I'm getting married on Saturday, and I was reflecting on the history of marriage for my speech. In the olden days, marriage was a way to make peace between nations for royals, and to marry into prosperity for the common people. But after years of these political schemes, it has started to be about love, which is discussed in this excellent question: When and why did marriage become about love?

But I'd like to know whether marriage ever ended a war, or stopped a war from starting? Examples would be great!

  • 4
    Dynastic marriage was quite often one of the terms of a peace treaty. Is that the kind of thing you are talking about? (Quite common, I believe, but not exactly romantic).
    – T.E.D.
    Sep 16, 2020 at 19:35
  • (Congratulations on the marriage) Isn't that the end of Henry V (Branaugh's Shakespeare) - the Hundred years war ending when England marries France. I'm sure there are other examples. (there are counterexamples too - IIRC bloody Mary is the result of a marriage that drove the country to fear and the English "troubles" (Maud/Stephen) was inspired in part by a marriage if I recall. Those are less celebratory, but perhaps you can think of the power of marriage to launch a thousand divisions?)
    – MCW
    Sep 16, 2020 at 19:57
  • 2
    Book I of Livy's History of Rome describes the war with the Sabines, brought on by in-law troubles, and resolved by the multiple marriages between the Sabines and Romans: "At this juncture the Sabine women... imploring their fathers on the one side, their husbands on the other, "that as fathers-in-law and sons-in-law they would not contaminate each other with impious blood, nor stain their offspring with parricide, the one[19] their grandchildren, the other their children" and so on. A legalistic argument of the sort the Romans liked, I think. Sep 16, 2020 at 21:09
  • 2
    Sounds like your so and guests will get a nice and interesting speech. Will you post it somewhere and put the link here? Sep 16, 2020 at 21:50
  • 1
    @MCW - You mean Henry V (Shakespeare) ! Dec 3, 2023 at 13:52

1 Answer 1


The story of Pocahontas and John Smith springs to mind. According to history/legend it fostered a peace between the English colonists of Jamestown and the nearby tribe of Powhatan Indians.

  • 3
    Pocahontas didn't marry John Smith, she married another colonist, John Rolfe, in 1614, which did create peace for several years. Pocahontas had a son, with many descendants in the present, and died in 1617. Pocahontas's father Powhatan died in 1618. His brother launched a surprise attack on the colony in 1622 which killed over a quarter of the colonists, included John Rolfe.
    – MAGolding
    Sep 17, 2020 at 19:35

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.