History of Arranged Marriage

Though ancient times hold enormous records of the prevalence of arrange marriages, contemporary times also witness a tendency to cling back to the traditional ways of arranging marriages where the partners do not have an official say over the selection of their spouses but give their full consent to marry the person chosen by his or her parents and relatives.

Historical evidence suggests that ancient societies in the West were carved in such a way so as to nurture a system of legacy, define rules for allotting property and to guard against bloody battles. Marriage at that time was an institution that was meant to take care of these issues.

Arrange marriages were and are prevalent in Asian societies as well. However, due to the influence other cultures, the Asian societies are opening up to the notions of a sense personal choice and affection involved in marriage. Though modern times have witnessed the rise of a number of rebellious children, many children also believe in accepting the choices of their parents and relatives.

Most people believe that arrange marriages are a feature distinct to the eastern cultures but the western cultures also have deep rooted seeds of arrange marriage customs and traditions. For example, it is has been proved that arrange marriage existed in western societies as early as the in the 1500’s and in Victorian Europe.

Evidence rightly proves that these matches were based on economic liaisons rather than love, whether it involved a dowry or a bride price. The 1500’s give an astounding revelation of marriages not being witnessed or ceremonized which became an issue for the church leaders who founded a decree to legalize marriage and to save the couple from a sinful act and procreation. So, love was not considered an important ingredient for marriage at this age.

It was later that the church intervened to acknowledge the love factor between couples who wanted to tie the knot. But this was based on an urge to make the couple more significantly a part or unit of society rather than a family.

The seeds of an arrange marriage lingered on for long in the western cultures. Another peculiar concept true of the west was that only those who belonged to the lower strata of society and those who were economically weak and insufficient were given the freedom to choose their own spouse. This eventually became the norm to marry and arrange marriages started becoming rarer and rarer.

This trend continued till the nineteenth century where arrange marriages were practiced only by the more conservative and rich French families. Today, in the West arrange marriages exist only among immigrants and the ultra orthodox Jews. So, individual choice gradually managed to acquire its significance in the West.

Even though many people remain skeptical about arrange marriages, it has been recorded as a success story in most cases. Irrespective of whether you are given a choice to choose your spouse or not the idea of matrimony is an everlasting bond that is based on issues like commitment, responsibility, challenges and legality. This view remains sacred and untouched even till today.