In 1639 inheritance by primogeniture was abolished, and this resulted in conflict with the British courts in the 18th century.
The title was made; heritable in order of primogeniture, and in the case of archbishops through their nephews.
The principle of primogeniture was not introduced until the end of the 17th century, so that the Protestant Saxon dynasty, instead of building up a single compact kingdom for itself, has split into four petty duchies, of no political influence whatever.
In Spain, on the other hand, the title of conde, the earlier history of which follows much the same development as in France, is still of much social value, mainly owing to the fact that the rule of primogeniture exists, and that, a large fee being payable to the state on succession to a title, it is necessarily associated with some degree of wealth.
The crown is hereditary in both the male and the female line according to primogeniture; but it is only in default of male heirs that females can come to the throne.