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Inheriting land?

 
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eldin raigmore
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2007 11:36 pm    Post subject: Inheriting land? Reply with quote

Eurasian system (land is owned and inheritable, and non-owners are not allowed to use it)?
Folklands (who inherits how much is governed by tradition)?
Booklands (who inherits how much is governed by a will and the law)?
The Seele-Teil (Soul-part) -- one-third of the land must be available to be bequeathed by will?
Only sons inherit unless there are no sons?
Only males inherit even if there are no sons?
Doweries, so that daughters who marry before the owner's death still get a piece?
Primogeniture -- Oldest son inherits everything?
Ultimogeniture -- Youngest son inherits everything?
Modern American system -- youngest daughter must remain unmarried and care for aged parents until they die, then she inherits the house and homestead and freehold?
Morning gifts -- wife inherits part of husband's' estate?
Limits to morning-gift -- can't, by law, be more than 25% of husband's net worth?
Stricter limits to morning-gift -- can't, by law, be more than 10% of husband's net worth?
If sons and unmarried daughters divide everything after parents' death, can married daughters join in the division provided they pitch in their dowries?
Is it a man's oldest sister's oldest son who inherits from him, rather than his wifes' oldest son?
Is all privately held real-estate held by women rather than by men?

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simon.clarkstone
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 3:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You forgot a system that covered a lot of land for many centuries (in Europe):

Commons: the land is owned by the community; since the community doesn't die, you don't need an inheritance system (for that land).

I think you mean "mourning", not "morning". The latter is a time of day, round here.
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eldin raigmore
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

simon.clarkstone wrote:
You forgot a system that covered a lot of land for many centuries (in Europe):
Commons: the land is owned by the community; since the community doesn't die, you don't need an inheritance system (for that land).
That's pretty much the non-Eurasian system. It was the usual system most places outside of Europe and Asia until Europeans and Asians began to settle other continents.
Commons are usually a type of folklands (if they're commons because "everybody knows they're commons"), though they may be booklands (if they're commons because of a decree or legislative act or some such); however not much need be said about them since, as you said, they won't be inherited.
And, yes, even in Eurasia, there were some lands that were commons, even when most were booklands or folklands. But I think if people have a lot of interesting stuff to say, more of it will be said about the inheritable private real property, than about the commons.

simon.clarkstone wrote:
]I think you mean "mourning", not "morning". The latter is a time of day, round here.
No, I meant "morning", as in "morning after", as in "morning after the wedding night"; I think it's related to "morganitic", but I don't think they went obligatorily hand-in-hand.* I've never heard it referred to as a "mourning gift"; if you have, where and in what context? It's probably relevant to the topic I was trying to introduce.

Thanks.

*In a "morganitic marriage" ("marriage with morning gift"), the children would inherit the class and rank and degree of the lower-ranking spouse rather than of the higher-ranking spouse; so if a crown prince married a baroness, say, and someone with the authority to do so declared the marriage "morganitic", any children from that marriage would be baronial rather than royal.
But I don't think the giving of a morning-gift automatically made the marriage morganitic.
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eldin raigmore
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2007 12:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

simon.clarkstone wrote:
I think you mean "mourning", not "morning".
For "mourning gifts", see http://www.cartoonstock.com/directory/m/mourning_gifts.asp.

More seriously, also see http://coe.asafas.kyoto-u.ac.jp/research/sea/social/hayashi/Hayashi_Unnan_4He.htm.

For "morning gift", see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dower. Apparently, if this is to be trusted, it was usually given at the wedding, but was usually used mostly during widowhood; perhaps that's the source of the confusion. (Assuming the similarity in pronunciation and spelling between "morning" and "mourning" isn't the only source.)

