Noble County, Ohio
Noble County is a county located in the U. S. state of Ohio. As of the 2010 census, the population was 14,645, its county seat is Caldwell. The county is named for Rep. Warren P. Noble of the Ohio House of Representatives, an early settler there. Noble County was formed on March 11, 1851 from portions of Guernsey, Morgan and Washington counties, it was the youngest county to be formed in the state. It was named for either James Noble or Warren P. Noble, each of whom was an early settler in this region. Noble County was home to the first North American oil well, the Thorla-McKee Well, which struck oil in 1814. For a time this was a center of oil production in the state. In 1925, a United States Navy dirigible, USS Shenandoah, was caught in a storm over Noble County, it broke into several pieces. According to the U. S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 405 square miles, of which 398 square miles is land and 6.6 square miles is water. Guernsey County Belmont County Monroe County Washington County Morgan County Muskingum County Wayne National Forest As of the census of 2000, there were 14,058 people, 4,546 households, 3,318 families residing in the county.
The population density was 35 people per square mile. There were 5,480 housing units at an average density of 14 per square mile; the racial makeup of the county was 92.55% White, 6.69% Black or African American, 0.26% Native American, 0.09% Asian, 0.03% from other races, 0.38% from two or more races. 0.43% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. There were 4,546 households out of which 33.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.50% were married couples living together, 7.70% had a female householder with no husband present, 27.00% were non-families. 24.30% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.60% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.61 and the average family size was 3.10. In the county, the population was spread out with 22.60% under the age of 18, 11.70% from 18 to 24, 31.80% from 25 to 44, 20.80% from 45 to 64, 13.10% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 130.80 males.
For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 140.50 males. The median income for a household in the county was $32,940, the median income for a family was $38,939. Males had a median income of $30,911 versus $20,222 for females; the per capita income for the county was $14,100. About 8.30% of families and 11.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.90% of those under age 18 and 11.90% of those age 65 or over. As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 14,645 people, 4,852 households, 3,394 families residing in the county; the population density was 36.8 inhabitants per square mile. There were 6,053 housing units at an average density of 15.2 per square mile. The racial makeup of the county was 96.1% white, 2.5% black or African American, 0.3% American Indian, 0.1% Asian, 0.2% from other races, 0.8% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 0.4% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 25.9% were German, 13.1% were Irish, 9.1% were American, 9.0% were English.
Of the 4,852 households, 30.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.8% were married couples living together, 8.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 30.0% were non-families, 25.7% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 2.94. The median age was 48.6 years. The median income for a household in the county was $39,500 and the median income for a family was $44,773. Males had a median income of $42,456 versus $29,551 for females; the per capita income for the county was $20,029. About 11.6% of families and 14.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.9% of those under age 18 and 13.8% of those age 65 or over. Noble County has a three-member Board of County Commissioners that oversee and administer the various County departments, similar to all but two of the 88 Ohio counties. Noble County's elected commissioners are: County Commissioners: Virgil Thompson, Garry Rossiter, Ty Moore.
Noble County is served by the Caldwell Exempted Village School District and Noble Local School District. Batesville Belle Valley Caldwell Dexter City Sarahsville Summerfield https://web.archive.org/web/20160715023447/http://www.ohiotownships.org/township-websites Ava Carlisle Crooked Tree Dudley Dungannon East Union Elk Florence Fulda Gem Harriettsville Hiramsburg Honesty Hoskinsville Keith Kennonsburg Middleburg Moundsville Mount Ephraim Olive Green Rochester Sharon South Olive Steamtown Whigville National Register of Historic Places listings in Noble County, Ohio Thomas William Lewis, History of Southeastern Ohio and the Muskingum Valley, 1788-1928. In Three Volumes. Chicago: S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1928. Unofficial county information website Noble County Sheriff's Office
Wayne National Forest
The Wayne National Forest is located in the south-eastern part of the US state of Ohio, in the Unglaciated Allegheny Plateau. It is the only national forest in Ohio. Forest headquarters are located between The Plains and Nelsonville, Ohio, on US Route 33, overlooking the Hocking River; the forested land was cleared for agricultural and lumbering use in the late 18th and 19th century, but years of poor timbering and agricultural practices led to severe erosion and poor soil composition. The Wayne National Forest was started as part of a reforestation program; the forest comprises three administrative and purchase units: Athens and Ironton. Many of the lands included in the forest are former coal-mining lands, much of this land is owned by the federal government without the mineral rights, those having been retained by former owners; as of January 2012, the forest has 240,101 acres in federal ownership within a proclamation boundary of 832,147 acres. The Athens Unit is located in Athens, Morgan and Vinton Counties, includes 67,224 acres as of 2002.
