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Definition of 'Ultimogeniture'

Ultimogeniture is the practice of passing on the family estate to the youngest son. This practice was once common in many parts of the world, but it is now rare. In some countries, primogeniture is the law, which means that the eldest son inherits the estate. In other countries, there is no law on the matter, and families are free to decide how to pass on their property.

There are a number of reasons why ultimogeniture might have been practiced in the past. One reason is that it was seen as a way to keep the family estate together. If the eldest son inherited the estate, he might sell it or divide it up among his children, which would reduce the size of the estate and make it more difficult for future generations to maintain. By passing the estate to the youngest son, it was more likely to stay intact.

Another reason for ultimogeniture is that it was seen as a way to reward the youngest son for being the most obedient and dutiful child. The eldest son was often expected to take on more responsibility in the family, such as running the farm or business. The youngest son, on the other hand, could focus on his studies or other pursuits. By passing the estate to the youngest son, parents were showing their appreciation for his obedience and dutiful behavior.

Ultimogeniture is no longer as common as it once was, but it still exists in some parts of the world. In some countries, it is the law, while in others, it is simply a tradition that is followed by some families.

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