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Noble Dynasties

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Part of the Palgrave Macmillan Studies in Family and Intimate Life book series (PSFL)

Abstract

Despite many differences, European nobilities were fundamentally similar to one another: employed in the service of the monarch, they held the highest offices in state governance, the army and court. The position of noblemen in the noble status hierarchy was determined by the office they occupied. Councillors represented the highest tier. Their marriages were highly endogamous, as was the case in the aristocracy more generally up to the nineteenth century, when marriages to non-nobles began to increase, initially in the lower nobility. Some noble families experienced social decline before the nobility as a whole went into decline. This gradual process saw them fall to tenant, crofter and farmhand positions. There were also bastardy-prone social enclaves in the nobility where partners were circulated and even marriages were contracted. Marriages to rich entrepreneurs’ daughters and learned professionals marked out the path for future changes.

Keywords

Nineteenth Century Eighteenth Century Civil Servant Marriage Market State Governance 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland

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