It features the Wildcat Hollow Trail, a hiking trail just northeast of Burr Oak State Park in Morgan County. The Marietta Unit is located in Monroe and Washington Counties, includes 63,381 acres as of 2002, with over half of the total being within Washington County; the Ironton Unit is located in Gallia, Jackson and Scioto Counties, includes 99,049 acres as of 2002, with over two-thirds of the total being within Lawrence County. The area of Ohio included within the Forest is based on late Paleozoic geology, heavy in sandstones and shales, including redbeds, with many coal beds; the topography is very rugged, with elevation changes in the 200–400-foot range. The North Country Trail passes through several areas of the Wayne, in which it is coincident with the Buckeye Trail and the American Discovery Trail. Wayne National Forest Official Website A Forest Returns: The Success Story of Ohio's Only National Forest –- oral history on the beginnings of the Wayne. Economic Analysis of the 2006 Wayne National Forest Plan – a critical analysis of future USFS plans for the Wayne
Perry County, Ohio
Perry County is a county located in the U. S. state of Ohio. As of the 2010 census, the population was 36,058, its county seat is New Lexington. Founded on March 1, 1818, from parts of Fairfield and Muskingum counties, it was the 55th county to be formed in Ohio; the county is named for Oliver Hazard Perry, a hero of the War of 1812. Perry County is included in OH Metropolitan Statistical Area. One of the poorest counties in the state, this is where the lawsuit challenging Ohio's school funding system, DeRolph v. State, began. According to the U. S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 412 square miles, of which 408 square miles is land and 4.5 square miles is water. Licking County Muskingum County Morgan County Athens County Hocking County Fairfield County Wayne National Forest As of the census of 2000, there were 34,078 people, 12,500 households, 9,350 families residing in the county; the population density was 83 people per square mile. There were 13,655 housing units at an average density of 33 per square mile.
The racial makeup of the county was 98.54% White, 0.22% Black or African American, 0.28% Native American, 0.10% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.09% from other races, 0.76% from two or more races. 0.45% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. There were 12,500 households out of which 36.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.1% were married couples living together, 9.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 25.2% were non-families. 21.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.9% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.70 and the average family size was 3.13. In the county, the population was spread out with 28.1% under the age of 18, 8.5% from 18 to 24, 29.1% from 25 to 44, 22.3% from 45 to 64, 12.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 98.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.4 males. The median income for a household in the county was $34,383, the median income for a family was $40,294.
Males had a median income of $31,664 versus $21,147 for females. The per capita income for the county was $15,674. About 9.4% of families and 11.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.2% of those under age 18 and 12.70% of those age 65 or over. As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 36,058 people, 13,576 households, 9,738 families residing in the county; the population density was 88.4 inhabitants per square mile. There were 15,211 housing units at an average density of 37.3 per square mile. The racial makeup of the county was 97.9% white, 0.3% black or African American, 0.2% American Indian, 0.1% Asian, 0.1% from other races, 1.4% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 0.5% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 25.4% were German, 14.9% were Irish, 10.4% were English, 9.6% were American. Of the 13,576 households, 35.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.3% were married couples living together, 11.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 28.3% were non-families, 22.8% of all households were made up of individuals.
The average household size was 2.63 and the average family size was 3.06. The median age was 38.6 years. The median income for a household in the county was $42,388 and the median income for a family was $50,489. Males had a median income of $39,305 versus $31,112 for females; the per capita income for the county was $18,916. About 14.2% of families and 18.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 26.4% of those under age 18 and 8.6% of those age 65 or over. New Lexington https://web.archive.org/web/20160715023447/http://www.ohiotownships.org/township-websites Rose Farm Thornport Dicksonton San Toy National Register of Historic Places listings in Perry County, OhioMedia Perry County has its own newspaper called the Perry County Tribune. Perry County Official Website Perry County Chamber of Commerce Thomas William Lewis, History of Southeastern Ohio and the Muskingum Valley, 1788-1928. In Three Volumes. Chicago: S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1928
American Revolutionary War
The American Revolutionary War known as the American War of Independence, was an 18th-century war between Great Britain and its Thirteen Colonies which declared independence as the United States of America. After 1765, growing philosophical and political differences strained the relationship between Great Britain and its colonies. Patriot protests against taxation without representation followed the Stamp Act and escalated into boycotts, which culminated in 1773 with the Sons of Liberty destroying a shipment of tea in Boston Harbor. Britain responded by closing Boston Harbor and passing a series of punitive measures against Massachusetts Bay Colony. Massachusetts colonists responded with the Suffolk Resolves, they established a shadow government which wrested control of the countryside from the Crown. Twelve colonies formed a Continental Congress to coordinate their resistance, establishing committees and conventions that seized power. British attempts to disarm the Massachusetts militia in Concord led to open combat on April 19, 1775.
