In the German-speaking areas of Habsburg Tyrol, investigated here, the aim of regional politicians and communal representatives was to perpetuate the status quo of ownership and social structure. The most important instruments for realizing that aim were policies on marriage and settlement. In addition, inheritance was based on male primogeniture, which supported a tendency for the sizes of property to remain stable. Throughout the region there was an attitude generally hostile to industry, so when, in the nineteenth century, branches of the crafts producing wares for translocal markets became unprofitable, industrialization offered no alternative. In those circumstances, marriage can be regarded as practically a privilege. Does that relativize or augment the consideration of homogamy? It seems both cases are possible: slight tendencies to socially downward marriage support the first assumption; the second appears to be supported by the various shifts in marriage habits – reactions to changed social positions – among the most important groups over the course of the nineteenth century.