Dowry – Too High a Price to Pay for Love

Hey Girls, it’s GirlMogul lily here, and I was doing some more research into money as part of my mom’s FLL (Financial Literacy Lessons). I was deep into reading about how people changed over from using gold coins to using paper money when I came across something called a dowry. Did you know in the old days, when a man and woman and got married, it was expected that a woman would bring money to the husband as part of her marriage? Sounds sort of like women had to pay men to marry them, but it really started because the money was supposed to help the man take care of his new family. If anything happened to him, the money was supposed to be there to help his wife support herself and their children. The dowry was paid by the bride’s family, and the bigger dowry they could afford to pull together, the better “match” their daughter could attract.
And in this case, better, meant richer. A In the olden days, marriages were more about two families combing their assets (or money) so they could become even richer, and more secure. Dowries weren’t always made up of money. Sometimes land would be given as part of a dowry. In fact, back in 1661, when King Charles II of England married Princess Catherine, a Portuguese Princess, her family gave two cities (Mumbai and Tangiers) as part of the dowry. Now that’s some wedding present!

Most of the time, back then, it seems like marriage didn’t have much to do with love at all! Of course that’s different today –marriages are supposed to be about love, but my mom says that it’s still important for both people to have a good understanding of money and where they stand financially before the get married.

Posted by GirlMogul Lily

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