The age when a person acquires all the rights and responsibilities of being an adult. In most states, the age is 18.
The time when the law allows persons to do acts which, for want of years, they were prohibited from doing before.
For males, before they arrive at fourteen years they are said not to be of discretion; at that age they may consent to marriage and choose a guardian. Twenty-one years is full age for all private purposes, and the may then exercise their rights as citizens by voting for public officers; and are eligible to all offices, unless otherwise provided for in the constitution. At 25, a man may be elected a representative in Congress; at 30, a senator; and at 35, he may be chosen president of the United States. He is liable to serve in the militia from 18 to 45. inclusive, unless exempted for some particular reason.
As to females, at 12, they arrive at years of discretion and may consent to marriage; at 14, they may choose a guardian; and 21, as in males, is fun Age, when they may exercise all the rights which belong to their sex.
In England no one can be chosen member of parliament till he has attained 21 years; nor be ordained a priest under the age of 24; nor made a bishop till he has completed his 30th year. The age of serving in the militia is from 16 to 45 years.
By the laws of France many provisions are made in respect to age, among which are the following. To be a member of the legislative body, the person must have attained 40 years; 25, to be a judge of a tribunal de remiere instance; 27, to be its president, or to be judge or clerk of a court royale ; 30, to be its president or procureur general; 25, to be a justice of the peace; 30, to be judge of a tribunal of commerce, and 35, to be its president; 25, to be a notary public; 21, to be a testamentary witness; 30, to be a juror. At 16, a minor may devise one half of his, property as if he were a major. A male cannot contract marriage till after the 18th year, nor a female before full 15 years. At 21, both males and females are capable to perform all the act's of civil life.
In the civil law, the age of a man was divided as follows: namely, the infancy of males extended to the full accomplishment of the 14th year; at 14, he entered the age of puberty, and was said to have acquired full puberty at 18 years accomplished, and was major on completing his 25th year. A female was an infant
til 7 years; at 12, she entered puberty, and acquired full puberty at 14; she became of fall age on completing her 25th year.
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