Paternal power

PATERNAL POWER. Patria potestas, The, authority lawfully exercised by parents, over their children. It will be proper to consider, 1. Who are entitled to exercise this power. 2. Who are subject to it. 3. The extent of this power.
     2.-1. As a general rule the father is entitled to exert the paternal power over his children. But for certain reasons, when the father acts improperly, and against the interest of those over whom nature and the law have given him authority, he loses his power over them. It being a rule that whenever the good of the child requires it, the courts will deliver the custody of the children to others than the father. And numerous instances may be found where, for good reasons, the custody will be given to the mother.
     3. The father of a bastard child has no control over him; the mother has the right to the custody and control of such child. 2 Mass. 109; 12 Mass. 887.
     4.-2. All persons are subject to this power until they arrive at the full age of twenty-one years. A father may, however, to, a certain extent, deprive himself of this unlimited paternal power, first, by delegating it to others, as when he binds his son an apprentice; and, secondly, when he abandons his children, and permits them to act for themselves. 2 Verm. Cas. 290; 2 Watts, 408 4 S. & R. 207; 4 Mass. 675.
     5.-3. The principle upon which the law is, founded as to the extent of paternal power is, that it be exerted for the benefit of the child. The child is subject to the lawful commands of the father to attend to his business, because by being so subjected he acquires that discipline and the practice of attending to business, which will be useful to him in after life. He is liable to proper correction for the same reason. 1 Bouv. Inst. n. 326-33. See Correction; Father; Mother; Parent.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
It would resemble paternal power, if, like that, it had for its object to prepare men for manhood; but on the contrary, it seeks only to keep them fixed in childhood; it likes citizens to enjoy themselves, provided that they think only of enjoying themselves.
father's paternal power, and this paternal power was fundamentally
It would resemble paternal power if its object was to prepare men for adult life, but it seeks on the contrary to keep them in permanent childhood.
The court awarded physical custody of the children to Respondent, but granted both parents rights of patria potestas or "paternal power." Under Venezuelan law, this term includes all the parental duties and rights as to their children's care, development and education.
The rest of part 1 explores this legacy, analyzing the leveled fraternal bonds of Milton's prose tracts, the displacement of paternal power in Hobbes's political philosophy, and the vexed revival of the notion of pater patriae in elegies for Oliver Cromwell.
Recognizing that Vichy's struggle "to reconcile paternal power and governmental authority" is readily taken as a marker for "the apotheosis of reactionary measures to reinstate fatherhood as the litmus test of good citizenship" Childers highlights, instead, that in its efforts to refashion the symbols of state control over "nothing less than the nature of government, the shape of the modern family, and the future of the nation," that Vichy's contradictory policies undermined the authority of the same fathers it sought to support (4, 3, 9, 89).
While this thread of reasoning runs throughout Locke's critique of Filmer, with regard to the nature of political power, Filmer's mistake is assuming that paternal power is synonymous with political power.
The birth followes the belly."(10) If in many political systems the father acquired control over the mother and young, that was simply the consequence of "Civill Law[s]" that privileged him, resulting from the fact that "for the most part Commonwealths have been erected by the Fathers, not by the Mothers of families."(11) Thus, paternal power was a sign of conquest but not unquestionable governmental entitlement.
By the 1950s, in the midst of the Kabaka Crisis, it had become obvious to even the most oblivious British officials that they needed a more thorough understanding of ideas such as kingship, chiefship, and even paternal power. So anthropologists set out to collect life histories of chiefs and prominent men, interview senior men about their world, and assemble a new analysis of how Baganda understood leadership, building a new ideal from precolonial and modern concepts.
In a key provision, for example, the new statute does away with the long-standing notion of "paternal power" which gave Brazilian fathers the unconditional legal right to make all decisions for their families.
Further, if we realign the image of the silenced soul in God's lap with the constraints that d'Aubigne placed on his daughters by dandling them on his knees in his own lap, we find a confession that paternal power is an effective obstacle to speech both for men and for women.