Less seriously, also see http://www.cartoonstock.com/vintage/directory/m/morning_gifts.asp.
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fmra
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2007 8:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Equal-field system: Government owns all land and assigns plots to every person. No inheritance, the government just reassigns the land to someone else.
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sintau.tayua
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2007 5:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My main culture at the moment, the Psinu, is ocean-nomadic: they live on rafts, often in transient and ever-changing cities. This means that there is not land to inherit.
The rafts, however, have to be divided up.
First, a note about these rafts: Each raft is typically quite small, because larger rafts cannot handle the waves of ocean waves. Each ocean town/city usually has a fair share of large rafts; their existence is made possible because the civilian rafts absorb most of the waves. For the same reason, rich people tend to live in the center of the town, while lower-class families live on the edge.
At the same time, even the larger rafts in the town are made from many small interlocking rafts, because if there is a storm, they need to be able to break up and spread out (to avoid being slammed together)

Anyway, the point of this ramble is that Psinu homes are made for a lot of small rafts, not one big raft. This makes inheritance a lot easier (two rafts for you, two for you . . .)
These rafts are not all used for the same purpose, however. These are the common raft-forms:
1. The house raft. The house raft is the only 'owned' raft; all the others belong to the family group (more on that later). An adolescent is given their house raft (equivalent to their bedroom) at thirteen. The building of the raft is undertaken by the caregiver (father or uncle) and the son or daughter who will receive it. Often, in richer families, the daughter will merely design the raft, and the father will build it. House rafts are never bought ready-made, although other rafts can be.
Anyway. The child lives in this raft all his life, repairing it when needed. When he or she is married, the couple sleep on one raft, and the children sleep on other raft. When he or she dies, they are buried/sunk on a raft. Usually it is their own raft. However, if they still have children who do not have their raft yet (very rare), they are sunk on a family-group-owned raft. Also, if they are poor, they may be sunk on a simple raft bought cheaply for the occasion.

2. The Water raft. This consists of a solar still or another water-purification system sitting on a raft. Purified water is poured into sealed containers and tied to the raft. As fresh water is lighter than salt water, and so floats, a huge amount of purified water can be stored from one raft.
There is usually one water raft for every family group. When a person starts a new family group, they build or buy their own water raft. Otherwise, the raft is the communal property of the family-group, and as such is not inherited.

3. The food rafts. Rafts growing seaweeds or other foods. These are the property . . . .

[I have to get of the computer; will finish/polish later]
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eldin raigmore
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2007 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

simon.clarkstone wrote:
Commons: the land is owned by the community; since the community doesn't die, you don't need an inheritance system (for that land).

Thanks, simon.
fmra wrote:
Equal-field system: Government owns all land and assigns plots to every person. No inheritance, the government just reassigns the land to someone else.

Thanks, fmra.
Isn't that a booklandish version of simon.clarkstone's "Commons"?
It's an interesting fact, but in the abstract it's hard to come up with any interesting details to elaborate it; the interesting details will come up when a particular person is reassigned a particular piece of land that used to be assigned to a particular different person. (Or, a particular person is reassigned to a particular piece of land when they used to be assigned to a particular other piece of land.)

sintau.tayua wrote:
My main culture at the moment, the Psinu, is ocean-nomadic: they live on rafts, often in transient and ever-changing cities. This means that there is not land to inherit.
The rafts, however, have to be divided up.
Thanks, sintau.tayua. This looks interesting. I'll be interested in seeing the rest; I believe the rest of us will be interested too.
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Rin
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2007 5:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

All Aerien houses are built to house four people. A house may hold a couple and two children, a couple a sibling and a child, just a couple, or just two siblings.
How many children an Aerien may have is regulated by the government. They are allowed to have two, maximum. If they choose not to have any children, then they report it and their land will be given to someone else upon their death by the government. If someone wants to have more than two children, then they also report it to the government and have to wait until they get someone elses space in which they can raise the other children they want to have.
If a couple has two children, like they are supposed to, then one of those children is expected to stay in the family building with their mate and one of those is supposed to move into their mates family building.
Aerien's are very patient and their inheritance system is independent of gender.

