Husband-selling was the historical practice of: a wife selling a husband, generally to a new wife; a slave-master or master's estate selling the husband in an enslaved family, generally to a new slave-master; court-sentenced sales of fathers' services for a number of years, described as sales of fathers (one apparently a husband); sales of a husband as directed by a religious authority.

Sales by wives

Intermaritally, no more than five or six cases of husbands having been sold by their wives are known in English and English diasporan history,[1] in comparison to approximately 400 reportable cases of wives having been sold by their husbands in the English custom.[2][3] The known sales of husbands by wives occurred in the 19th century.[4]

In the intermarital context, the practice was somewhat but not entirely parallel to wife selling in the same nation. On the one hand, in both practices, the person was sold by the current spouse to a new spouse, the sale causing a divorce with the seller and creating a new marriage with the buyer. Sales were sometimes by means of a contract but never ritualistically, as far as is known. It is possible that the law, and the response of courts to cases, was the same regardless of gender.[5][6]

In the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam), Tuân Sắc in 1969 "argued, '[t]here are ... even women who sell their husbands for a little spending money (it's all in the newspapers)'"[7] and posited that such people are not, or are no longer, Vietnamese.[7]

Sales by slave-masters and their estates

In the slave-mastery context, in Philadelphia, in ca. the 18th century, sales often occurred not only by or at the direction of living slave-masters but also at the direction of testators.[8] Testators were not known to direct that slave couples be kept together.[9] "Philadelphia newspaper advertisements ... provide evidence that many [slave] owners sold husbands away from wives ...; most indicated no concern about the consequences for the slaves."[8] Some sales of slave husbands without their wives were followed by the masters requiring the wives to take new husbands.[10]

A woman slave, according to Daniel Meaders, "married [a slave] ..., but soon after the marriage, the 'husband was sold and sent away. I never saw him afterwards.'".[11]

In Virginia, in 1772–1773, a Baptist church considered a complaint against an individual that the selling of a slave husband, causing separation from his wife, was un-Christian, a matter which the county judiciary would not decide.[12]

One case in Massachusetts was alleged in 1799 against a political candidate but denied by the candidate.[13]

In Haiti, when it was St. Domingue, a law of 1685 on slavery forbade "selling a [slave] husband or wife separately."[14]

In Colombia under Spanish colonial rule,[15] particularly in 1750–1826,[16] according to David L. Chandler, Spanish law "allowed slaves to marry and establish a family even against the master's wishes ... and prohibited ... [the family's] separation through sale.... [S]eparation of the slave family was not very common."[17] If a slave couple was broken up by the sale of one spouse out of an area, Chandler wrote, the other spouse, even after 10 years, could petition a court to allow the latter slave to find a buyer so the couple could reunite;[18] such cases, in which the wife was sold first and the husband second, were litigated in 1802 and 1806.[18] In 1808, reported Chandler, a master had sold a slave husband to another master; the slave objected to a breakup of his family and a court ordered visitations; after a subsequent dispute between the slaves and the selling master, the master who sold the husband "brought suit against the new owner ... to force her either to sell him out of the area or to sell him back to ... [the first master] so he could properly discipline and control" the slave-husband[18] but was ordered by a court to sell the slave's wife to the other master as well, so the slave family would be able to live together and not merely have visits; and the court order was complied with.[18]

Sales for child support defaults

Fathers were sometimes sold, and in some cases sales of the fathers' full-time services for terms of years were described as sales of fathers; one said he was a husband and the result of his case did not necessarily require disputing that. According to Richard B. Morris, "in prosecuting for bastardy it was customary throughout ... [South Carolina] to sell into servitude for a period of four years the putative father upon his defaulting on ... maintenance of the ... child".[19][a][b] Morris described the "appropriation of the white worker's time" due to the sale as "complete".[20] The maximum term was four years and less was sometimes imposed, but, according to Morris, one court sentenced one man to a sale for 10 years.[21] These fathers were, according to Morris, "indiscreet poor whites".[22] One defendant stated that he was a husband and that someone else caused the out-of-wedlock birth, but he was convicted anyway.[23] These sales were authorized by a statute enacted in 1839[c] and repealed in 1847, replaced by handling as misdemeanors.[22]

