A male heir (sometimes heirs male)—usually describing the first-born son (primogeniture) or oldest surviving son of a family—has traditionally been the recipient of the residue of the estate, titles, wealth and responsibilities of his father in a patrilineal system.[1] This system may vary by region but has ancient, perhaps prehistoric, origins, and appears in the Code of Hammurabi: "Since daughters marry strangers and thereby cut themselves off from their family, only sons inherit the paternal estate. It is they who perpetuate the family name, and preserve the ancestral property."[2]

Absence or inadequacy of a male heir has thus been periodically problematic, resulting in succession crises, corporate upheaval, and the occasional war.[3] The presence or absence of a male heir may alter the decision-making patterns of fathers.[4]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ Ferrer Alòs, Llorenç (2005). "When there was no male heir: The transfer of wealth through women in Catalonia (The pubilla)". Continuity and Change. 20: 27–52. doi:10.1017/S0268416004005363. S2CID 154539787.
  2. ^ Mendelsohn, I. (May 1948). "The Family in the Ancient Near East". The Biblical Archaeologist. 11 (2): 24–40. doi:10.2307/3209201. ISSN 0006-0895. JSTOR 3209201. S2CID 165715784.
  3. ^ "What's so great about a male heir? | Japan | the Guardian". {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  4. ^ Chen, Shu; Ying, Sammy Xiaoyan; Wu, Huiying; You, Jiaxing (2021-08-01). "Carrying on the family's legacy: Male heirs and firm innovation". Journal of Corporate Finance. 69: 101976. doi:10.1016/j.jcorpfin.2021.101976. ISSN 0929-1199. S2CID 236332377.