The History of Succession

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The Return of the Kings: Succession in Politics

salic law:

the salic law was the frankish civil code that dictated inheritance, criminal law,and succession of the king. it also dictated that women couldn’t inherit the land and titles of their ancestors. it was written by king clovis of the franks in around the year 500CE. it changed as the frankish empire rose, and got split into the HRE and france. during the times of charlemagne the law had alemannic and suebi (german tribes) influence, as well as influence from old roman law (even the text is written in latin, which was the lingua franca of celto-romano-germanic europe). the salic franks were the frankish tribe that formed the frankish empire, which eventually became the HRE and france.

line of succession:

the list of who gets to succeed a ruler. the first in the line will inherit the title after the current holder dies, and so on.

absolute primogeniture:

the eldest child succeeds the throne no matter what.

agnatic primogeniture:

eldest male child succeed the throne, if there are no male children than it’s the eldest female child

illegitimate child:

a child born outside of marriage, or outside of societal norms in general. He cannot inherit the throne. In some cases throughout European history,there were bastards who managed to become legitimized,and thus a part of the line of succession.


the ceremony where the heir to a throne becomes the ruler.


when the current ruler resigns from his power


someone taking control by force over a nation instead of the original ruler and his dynasty. mostly used in monarchies


If the heir to the throne is too young or infirm to lead, a regent is appointed that rules in his name, most of the time it’s the child’s mother or an important advisor in the court.

act of settlement:

A British law made in 1701, after the glorious revolution in an attempt to make peace between the royalists and the parliamentarians. The act declares that only anglican protestants can become kings.

succession to the crown act:

A British law in 2013 that allows women to become queens of england if they’re the oldest descendants of the king

perth agreement:

an agreement signed in 2011 by the nations of the commonwealth that declares that being married to catholics or being a women descendant with younger heirs won’t prevent the heir from becoming king of britain,as well as limiting the amount of people needing the approval of the queen to marry .


the first roman triumvirate was composed of crassus, julius caesar and pompei. after crasus (who was the wealthiest man in rome and the person who invented private firefighters and burning homes,as well as brutally destroying a slave revolt ) died trying to conquer persia and failing to do so, rome entered a civil war between pompei and ceasar. caesar won. it was an informal agreement to not kill each other, more than an actual alliance.
the second triumvirate was of octavianus, mark anthony and lepidus. it was a formal and institutionalised alliance and included a formal division of the provinces between the rulers. lepidus got africa and numidia, mark anthony got greater greece, the senate got italy and octavian got gaul and hispania.

it fell when lepidus tried to enter troops in sicily, and his troops betrayed him and left.

triumvirates are unstable because of jealosy, but co-rulership was done way before that, like in sparta.

amenemhet I:

an egyptian pharaoh who moved the capital to thebes, built fortresses across the nile, and he put his son seosetris as a coregent to help be prepared for rulership. seosetris conquered nubia, but eventually amenemhet was assasinated and so seosetris became ruler.

hathshepsut and thuthmosis III:

hatshepsut was a female pharaoh of egypt and brought it to relative prosperity. but middle bronze age egypt didn’t accept her in the beginning. she started from being the daughter of general thuthmosis I ang getting married to pharaoh, than getting married to thuthmosis II her brother, because he became pharaoh. since the heir and the step son of hatshepsut, thuthmosis III was an infant, hatshepsut became a regent. than she crowned herself as a king and her statues started havinf beards.

catholic monarchs of spain:

spain was founded by a personal union between the kingdoms of castille and aragon. the king of castile was ferdinand and the queen of aragon is isabel. together they colonized america, expelled jews and built modern day spain.

gonghe regency:

between 841 to 828 BCE , the decadent king Li of the Zhou dynasty has thrown his country into revolt thanks to his obsession with luxury and the taxes he burdened his nation with. this led to him getting exiled to zhi near linfen and his son king xuan replacing him. han dynsaty historian sima qian claimed that it was called “gonghe” because it means that 2 dukes ruled over china: ding of zhou and mu of shao. but according to the bamboo annals it was count he of gong who ruled over china at that time. from that point in time, sima qian managed to make an absolute chronology of all events happening in chinese history. the word gonghe is also the term for republic in chinese and japanese

co-princes of andorra:

andorra is a city state on the french-spanish border. charlamagne defended andorra from the muslims with 5000 troops and ruled over it, but in 988 count borell II of urgell gave the land to the county’s bishop, and so he became a co-ruler with the king of frankia, and latter on france.

