Eareckson Air Station
Eareckson Air Station Shemya Air Force Base, is a United States Air Force military airport located on the island of Shemya, in the Alaskan Aleutian Islands. The airport was closed as an active Air Force Station on 1 July 1994. However, it is still owned by the USAF and is operated by the USAF 611th Air Support Squadron at Elmendorf AFB for refueling purposes, it serves as a diversion airport for civilian aircraft. The base hosted the AN/FPS-17 and AN/FPS-80 radars and since 1977 the more powerful AN/FPS-108 COBRA DANE phased-array radar. Eareckson Air Station is located on the western tip of Alaska's Aleutian islands near the larger island of Attu, is located 1500 miles southwest of Anchorage; the airport lies on the south side of the 2-mile by 4-mile island and is 98 feet above mean sea level. Shemya Island has been the scene of two major earthquakes; the 1965 Rat Islands earthquake, measuring 8.7 on the moment magnitude scale, occurred on 3 February. It was followed by severe aftershocks and a tsunami, but damage was limited to cracks in the taxiways.
The 1975 Near Islands earthquake, measuring 7.6, occurred on 1 February. A high degree of damage occurred to the runways and hangars and communications were disrupted for a short time. Eareckson Air Station has one runway: Runway 10/28: 10,004 by 150 feet, Surface: Asphalt/Grooved, 28 is ILS equipped; the island has many abandoned taxiways, aircraft revetments and two other runways on the west side of the island. All of these World War II facilities are non-operational. There is an NDB, TACAN and a VOR on the island. On 6 April 1993, Shemya Air Force Base was renamed Eareckson Air Station; the renaming ceremony was held 19 May 1993. The Eleventh Air Force Association initiated renaming the base to honor their wartime commander, Colonel William O. Eareckson. From 1941 to 1943, Eareckson led all of the difficult missions against the Japanese which were located on two other Aleutian Islands and Attu. Eareckson helped plan the successful retaking of Attu. During the bombing campaigns, he introduced low-level skip bombing and forward air control procedures long before they became common practices in other war theaters.
On 28 May 1943, a small detachment of Alaskan Scouts began reconnaissance of Shemya, a small, uninhabited island 35 miles to the east of Attu. The following day, United States Army Engineers came ashore to begin construction of a runway suitable for B-29 Superfortress bombers. Tents were erected, a rudimentary electrical system and some rough streets were laid down. A 10,000-foot runway was constructed, along with two 5,000-foot cross runways; the 404th Bombardment Squadron flew B-24 Liberator heavy bombers along with one Beechcraft AT-7, used for navigator training. The 344th Fighter Squadron flew both P-40 Warhawks and P-38 Lightnings. In addition, a North American AT-6 was utilized for pilot training. One RB-34, a UC-64A and numerous TB-26's were flown by the 15th Tow Target Squadron, stationed on Shemya; the Navy assigned one squadron of PB4Y-2's, which were single tail versions of the twin tail B-24. Many administrative and cargo aircraft, such as the C-47 "Gooney Bird" flew in and out of Shemya during the war.
The dispersal aircraft standings were placed in the area to the north of the main runway. With the successful completion of the Aleutian Campaign in August 1943, Eleventh Air Force came within striking distance of the Japanese Kurile Islands, the northernmost being 750 miles to the south-southwest of Shemya; the Japanese had established a sizable defense complex on the northernmost islands, with most installations being located on Paramushiro, the largest island in the chain. It supported the Imperial Japanese Army Kashiwabra Staging Area. In addition, it was the headquarters for the Imperial Japanese Navy Fifth Fleet, located on Kataoka; the mission of Eleventh Air Force was to take advantage of the new airfields on Shemya and Attu, carry out offensive operations against the enemy forces in the Kuriles. Orders were issued in early July 1943 for the first bombing attack on the Japanese Home Islands since the April 1942 Doolittle Raid. Crews and aircraft were to be provided by the 36th and 77th bomb Squadrons.
Eleventh Air Force had little intelligence available about the Kurile Islands. IX Bomber Command coordinated with Navy personnel who were able to provide various documents and other documents about the Islands; this included captured Japanese documents from Attu. From this information the command put together an accurate assessment of the Japanese military installations on the island chain. On 10 July 1943, eight B-25 Mitchells from the 77th Bombardment Squadron left Adak AAF and refueled at Alexai Point AAF on Attu. High-explosive bombs were loaded on the aircraft. Six B-24 Liberator bombers from the 21st Bombardment Squadron on Shemya were scheduled to join them, however they were diverted to attack Japanese transport ships spotted by a Navy PBY aircrew; the B-25s reached Paramushiro, which they found socked in by clouds. Using time/distance calculations they dropped their 500-pound bombs though the clouds on what they believed were the Japanese installations headed back to Alexi Point and landed after nine and a half-hour, 1,000-mile flight.
