So when I was blow-drying my hair the other day (you should see me--criss-crossed legs sitting on my bathroom floor, bent in half, hair blowing around madly and reading) I had Alexis open. He was discussing the laws of entail and primogeniture. (Bless you.)
|He knew as he looked at her in the moonlight that here was someone who shared his perfectly rational ideas about real estate. |
There was a good deal of discussion at the time of our original post over whether
I say no. I'm from gross America (I repeat myself) and, worse, the West coast of gross America. Inheritances of any scale or even generations of occupancy on a family farm are somewhat rare out here in The Land Founded By Disinherited Second Sons. Those with more posh pedigrees and all that rich history (that is still, nevertheless, probably owned by a distant cousin) would possibly lean towards yes. Here's what Alexis says:
Among nations where the law of inheritance is based upon the rights of the eldest child, landed estates mostly pass from generation to generation without division.The result is that family feeling takes its strength from the land. The family represents the land, the land the family, perpetuating its name, history, glory, power, and virtues. It stands as an imperishable witness to the past, a priceless guarantee of its future.
When the law of inheritance institutes equal division, it destroys the close relationship between family feeling and the preservation of the land which ceases to represent the family. For the land must gradually diminish and ends up by disappearing entirely since it cannot avoid being parceled up after one or two generations. The sons of a wealthy landowner, provided they are few in number and fortune favors them, may entertain the hope of being no less wealthy than their father but not possessing the same property that he did. Their wealth will of necessity derive from sources different from his.
The instant you remove from a landowner that interest in the preservation of his land which is fueled by his family feeling, memories, pride, ambition, you can take it as certain that sooner or later he will sell up.
|Prince Harry's heart lept as he clutched his letter. He'd go show that heir that he was no longer a spare. "Congratulations! You may already be a winner."|
And here's what The All-seeing Wiki has to say about it:
In Democracy in America, Alexis de Tocqueville argues that the abolition of the laws of primogeniture and entail in the law of inheritance of private property (as opposed to inheritance of a monarchy) result in the more rapid division of land and thus force landed people to seek wealth outside the family estate in order to maintain their previous standard of living, accelerating the death of the landed aristocracy and also quickening the shift to democracy.
And as much as I'd adore inheriting a landed estate, I can see he has a point. On one side, there's all that family history. (And I'm not being snarky here. That's a big deal.) On the other side there's all that...democracy. What say ye? Primogeniture:Wealth Consolidation? or Icky and Unfair?