Militia forces besieged Boston, forcing a British evacuation in March 1776, Congress appointed George Washington to command the Continental Army. Concurrently, the Americans failed decisively in an attempt to invade Quebec and raise insurrection against the British. On July 2, 1776, the Second Continental Congress voted for independence, issuing its declaration on July 4. Sir William Howe launched a British counter-offensive, capturing New York City and leaving American morale at a low ebb. However, victories at Trenton and Princeton restored American confidence. In 1777, the British launched an invasion from Quebec under John Burgoyne, intending to isolate the New England Colonies. Instead of assisting this effort, Howe took his army on a separate campaign against Philadelphia, Burgoyne was decisively defeated at Saratoga in October 1777. Burgoyne's defeat had drastic consequences. France formally allied with the Americans and entered the war in 1778, Spain joined the war the following year as an ally of France but not as an ally of the United States.
In 1780, the Kingdom of Mysore attacked the British in India, tensions between Great Britain and the Netherlands erupted into open war. In North America, the British mounted a "Southern strategy" led by Charles Cornwallis which hinged upon a Loyalist uprising, but too few came forward. Cornwallis Cowpens, he retreated to Yorktown, intending an evacuation, but a decisive French naval victory deprived him of an escape. A Franco-American army led by the Comte de Rochambeau and Washington besieged Cornwallis' army and, with no sign of relief, he surrendered in October 1781. Whigs in Britain had long opposed the pro-war Tories in Parliament, the surrender gave them the upper hand. In early 1782, Parliament voted to end all offensive operations in America, but the war continued overseas. Britain scored a major victory over the French navy. On September 3, 1783, the belligerent parties signed the Treaty of Paris in which Great Britain agreed to recognize the sovereignty of the United States and formally end the war.
French involvement had proven decisive. Spain failed in its primary aim of recovering Gibraltar; the Dutch were compelled to cede territory to Great Britain. In India, the war against Mysore and its allies concluded in 1784 without any territorial changes. Parliament passed the Stamp Act in 1765 to pay for British military troops stationed in the American colonies after the French and Indian War. Parliament had passed legislation to regulate trade, but the Stamp Act introduced a new principle of a direct internal tax. Americans began to question the extent of the British Parliament's power in America, the colonial legislatures argued that they had exclusive right to impose taxes within their jurisdictions. Colonists condemned the tax because their rights as Englishmen protected them from being taxed by a Parliament in which they had no elected representatives. Parliament argued that the colonies were "represented virtually", an idea, criticized throughout the Empire. Parliament did repeal the act in 1766, but it affirmed its right to pass laws that were binding on the colonies.
From 1767, Parliament began passing legislation to raise revenue for the salaries of civil officials, ensuring their loyalty while inadvertently increasing resentment among the colonists, opposition soon became widespread. Enforcing the acts proved difficult; the seizure of the sloop Liberty in 1768 on suspicions of smuggling triggered a riot. In response, British troops occupied Boston, Parliament threatened to extradite colonists to face trial in England. Tensions rose after the murder of Christopher Seider by a customs official in 1770 and escalated into outrage after British troops fired on civilians in the Boston Massacre. In 1772, colonists in Rhode Island burned a customs schooner. Parliament repealed all taxes except the one on tea, passing the Tea Act in 1773, attempting to force colonists to buy East India Company tea on which the Townshend duties were paid, thus implicitly agreeing to Parliamentary supremacy; the landing of the tea was resisted in all colonies, but the governor of Massachusetts permitted British tea ships to remain in Boston Harbor, so the Sons of Liberty destroyed the tea chests in what became known as the "Boston Tea Party".