Sales at religious direction

Hatred of a wife was a ground for forcing a sale of the husband into slavery. In the medieval Christian Church,[24] according to Frederik Pijper in 1909, "if anyone abandoned his wife, and refusing to come to terms with her, permitted himself to be put into prison for debtors, he became a slave forever on the ground of his hatred for his wife. And should he be seen at any time enjoying liberty, he must again be sold."[25]

In the same Church,[24] according to Pijper, "one way [to "become a slave"] was by selling oneself because of poverty. It might so happen that a married pair sank into such need that the husband was compelled to sell himself, and did so with his wife's consent. In this way he secured sustenance for himself, and with the purchase-money he was in a position to keep his wife from starving.... A synod at Paris early in the seventh century ordained that freemen who had sold ... themselves should if they repaid the money at once be restored to their former status. To demand back a greater sum than what had been paid for them, was not allowed."[26]

A church decision at Vermeria in the 8th century, according to Pijper, specified that if a slave husband was sold both spouses should be discouraged from remarrying; "if through sale a slave be separated from his wife, also a slave, each should be urged to remain thus (i. e., not to marry again) in case we cannot reunite them."[27]

If a married slave's freedom was not bought, i.e., the married slave was not sold into freedom, the slave's already-freed spouse could remarry, under permission of the medieval Church, if the former couple had been wed by one master; according to Pijper, "if ... two slaves were joined in wedlock by their common master, and one of them was thereafter freed, that one was permitted to marry again, if the freedom of the other could not be bought."[28]

Popular culture

In popular culture, a wife's sale of her husband to a widow is depicted in 1960 in a play by François Billetdoux, Le Comportement des époux Bredburry (sic),[29] and the playwright claimed to have seen such an advertisement in "an American paper".[29] Indigenous Sufi folk-poetry told of "the foolish queen Lila who, for the sake of a fabulous necklace, 'sold' her husband to her maid for a night",[30] thereby requiring purification for the Queen.[30]

See also


  1. ^ South Carolina, a U.S. state which sold a man into servitude
  2. ^ Child support or financial maintenance of a child
  3. ^ Whether an earlier act or other law also permitted such sales is unknown from Morris, Richard B., White Bondage in Ante-Bellum South Carolina, in The South Carolina Historical and Genealogical Magazine, vol. 49, no. 4 (October, 1948) (in JStor), p. 200 & n. 45, but n. 45 lists cases from earlier.