alaric and eric:

2 legendary kings of sweden that according to the sagas, ruled after their dad agni died. they were both skilled warriors and sportmen, and flexed their power on one another. one day they rode with their horses and did not return, supposedly quarreled and slain each other, though in other sources alaric was the only one who died.

ngwenyama & ndlovukati of Eswatini :

ngwenyama (or lion in the local language) is the male king ruler of eswatini, while ndlovukati (or elephant) is usualy his mother and serves as a regent or even as a co-ruler. ndlovukati is also a spiritual leader to Eswatini and serves as a unifying force for the king

medieval paréages:

mostly common in france (the term is from french,as most feudal terms are), and it means that land is co-ruled, mostly between a lord and a vassal, such as the case of andorra and it was needed to help settle southwest france and settle border disputes.

cuba article:

cuba won’t be ruled by someone from the castro family, since after fidel castro gave the rule to raul castro, he has given it to his vice president miguel diaz-canal. he is seen as a pragmatist, but he wil have to face crises and questions to his legitimacy.

GOP on trump family :

republicans put ivanka trump and trump JR in the top 4 possible candidates in 2024, along with donald trump himself. though mike pence and nikki hailey are more popular. both are under investigation because of their dad.

michelle obama president:

michelle obama doesn’t want to be the president, and micheal moore believes she could’ve beat trump.

next kennedy:

the kennedys are a very important family, with a president, famous pilots and congressemen. so now the dem delegate of massachusets is a kennedy named john. he’s a grandson of robert kennedy, the brother of JFK, and he’s another hope at defeating trump. he’s supposdely playing the long game, and he’s seen as well spoken and loved.

american succession:

if the president dies or is unable to rule, he’s succeeded by the vice president, who than will be succeeded with the speaker of the house,who is then succeeded with the senate president pro tempore (longest serving senator). then to the secretary of state, treasury, defense, attorny general, the interior, agriculture, commerece, labor, health and human services, housing and urban development, transportation, energy, education, veteran’s affairs, homeland security. However the current secretary of the department of homeland security cannot succeed the president since he wasn't born in the US.

shadow cabinet:

in british influenced countries, the opposition releases a “shadow cabinet” that exists to show which parliament member will have what position. they have no executive power but can advise the coalition on how to act.

presidential transition:

in america, when a president is replaced, his entire cabinet and upper bureaucracy is replaced by those who support the administration. As a result the turnover can be a rough period, but if it’s manageable democracy can sustain itself.

coup d’etats:

a coup d’etat is a conspiracy inside a nation’s military or elites in order to remove the leader and replace him. it’s mostly done in 3rd world countries. they’re illegal, secret, have domestic origins, they only target the leader on top and intend on replacing him.

katolis coup:

katolis is the largest human kingdom in the series “the dragon prince”. one of its advisors, lord viren hid the egg containing the heir of avizandium after killing avizandium with king harrow. the dragon queen zubeia than killed king harrow and viren immediately did a funeral for him in order to place himself as the new king. hemurder the princes and then  tried to rally the high council to help him but the attempt didn’t work and he was thrown into prison,only to be succeeded by the king’s stepson.

coup list:

napoleon did a coup when he convinced the legislators and troops to bring him to power. franco did a military coup against the socialist democratic government, which led to a 3 year civil war in spain that ended in his victory. qaddaffi did an incredibly peaceful coup in libya and seized it from king idris when he was out of the country. in uganda, idi amin waited for the president milton obote to leave to a trip in singapore, and than ordered the military to charge and put him in power. the CIA backed augusto pinochet against the socialist allende, and put him in power.

banker’s coup:

during FDR’s reign, right wing wall street bankers decided to coup the government with the help of smedly butler. they had everything planned, but butler snitched and prevented the coup from happening. if it were to succeed america would’ve become a military dictatorship similar to the fascist regimes of europe.

