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Bridal Dowry Land and the Economic Status of Women from Wealthy Families in the Song Dynasty

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Prosperous families in the Song Dynasty maintained the custom that a daughter went to her husband’s household with a piece of land to ensure her economic position. During the Song Dynasty, the economic status of women from wealthy families was maintained at a high level. Neo-Confucian doctrines attempted to change the situation largely but they failed, even though during the Southern Song Dynasty Neo-Confucianism gradually rose to stand as the national ideology. Some people clamored for the Southern Song Dynasty regime to eliminate or to limit the custom of bridal dowry land in private, but the majority still favored the judicial practice in the protection of the wife’s right to her property.


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