  1. ^ Thompson, Edward Palmer, Customs in Common (N.Y.: New Press, 1st American ed. 1993 (ISBN 1-56584-074-7)), p. 459 & n. 3 (author historian & social critic).
  2. ^ Thompson, Edward Palmer, Customs in Common, op. cit., p. 408.
  3. ^ Rarity in general: Thompson, E. P., Folklore, Anthropology, and Social History, in The Indian Historical Review, vol. III, no. 2, p. 253, January, 1977 (author apparently historian).
  4. ^ Menefee, Samuel Pyeatt, Wives for Sale: An Ethnographic Study of British Popular Divorce (N.Y.: St. Martin's Press, 1981 (ISBN 0-312-88629-2)), pp. 160–163 & nn. 16–18 & p. 249 case 294 & p. 255 case 353 (appx. (Wife-Sale Cases and References)) (author anthropologist).
  5. ^ Menefee, Samuel Pyeatt, Wives for Sale, op. cit., pp. 160–163 & nn. 16–18.
  6. ^ Thompson, Edward Palmer, Customs in Common, op. cit., p. 459 n. 3.
  7. ^ a b Tran, Nu-Anh, South Vietnamese Identity, American Intervention, and the Newspaper Chính Luận [Political Discussion], 1965–1969, in Journal of Vietnamese Studies, vol. 1, no. 1–2 (February/August, 2006), as accessed October 28, 2012, 1:05 p.m., p. 190 & n. 96 (n. omitted) (DOI 10.1525/vs.2006.1.1-2.169) (author PhD student, history dep't, Univ. of Calif., Berkeley) (Tuân Sắc's qualifications & sourcing unspecified, thus Tuân Sắc's statement probably tertiary as a source for Wikipedia) (in JStor (database) (subscription may be required)).
  8. ^ a b Soderlund, Jean R., Black Women in Colonial Pennsylvania, in The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, vol. 107, no. 1 (January, 1983), p. 56.
  9. ^ Soderlund, Jean R., Black Women in Colonial Pennsylvania, op. cit., p. 56 & n. 20.
  10. ^ Bardolph, Richard, Social Origins of Distinguished Negroes, 1770–1865, in The Journal of Negro History, vol. 40, no. 3 (July, 1955), p. 214 n. 4 (author was of Woman's Coll., Univ. of N. Car.).
  11. ^ Meaders, Daniel, Kidnapping Blacks in Philadelphia: Isaac Hopper's Tales of Oppression, in The Journal of Negro History, vol. 80, no. 2 (Spring, 1995), as accessed June 13, 2012, 10:47 a.m., p. 52 & n. 24 (n. omitted) (author asst. prof. history, Coll. of Wm. Patterson, Wayne, N.J.) (in JStor (database) (subscription may be required)), quoting Hopper, Isaac, Patriarchal System (Tale No. LXVII), in Tales of Oppression (column) (1840–), in National Anti-Slavery Standard, December 27, 1842, p. 118.
  12. ^ Beeman, Richard R., Social Change and Cultural Conflict in Virginia: Lunenburg County, 1746 to 1774, in The William and Mary Quarterly, 3d ser., vol. 35, no. 3 (July, 1978), p. 470 & nn. 40–41 (author was of history dep't, Univ. of Penna.).
  13. ^ Anderson, Frank Maloy, Contemporary Opinion of the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions, in The American Historical Review, vol. 5, no. 2 (December, 1899), p. 229 & n. 1 & possibly n. 2.
  14. ^ Code Noir (short name), article 47, as cited in Stein, Robert, Revolution, Land Reform, and Plantation Discipline in Saint Domingue, in Revista de Historia de America, no. 96 (July–December, 1983), p. 175 and passim. Slavery ended in 1793–1794. Stein, Robert, Revolution, Land Reform, and Plantation Discipline in Saint Domingue, op. cit., pp. 179–180 and see p. 173 (abstract).
  15. ^ Chandler, David L., Family Bonds and the Bondsman: The Slave Family in Colonial Colombia, in Latin American Research Review, vol. 16, no. 2 (1981) ([§] Research Reports and Notes)), as accessed June 13, 2012, 11:01 a.m., p. 107 (author Chandler of Brigham Young Univ.) (in JStor (database) (subscription may be required)).
  16. ^ Chandler, David L., Family Bonds and the Bondsman, op. cit., p. 110.
  17. ^ Chandler, David L., Family Bonds and the Bondsman, op. cit., p. 122.
  18. ^ a b c d Chandler, David L., Family Bonds and the Bondsman, op. cit., p. 126.
  19. ^ Morris, Richard B., White Bondage in Ante-Bellum South Carolina, op. cit., p. 200 & n. 45 (n. omitted) and see pp. 201–202 & nn. 50–51.
  20. ^ Morris, Richard B., White Bondage in Ante-Bellum South Carolina, op. cit., p. 202.
  21. ^ Morris, Richard B., White Bondage in Ante-Bellum South Carolina, op. cit., p. 200 & nn. 46–49 (nn. omitted).
  22. ^ a b Morris, Richard B., White Bondage in Ante-Bellum South Carolina, op. cit., p. 201.
  23. ^ Morris, Richard B., White Bondage in Ante-Bellum South Carolina, op. cit., p. 201 & n. 52 (n. omitted).
  24. ^ a b Pijper, Frederik, The Christian Church and Slavery in the Middle Ages, in The American Historical Review, vol. XIV, no. 4 (July, 1909), as accessed October 28, 2012, 12:38 p.m., p. 676 & passim (author Pijper of Univ. of Leyden) (article read in 1908, per p. 675 n. 1) (in JStor (database) (subscription may be required)).
  25. ^ Pijper, Frederik, The Christian Church and Slavery in the Middle Ages, op. cit. (1909), p. 691 & n. 112 (n. omitted).
  26. ^ Pijper, Frederik, The Christian Church and Slavery in the Middle Ages, op. cit. (1909), p. 679 & nn. 20–21 (nn. omitted) (line break in "one-"/"self") (Pijper also wrote at the same page, "in such cases the marriage was usually dissolved; to be sure the Church opposed this, but could not prevent and therefore yielded to it", but it is not clear whether Pijper meant only when wives sold themselves into slavery or when either spouse did so).
  27. ^ Pijper, Frederik, The Christian Church and Slavery in the Middle Ages, op. cit. (1909), p. 695 & n. 155 (n. omitted) (Pijper quoting (after presumably translating) source).
  28. ^ Pijper, Frederik, The Christian Church and Slavery in the Middle Ages, op. cit. (1909), p. 695 & n. 157 (n. omitted).
  29. ^ a b Mankin, Paul, Blue Note from Billetdoux, in Yale French Studies, no. 29 (issue The New Dramatists) (1962), p. 123.
    See also Lamont, Rosette C., The Nouvelle Vague in French Theatre, in The Massachusetts Review, vol. 5, no. 2 (Winter, 1964), p. 392.
  30. ^ a b Asani, Alan S., Sufi Poetry in the Folk Tradition of Indo-Pakistan, in Religion & Literature, vol. 20, no. 1 (issue The Literature of Islam) (Spring, 1988), p. 87 (author was of Harvard Univ.).
A Nine O'Clock Town

