Women in 18th Century

The 18th century witnessed the Industrial Revolution that changed life in England and the lifestyles of people at that time . With the Industrial Revolution, which started in the middle of the century, came new machinery that saved time and made some people very wealthy. The rich were getting richer and the poor, poorer . Many people were unemployed   because of the machinery that were doing their jobs instead of them . The rich were a tiny minority of the population . They lived luxuriously in elegant mansions and country houses . However , It was a difficult life for poor people: There was no government assistance for the unemployed, and many had trouble finding their next meal or a warm place to sleep . In the meantime , the 18th century brought with it the beginnings of a new era for women as well . At that time , a woman can choose to get married and live for her husband and family , or she can choose to work and be either a prostitute or a domestic servant .

In the 18th century women were usually regarded as a property of their fathers until they get married and become a property of their husbands . The average age for marriage was between 16 and 19 . If a girl entered her twenties unmarried , her chances of marriage were considered slim . If she reached the age of 25 and still unmarried , she was seen in society as a spinster . At that time , couples had more choice in their selection of their spouses which was based on personal affection rather than obeying parental wishes . when women get married , they were usually given sum of money or a part of her parent's estate that was known as her dowry   . Not every marriage was blessed by consenting parents and friends. Many couples entered into secret marriages known as Fleet marriages. These marriages grew in popularity as official weddings were heavily taxed in the first half of the 18th century .
Legally, marriage meant subordination for women. Sir William Blackstone summarized in 1753 that: "By marriage,...