Parliament passed punitive legislation. It closed Boston Harbor until the tea was paid for and revoked the Massachusetts Charter, taking upon themselves the right to directly appoint the Massachusetts Governor's Council. Additionally, t
Ohio is a Midwestern state in the Great Lakes region of the United States. Of the fifty states, it is the 34th largest by area, the seventh most populous, the tenth most densely populated; the state's capital and largest city is Columbus. The state takes its name from the Ohio River, whose name in turn originated from the Seneca word ohiːyo', meaning "good river", "great river" or "large creek". Partitioned from the Northwest Territory, Ohio was the 17th state admitted to the Union on March 1, 1803, the first under the Northwest Ordinance. Ohio is known as the "Buckeye State" after its Ohio buckeye trees, Ohioans are known as "Buckeyes". Ohio rose from the wilderness of Ohio Country west of Appalachia in colonial times through the Northwest Indian Wars as part of the Northwest Territory in the early frontier, to become the first non-colonial free state admitted to the union, to an industrial powerhouse in the 20th century before transmogrifying to a more information and service based economy in the 21st.
The government of Ohio is composed of the executive branch, led by the Governor. Ohio occupies 16 seats in the United States House of Representatives. Ohio is known for its status as both a bellwether in national elections. Six Presidents of the United States have been elected. Ohio is an industrial state, ranking 8th out of 50 states in GDP, is the second largest producer of automobiles behind Michigan. Ohio's geographic location has proven to be an asset for economic expansion; because Ohio links the Northeast to the Midwest, much cargo and business traffic passes through its borders along its well-developed highways. Ohio has the nation's 10th largest highway network and is within a one-day drive of 50% of North America's population and 70% of North America's manufacturing capacity. To the north, Lake Erie gives Ohio 312 miles of coastline. Ohio's southern border is defined by the Ohio River, much of the northern border is defined by Lake Erie. Ohio's neighbors are Pennsylvania to the east, Michigan to the northwest, Lake Erie to the north, Indiana to the west, Kentucky on the south, West Virginia on the southeast.
Ohio's borders were defined by metes and bounds in the Enabling Act of 1802 as follows: Bounded on the east by the Pennsylvania line, on the south by the Ohio River, to the mouth of the Great Miami River, on the west by the line drawn due north from the mouth of the Great Miami aforesaid, on the north by an east and west line drawn through the southerly extreme of Lake Michigan, running east after intersecting the due north line aforesaid, from the mouth of the Great Miami until it shall intersect Lake Erie or the territorial line, thence with the same through Lake Erie to the Pennsylvania line aforesaid. Ohio is bounded by the Ohio River, but nearly all of the river itself belongs to Kentucky and West Virginia. In 1980, the U. S. Supreme Court held that, based on the wording of the cessation of territory by Virginia, the boundary between Ohio and Kentucky is the northern low-water mark of the river as it existed in 1792. Ohio has only that portion of the river between the river's 1792 low-water mark and the present high-water mark.
The border with Michigan has changed, as a result of the Toledo War, to angle northeast to the north shore of the mouth of the Maumee River. Much of Ohio features glaciated till plains, with an exceptionally flat area in the northwest being known as the Great Black Swamp; this glaciated region in the northwest and central state is bordered to the east and southeast first by a belt known as the glaciated Allegheny Plateau, by another belt known as the unglaciated Allegheny Plateau. Most of Ohio is of low relief, but the unglaciated Allegheny Plateau features rugged hills and forests; the rugged southeastern quadrant of Ohio, stretching in an outward bow-like arc along the Ohio River from the West Virginia Panhandle to the outskirts of Cincinnati, forms a distinct socio-economic unit. Geologically similar to parts of West Virginia and southwestern Pennsylvania, this area's coal mining legacy, dependence on small pockets of old manufacturing establishments, distinctive regional dialect set this section off from the rest of the state.
In 1965 the United States Congress passed the Appalachian Regional Development Act, an attempt to "address the persistent poverty and growing economic despair of the Appalachian Region." This act defines 29 Ohio counties as part of Appalachia. While 1/3 of Ohio's land mass is part of the federally defined Appalachian region, only 12.8% of Ohioans live there Significant rivers within the state include the Cuyahoga River, Great Miami River, Maumee River, Muskingum River, Scioto River. The rivers in the northern part of the state drain into the northern Atlantic Ocean via Lake Erie and the St. Lawrence River, the rivers in the southern part of the state drain into the Gulf of Mexico via the Ohio River and the Mississippi; the worst weather disaster in Ohio history occurred along the Great Miami River in 1913. Known as the Great Dayton Flood, the entire Miami River watershed flooded, including the downtown business district of Dayton; as a result, the Miami Conservancy District was created as the first major flood plain engineering project in Ohio and the United States.