A Nine O'Clock Town is a 1918 American comedy silent film written and directed by Victor Schertzinger. The film stars Charles Ray, Jane Novak, Otto Hoffman, Gertrude Claire, Catherine Young, and Dorcas Matthews. The film was released on July 28, 1918, by Paramount Pictures. It is not known whether the film currently survives, and it may be a lost film.

Air rights

Air rights are the property interest in the "space" above the earth's surface. Generally speaking, owning, or renting, land or a building includes the right to use and develop the space above the land without interference by others.

This legal concept is encoded in the Latin phrase Cuius est solum, eius est usque ad coelum et ad inferos ("Whoever owns the soil, it is theirs up to Heaven and down to Hell."), which appears in medieval Roman law and is credited to 13th-century glossator Accursius; it was notably popularized in common law in Commentaries on the Laws of England (1766) by William Blackstone; see origins of phrase for details.

Cassie Taylor

Cassie Taylor (born 1986 in Boulder, Colorado) is an American singer-songwriter and blues musician. She started her career in the early 2000s touring as a bassist for her father Otis Taylor, a trance blues musician. She released a positively received solo album, Out Of My Mind, in 2013, which infused traditional Delta blues with genres as diverse as electronica, indie rock, and psychedelia. Based in Kansas City, Missouri as of 2013, she is also a model and fashion designer.


Child-selling is the practice of selling children, usually by parents, legal guardians, or subsequent masters or custodians. After a sale, when the subsequent relationship with the child is essentially non-exploitative, the usual purpose of child-selling is to permit adoption.

Customary land

Customary land is land which is owned by indigenous communities and administered in accordance with their customs, as opposed to statutory tenure usually introduced during the colonial periods. Common ownership is one form of customary land ownership.

Since the late 20th century, statutory recognition and protection of indigenous and community land rights continues to be a major challenge. The gap between formally recognized and customarily held and managed land is a significant source of underdevelopment, conflict, and environmental degradation.In the Malawi Land Act of 1965, "Customary Land" is defined as "all land which is held, occupied or used under customary law, but does not include any public land". In most countries of the Pacific islands, customary land remains the dominant land tenure form. Distinct customary systems of tenure have evolved on different islands and areas within the Pacific region. In any country there may be many different types of customary tenure.The amount of customary land ownership out of the total land area of Pacific island nations is the following: 97% in Papua New Guinea, 90% in Vanuatu, 88% in Fiji, 87% in the Solomon Islands, and 81% in Samoa.


Divorce, also known as dissolution of marriage, is the process of terminating a marriage or marital union. It usually entails the canceling or reorganizing of the legal duties and responsibilities of marriage, thus dissolving the bonds of matrimony between a married couple under the rule of law of the particular country or state. Divorce laws vary considerably around the world, but in most countries divorce requires the sanction of a court or other authority in a legal process, which may involve issues of distribution of property, child custody, alimony (spousal support), child visitation / access, parenting time, child support, and division of debt. In most countries, monogamy is required by law, so divorce allows each former partner to marry another person; where polygyny is legal but polyandry is not, divorce allows the woman to marry another person.