At the time, it was the longest B-25 Mitchell mission of the war. Meanwhile, the B-24 Liberators had failed to achieve any hits. One Liberator was hit by anti-aircraft fire from the ships and managed to make a wheels-up landing on Shemya. A second attack by B-24 Liberators was launched from Alexai Shemya on 18 July, they found the weather over the northern Kur
The Atlantic is an American magazine and multi-platform publisher. Founded in 1857 as The Atlantic Monthly in Boston, Massachusetts, it was a literary and cultural commentary magazine that published leading writers' commentary on abolition and other major issues in contemporary political affairs, its founders included Francis H. Underwood, along with prominent writers Ralph Waldo Emerson, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Harriet Beecher Stowe, John Greenleaf Whittier. James Russell Lowell was its first editor, it was known for publishing literary pieces by leading writers. After financial hardship and ownership changes in the late 20th century, the magazine was purchased by businessman David G. Bradley, he refashioned it as a general editorial magazine aimed at a target audience of serious national readers and "thought leaders." In 2010, The Atlantic posted its first profit in a decade. In 2016 the periodical was named Magazine of the Year by the American Society of Magazine Editors.
In July 2017, Bradley sold a majority interest in the publication to Laurene Powell Jobs's Emerson Collective. Its website, TheAtlantic.com, provides daily coverage and analysis of breaking news and international affairs, technology, health and culture. The editor of the website is Adrienne LaFrance; the Atlantic houses an editorial events arm, AtlanticLIVE. The Atlantic's president is Bob Cohn; the magazine, subscribed to by over 500,000 readers, publishes ten times a year. It was a monthly magazine for 144 years until 2001, it dropped "Monthly" from the cover beginning with the January/February 2004 issue, changed the name in 2007. The Atlantic features articles in the fields of politics, foreign affairs and the economy and the arts and science. On January 22, 2008, TheAtlantic.com dropped its subscriber wall and allowed users to browse its site, including all past archives. By 2011 The Atlantic's web properties included TheAtlanticWire.com, a news- and opinion-tracking site launched in 2009, TheAtlanticCities.com, a stand-alone website started in 2011, devoted to global cities and trends.
According to a Mashable profile in December 2011, "traffic to the three web properties surpassed 11 million uniques per month, up a staggering 2500% since The Atlantic brought down its paywall in early 2008."In December 2011, a new Health Channel launched on TheAtlantic.com, incorporating coverage of food, as well as topics related to the mind, sex and public health. Its launch was overseen by Nicholas Jackson, overseeing the Life channel and joined TheAtlantic.com to cover technology. TheAtlantic.com has expanded to visual storytelling, with the addition of the "In Focus" photo blog, curated by Alan Taylor. In 2011 it created its Video Channel. Created as an aggregator, The Atlantic's Video component, Atlantic Studios, has since evolved in an in-house production studio that creates custom video series and original documentaries. In 2015, TheAtlantic.com launched a dedicated Science section and in January 2016 it redesigned and expanded its politics section in conjunction with the 2016 U. S. presidential race.
A leading literary magazine, The Atlantic has published many significant authors. It was the first to publish pieces by the abolitionists Julia Ward Howe, William Parker, whose slave narrative, "The Freedman's Story" was published in February and March 1866, it published Charles W. Eliot's "The New Education", a call for practical reform, that led to his appointment to presidency of Harvard University in 1869. For example, Emily Dickinson, after reading an article in The Atlantic by Thomas Wentworth Higginson, asked him to become her mentor. In 2005, the magazine won a National Magazine Award for fiction; the magazine published many of the works of Mark Twain, including one, lost until 2001. Editors have recognized major cultural movements. For example, of the emerging writers of the 1920s, Ernest Hemingway had his short story "Fifty Grand" published in the July 1927 edition. In the midst of civil rights activism in the 20th century, the magazine published Martin Luther King, Jr.'s defense of civil disobedience in "Letter from Birmingham Jail" in August 1963.