Did that make sense? Sad
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eldin raigmore
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2007 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rin wrote:
... How many children an Aerien may have is regulated by the government. They are allowed to have two, maximum. ... Did that make sense? Sad
No; if the maximum is two, the mean will be less than two, which will be less than the replacement rate. Instead the birthrate should be regulated so that it's about equal to the deathrate. The mean number of children per couple per lifetime should be close to two. That means the maximum needs to be more than two; perhaps the government can select outstanding couples to have a third child, at least in those years when the birthrate has fallen behind the deathrate.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2007 4:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The process works like this: if you want to have less than two children, you report it. If you want to have more than two kids, you report it.
So say Mr. and Mrs. Arelin don't want to have any kids. They tell the office of Population. The official records it. He writes down the couples name and the fact that there are now two empty spots.
After Mr. and Mrs. Arelin leave, Mr. and Mrs. Lavindai came in. They want to have more than two kids : to be exact, they want to have four. The official assigns them to Mr. and Mrs. Arelin. The spots have now been taken up. The Lavindai's will be allowed to build an extension on their house to accomedate their children.
The reason for all of this is that land is a precious commodity in the cities: there is enough that it can support the present population and NO MORE.
So population is closely monitored.
( As for why the population restrictions don't breed mass disobedience: the government is closely tied to the clergy which is closely tied to the military... you can guess how it works. )
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2007 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In Fegraemble, the country I've most developed for my conworld Klounal-Ampae, land and businesses belong to families, and pass to a chosen heir, which is decided by the amount of interest and ability the family's children have shown in the running of the business/farm/etc. and not on gender or birth order, although children born earlier tend to have an advantage over their younger siblings, because if an older child seems to be a good candidate for heir, the younger child has to be significantly better and more interested than the older one for the parents to change their mind about who should be the heir.

The children not chosen as heir generally take one of three routes: 1) they marry someone who is another family's heir, becoming part of that family, 2) they stay within their sibling's household, help with keeping the business running, taking care of children, etc. and usually remain unmarried, or 3) they strike out on their own and attempt to establish a new family/business.

A major factor in the perpetuation of this system is that many professions are biased towards people who can magically control a particular element, and which element a person can influence is genetically determined. So someone's children usually already have one of the necessary qualifications to be good at that person's profession, the ability to control the element associated with the profession.

- Contrail
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eldin raigmore
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2007 8:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rin wrote:
The process works like this: if you want to have less than two children, you report it. If you want to have more than two kids, you report it.
So say Mr. and Mrs. Arelin don't want to have any kids. They tell the office of Population. The official records it. He writes down the couples name and the fact that there are now two empty spots.
After Mr. and Mrs. Arelin leave, Mr. and Mrs. Lavindai came in. They want to have more than two kids : to be exact, they want to have four. The official assigns them to Mr. and Mrs. Arelin. The spots have now been taken up. The Lavindai's will be allowed to build an extension on their house to accomedate their children.
The reason for all of this is that land is a precious commodity in the cities: there is enough that it can support the present population and NO MORE.
So population is closely monitored.
( As for why the population restrictions don't breed mass disobedience: the government is closely tied to the clergy which is closely tied to the military... you can guess how it works. )

That'll work fine.
As long as the average number of children per couple per lifetime is exactly two the population will remain constant.
If this average were less than two -- say, 1.95 or something -- the population would decline, which would be a problem.
(Of course if the average is more than two -- say, 2.01 or so -- the population will grow, which you've already said would also be a problem.)

My point was, if the max is two but the min is less than two (and you said
it could be zero), then the average would have to be less than two, which would lead to a declining population.
Your new post makes it clear the max is more than two; in rare and exceptional circumstances a couple may have three, or even four, children; the number of couples who have three or four balances those who have one or none.
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simon.clarkstone
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2007 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Contrail wrote:
In Fegraemble, the country I've most developed for my conworld Klounal-Ampae, land and businesses belong to families, and pass to a chosen heir, which is decided by the amount of interest and ability the family's children have shown in the running of the business/farm/etc. and not on gender or birth order, although children born earlier tend to have an advantage over their younger siblings, because if an older child seems to be a good candidate for heir, the younger child has to be significantly better and more interested than the older one for the parents to change their mind about who should be the heir.

Does this often cause resentment among those who think they were wrongly not chosen?
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2007 10:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

simon.clarkstone wrote:
Contrail wrote:
In Fegraemble, the country I've most developed for my conworld Klounal-Ampae, land and businesses belong to families, and pass to a chosen heir, which is decided by the amount of interest and ability the family's children have shown in the running of the business/farm/etc. and not on gender or birth order, although children born earlier tend to have an advantage over their younger siblings, because if an older child seems to be a good candidate for heir, the younger child has to be significantly better and more interested than the older one for the parents to change their mind about who should be the heir.

