chapter  6
32 Pages

Courtship and Marriage

Courtship and marriage were vital events in that 'little commonwealth', the family, which was the basic social unit of both the Old and the New World. 1 This chapter will deal first with certain common assumptions about courtship and marriage that were, by and large, shared by the Old and New World. It will then trace certain subtle differences that developed in the New World within the framework of these shared assumptions, and finally will discuss certain sharp divergences in colonial opinion and practice, which, in some cases, would threaten the whole fortress of the traditional marriage lore of England.