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Marriages to Protestant clerics became a means for urban bourgeois families to establish their commitment to the Reformation.Before the 19th century, young women lived under the economic and disciplinary authority of their fathers until they married and passed under the control of their husbands.
Dissertation Defense Suggestions - Advanced Higher History Dissertation Germany
Hildegard of Bingen, Gertrude the Great, Elisabeth of Bavaria (1478–1504), and Argula von Grumbach are among the women who pursued independent accomplishments in fields as diverse as medicine, music composition, religious writing, and government and military politics.
In order to secure a satisfactory marriage, a woman needed to bring a substantial dowry.
In the wealthier families, daughters received their dowry from their families, whereas the poorer women needed to work in order to save their wages so as to improve their chances to wed.
The result was the spread of formerly urban bourgeois values into rural Germany.
The lesser families were now living separately on wages.