The magazine has published speculative articles. The classic example is Vannevar Bush's essay "As We May Think", which inspired Douglas Engelbart and Ted Nelson to develop the modern workstation and hypertext technology; the Atlantic Monthly founded the Atlantic Monthly Press in 1917. Its published book included Drums Along the Blue Highways; the press was sold in 1986. In addition to publishing notable fiction and poetry, The Atlantic has emerged in the 21st century as an influential platform for longform storytelling and newsmaker interviews. Influential cover stories have included Anne Marie Slaughter's "Why Women Still Can't Have It All" and Ta-Nehisi Coates's "Case for Reparations". In 2015, Jeffrey Goldberg's "Obama Doctrine" was discussed by American media and prompted response by many world leaders; as of 2017, writers and frequent contributors to the print magazine include James F
The Aleutian Islands called the Aleut Islands or Aleutic Islands and known before 1867 as the Catherine Archipelago, are a chain of 14 large volcanic islands and 55 smaller ones belonging to both the U. S. state of Alaska and the Russian federal subject of Kamchatka Krai. They form part of the Aleutian Arc in the Northern Pacific Ocean, occupying an area of 6,821 sq mi and extending about 1,200 mi westward from the Alaska Peninsula toward the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia, mark a dividing line between the Bering Sea to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the south. Crossing longitude 180°, at which point east and west longitude end, the archipelago contains both the westernmost part of the United States by longitude and the easternmost by longitude; the westernmost U. S. island in real terms, however, is Attu Island. While nearly all the archipelago is part of Alaska and is considered as being in the "Alaskan Bush", at the extreme western end, the small, geologically related Commander Islands belong to Russia.
The islands, with their 57 volcanoes, form the northernmost part of the Pacific Ring of Fire. Physiographically, they are a distinct section of the larger Pacific Border province, which in turn is part of the larger Pacific Mountain System physiographic division; these Islands are most known for the battles and skirmishes that occurred there during the Aleutian Islands Campaign of World War II. It was one of only two attacks on the United States during that war. Motion between the Kula Plate and the North American Plate along the margin of the Bering Shelf ended in the early Eocene; the Aleutian Basin, the ocean floor north of the Aleutian arc, is the remainder of the Kula Plate that got trapped when volcanism and subduction jumped south to its current location at c. 56 Ma. The Aleutian island arc formed in the Early Eocene when the subduction of the Pacific Plate under the North American Plate began; the arc is made of separate blocks. The basement underlying the islands is made of three stratigraphic units: an Eocene layer of volcanic rock, an Oligocene—Miocene layer of marine sedimentary rock, a Pliocene—Quaternary layer of sedimentary and igneous rock.
The islands, known before 1867 as the Catherine Archipelago, comprise five groups the Fox Islands Islands of Four Mountains Andreanof Islands Rat Islands, Near IslandsAll five are located between 51° and 55° N latitude and 172° E and 163° W longitude. The largest islands in the Aleutians are Attu, Unalaska and Unimak in the Fox Islands; the largest of those is Unimak Island, with an area of 1,571.41 mi2, followed by Unalaska Island, the only other Aleutian Island with an area over 1,000 square miles. The axis of the archipelago near the mainland of Alaska has a southwest trend, but at Tanaga Island its direction changes to the northwest; this change of direction corresponds to a curve in the line of volcanic fissures that have contributed their products to the building of the islands. Such curved chains are repeated about the Pacific Ocean in the Kuril Islands, the Japanese chain, in the Philippines. All these island arcs are at the edge of the Pacific Plate and experience much seismic activity, but are still habitable.
The general elevation is least in the western. The island chain is a western continuation of the Aleutian Range on the mainland; the great majority of the islands bear evident marks of volcanic origin, there are numerous volcanic cones on the north side of the chain, some of them active. The coasts are rocky and surf-worn, the approaches are exceedingly dangerous, the land rising from the coasts to steep, bold mountains; these volcanic islands reach heights of 6,200 feet. Makushin Volcano located on Unalaska Island, is not quite visible from within the town of Unalaska, though the steam rising from its cone is visible on a clear day. Residents of Unalaska need only to climb one of the smaller hills in the area, such as Pyramid Peak or Mt. Newhall, to get a good look at the snow-covered cone; the volcanic Bogoslof and Fire Islands, which rose from the sea in 1796 and 1883 lie about 30 miles west of Unalaska Bay. In 1906, a new volcanic cone rose between the islets of Bogoslof and Grewingk, near Unalaska, followed by another in 1907.
