International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

From Arranged Marriage to Autonomous Marriage: Marriage Liberalization in India, Ancient Rome, United Kingdom and China
Cuo-Mu CIREN, Dan-Dan LIANG, Xiao-Fan LUO, Yu-Xuan XIA, Xi YAN, Yu-Guang YANG

The change of arranged marriage to autonomous marriage is analyzed and compared in four different countries: India, ancient Rome, China and United Kingdom. For India, the historical period covered is from the Aryan times to present; for China, from the Shang Dynasty to present; for ancient Rome, from 8th century BC to the Rome Empire; for United Kingdom, from 16th to 19th century. The kind of arranged marriage and evolutionary path are different in the four countries. Three major questions raised in our study are: (1) Why arranged marriage in four countries all existed in the early age in history; (2) why autonomous marriage (partially in India) came into being later on in all the countries; (3) why the speed of this process differs from country to country. The answer to the first two questions is found to be this: It is mainly economical. However, the speed of this process is influenced mainly by cultural and political factors. By not limiting our study to fixed historical periods, unlike the case in previous studies, and by comparing four different countries from Asia and Europe, our study looks at marriage change globally which involves the change of marital laws and sociological factors.

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