The Company You Don’t Keep: Corporate Succession

standard oil:

started as a partnership between John D rockefeller (the richest person in history adjusted for inflation), william rockefeller (his brother) as well as samuel andrews, henry flagler, oliver burr jennings and steven V harkness. standard oil monopolized the american oil industy until it was broken by teddy roosevelt. john rockefeller was the biggest shareholder, though the corporate decisions were done by a joined board. in 1895 rockefeller retired and was replaced by john dustin archbold. rocjefeller also wrote in 1910 that: "I think it is true that the Pratt family, the Payne–Whitney family (which were one, as all the stock came from Colonel Payne), the Harkness-Flagler family (which came into the company together) and the Rockefeller family controlled a majority of the stock during all the history of the company up to the present time."


founded by henry ford, and dominated the american car industry, and he was replaced by his son Henry ford II,who got replaced by ernset R breech,who got replaced by henry ford II,then philip caldwell replaced him, than donald peterson, than harold arthur poling, than alexander trotman, than jacques nasser, than the ford family returned with william clay ford Jr., the great grandson of henry ford, who still serves as the executive chairman to this day.

US Steel:

founded by the american banker JP morgan, who got replaced by albert henry garry, than JP morgan Jr. who got to manage the company for only 6 years, compared to garry’s 26. and from there people from the company succeded him.

De Beers:

a south african diamond company founded by british business magnate and imperialist cecil rhodes (who also got the colony of rhodesia to be named after him, though now it is called zimbabwe). the company also made diamonds popular in wedding rings after doing a massive ad campaign that used the help of marylin monroe. rhodes was succeeded by john gordon sprigg.


bill gates founded the company,and got replaced by the incompetent steven ballmer, who was then replaced by satya nadella, an indian american.


intel was founded by robert noyce and gordon moore. after noyce and moore were ceos andrew grove took charge and made intel into a microprocessor power. than craig barett replaced him, later on paul otellini (who didn’t have a technical background)  became the ceo and now its brian krzanich.

asian company succession:

most big asian corporations are family business and as a result east asian companies tend to choose their successor based on family kinships, and as a result their companies don’t last long, since they don’t pick the most able leaders but the most connected ones.

japanese family firms:

despite being family businesses, japanese firms still hold strong because instead of only choosing the eldest child, other children can prove their worth and succeed the firm, or to appoint shopkeeper managers that deal with the day to day basis of managing a company,as well as external help.

boeing succesion:

dennis muilenburg resigned from being the CEO of boeing and was replaced by david calhoun. dennis left because its planes crashed and the economy was terrible.

alibaba succession:

jack ma retired, and daniel zhang who was the chief executive replaced him. one of the possile reasons for jack’s retirement was the CCP taking him to an undisclosed location and “trolling” him.

uber succession:

ryan graves was the ceo of uber, and he reitred and gave the position in a smooth way. there was also the co-founder travis kalanikk who was forced to step down after the shareholders got notified of the sexual harrasment problems and aggresive work environment.


adam neumann founded wework, and under his management he made it into a bubble that eventually exploded. he destroyed his company in the process and fled with his wife and with millions of investor dollars, all while the new ceo had to manage the destroyed company. nowadays adam neumann has founded another company called “Flow”, which is also about real estate sharing and open spaces, much like wework and the startup alfred.


its founders are resigning because they don’t like facebook’s leadership. so the ceo position was replaced by a decision from facebook, and adam mosseri replaced kevin weil.

myths on ceo succession:

1.companies know who’s the next ceo

2.there is one best succession model

3.the ceo should pick a successor

4.succession is a risk management issue

5.boards know how to evaluate CEO talent

6.boards prefer internal candidates

7.boards want a female/minority CEO

all of those myths are partially or completly wrong.

6 common CEO behaviours during succession: advisor:

accepting that they lose the position and try to give insight while not overstepping his role.


is overt on the selection process, will play nice for most of the time only to steer the direction for his planned candidate

3.passive aggressor:

like aggerssor but covert and tries to show off as being an advisor


ceo that changes his mind on staying longer, thus forcing the directors to choose between the current and future ceos

5.hopeful savior:

when a ceo doesn’t want to retire, he promotes successors in his image or terrible ones, thus forcing the directors to get him back

6.power blocker:

doesn’t want to leave and throws every obstacle to prevent his change.


hong kong airlines:

2 different people claim to control the company, between hou wei and zhong gousong.

