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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Majorat is a French term for an arrangement giving the right of succession to a specific parcel of property associated with a title of nobility to a single heir, based on male primogeniture. A majorat (fideicommis) would be inherited by the oldest son, or if there was no son, the nearest relative. This law existed in some European countries and was designed to prevent the distribution of wealthy estates between many members of the family, thus weakening their position. Majorats were one of the factors easing the evolution of aristocracy. The term is not used of English inheritances, where the concept was actually the norm, in the form of entails or fee tails. Majorats were specifically regulated by French law. In France, it was a title of property, landed or funded, attached to a title instituted by Napoleon I and abolished 1848.

See also

  • Minorat – same as majorat, only inheritance passed to the youngest child
  • Fee tail - similar but different concept in common law

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Majorat" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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