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Decree on Primogeniture


Discussion Page


Study Questions

  1. Why is Peter I so concerned about this particular issue? What is his underlying agenda?

  2. In Western Europe inheritance of landed wealth within the aristocracy was traditionally handled through the practice of primogeniture in which the eldest son inherits everything. Yet Peter’s instructions explicitly reject this practice in favor of an heir appointed regardless of birth order. What might have prompted him to choose this approach?

  3. How are daughters treated under Peter’s new system? How might this have differed from comparable practices in Western Europe? What might have been the rationale? How might the new system have created problems for noble women?

  4. What might have been some of the obstacles to the implementation of new law on inheritance? Who would likely have opposed it and why?

Context and Analysis

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Technical discussion

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