These cones were nearly demolished by an explosive eruption on September 1, 1907. Newly found information in 2017, the volcanic cone erupted sending ash and ice particles 30,000 feet in the air; the Aleutians seen from space The climate of the islands is oceanic, with moderate and uniform temperatures and heavy rainfall. Fogs are constant. Summer weather is much cooler than Southeast Alaska, but the winter temperature of the islands and of the Alaska Panhandle is nearly the same. According to the Köppen climate classification system, the area southwest of 53.5°N 167.0°W / 53.5.
Battle of Attu
The Battle of Attu, which took place on 11–30 May 1943, was a battle fought between forces of the United States, aided by Canadian reconnaissance and fighter-bomber support, Japan on Attu Island off the coast of the Territory of Alaska as part of the Aleutian Islands Campaign during the American Theater and the Pacific Theater. It was the only land battle of World War II fought on the continental United States; the more than two-week battle ended when most of the Japanese defenders were killed in brutal hand-to-hand combat after a final banzai charge broke through American lines. The strategic position of the islands of Attu and Kiska off Alaska's coast meant their location could control the sea lanes across the Northern Pacific Ocean. Japanese planners believed control of the Aleutians would therefore prevent any possible U. S. attacks from Alaska. This assessment had been inferred by U. S. General Billy Mitchell who told the U. S. Congress in 1935, "I believe that in the future. I think it is the most important strategic place in the world."
On 7 June 1942, six months after the United States entered World War II, the 301st Independent Infantry Battalion from the Japanese Northern Army landed unopposed on Attu. The landings occurred one day after the invasion of nearby Kiska; the U. S. military now feared both islands could be turned into strategic Japanese airbases from which aerial attacks could be launched against mainland Alaska and the rest of the U. S. West Coast. In Walt Disney′s 1943 film, Victory Through Air Power, the use of the Aleutian Islands for American long-range bombers to bomb Japan from American territory was postulated. On 11 May 1943, units from 17th Infantry, of Maj. Gen. Albert Brown's 7th U. S. Infantry Division made amphibious landings on Attu to retake the island from Japanese Imperial Army forces led by Colonel Yasuyo Yamasaki. Despite heavy naval bombardments of Japanese positions, the American troops encountered strong entrenched defenses that made combat conditions tough. Arctic weather conditions and exposure-related injuries caused numerous casualties among U.
S. forces. After two weeks of relentless fighting, American units managed to push the Japanese defenders back to a pocket around Chichagof Harbor. On 21–22 May 1943, a powerful Japanese fleet assembled in Tokyo Bay in preparation for a sortie to repel the American attempt to recapture Attu; the fleet included the carriers Zuikaku, Shōkaku, Jun'yō, Hiyō, the battleships Musashi, Kongō, the cruisers Mogami, Suzuya, Chikuma, Agano, Ōyodo, eleven destroyers. However, the Americans succeeded in recapturing Attu. On 29 May 1943, without hope of rescue, Yamasaki led his remaining troops in a banzai charge; the momentum of the surprise attack broke through the American front line positions. Shocked American rear-echelon troops were soon fighting in hand-to-hand combat with Japanese soldiers; the battle continued until all of the Japanese were killed. The charge ended the battle for the island, although U. S. Navy reports indicate that small groups of Japanese continued to fight until early July 1943. In 19 days of battle, 549 soldiers of the 7th Division were killed and more than 1,200 injured.
The Japanese lost including Yamasaki. Attu was the last action of the Aleutian Islands Campaign; the Japanese Northern Army secretly evacuated its remaining garrison from nearby Kiska, ending the Japanese occupation in the Aleutian Islands on 28 July 1943. The loss of Attu and the evacuation of Kiska came shortly after the death of Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, killed by American aircraft in Operation Vengeance; these defeats compounded the demoralizing effect of losing Yamamoto on the Japanese High Command. Despite the losses, Japanese propaganda attempted to present the Aleutian Island campaign as an inspirational epic. Paul Nobuo Tatsuguchi, a Japanese Seventh Day Adventist who served as military surgeon on Attu and died during the fighting Joe P. Martinez, a posthumous Medal of Honor recipient for actions during the Battle of Attu Castner's Cutthroats, a specially-selected 65-man unit which performed reconnaissance missions in the Aleutian Islands during the Pacific War Aleutian Islands World War II National Monument Cloe, John Haile.
