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.

References in periodicals archive ?
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 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).
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.
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.
The family as constructed through law can be seen as the codification of an elite world vision, concerned with the legality of family ties, with the legal definition of marital and paternal power, the legitimacy of offspring, and the regulation of family wealth.
These case histories--couched as examinations of female adolescent Oedipal behavior--reinforced ideas about paternal power by focusing on girls' psychological need for paternal sexual attention.
To Norton, Filmer's close analogies between paternal power in the family and monarchical power in the state implied, for complex reasons, that women who had some form of familial power, such as mothers, widows, and women of high social status, also in some limited but real sense, had power in civil society at large and in the state.
Nevertheless, despite such innovations, persistence remains one of the book's key themes, as courts reshaped rather than destroyed paternal powers and emphasized the importance of racial distinctions.