Divorce should not be confused with annulment, which declares the marriage null and void, with legal separation or de jure separation (a legal process by which a married couple may formalize a de facto separation while remaining legally married) or with de facto separation (a process where the spouses informally stop cohabiting). Reasons for divorce vary, from sexual incompatibility or lack of independence for one or both spouses to a personality clash.The only countries that do not allow divorce are the Philippines, the Vatican City and the British Crown Dependency of Sark. In the Philippines, divorce for non-Muslim Filipinos is not legal unless the husband or wife is an alien and satisfies certain conditions. The Vatican City is an ecclesiastical state, which has no procedure for divorce. Countries that have relatively recently legalized divorce are Italy (1970), Portugal (1975), Brazil (1977), Spain (1981), Argentina (1987), Paraguay (1991), Colombia (1991*), Andorra (1995), Ireland (1996), Chile (2004) and Malta (2011).

Free-rider problem

In the social sciences, the free-rider problem occurs when those who benefit from resources, public goods, or services do not pay for them, which results in an underprovision of those goods or services. For example, a free-rider may frequently ask for available parking lots (public goods) from those who have already paid for them, in order to benefit from free parking. That is, the free-rider may use the parking even more than the others without paying a penny. The free-rider problem is the question of how to limit free riding and its negative effects in these situations. The free-rider problem may occur when property rights are not clearly defined and imposed.The free-rider problem is common with goods which are non-excludable, including public goods and situations of the Tragedy of the Commons.

Although the term "free rider" was first used in economic theory of public goods, similar concepts have been applied to other contexts, including collective bargaining, antitrust law, psychology and political science. For example, some individuals in a team or community may reduce their contributions or performance if they believe that one or more other members of the group may free ride.


A husband is a male in a marital relationship. The rights and obligations of a husband regarding his spouse and others, and his status in the community and in law, vary between cultures and have varied over time.

In monogamous cultures, there are only two parties to a marriage. This is enforced by legal codes that outlaw two (bigamy) or more (polygamy) female spouses. Similarly, polyandry, marriage of one female partner with more than one male partner at the same time is not permitted. In polygamous and polyandrous cultures, there may be more than two parties to a marriage.

In marriages where both spouses are men, both may be referred to as husband.

In heterosexual marriages, the husband was traditionally regarded as the head of the household and was expected to be the sole provider or breadwinner, a role that is still maintained in some cultures (sometimes described as paternalistic).

The term continues to be applied to such a man who has separated from his spouse and ceases to be applied to him only when his marriage has come to an end following a legally recognized divorce or the death of his spouse. On the death of his spouse, a husband is referred to as a widower; after a divorce a man may be referred to as the "ex-husband" of his former spouse.

In today's society a husband is not necessarily considered the breadwinner of the family, especially if his spouse has a more financially rewarding occupation or career. In such cases, it is not uncommon for a husband to be considered a stay-at-home father if the married couple have children.

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Intangible property

Intangible property, also known as incorporeal property, describes something which a person or corporation can have ownership of and can transfer ownership to another person or corporation, but has no physical substance, for example brand identity or knowledge/intellectual property. It generally refers to statutory creations such as copyright, trademarks, or patents. It excludes tangible property like real property (land, buildings, and fixtures) and personal property (ships, automobiles, tools, etc.). In some jurisdictions intangible property are referred to as choses in action. Intangible property is used in distinction to tangible property. It is useful to note that there are two forms of intangible property: legal intangible property (which is discussed here) and competitive intangible property (which is the source from which legal intangible property is created but cannot be owned, extinguished, or transferred). Competitive intangible property disobeys the intellectual property test of voluntary extinguishment and therefore results in the sources that create intellectual property (knowledge in its source form, collaboration, process-engagement, etc.) escaping quantification.

Generally, ownership of intangible property gives the owner a set of legally enforceable rights over reproduction of personal property containing certain content. For example, a copyright owner can control the reproduction of the work forming the copyright. However, the intangible property forms a set of rights separate from the tangible property that carries the rights. For example, the owner of a copyright can control the printing of books containing the content, but the book itself is personal property which can be bought and sold without concern over the rights of the copyright holder.

In English law and other Commonwealth legal systems, intangible property is traditionally divided in pure intangibles (such as debts, intellectual property rights and goodwill) and documentary intangibles, which obtain their character through the medium of a document (such as a bill of lading, promissory note or bill of exchange). The recent rise of electronic documents has blurred the distinction between pure intangibles and documentary intangibles.