Does this often cause resentment among those who think they were wrongly not chosen?


It certainly can, particularly if the choice was between two children close in both age and ability or interest or if an older child who was going to be the heir is supplanted by a more talented younger sibling. When the age gap is larger, the younger child or children often expect not to be chosen if the parents have already settled on the oldest as a good heir. The parents do usually try to help their other children find a way to make a good life for themselves as well, by doing things like providing initial financial support for a new business, arranging for an apprenticeship if the child wants to pursue a different profession, finding good marriage candidates, etc.

Also, marrying another family's heir isn't really seen as being a significantly lesser fate/position, because a person's spouse is expected to work as an important partner with that person as part of that family's business. If someone plays their cards right, it's possible for them to marry into a larger/more prosperous business of the same type and ultimately end up better off than if they had become the heir of their own family. So inheriting the family's business isn't the end-all and be-all of success.

- Contrail
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Rin
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2007 11:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry, I should have said two is the maximum unless you petition the government.
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chiarizio
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 2:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I started this thread and I have yet to answer it! I'll try to come up with something the week of 8 Jan 2018.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

chiarizio wrote:
I started this thread and I have yet to answer it! I'll try to come up with something the week of 8 Jan 2018.


In Adpihi, or at least early Adpihi, real estate is mostly owned by females, and inherited from mother to daughter. Whether this is female primogeniture (oldest daughter inherits all land unless there are no daughters), female ultimogeniture (youngest daughter inherits all land unless there are no daughters), or all daughters inherit equally, depends on place and time.

Early on, all-daughters-inherit-equally won't be considered a good idea.

Portable possessions, OTOH, are mostly owned by males, and mostly inherited father-to-son, at least early on. Again, this may be male primogeniture, or male ultimogeniture, or all-sons-share-equally, depending on place and tiime.
Although all-sons-inherit-equally will be the least common and least popular of these three systems, it will be more common than the all-daughters-inherit-equally system for real estate.

Intangible/invisible possessions will mostly be inherited by a child of the opposite sex, if there is one. Again, whether by the youngest, or by the oldest, or by all, varies by time and place; and also by kind of property. Some property will be regarded as indivisible, and only one child can inherit it; other property may be regarded as divisible, and more than one child can inherit it simultaneously. Perhaps, though, sometimes, it can have limited divisibility, and can be inherited by at most two children.

What to do if there are no surviving offspring of the appropriate sex, may vary with time and place as well. Early on, for instance, if real-estate is inherited by female primogeniture, then if the decessor has no surviving daughters nor daughters of daughters etc., her mother's oldest surviving daughter (probably her oldest living sister) will inherit; or if that sister is deceased as well, but has a surviving daughter, the oldest such surviving niece will inherit.

But as time goes on, more and more will things be handled according to the will of the deceased. This will apply both to real-estate and portable goods. Some intangible property (for instance, copyrights etc.) will also be handled like that; OTOH some (for instance, political offices) will be handled the way the government wants it handled, regardless of the will of the decedent.

Also, more and more of the land will be "booklands" as opposed to "folklands".
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2018 4:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Would it be rude of me to bump this?
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I should think about this but I'm a bit tired and it's a little late.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2018 10:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bloodb4roses wrote:
I should think about this but I'm a bit tired and it's a little late.

