dowry

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dowry

(dou`rē), the property that a woman brings to her husband at the time of the marriage. The dowry apparently originated in the giving of a marriage gift by the family of the bridegroom to the bride and the bestowal of money upon the bride by her parents. It has been a well-established institution among the propertied classes of various lands and times, e.g., in ancient Greece and Rome, India, medieval Europe, and modern continental countries. Generally the husband has been compelled to return the dowry in case of divorce or the death of the wife when still childless. One purpose of the dowry was to provide support for the wife on the husband's death, and thus it was related remotely to the rights of dowerdower,
that portion of a deceased husband's real property that a widow is legally entitled to use during her lifetime to support herself and their children. A wife may claim the dower if her husband dies without a will or if she dissents from the will.
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. In civil-law countries the dowry is an important form of property. In England and the United States (except for Louisiana), the dowry system is not recognized as law.

Dowry

 

property—in the form of money, objects, real estate, or other assets—allotted to a bride by her parents or relatives upon her marriage. The custom arose during the period of the decline of the clan system, when monogamous marriage emerged. The dowry was originally an allotment from the common property of the clan, and it continued to be considered the property of the clan after a woman’s marriage. When a woman died childless, her dowry reverted to her clan. As the patriarchal social order became stronger, the dowry first represented the joint property of the married couple but later was usually the sole property of the husband.

The dowry survives and plays an important role in bourgeois marriage. In most capitalist countries, legislation gives the husband the right of sole control over the family’s property, including the wife’s dowry. The dowry has lost its significance in the USSR. It is retained among an insignificant portion of the population, chiefly rural, and is not subject to legal regulation.

dowry

Christianity a sum of money required on entering certain orders of nuns
References in periodicals archive ?
But such grooms command a high 'price' in the 'marriage market' in the form of large dowries.
Such grooms are at the top of the bidding pyramid, commanding dowries up to US$100,000 and parents contact the Personnel Ministry for names and addresses.
49) The greater appreciation of the economic role of dowries, however, still begs the question concerning the degree to which women managed the investment of their dowries while they were married because husbands had legal control of dowries.
Laws have failed to stop dowries and some families abort female foetuses or kill girls at birth fearing crippling dowry costs.
Detective Inspector Gill Baker, of West Midlands Police, said: 'Forced marriages are a big problem but we have never come across the issue of brides being cheated out of their dowries.
In the conclusion, Sperling raises the question as to what extent the exchange/credit system of patrician dowries and high female monachization rates was unique to Venice and to what extent it may have been common to other early modern societies.
Molho's analysis arises from a larger project to study the massive records of the Monte delle doti, a unique institution in late medieval Europe through which dowries and marriage strategies came to be intertwined with Florence's public finance.
He said the marriage officers registered dowries from one dirham to Dhs50, 000, which is the highest specified limit in accordance with the directives by the Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
In India more than 6000 women are killed every year because their in-laws consider their dowries inadequate (UNICEF, 2000).
Stanley Chojnacki finds that Venetian husbands made provisions to return their wives dowries to encourage them not to remarry and to remain in their homes and raise their children.
Dowries jumped the legal hurdles, increasing by 83 percent from 1425 to 1524.