This article deals with the claims on “vacant successions” (bona vacantia) and on “property of none” (res nullius) in early modern Europe, with a focus on the case of the Spanish monarchy between the thirteenth and eighteenth centuries (both in the old and in the new world). After briefly reconstructing the legal debate on the matter, the essay tries to demonstrate how the control over successions was at the centre of competing and conflicting claims, among which that of the “king heir”. In the end, what the analysis of this problem shows is that the discontinuity created by the inability of human beings to manage family and community goods and resources was a constant threat to the corporate membership-based societies of those times. Therefore, a number of corporate bodies and institutions (such as the Spanish Juzgado de bienes de difuntos) were encouraged to mobilize in order to ensure that no patrimony were left without an owner, and that there was always someone responsible for responding to the obligations deriving from the ownership of goods.

The King Heir. Claiming vacant estate succession in Europe and in the Spanish World (13th-18th centuries)

Alessandro Buono
2020

Abstract

This article deals with the claims on “vacant successions” (bona vacantia) and on “property of none” (res nullius) in early modern Europe, with a focus on the case of the Spanish monarchy between the thirteenth and eighteenth centuries (both in the old and in the new world). After briefly reconstructing the legal debate on the matter, the essay tries to demonstrate how the control over successions was at the centre of competing and conflicting claims, among which that of the “king heir”. In the end, what the analysis of this problem shows is that the discontinuity created by the inability of human beings to manage family and community goods and resources was a constant threat to the corporate membership-based societies of those times. Therefore, a number of corporate bodies and institutions (such as the Spanish Juzgado de bienes de difuntos) were encouraged to mobilize in order to ensure that no patrimony were left without an owner, and that there was always someone responsible for responding to the obligations deriving from the ownership of goods.
Buono, Alessandro
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11568/1062377
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