Well, if you ever feel like posting some thoughts, at least several of us will be interested.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2018 2:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

eldin raigmore wrote:
Rin wrote:
The process works like this: if you want to have less than two children, you report it. If you want to have more than two kids, you report it.
So say Mr. and Mrs. Arelin don't want to have any kids. They tell the office of Population. The official records it. He writes down the couples name and the fact that there are now two empty spots.
After Mr. and Mrs. Arelin leave, Mr. and Mrs. Lavindai came in. They want to have more than two kids : to be exact, they want to have four. The official assigns them to Mr. and Mrs. Arelin. The spots have now been taken up. The Lavindai's will be allowed to build an extension on their house to accomedate their children.
The reason for all of this is that land is a precious commodity in the cities: there is enough that it can support the present population and NO MORE.
So population is closely monitored.
( As for why the population restrictions don't breed mass disobedience: the government is closely tied to the clergy which is closely tied to the military... you can guess how it works. )


That'll work fine.
As long as the average number of children per couple per lifetime is exactly two the population will remain constant.
If this average were less than two -- say, 1.95 or something -- the population would decline, which would be a problem.
(Of course if the average is more than two -- say, 2.01 or so -- the population will grow, which you've already said would also be a problem.)

My point was, if the max is two but the min is less than two (and you said
it could be zero), then the average would have to be less than two, which would lead to a declining population.
Your new post makes it clear the max is more than two; in rare and exceptional circumstances a couple may have three, or even four, children; the number of couples who have three or four balances those who have one or none.


The only hitch I see here is that, at some point in time, perhaps by lottery?, a number of couples will have to be given the right / given orders to make some extra children in order to make up for inevitable accidents, death by disease, murder, etc.

The lottery doesn't have to be held every year. The officials monitoring population statistics could let the real population number slide by some thousands before they'd have to do anything corrective. Maybe every four years or something.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2018 2:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I feel like I need to come up with a system for this for Saltha since I imagine land would be fairly scarce in a country where arable land is grouped around oasis cities.

I want them to have some form of farming since I want them to have access to grain to make bread for some of their recipes.

Maybe there's a regulated farming caste/guild because a lack of grain by mismanagement could be pretty disastrous to them.

I'm not sure what implications this would have for the economic system.


One thought I had was rich Salthans are polygamous, with multiple houses each with the separate wives and children. Obviously feeding/providing for the wives and children would cost more, but would mean more of their clan/family name being spread. I imagine this would affect too how land inheritance works.

Again, I'm not sure the implications of such as a system, or if it would work in any stable way.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2018 4:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

@elemtilas; interesting points!
@Foolster41; interesting problems!
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2018 9:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bloodb4roses wrote:
I should think about this but I'm a bit tired and it's a little late.


How ‘bout now? Mr. Green
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2018 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

chiarizio wrote:
bloodb4roses wrote:
I should think about this but I'm a bit tired and it's a little late.


How ‘bout now? Mr. Green


I've thought a little about it for my cats and could probably come up with something for my danpyr. But it might have to wait until after the holidays. Or at least Christmas.
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chiarizio
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2018 6:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, may you have safe, healthy, happy, restful, and merry holidays, into the upcoming new year!
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 7:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Getting back to this, for kaibyou, a "family" and a "clan" are almost indistinguishable, although a few cats considering themselves as siblings and looking out for each other might not consider themselves a clan at all. When it come to how territories are kept and passed on, they work similarly enough.

In any group of cats, there isn't a strict "pecking order" but there is generally one or a few cats who are the most well-liked, or feared, or respected and if there are more than one in a group, the leader is either one of these cats, or a cat with close bonds to most of these cats. In a small family, it might be the oldest sibling, and in a larger clan it might be the cat that started the clan, or a successor once that cat has died or retired.

A family or clan can only hold territory that it can effectively defend. Sometimes clans will allow smaller family groups on their borders just because the smaller families won't do much to cause trouble and the territory the smaller families take up can act as a buffer zone or might just be less desirable to larger clans for whatever reason.

However, the territory a clan or family owns belongs to all members of said clan/family. They might split it up further among themselves but more often, the territory is used communally. Humans have assumed mundane cats are non-social by default, but house cats at least are "semi-social" creatures as opposed to their truly solitary wildcat cousins. Likewise, kaibyou are actually fairly social beings among their own kind and sometimes even make friends with humans and other youkai. Clans often work very well amongst themselves when it comes to deciding what must be done for the benefit of the clan.

