On his deathbed Richard, reversing his former arrangements, caused his barons to swear fealty to John (1199), although the hereditary claim of Arthur was by the law of primogeniture undoubtedly superior.
Time-honoured custom had hitherto reckoned primogeniture in the male line as the best 'title to the Russian crown; in the ustav of 1722 Peter denounced primogeniture in general as a stupid, dangerous, and even unscriptural practice of dubious origin.
The principle of primogeniture was not introduced until the end of the 17th century, so that the Protestant Saxon dynasty, instead of building up a single compact kingdom for itself, has split into four petty duchies, of no political influence whatever.
In Spain, on the other hand, the title of conde, the earlier history of which follows much the same development as in France, is still of much social value, mainly owing to the fact that the rule of primogeniture exists, and that, a large fee being payable to the state on succession to a title, it is necessarily associated with some degree of wealth.
Having introduced the principle of primogeniture into Calenberg in 1682, Ernest determined to secure for himself the position of an elector, and the condition of Europe and the exigencies of the emperor favoured his pretensions.
In the first place, the Crusades represent the attempt of a feudal system, bound under the law of primogeniture to dispose of its younger sons.
Usually the king's son became tanist, but not because the system of primogeniture was in any way recognized; indeed, the only principle adopted was that the dignity of chieftainship should descend to the eldest and most worthy of the same blood.
By this instrument the elector decreed that the electoral mark should pass in its entirety to his eldest son, an establishment of primogeniture which had considerable influence on the future development of the country.
The present constitution of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy (see Austria) is based on the Pragmatic Sanction of the emperor Charles VI., first promulgated on the 19th of April 1713, whereby the succession to the throne is settled in the dynasty of Habsburg-Lorraine, descending by right of primogeniture and lineal succession to male heirs, and, in case of their extinction, to the female line, and whereby the indissolubility and indivisibility of the monarchy are determined; is based, further, on the diploma of the emperor Francis Joseph I.
Somewhat later the adoption of hereditary surnames and armorial bearings marked the existence of a large and noble class who either from the subdivision of fiefs or from the effects of the custom of primogeniture were very insufficiently provided for.