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History Essay Test: Questions and Answers

            Question:What changes occurred in marriage and the family in the course of the eighteenth century? (Chapter 20).
             Response: Throughout the eighteenth century, many changes occurred in relation to many things, one being marriage and family life. During the seventeenth century, couples would marry later on in life, the reasons as to why was because they had to wait to inherit or earn their living. Around 1750, couples were marrying way sooner than before. Illegitimacy rates extremely increased between 1750 and 1850. During pre-industrial Europe, the nuclear family was the most common. Regular people mostly married in their late twenties during this period. The idea of late marriage along with the nuclear family household made European society different from other areas around the world. Sexual behavior of unmarried adults was a matter that the state wanted to control. Breastfeeding was common around this time among women as well as wet nurses. .
             The life of women when marrying their husband meant many things, for example, they were completely controlled by their husband. Women had been controlled by their fathers, brothers and any male relatives they might have before marriage, they grew up knowing only this. If a woman decided not to marry and remain single, she would be laughed at and the community would feel sorry for her. Marriage during this century was very concentrated on the family structure where the women would live the rest of her life serving for her husband.
             Parents along with other adults often were emotionally disconnected with the children. The uncaring attitude towards children by their parents was somewhat of a reaction to the awful death rates of children. The emotional detachment children experienced often became abuse. Children received one type of affection from their parents and that was discipline. The way in which children were disciplined was often severe as the methods used lead to this.

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