Short History Of Mail Order Brides: Past & Present

We bet you heard about mail order brides. Paradoxically, though a lot of people think that they know who they are, very few of them know at least one real fact about these ladies. Of course, this happens not because they want to mislead someone but because there are tons of stereotypes about foreign wives. However, despite hundreds of myths that are still alive, these women are popular even now, in 2020. How is this possible? Let us find the truth by analyzing the short history of mail order brides.

History of mail order brides: the beginning

history of mail order brides

The term ‘mail bride’ or ‘mail order bride’ emerged nearly 2 centuries ago, in the United States. First European immigrants faced one unexpected yet really serious problem – there were not enough women to build families and give birth to children. So, the population decline was inevitable. However, men found a way to handle this. The plan was simple and at the same time brilliant – they advertised their cities (almost entirely male cities, actually) as the place where women can find husbands who, in turn, are able to provide for the family.

This was exactly what men living in the Jamestown Colony of Virginia did. They placed their ads in Britain newspapers and noted that they were looking for pretty, educated, young Christian women. Of course, there were a lot of quite poor women who had nothing to lose – it was a difficult time for England. Well, over 150 single ladies left the country in 1619-1621 in search of adventures and new husbands overseas.

The same happened to the colony of New France. However, young and attractive women were often so poor that they could not even afford good clothes, not to mention dowry. Well, dresses and dowry were granted by the king himself, and women who got such generous gifts and moved to marry men in New France were called the king’s daughters. Of course, these ladies got married right after they came to the colony.

Let us talk about the figures. In total, over 8 hundred single ladies crossed the oceans to find husbands and live a happy family life in the New Land.

The 1800s – welcome to California!

In the 1800s, the phenomenon of mail order brides was not so innovative. But the demand for women remained as high as a few centuries ago. In California, men did not want to remain single, so they took control over this aspect of their lives and started to send letters to eastern churches. Moreover, some of them placed ads in newspapers. Women responded, but they did not leave everything they had and move to a new husband – there was a period of courtship, i.e., men and women sent letters to each other and tried to get closer. This was just like online dating we have today.

Of course, this went beyond the borders of the USA. People quickly understood that love has no boundaries, especially considering that in certain places the demand for women is incredibly high, and in some places there are thousands of single, young and pretty women. Soon, the term ‘mail order bride’ has changed its meaning – foreign girls quickly became much more popular, and people started to call foreign single women mail order brides. In a few decades, no one could call an American woman a MOB, just because this was the name for foreign ladies, and no one but them.

Internet changes it all

mail order brides

Yes, the Internet changed a lot of things dramatically. People stopped publishing ads in newspapers — they could choose a perfect partner on the site or even in the catalog. A few decades ago, middle-class men could choose a girl from a poor Asian country, for instance, from the Philippines, pick up a girl they like most and have her “delivered” to their country or, more precisely, to their door. Moreover, a seller promised a customer to replace a girl with a new mail order bride for free if something went wrong. Nice, isn't it?

However, the time passed, and the demand for servants and sex slaves started to decrease, but the demand for love started to grow. Men did not want to buy a hot yet poorly educated woman who has nothing to offer except for her body. They started to look for a pretty, educated, kind lady, a companion to live with. Fortunately, this became easier and easier due to the Internet that allowed online communication to achieve new, super high standards.

Men and women could communicate as much as they wanted, and we are talking not only about sending emails – people bought webcams, made phone calls, enjoyed live chatting. There is no need to say that all this improved dating experience with mail order brides significantly.

Mail order brides – the present

Marcia Zug, the author of a book called “An Engaging History Of Mail-Order Matches”, notes the reason why such brides are still so popular. It's just because most of these ladies fail to find a good husband at home. Yes, it is this simple.

However, there is another crucial question to ask. Why do modern blue collar men choose mail order brides? After all, we do not live in the time of the gold rush, and it is pretty difficult to find a place where there are no women at all. Come on, they are even in space, and that is fantastic! However, even the best social changes have side effects.

Everything is pretty simple: today women get paid, they are independent, self-motivated, i.e., they do not want family as desperately as they wanted to build it a few decades ago. Men, in turn, have to make more effort to get a wife. Not all of them succeed. By the way, most of them are wealthy, successful and often divorced middle-aged men who broke up with their girlfriends or wives and got disappointed in a “typical western woman”.

Modern times – how do things work?

best mail order brides history

Fortunately, women do not sell themselves anymore. More importantly, no one forces them to get married and move to another country. So how can a girl become a mail order bride?

All she needs is a PC or laptop or even a smartphone, the internet connection, and… that is all, actually. There are a lot of dating agencies that are located in the most popular countries, for example, in the Philippines, Thailand, China and Vietnam in Asia, Russia and Ukraine in Europe, Venezuela, Argentina and Colombia in South America, etc. There are also a lot of dating agencies that look for girls on the web. Besides, most trusted sites, including paid platforms, allow women to create accounts for free.

So, to become a mail order bride, a woman needs to find a good agency and start to work with it. If you want to find out more about it, go here. Please note that brides do not get any financial compensations, rewards, salaries, etc. for creating profiles or communicating with men who contact them. A girl who cooperates with a dating agency just gets the chance to meet her future husband.

Please note that:

  • Some companies hire pro photographers.
  • Yes, the shoot is often paid by a company, but trusted agencies never ask girls to take off their clothes.
  • Good agencies never ask girls to pay anything for creating an account.
  • Trusted companies ask girls to provide copies of their ID and prove that they are not married.

Consider this information when choosing the mail order bride site.

As for men, they need to do almost the same – to choose a trusted website and create a profile. However, they need to consider more criteria, which are the billing policy (prices must be reasonable), quality of support, quality of services, quality of profiles, etc.

Men, however, pay for services. This system seems fair, especially considering the fact that most mail order brides come from developing countries and cannot afford to pay 20-50 dollars a month for talking to men.

Short history of mail order brides – conclusion

Today, mail order brides are still popular. However, they are not that kind of women men could “order” a few centuries or even decades ago. The times have changed dramatically, and that led to the emergence of the new generation of mail order brides, as well as new ways of meeting them. Now they are smart and beautiful, feminine and educated women who prefer to date a man before they marry him. We definitely like the new generation of foreign wives better. We also appreciate the fact that people today are building relationships online instead of concluding an agreement. What do you think about such changes and the new, modern mail order brides?