International Association for the Study of the Commons

The International Association for the Study of the Commons (IASC) was founded in 1989 as The International Association for the Study of Common Property (IASCP). It is a non-for-profit organization that sees as its mission to further the understanding of institutions for the management of resources that are or could be held or used collectively as a commons by communities in developing and industrialized countries.

According to its vision statement, the goals of the association are:

to encourage exchange of knowledge on the commons among diverse disciplines, areas, and resource types

to foster mutual exchange of scholarship and practical experience

to promote appropriate institutional design

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Pierre-Joseph Proudhon

Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (; French: [pjɛʁʒozɛf pʁudɔ̃]; 15 January 1809 – 19 January 1865) was a French politician and the founder of mutualist philosophy. He was the first person to declare himself an anarchist, using that term and is widely regarded as one of the ideology's most influential theorists. Proudhon is even considered by many to be the "father of anarchism". He became a member of the French Parliament after the Revolution of 1848, whereafter he referred to himself as a federalist.Proudhon, who was born in Besançon, was a printer who taught himself Latin in order to better print books in the language. His best-known assertion is that "property is theft!", contained in his first major work, What is Property? Or, an Inquiry into the Principle of Right and Government (Qu'est-ce que la propriété? Recherche sur le principe du droit et du gouvernement), published in 1840. The book's publication attracted the attention of the French authorities. It also attracted the scrutiny of Karl Marx, who started a correspondence with its author. The two influenced each other and they met in Paris while Marx was exiled there. Their friendship finally ended when Marx responded to Proudhon's The System of Economic Contradictions, or The Philosophy of Poverty with the provocatively titled The Poverty of Philosophy. The dispute became one of the sources of the split between the anarchist and Marxist wings of the International Working Men's Association. Some such as Edmund Wilson have contended that Marx's attack on Proudhon had its origin in the latter's defense of Karl Grün, whom Marx bitterly disliked, but who had been preparing translations of Proudhon's work.

Proudhon favored workers' associations or co-operatives as well as individual worker/peasant possession over private ownership or the nationalization of land and workplaces. He considered social revolution to be achievable in a peaceful manner. In The Confessions of a Revolutionary, Proudhon asserted that "Anarchy is Order Without Power", the phrase which much later inspired in the view of some the anarchist circled-A symbol, today "one of the most common graffiti on the urban landscape". He unsuccessfully tried to create a national bank, to be funded by what became an abortive attempt at an income tax on capitalists and shareholders. Similar in some respects to a credit union, it would have given interest-free loans.


Property, in the abstract, is what belongs to or with something, whether as an attribute or as a component of said thing. In the context of this article, it is one or more components (rather than attributes), whether physical or incorporeal, of a person's estate; or so belonging to, as in being owned by, a person or jointly a group of people or a legal entity like a corporation or even a society. Depending on the nature of the property, an owner of property has the right to consume, alter, share, redefine, rent, mortgage, pawn, sell, exchange, transfer, give away or destroy it, or to exclude others from doing these things, as well as to perhaps abandon it; whereas regardless of the nature of the property, the owner thereof has the right to properly use it (as a durable, mean or factor, or whatever), or at the very least exclusively keep it.

In economics and political economy, there are three broad forms of property: private property, public property, and collective property (also called cooperative property).Property that jointly belongs to more than one party may be possessed or controlled thereby in very similar or very distinct ways, whether simply or complexly, whether equally or unequally. However, there is an expectation that each party's will (rather discretion) with regard to the property be clearly defined and unconditional, so as to distinguish ownership and easement from rent. The parties might expect their wills to be unanimous, or alternately every given one of them, when no opportunity for or possibility of dispute with any other of them exists, may expect his, her, its or their own will to be sufficient and absolute.

The Restatement (First) of Property defines property as anything, tangible or intangible whereby a legal relationship between persons and the state enforces a possessory interest or legal title in that thing. This mediating relationship between individual, property and state is called a property regime.In sociology and anthropology, property is often defined as a relationship between two or more individuals and an object, in which at least one of these individuals holds a bundle of rights over the object. The distinction between "collective property" and "private property" is regarded as a confusion since different individuals often hold differing rights over a single object.Important widely recognized types of property include real property (the combination of land and any improvements to or on the land), personal property (physical possessions belonging to a person), private property (property owned by legal persons, business entities or individual natural persons), public property (state owned or publicly owned and available possessions) and intellectual property (exclusive rights over artistic creations, inventions, etc.), although the last is not always as widely recognized or enforced. An article of property may have physical and incorporeal parts. A title, or a right of ownership, establishes the relation between the property and other persons, assuring the owner the right to dispose of the property as the owner sees fit.