So, as long as there's enough room and hunting ground for all members, or places that can be expanded to either by the clan itself or by some of the clan going off to another place, things work out well. Spoils from hunts, and even business endeavors, are shared through the clan or kept in trust for use later. Since they mostly only need to care for themselves in cat form unless they wish otherwise, they take up less resources than they might otherwise and a small patch of city or a large farm is more than enough to provide for even large clans.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2019 6:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I discovered lately that there were sometimes other variations on the morning-gift.

“With all my worldly goods I thee endow” was inserted into the wedding vows by the church to make the morning-gift be at least everything the groom owned.

Sometimes the morning-gift was made by the groom’s father rather than the groom himself.

It was kind of like a life-insurance policy on the groom’s life, with the bride as the beneficiary.

Some secular jurisdictions required the morning-gift to be equal to at least half the groom’s net worth. Some prohibited it from being more than half.

Some secular jurisdictions required the morning-gift to be equal to at least a third of the groom’s net worth. Some prohibited it from being more than a third.

Some secular jurisdictions required the morning-gift to be equal to at least a quarter of the groom’s net worth. Some prohibited it from being more than a quarter.

Some secular jurisdictions required the morning-gift to be equal to at least a tenth of the groom’s net worth. Some prohibited it from being more than a tenth.

If a widow had children she could, and often did, bequeath or give her morning-gift, or parts of it, to her children.

If a widow remarried, she could contribute her morning-gift from her deceased husband, into the total marital wealth of the new couple consisting of her and her new husband.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2019 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that for those places and times in Adpihi’s and Reptigan’s history where/when the “morning-gift” custom is current, I will want it to be at least 60% of the groom’s net worth at the time of the marriage.

Since the groom can’t reasonably be expected to put up more than 50% of his net worth (or, if he already has a wife, more than a third; or, if he already has two wives, more than 25%): the groom’s blood relatives might be expected to put up enough to complete the 60%.

In keeping with the general even-handedness of Adpihi and Reptigan, with regard to sex, I’d want the groom to also receive a morning-gift worth at least 60% of the bride’s net worth.

When a young person first marries, they probably don’t own much yet. They’re probably just starting out in their careers, or just finishing up school.
OTOH their intended spouse is probably already married, and probably has at least one child, and may have started the cursus honorum. They probably own real estate or some form of capital. They may not be rich yet, but they already have a credit-rating or whatever the equivalent would be.

So the younger spouse’s morning-gift to the older spouse might be almost trivial, while the older spouse’s morning-gift to the younger spouse would probably be non-trivial. So the parents and oldest sibling (or both oldest uterine half-sibling and oldest agnate half-sibling) of a person marrying for the second time, might need some financially-motivated control over the timing etc of this second marriage.

But when two people contract their third marriages to each other, they’re probably already as rich as they’ll ever be for the rest of their lives.
Their parents might already be deceased, or at least be on fixed incomes, because of their age.
Their oldest (half-)siblings might be in the same circumstances the bride(?) and groom(?) themselves are.
It might make better sense for them just to combine their fortunes.
Or maybe for each to gift the other with 25% of their own current net worth.

In either of those last two cases, each one’s children and other spouses might have a financially-motivated interest in having some influence over the circumstances and suitability of the match. (Still talking about third marriages!)
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2019 10:07 pm    Post subject: “Secondogeniture”?!!??? Reply with quote

{EDIT} I severely misunderstood secondogeniture. Read the Wikipedia article on Secundogeniture.
(Wikipedia spells it with a < u >. Most other Google-hits spell it with an < o >, like EB does. {/EDIT}


I just read (skimmed, really) an online Encyclopedia Brittannica article about Birth Order.
It talked about primogeniture as a way for royals to obviate or circumvent actual armed conflict between their heirs.
Sometimes, especially for sub-royal landed gentry or aristocracy, primogeniture caused its own problems.
Two solutions to that, it says, are ultimogeniture (youngest son inherits everything), of which I’d heard before, and secondogeniture (second son inherits everything), which is news to me.
It said ultimogeniture was mostly adopted in countries with high death taxes, because it helped lengthen the intervals between such taxations. I was not aware that such “death taxes” actually ever existed!
If it explains the causes of secondogeniture, I overlooked it in my first reading.

