Historians argue fiercely about when the transition from pragmatic to “affective” — personal – marriage, took place in Europe. It’s been placed anywhere from the fourteenth to the eighteenth century.
I am not a historian but based on what I have read (for example in Stephanie Coontz’ work), I would argue that romantic marriage didn’t take off until the eighteenth century. It might’ve been around before then but it didn’t turn into the motivating factor for marriage until fairly recently.
The industrial “revolution” happened somewhere between 1760 and 1830 depending on the historian. Coincidence? I think not. Though it would be difficult to prove, these dots can be connected, the two are related. Romantic marriage comes along with the idea of nuclear family, both reduce our connections to the larger community. These connections were in the way of people moving to the industrialized centers, so utilizing the limiting idea of the nuclear family helped industrialization.
Does anybody know of someone (or multiple people) who have studied this (the interaction of the emergence of romantic marriage and industrialization)?
Research on interaction of the emergence of romantic marriage and industrialization
Here are some links to papers/articles that might be promising, though they look at the nuclear family, rather than romantic marriage but I think the two are closely linked:
- How industrialization has led to an increase in the nuclear family structure (No sources cited)