Property rights (economics)

Property rights are theoretical socially-enforced constructs in economics for determining how a resource or economic good is used and owned. Resources can be owned by (and hence be the property of) individuals, associations or governments. Property rights can be viewed as an attribute of an economic good. This attribute has four broad components and is often referred to as a bundle of rights:

the right to use the good

the right to earn income from the good

the right to transfer the good to others

the right to enforce property rightsIn economics, property is usually considered to be ownership (rights to the proceeds generated by the property) and control over a resource or good. Many economists effectively argue that property rights need to be fixed and need to portray the relationships among other parties in order to be more effective.

Slavery in Britain

Slavery in Great Britain existed and was recognized from before the Roman occupation until the 12th century, when chattel slavery disappeared, at least for a time, after the Norman Conquest. Former slaves merged into the larger body of serfs in Britain and no longer were recognized separately in law or custom.From the 17th century into the 19th century, transportation to the colonies as a criminal or an indentured servant served as punishment for both genuine and petty crimes, or for simply being poor and viewed as an 'undesirable', in England and Ireland facilitated by the Transportation Act of 1718 . Tens of thousands of children and vulnerable adults were kidnapped from Britain and transported by sail ship to the emerging lands of America, as a source of expendable labour for the numerous plantations of the colonies. During the same period, workhouses employed people whose poverty left them no other alternative than to work under forced labour conditions.British merchants were among the largest participants in the Atlantic slave trade. And British owners living within the home British isles, as well as within its colonies, owned African slaves. Ship owners transported enslaved West Africans, as well as British natives, to the New World to be sold into slave labour. The ships brought commodities back to Britain then exported goods to Africa. Some brought slaves to Britain, where they were kept in bondage. After a long campaign for abolition led by William Wilberforce, Parliament prohibited the practice by passing the Slave Trade Act 1807 which was enforced by the Royal Navy's West Africa Squadron. Britain used its influence to persuade other countries around the world to abolish the slave trade and sign treaties to allow the Royal Navy to interdict their ships.Somersett's case in 1772 held that no slave could be forcibly removed from Britain. This case was generally taken at the time to have decided that the condition of slavery did not exist under English law, and emancipated the remaining ten to fourteen thousand slaves or possible slaves in England and Wales, who were mostly domestic servants. However slavery elsewhere in the British Empire was not affected. Joseph Knight's case in 1778 established a similar position in Scots law. Slavery was abolished throughout the British Empire by the Slavery Abolition Act 1833, with exceptions provided for the East India Company, Ceylon, and Saint Helena. These exceptions were eliminated in 1843.The prohibition on slavery and servitude is now codified under Article 4 of the European Convention on Human Rights, in force since 1953 and incorporated directly into United Kingdom law by the Human Rights Act 1998 and into Republic of Ireland law by the European Convention on Human Rights Act 2003. Article 4 of the Convention also bans forced or compulsory labour, with some exceptions such as a criminal penalty or military service.

Tangible property

Tangible property in law is, literally, anything which can be touched, and includes both real property and personal property (or moveable property), and stands in distinction to intangible property.In English law and some Commonwealth legal systems, items of tangible property are referred to as choses in possession (or a chose in possession in the singular). However, some property, despite being physical in nature, is classified in many legal systems as intangible property rather than tangible property because the rights associated with the physical item are of far greater significance than the physical properties. Principally, these are documentary intangibles. For example, a promissory note is a piece of paper that can be touched, but the real significance is not the physical paper, but the legal rights which the paper confers, and hence the promissory note is defined by the legal debt rather than the physical attributes.A unique category of property is money, which in some legal systems is treated as tangible property and in others as intangible property. Whilst most countries legal tender is expressed in the form of intangible property ("The Treasury of Country X hereby promises to pay to the bearer on demand...."), in practice banknotes are now rarely ever redeemed in any country, which has led to banknotes and coins being classified as tangible property in most modern legal systems.

