Primogeniture - History

History

In Christian Europe, the church had a monopoly on the power to sanction marriage. It discouraged polygamy and divorce. Consequently, in Europe, it was extremely difficult to ensure succession solely by direct male line or even by direct offspring. In Islamic, and Oriental cultures, religion either sanctioned polygyny or use of consorts, or had no authority over marriage; monarchs could consequently ensure sufficient numbers of male offspring to confirm the succession. In such cultures, female heads of state were rare or non-existent. In Japan, the system still mandates that the heir to the throne must be a male, there is only one male grandchild of the current emperor.

Read more about this topic:  Primogeniture

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Famous quotes containing the word history:

    To a surprising extent the war-lords in shining armour, the apostles of the martial virtues, tend not to die fighting when the time comes. History is full of ignominious getaways by the great and famous.
    George Orwell (1903–1950)

    We know only a single science, the science of history. One can look at history from two sides and divide it into the history of nature and the history of men. However, the two sides are not to be divided off; as long as men exist the history of nature and the history of men are mutually conditioned.
    Karl Marx (1818–1883)