Vybrané právní aspekty pozůstalostní agendy v "době postosvícenské" (1789/1790-1848)
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Selected legal aspects of probate acts in the post-Enlightenment era (1789/1790–1848)
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In the Habsburg monarchy, probate documentation began to be compiled in the era of enlightened absolutism; it accompanied the building of a modern state, which was to be characterized by a unified legal framework guaranteed by the state. This ‘Enlightenment dream’ was made a reality not only by passing and enforcing ever more laws, but also by attempts to train lawyers in the new legal environment – and through them, to educate citizens. In a previous article I focused on legislation dating from 1740-1790; the present study builds on the previous findings by examining the various sets of instructions and reference manuals which were intended to inform people of the process by which probate proceedings took place. This process involved a wide range of interested parties – judges, legal representatives, and ordinary people with an interest in the inheritance. Ordinary people needed the clearest possible description of the probate proceedings, and this need gave rise to various legal manuals and sets of instructions. The study focuses on the probate proceedings as described in manuals by Anton von Foedransperg and Joseph Voglhueber (1789), general instructions issued in 1785, instructions for Galicia (1796), Tyrol and Vorarlberg (1824), and Bukovina (1848). In addition to these ‘educational’ materials, I also mention the 1810 legislation governing inheritance taxes and the general civil code of 1811; these legislative instruments had a major impact on probate proceedings and thus influenced later instructions. For researchers today, such manuals and instructions are of great value because they summarize the process in a way that is comprehensible to ordinary people – and thus also to modern historians – and reveal interesting insights into the period in question.
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