The Aleutian Warriors: A History of the 11th Air Force and Fleet Air Wing 4. Missoula, Montana: Pictorial Histories Publishing Co. and Anchorage Chapter – Air Force Association. ISBN 0-929521-35-8. OCLC 25370916. Dickrell, Jeff. Center of the Storm: The Bombing of Dutch Harbor and the Experience of Patrol Wing Four in the Aleutians, Summer 1942. Missoula, Montana: Pictorial Histories Publishing Co. Inc. ISBN 1-57510-092-4. OCLC 50242148. Feinberg, Leonard. Where the Williwaw Blows: The Aleutian Islands-World War II. Pilgrims' Process. ISBN 0-9710609-8-3. OCLC 57146667. Garfield, Brian; the Thousand-Mile War: World War II in Alaska and the Aleutians. Fairbanks: University of Alaska Press. ISBN 0-912006-83-8. OCLC 33358488. Goldstein, Donald M.. The Williwaw War: The Arkansas National Guard in the Aleutians in World War. Fayettville: University of Arkansas Press. ISBN 1-55728-242-0. OCLC 24912734. Hays, Otis. Alaska's Hidden Wars: Secret Campaigns on the North Pacific Rim. University of Alaska Press. ISBN 1-889963-64-X.
Lorelli, John A.. The Battle of the Komandorski Islands. Annapolis: United States Naval Institute. ISBN 0-87021-093-9. OCLC 10824413. Morison, Samuel Eliot. Aleutians and Marshalls, June 1942 – April 1944, vol. 7 of History of United States Naval Operations in World War II. Champaign: University of Illinois Press. ISBN 0-316-58305-7. OCLC 7288530. Parshall, Jon
Bogoslof Wilderness is a wilderness area in the U. S. state of Alaska. Located within the Aleutian Islands unit of Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge, it is 175 acres in area and was designated by the United States Congress in 1970, it encompasses the entirety of nearby Fire Island. Wilderness.net - Bogoslof Wilderness
Population density is a measurement of population per unit area or unit volume. It is applied to living organisms, most of the time to humans, it is a key geographical term. In simple terms population density refers to the number of people living in an area per kilometer square. Population density is population divided by total land water volume, as appropriate. Low densities may lead to further reduced fertility; this is called the Allee effect after the scientist. Examples of the causes in low population densities include: Increased problems with locating sexual mates Increased inbreeding For humans, population density is the number of people per unit of area quoted per square kilometer or square mile; this may be calculated for a county, country, another territory or the entire world. The world's population is around 7,500,000,000 and Earth's total area is 510,000,000 square kilometers. Therefore, the worldwide human population density is around 7,500,000,000 ÷ 510,000,000 = 14.7 per km2. If only the Earth's land area of 150,000,000 km2 is taken into account human population density is 50 per km2.
This includes all continental and island land area, including Antarctica. If Antarctica is excluded population density rises to over 55 people per km2. However, over half of the Earth's land mass consists of areas inhospitable to human habitation, such as deserts and high mountains, population tends to cluster around seaports and fresh-water sources. Thus, this number by itself does not give any helpful measurement of human population density. Several of the most densely populated territories in the world are city-states and dependencies; these territories have a small area and a high urbanization level, with an economically specialized city population drawing on rural resources outside the area, illustrating the difference between high population density and overpopulation The potential to maintain the agricultural aspects of deserts is limited as there is not enough precipitation to support a sustainable land. The population in these areas are low. Therefore, cities in the Middle East, such as Dubai, have been increasing in population and infrastructure growth at a fast pace.
Cities with high population densities are, by some, considered to be overpopulated, though this will depend on factors like quality of housing and infrastructure and access to resources. Most of the most densely populated cities are in Southeast Asia, though Cairo and Lagos in Africa fall into this category. City population and area are, however dependent on the definition of "urban area" used: densities are invariably higher for the central city area than when suburban settlements and the intervening rural areas are included, as in the areas of agglomeration or metropolitan area, the latter sometimes including neighboring cities. For instance, Milwaukee has a greater population density when just the inner city is measured, the surrounding suburbs excluded. In comparison, based on a world population of seven billion, the world's inhabitants, as a loose crowd taking up ten square feet per person, would occupy a space a little larger than Delaware's land area; the Gaza Strip has a population density of 5,046 pop/km.
Although arithmetic density is the most common way of measuring population density, several other methods have been developed to provide a more accurate measure of population density over a specific area. Arithmetic density: The total number of people / area of land Physiological density: The total population / area of arable land Agricultural density: The total rural population / area of arable land Residential density: The number of people living in an urban area / area of residential land Urban density: The number of people inhabiting an urban area / total area of urban land Ecological optimum: The density of population that can be supported by the natural resources Demography Human geography Idealized population Optimum population Population genetics Population health Population momentum Population pyramid Rural transport problem Small population size Distance sampling List of population concern organizations List of countries by population density List of cities by population density List of city districts by population density List of English districts by population density List of European cities proper by population density List of United States cities by population density List of islands by population density List of U.