Grand Lake St. Marys in the west-central part of the state was constructed as a supply of water for ca
Athens County, Ohio
Athens County is a county in southeastern Ohio. As of the 2010 census, the population was 64,757, its county seat is Athens. The county was formed in 1805 from Washington County; because the original state university was founded there in 1804, the town and the county were named for the ancient center of learning, Greece. Athens County comprises OH Micropolitan Statistical Area; the county has a total area of 508 square miles, of which 504 square miles is land and 4.8 square miles is water. Athens County is located in the Unglaciated Allegheny Plateau region of Ohio, it features steep, rugged hills, with typical relief of 150 to 400 feet dissected by stream valleys, many of them remnant from the ancient Teays River drainage system. Most of Athens County is within the Hocking River watershed, with smaller areas in the Shade River and Raccoon Creek watersheds; the Hocking River joins the Ohio River at the unincorporated village of Hockingport in Athens County. Perry County Morgan County Washington County Wood County, West Virginia Meigs County Vinton County Hocking County As of the census of 2000, there were 62,223 people, 22,501 households, 12,713 families residing in the county.
The population density was 123 people per square mile. There were 24,901 housing units at an average density of 49 per square mile; the racial makeup of the county was 93.48% White, 2.39% Black or African American, 0.28% Native American, 1.90% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.36% from other races, 1.56% from two or more races. 1.03% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 21.4% were of German, 13.9% American, 12.9% Irish, 11.1% English, 5.6% Italian ancestry according to Census 2000. There were 22,501 households out of which 26.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.50% were married couples living together, 9.20% had a female householder with no husband present, 43.50% were non-families. 28.30% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.30% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.40 and the average family size was 2.92. In the county, the population was spread out with 18.30% under the age of 18, 30.70% from 18 to 24, 23.70% from 25 to 44, 18.00% from 45 to 64, 9.30% who were 65 years of age or older.
The median age was 26 years. For every 100 females there were 95.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.30 males. The median income for a household in the county was $27,322, the median income for a family was $39,785. Males had a median income of $30,776 versus $23,905 for females; the per capita income for the county was $14,171. About 14.00% of families and 27.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.20% of those under age 18 and 12.90% of those age 65 or over. As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 64,757 people, 23,578 households, 12,453 families residing in the county; the population density was 128.6 inhabitants per square mile. There were 26,385 housing units at an average density of 52.4 per square mile. The racial makeup of the county was 91.8% white, 2.7% black or African American, 2.7% Asian, 0.3% American Indian, 0.4% from other races, 2.1% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 1.5% of the population.
In terms of ancestry, 22.1% were German, 15.2% were American, 14.0% were Irish, 10.4% were English, 5.5% were Italian. Of the 23,578 households, 24.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.3% were married couples living together, 9.2% had a female householder with no husband present, 47.2% were non-families, 30.0% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 2.87. The median age was 26.3 years. The median income for a household in the county was $31,559 and the median income for a family was $48,170. Males had a median income of $38,135 versus $31,263 for females; the per capita income for the county was $16,642. About 16.6% of families and 30.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 29.6% of those under age 18 and 9.2% of those age 65 or over. Athens Nelsonville https://web.archive.org/web/20160715023447/http://www.ohiotownships.org/township-websites Hockingport Millfield New Marshfield Stewart The Plains Like most counties dominated by state universities, Athens County is a Democratic stronghold.
In the 2014 gubernatorial election, it was one of only two counties to vote for Democrat Ed FitzGerald over Republican John Kasich. The largest employer in Athens County is Ohio University. Other significant employers include Appalachian Behavioral Healthcare, Hocking College, Diagnostic Hybrids, O'Bleness Memorial Hospital, Rocky Brands, Stewart-MacDonald, Wayne National Forest, a growing number of retail stores and restaurants. Local government, local school districts, nonprofit organizations employ many county residents; the first large-scale industry was salt production. Coal mining and timber harvesting played major roles in Athens County's economy, as did the treatment and care of the mentally ill; the coal industry has declined from its peak years. Only Buckingham Coal is still mining in the county, in Trimble Township north of Glouster. Gravel and limestone are mined at several quarries in the county. Active oil and natural gas wells are found in low numbers throughout Athens County. Forestry still contributes to the Athens County economy, both in the private sector and in the public sector.
The headquarters for Wayne National Forest is located between Nelsonville. Farming and market gardening continue to thrive in t
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