Many changes were brought about by both the market revolution and the Industrial Revolution, especially to the American family. Love and personal fulfillment were more available, especially to the upper and middle classes. Those in lower classes and of minority status did not experience this new era of love and personal fulfillment at that time, but with time were eventually able to reach this status.
The upper and middle class families were those living comfortably during the market and Industrial Revolution. Because goods were no longer being produced in the house, but were being purchased from outside the house, both women and children’s responsibilities became less around the house. This left more time for concepts such as love and personal fulfillment to be thought about. The children in these families were the ones with the notion of love, for they were not forced to work to support the family in these upper and middle classes. The children in these classes were a burden to the family, staying at home longer than those of the working classes.
Marriage was no longer a business transaction to bring together families. Because free choice was reigning over this market, love became the solution. Love became the feeling that was sought. Love was the guide to whether you would marry an individual, or they were not worthy of your affection. The question was finally answered; “Who Should I marry?”-“The one you love.”
The beauty in this answer is that love can be one of a number of things; there is no standard definition of how to love someone. You could love someone because they are attractive, or maybe because they are rich. Maybe some people actually looked for someone that made them happy. It didn’t matter, the definition of love was (and is) so broad that any reason of love is accepted. It may not be looked at in those blunt of terms, but it exists that way.
However, not everyone had this choice. The lower classes and minorities were still working very hard to support themselves. Sure, there was some love in some of these marriages, but it wasn’t what people were looking for. It was important for a wife to be able to produce what the family needed, to do what the family needed. Children were to work to support the family. There was no time for these families to contemplate love- they were working to just survive and get by.
Love did sink into the working class though. It became the fantasy of those working the hardest; perhaps a song that is known all too well. You could fall in love with someone and be pulled out of your miserable existence. If you can fall in love with that one rich person, you can have it all!
As with most other rights and concepts, minorities were the last to love. It was more important for these individuals to marry and earn to support the family. It is interesting to note that many more African American females were willing to work than white females to support the family. It may have been socially acceptable for it was the only way those families would survive. It could also be something more, some sort of ethic that wasn’t present in white females.
Love became a necessity when the upper and middle class were forced to come up with the solution to the problem of who an individual should marry. This occurred because times had changed, and with the market economy and Industrial Revolution came the end of arranged marriages, particularly for business purposes. The lower and minority classes were initially excluded from love, as it was important to work to stay alive than think about ideas like love. Love exists as a solution to marriage, and will continue to be important in an Industrialized society without marriages out of necessity.