanism believed women should be more restricted and more moral. Women were supposed to run their husbands home, raise the children, and comfort and assist her husband while the husbands provided a home, economic support, and safety.

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Women had to obey their husbands and the husbands had to treat them with respect. Unfortunately the husbands didn’t always treat them with respect therefore the women didn’t obey them and filed for divorce. Divorce was rare in the Puritan society. A divorce could mean loss access to the children. Courts even ordered fighting couples to make up, even under the circumstances where the husbands mistreated their wives. Some women had no choice but to flee. In New England divorce was a little easier because marriage was just a civil contract. Moving on, most people remarried after the loss of a spouse. Marrying 5 or 6 time wasn’t unusual.

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