Encyclopedia > Primogeniture

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Primogeniture is inheritance by the first-born of the entirety of a parent's wealth, estate or office. Primogeniture often occurs in regulating royal succession to the throne in a monarchy.

Agnatic primogeniture is inheritance by the first-born male child. Cognatic primogeniture is inheritance by the first-born child without regards to gender. The first country to adopt full cognatic primogeniture was Sweden in 1980. Beneficiary of this was Victoria of Sweden.

A special case of primogeniture exemplified in the French royal milieu, the Salic Law (attributed to the Salian Franks) forbade any inheritance of a crown through the female line. This accounts for the separation of the royal house of Luxemburg from that of the Netherlands, and partially explains the role of Carlism[?] in Spain.

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