Wife selling

Wife selling is the practice of a husband selling his wife and may include the sale of a female by a party outside a marriage. Wife selling has had numerous purposes throughout the practice's history; and the term "wife sale" is not defined in all sources relating to the topic.

Sometimes, a wife was sold by a husband to a new husband as a means of divorce, in which case sometimes the wife was able to choose who would be her new husband, provided she chose within a certain time period, and especially if the wife was young and sexually attractive. In some societies, the wife could buy her own way out of a marriage or either spouse could have initiated this form of divorce. Reducing a husband's liability for family support and prenuptial debts was another reason for wife sale. Taxes were sometimes paid by selling a wife and children and paying the value as the required amount, especially when taxes were too high to permit basic survival. Famine leading to starvation was a reason for some sales. Gambling debts could be paid by selling a free or slave wife. A society might not allow a woman the rights reserved to men regarding spouse sale and a society might deny her any rights if her husband chose to sell her, even a right of refusal. A divorce that was by mutual consent but was without good faith by the wife at times caused the divorce to be void, allowing her to then be sold. A husband might sell his wife and then go to court seeking compensation for the new man's adultery with the wife. By one law, adultery was given as a justification for a husband selling his wife into concubinage.

A free wife might be sold into slavery, such as if she had married a serf or her husband had been murdered. Sometimes, a slave-master sold an enslaved wife. Enslaved families were often broken up and wives, husbands, and children sold to separate buyers, often never to see each other again, and a threat to sell a wife was used to keep an enslaved husband under a master's discipline. In wartime, one side might, possibly falsely, accuse the other of wife sale as a method of spying. A wife could also be treated as revenue and seized by the local government because a man had died leaving no heirs. Wife sale was sometimes the description for the sale of a wife's services; it might be for a term of years followed by freedom. If a sale was temporary, in some cases wife sale was considered temporary only in that the sold-and-remarried wife would, upon her death, be reunited with her first husband.

Constraints existed in law and practice and there were criticisms. Some societies specifically forbade wife sales, even imposing death upon husbands violating the law, but a legal proscription was sometimes avoided or evaded, such as by arranging an adoption with a payment and an outcome similar to that of a sale. A society might tax or fine a wife sale without banning it. The nearness of a foreign military sometimes constrained a master in a slave sale that otherwise would have divided a family. Among criticisms, some of the sales (not of services alone but entirely of wives) have been likened to sales of horses. Wives for sale were treated like capital assets or commodities. One law made wives into husbands' chattels. Other sales were described as brutal, patriarchal, and feudalistic. Wife sales were equated with slavery. One debate about the whole of Africa was whether Africans viewed the practice as no crime at all or as against what Africans thought valuable and dear. Some modern popular songs against wife sale are vehicles for urban antipoverty and feminist organizing for rights. A story in a popular collection written by a feminist was about a suggestion for wife sale and the wife's objection to discussing it followed by no wife sale occurring. Another story is about a feminist advocate for justice in which a husband is censored or censured for selling his wife in a gamble.

Wife selling has been found in many societies over many centuries and occasionally into modern times, including the United States (including in Hawaii among the Japanese, among Indians in the Gallinomero, Yurok, Carolina, and Florida tribes and in the Pacific Northwest, and among natives on Kodiak Island in what is now Alaska), Colombia, England, Australia (among aborigines), Denmark (possibly), Hungary, France, Germany, India, Japan, Malaya (among Chinese laborers), Thailand (at least permitted), Northern Asia (among the Samoyads), Asia Minor (among the Yourouk), Kafiristan, Indonesia (albeit not outright), Tanganyika, Congo, Bamum, Central Africa (among the Baluba), Zambia, South Africa (among Chinese laborers), Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Nigeria (possibly), Abyssinia, Egypt, Lombardy, ancient Rome (sometimes as a legal fiction and sometimes as actual), ancient Greece, and ancient Emar (of Syria). In Rwanda, it was the subject of a wartime accusation. Specific bans existed in Thailand, Indonesia, ancient Rome, and ancient Israel and partial bans existed in England and Japan. Wife sale was a topic of popular culture in India, the U.S., China, Scandinavia, Nepal, Guatemala, and the Dutch Indies. It has been found under several major religions, including Christianity and Islam.

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