Had much more European monarchies survived, would they have reformed their succession laws in favor of females?

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
21,059
SoCal
#1
Had much more European monarchies survived, would they have eventually reformed their succession laws in favor of females? At the time of their abolition, some European monarchies had succession laws based on agnatic primogeniture--which would mean that only male agnates could inherit their thrones. This was the case in France, Italy, Germany, Romania, et cetera. In addition, some royal houses also required royal marries to be of equal rank. I know that Russia and Austria-Hungary had this requirement--which is why Franz Ferdinand had to renounce the succession rights of his throne for his future children when he married Sophie Chotek.

Anyway, do you think that, had much more European monarchies survived, they would have eventually reformed their succession laws in favor of females--as well as implementing more flexible marriage rules?

Any thoughts on this?
 
Likes: arkteia

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
21,059
SoCal
#2
For the record, I think that the answer to this question would be an obvious Yes. However, some European countries had agnatic primogeniture rules for succession to their thrones for an extremely long time. I know that in France's case this was the case since 1316 (before then there was an uninterrupted line of succession from father to son for over three centuries--thus causing this issue to never be raised before that point in time). Thus, I'm wondering if there would have been a lot of resistance to such changes among monarchists in various European countries where these rules existed for an extremely long time.
 
Mar 2016
1,222
Australia
#3
The Germans and Austrians, possibly - they were more socially liberal than other monarchies in Europe - although almost certainly not the Russians. Even by the early 20th century the Russian monarchy was seen as incredibly backwards and old-fashioned. But even if the succession laws were changed to allow women to inherit - which is already quite uncertain - I don't think it would go so far as to grant them equal inheritance, as in they will inherit if they are the eldest child, rather than if there was no older male child. The UK only fairly recently changed this succession law to remove the condition that there is no older male heir, and the UK was considerably more liberal than almost anywhere else in Europe.
 
Likes: Futurist

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
21,059
SoCal
#4
What about the French (if the Count of Chambord dies before 1873 and thus there's an Orleanist restoration in France in 1873) and the Italians?
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
21,059
SoCal
#5
As for Russia, I actually could see an opening for change there--albeit in the terms that you describe here--if the Tsarevich Alexei will die before he is able to father a legitimate son of his own. Nicholas's brother Michael didn't have any sons born from an equal marriage either and I've heard that Nicholas disliked Grand Duke Cyril and his brothers (the Vladimirovichi line was the next to acquire the throne after Nicholas and Michael under the Russian laws of succession in 1917).
 
Likes: arkteia
Mar 2019
106
Victoria, Australia
#6
If by survive you mean that their countries would have lasted longer as monarchies. Then no. In my opinion: For the most part, the large majority of kingdoms did not fall from dynastic failure but usually do to outside pressure or from internal events caused by outside factors (like revolutions). Even for those that did almost entirely lose their monarchies on their own (such as 1789 France, july revolution, etc... for example), then I do not see how having an agnatic-cognatic succession or cognatic only succession would have changed this outcome. Unless we are saying that having female rulers would have avoided those outcomes. But at that point we may as well say something like: "If the Merovingians never lost the rulership of France, then the French Revolution never would have happened".
 
Likes: Futurist

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
21,059
SoCal
#7
The issue of their survival is actually separate from the question of their succession laws. Obviously they could have survived had certain circumstances been different (for instance, if the Count of Chambord would have died before 1873 for France, or had there been no World Wars for countries such as Germany, Austria-Hungary, Russia, Italy, Romania, et cetera). I was asking if these countries somehow managed to keep their monarchies, would they have eventually changed their succession laws?
 

arkteia

Ad Honorem
Nov 2012
4,723
Seattle
#8
The Germans and Austrians, possibly - they were more socially liberal than other monarchies in Europe - although almost certainly not the Russians. Even by the early 20th century the Russian monarchy was seen as incredibly backwards and old-fashioned. But even if the succession laws were changed to allow women to inherit - which is already quite uncertain - I don't think it would go so far as to grant them equal inheritance, as in they will inherit if they are the eldest child, rather than if there was no older male child. The UK only fairly recently changed this succession law to remove the condition that there is no older male heir, and the UK was considerably more liberal than almost anywhere else in Europe.
It was not such a backward law. According to Peter I, the tzarsdom was passed over per the will. However, Pater I himself did not leave the will. It might have contributed to chaotic system of rulers on the throne, ending with Catherine II who killed her husband to gain access to power.

Paul’s law was semi-Salic. Male primogeniture. It allowed female one only when male lines would have been exhausted. It also stipulated that only a person of Orthodox faith could be the tzar. But, it allowed regency.

Paul’s own fertile marriage produced ten issues, four of them male, so he probably felt safe to do it.

His son Alexander I added that no issue from morganatic marriage could be the tzar.

However, in the time of Nicholas II, the reversal of these laws was considered by Nicholas himself, but several high-standing officials, advised him not to do it. I wonder if they were afraid of Tzarina Alix. Or perhaps, it was something different. The way Paul’s act was written, if Alexis died, without leaving male issues, the right to tzardom would be passed over to “Mikhailovichi”, or the line of the fourth son of Paul, and should there be no male issues there, probably to the oldest male issue of the oldest daughter of Paul, etc.

I suspect that the real problem was Tzarina. She was hated, and the Duma would have done everything to limit her influence.

So basically, Nicholas II passing the throne to his daughter would have not “saved” the monarchy. Him avoiding the war and the throne passing to one of Mikhailovichi, would.
 
Likes: Futurist

arkteia

Ad Honorem
Nov 2012
4,723
Seattle
#10
Good post! That said, though, a slight correction--there were actually plenty of Romanov male agnates who were in line to the Russian throne before the Mikhailovichi when the Russian monarchy was abolished:

Line of succession to the former Russian throne - Wikipedia
Well, Mikhail Alexandrovich was out of that line because of morganatic marriage to Countess Brasova.

You assume that one has to go up Aleksandr III 's line then?

Have you read Paul's act? I think it stipulates, his four male kids. Do you think that they have to use all of Nicholas I' s male line before they go to up to descendants of Mikhail Pavlovich? (Probably, you are right, but this is not how the law is worded).
 
Likes: Futurist