———

It points out that, where and when and among whom success of an heir is likely to be unpredictable at the time the testator’s will is made, such as Renaissance Italian merchants, testators tend to divide their capital equally among their heirs, to improve the odds that at least one son would succeed.

The returns of Marco Polo and of Christopher Columbus had created a brand new type of wealth-seeker, the entrepreneur. Voyages were extremely risky; less likely to return than to fail. But the return of even a single ship from even a single voyage was highly lucrative for the investors and owners and shareholders. Return on investment was way up there; I seem to recall the minimum was three or four, and the average was around ten, with 100x (i e 10,000%) not unheard of. (But I don’t trust my memory that precisely; I should look it up.). So an investor would invest in a voyage and then “wait for his ship to come in”. It usually didn’t; but when it did, the payoff was so huge, that the fame of the successes outshone the likelihood of the failures.

So that was entrepreneurial capitalism for the merchants of Venice.

———

Preference for children of one sex, seems at least partly explained, by the hope that a parent will be cared for, or supported, or at least assisted somehow, by one or more of their children. And this is partly magnified by patterns of residence.

In India and China, for instance, all sons, even when married, stay living near their parents, and working on the family’s land; or if they don’t farm, they pursue their trade or profession from a shop or office located near their parents’ house and on their family’s property. The heir usually stays actually living in his parents’ house. All sons, therefore, contribute to their parents’ security in old age.
Unmarried daughters help out with the family’s work and income; but married daughters move away to live with their husbands. So daughters-in-law, in the long term, are more help than daughters. This is especially true if there are dowries; daughters cost a dowry, while daughters-in-law bring one in. But that doesn’t mean the daughter-in-law will be well treated until she has borne a son!

There is a Greek island whose name escapes me, in which almost all livings are earned at sea, and by men. So boats, and nautical equipment, and fishing equipment, and for all I know diving and whaling equipment as well, are passed father-to-son. I suppose anything a man has only one of, he leaves to only one son; probably the oldest. That probably includes his boat. Perhaps less major, or more divisible, pieces of equipment, he shares out among his sons.
Houses OTOH are different. Houses are practically the only kind of real estate. During the day, while the men are at sea, the houses are occupied by the women, who do cottage industries (such as spinning and weaving and sewing, maybe?) in the courtyards. The oldest daughter stays in her mother’s house even after marriage; all the other adult daughters settle near their mother after marriage. Real estate, or at least residential real estate, therefore passes by female primogeniture, from mother to oldest daughter.

In the modern U.S.A., female ultimogeniture recently used to be, and perhaps still is, the most common pattern. (However America is so diverse, and change is so rapid, that “the most common pattern” is probably no longer very common, if it ever was. It’s just more common than any of the others.) The youngest daughter is(was?) expected to stay single and live in her parents’ home with them until they die; after which she inherits the house, which she can use as (part of) her dowry, though I don’t know when the “dowry” custom went out of fashion in the USA.

(In my own family, neither of my parents and none of my aunts or uncles wanted any of their children to stay single until their deaths. Neither did any of them want their adult children to remain living in their homes. My uncles did build “mother-in-law house”s on their property once their fathers-in-law died, for their widowed mother-in-law to live rent-free within walking distance but not exactly in the same house.
(My own parents stayed in their town after I and all my siblings had moved out, until my father’s health began to fail and he became enfeebled (if that’s the right word) by old age. Then they moved into a retirement home in the town my younger sister lived in. She did look after both of them until they each died; but not to the degree of living with them nor paying their rent or other expenses. My brother and I each lived in other states, and my older sister lived in another country on another continent. When my father died he left everything to my mother. When she died she split her property between charities, her surviving children, and my late older sister’s children. She made my younger brother and sister trustees for my share. She may have done the same thing for my niece and nephew by my deceased older sister; or, she may have made their father her son-in-law their trustee.)

———

So, it looks like, if women are matrilocal even when married, and married men either stay matrilocal or become uxorilocal, daughters are valued for improving the security of their parents in old age. In case the heir is the youngest daughter, then even when married women are virilocal or neolocal, the youngest daughter can be relied on if she remains single during her parent’s lifetime.

———

Has anyone else ever heard of “secondogeniture” before now?
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