S. states by population density List of Australian suburbs by population density Selected Current and Historic City, Ward & Neighborhood Density Duncan Smith / UCL Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis. "World Population Density". Exploratory map shows data from the Global Human Settlement Layer produced by the European Commission JRC and the CIESIN Columbia University
Marriage called matrimony or wedlock, is a or ritually recognised union between spouses that establishes rights and obligations between those spouses, as well as between them and any resulting biological or adopted children and affinity. The definition of marriage varies around the world not only between cultures and between religions, but throughout the history of any given culture and religion, evolving to both expand and constrict in who and what is encompassed, but it is principally an institution in which interpersonal relationships sexual, are acknowledged or sanctioned. In some cultures, marriage is recommended or considered to be compulsory before pursuing any sexual activity; when defined broadly, marriage is considered a cultural universal. A marriage ceremony is known as a wedding. Individuals may marry for several reasons, including legal, libidinal, financial and religious purposes. Whom they marry may be influenced by gender determined rules of incest, prescriptive marriage rules, parental choice and individual desire.
In some areas of the world, arranged marriage, child marriage and sometimes forced marriage, may be practiced as a cultural tradition. Conversely, such practices may be outlawed and penalized in parts of the world out of concerns of the infringement of women's rights, or the infringement of children's rights, because of international law. Around the world in developed democracies, there has been a general trend towards ensuring equal rights within marriage for women and recognizing the marriages of interfaith and same-sex couples; these trends coincide with the broader human rights movement. Marriage can be recognized by a state, an organization, a religious authority, a tribal group, a local community, or peers, it is viewed as a contract. When a marriage is performed and carried out by a government institution in accordance with the marriage laws of the jurisdiction, without religious content, it is a civil marriage. Civil marriage recognizes and creates the rights and obligations intrinsic to matrimony before the state.
When a marriage is performed with religious content under the auspices of a religious institution it is a religious marriage. Religious marriage recognizes and creates the rights and obligations intrinsic to matrimony before that religion. Religious marriage is known variously as sacramental marriage in Catholicism, nikah in Islam, nissuin in Judaism, various other names in other faith traditions, each with their own constraints as to what constitutes, who can enter into, a valid religious marriage; some countries do not recognize locally performed religious marriage on its own, require a separate civil marriage for official purposes. Conversely, civil marriage does not exist in some countries governed by a religious legal system, such as Saudi Arabia, where marriages contracted abroad might not be recognized if they were contracted contrary to Saudi interpretations of Islamic religious law. In countries governed by a mixed secular-religious legal system, such as in Lebanon and Israel, locally performed civil marriage does not exist within the country, preventing interfaith and various other marriages contradicting religious laws from being entered into in the country, civil marriages performed abroad are recognized by the state if they conflict with religious laws.
The act of marriage creates normative or legal obligations between the individuals involved, any offspring they may produce or adopt. In terms of legal recognition, most sovereign states and other jurisdictions limit marriage to opposite-sex couples and a diminishing number of these permit polygyny, child marriages, forced marriages. In modern times, a growing number of countries developed democracies, have lifted bans on and have established legal recognition for the marriages of interfaith and same-sex couples; some cultures allow the dissolution of marriage through annulment. In some areas, child marriages and polygamy may occur in spite of national laws against the practice. Since the late twentieth century, major social changes in Western countries have led to changes in the demographics of marriage, with the age of first marriage increasing, fewer people marrying, more couples choosing to cohabit rather than marry. For example, the number of marriages in Europe decreased by 30% from 1975 to 2005.
In most cultures, married women had few rights of their own, being considered, along with the family's children, the property of the husband. In Europe, the United States, other places in the developed world, beginning in the late 19th century and lasting through the 21st century, marriage has undergone gradual legal changes, aimed at improving the rights of the wife; these changes included giving wives legal identities of their own, abolishing the right of husbands to physically discipline their wives, giving wives property rights, liberalizing divorce laws, providing wives with reproductive rights of their own, requiring a wife's consent when sexual relations occur. These changes have occurred in Western countries. In the 21st century, there continue to be controversies regarding the legal status of married women, legal acceptance of or leniency towards violence within marriage, traditional marriage customs such as dowry and bride price, for