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People who were found to have had sex outside of marriage faced strict punishments, with men facing a harsher fate than women.

Puritan weddings were not lavish affairs, and ceremonies did not feature holy vows or wedding rings.

Marie Le Jars de Gournay (15651645) was a French writer.

Sor Juana Ins de la Cruz was a famous scholar born in what is now Mexico.

The Puritans fled from England to America in large numbers during the 17th century to escape the religious persecution of the Church of England.

While the average age of marriage among the Puritans was much older than was typical during this time period -- and not all Puritans got married -- specific ideals were very much established for the institution.

In them girls were taught subjects like writing, music and needlework.

Also if her husband was away the woman usually ran the estate.

The Puritans did not arrange marriages between young people, and in fact believed that the basis of a marriage should be true love.

By Puritan standards, a person needed to give her own free will to be married.

Puritans differed dramatically from the Church of England on the subject of marriage as a civil -- vs. Puritans did not see marriage as a religious sacrament or institution, but rather as a legal contract unrelated to one's religious beliefs.

As a result, the Puritans believed that a marriage should be performed by a magistrate, or officer of the state, as opposed to a member of the clergy.

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