Marriage in the 19th century

Marriages in the 19th Century

Marriage is the joining of two people as husband and wives according to laws and customs. In our society today, women get married of their own free will and gain respect from their spouse. "A dream of the 21st century" is a story written by " Winnifred Harper Cooly". It is about a young women\'s dream. She imagines that women in the 21st century will have a better place in the society. Ideal marriages in the 19th century were very hard to achieve and most of the time, they were without true love. This short story portrays that women of that time would marry someone to overcome financial difficulties. It also describes the lack of respect between the married couples.
Marriages in the 19th century were done for the financial security of the women. "Women\'s goal were to get married and take up homemaking,"-Shanny Meideï, Women\'s work, p.150 The reason that women wanted to take up homemaking is because the work conditions were very bad at this time. The only way to get rid of that job was by getting married. "Every one marries, and the number of ideal unions is really very large,"-Winnifred Harper Cooley, A dream of the, p.209 The story that "Winnifred Harper Cooley" wrote is on a utopian world, the 21st century. The reason this quote is used is because this quote describes a dream that she was thinking that would be accomplished in the years ahead. If one sees of this situation with a creative aspect, one can think that there would be many possibilities for having very large ideal unions in the 19th century. For example, if the girl, before getting married, was not making and her parents would have enough money to support their daughters, she would have the time to choose the guy of her choice. "If they failed to find a husband, and their parents could not support them, daughters were still obliged to support themselves." -Shanny Meideï, Women\'s work, p.149 All these quotes prove that women did actually get married for financial support.
Men, in the 19th century did not have respect for women. After the marriage, the women was consider as a "toy" and as an "animal" to men. "Essentially, the wife "belonged" to her husband. He had a right to the person and prosperity of his wife; he could use gentle restraint upon her liberty to prevent improper conduct, he could beat her without fear of persecution. Thus, it was very clear that the wife is dead in law"-Barbara Welter, The American Woman. Women had to suffer all this treatment because it was their choice. They would get marry and be financially secured or they would be single and support themselves. Most of them choose the first choice because; working was worse then some of the tortures of the men. "As time passed, daughters\' employment gradually shifted from self-sufficient homemaking for their own families or for families as live-in domestics, to putting-out work for income for their own or other families within a home, to wage labor outside of the home in the factory."-Shanny Meideï, Women\'s work, p.139 If one can see this situation with a critical aspect, one can think that the best solution would be of doing a kind of revolution to show that without them, the world would be going crazy. In our daily life, women are doing a lot of things, even though we don\'t realize it. "Hindered at first, by not having official power, the women did their best with the insidious, left-handed influence that always was recommended to them by men." -Winnifred Harper Cooley, A dream of the, p.209 This shows the power and the abuse of men toward women in the 19th century.
In conclusion, "A dream of the 21st century", written by " Winnifred Harper Cooly", is about a young women\'s dream about the 21st century. The story clearly shows that the reason why she is having such dreams and thoughts is because the situation of the women in the 19th century was not good. Women would marry someone to overcome financial difficulties not for love. Also married couples lacked respect between them.


1) Welter Barbara. The American Woman of the Early Nineteenth Century.