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Imbalances between the number of available women and the number of men desiring partners created a demand for immigrant women.As a result of this imbalance, a new system of "picture brides" developed in predominantly male settlements.As immigration of unmarried Japanese women to America was effectively barred, the use of "picture brides" provided a mechanism for willing women to obtain a passport to America, while Japanese workers in America could gain a female helpmate of their own nationality.
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union large numbers of eastern European women have advertised themselves in such a way, primarily from Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and Moldova.
Asian men also worked through mail-order agencies to find wives as they worked overseas in the 1800s.
Key variables determining the relationship between migration and marriage were demographics, legal policies, cultural perceptions and technology.
Many women wanted to escape their present way of living, gain financial security and see what life on the frontier could offer them.
Most of these women were single, but some were widows, divorcées or runaways.
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Those who marry foreign men tend to be better-educated than most women from their country or their husbands.