The One After the Chosen One: Succession in Works of Fiction

captain america article:

captain america passes the shield to sam wilson after a small talk. sam is more attuned to the present while captain america is more to the past, so he grants him his shield

king arthur:

king arthur was chosen because he managed to pull out a sword from a rock. when he died he was succeeded by his half brother’s son.

the choosing:

in GOT, in the night’s watch (which is the guardsmanship of the northern wall and the sorrounding castles),they democratically elect the lord commander who rules until death. the members of the night’s watch are also sworn in to never marry, have families or hold land, thus tying their future to the order. being in the order also gives absolution to crimes commited in the past and immunity from crimes done in the future, and so many recruits are criminals, as well as bastard sons of nobles. while the night’s watch is really egalitarian in game of thrones standards, they still give special treatment to nobles and sons of nobles. jon snow is a part of it.

the flame and commander:

in the series “the 100”, earth was destroyed by a nuclear apocalypse caused by rogue AI but mankind survived in earth and in an orbit station called the ark. earth is populated by the grounders, who were in massive vaults that allowed them to survive the apocalypse. in order to prevent collapse, an AI called “the flame” is implanted into someone with “night blood “ (a darker blood that allows for radiation resistance and can sustain the flame). people who weren’t born with it can get it, such as the main character clarke.when implanted, the flame crowns the commander which allows the commander to access knowledge and power higher than in their past.

all might and midorya:

midorya is the main character of “my hero academia” and was born without special powers, in a world where a lot of people do. all might was the most powerful superhero, but he used his “one for all” powers to defeat the “all for one” power.

rand al’thor:

in the wrinkle of time series, he’s the main protagonist and is the champion of light who leads the fight against the dark forces. he’s the reincranation of lews therin telamon, who used to be an ancient champion of light who almost won against shaytan.

supreme sorcerer:

is the most powerful wizard on a world (either a planet or a dimension) in the MCU. he’s immortal for his reign.  

Creative Succession

john stewart succession:

john stewart was succeded by trevor noah. trevor is a south african coloured and is young. john has grown old while trevor is a millenial. he’s also popular on twitter and was even before his ascension. he also kep the dna of the show and improved on it.

walter cronkite:

he was the CBS evening news anchorman for 19 years, and was said to be the most trusted man in america. his famous saying is “and that’s the way it is”. he retired from CBS at 65, and was replaced by dan edwards the following morning

jay leno:

he hosted the tonight show with jay leno from 1992 to 2009, and was replaced by jimmy fallon. after beng replaced he still maintained a stand-up career.

oprah winfrey:

she hosts the oprah winfrey show, and since it’s unique to her she didn’t leave her position.

ralph lawler:

he was the voice of the NBA team the LA clippers,and he voiced every game of theirs since 1978. much like oprah it’s impossible to replace him

mary berry:

an english food writer and chef who made a lot of cooking books and was a judge on the british bake off. she’s still airing and much like oprah doesn’t have a replacement, and fans were mad when they didn’t use her recipe.

jeopardy new host:

alex trebek suffers from pancreatic cancer and so jeopardy gets a new host. they want to replace him with gayle king ,a 40 year old CBS anchor who’s friends with oprah winfrey and has 2 degrees.

i successori: Succession in the Criminal Underworld

gambino crime family:

named from carlo gambino, and so were the 4 other mafias of NYC. he was succeeded by his second in command pau. castellano,who functions as an advisor. underneath both of them are the capos. castellano was murdered outside a steakhouse and john gotti replaced him. there’s a big chance gotti did it. gotti was put in prison,and so the leader of the family was said to be john d’amico. gotti’s daughter became a reality star.

yakuza succession:

they do it in a shinto ritual ,that includes their sun ,moon and warrior spirits. the yakuza see themselves as descendants of the samurai, and so they maintain the old japanese traditions. the new boss drank from rice wine given by members in black ribbons to proclaim his statue as boss. the yakuza are very high profile and can show themselves since japan allows gangs to exist aslong as they don’t “supposdely” do anything. the yakuza are the spiritual descendants of the old samurai class, or that’s how they view themselves atleast, and so they care a lot about rituals, “chivalry” and honor.

the comission:

the mafia has trouble with succsession laws. in order to prevent eternal rule and allow to plan succession 10 year term limits were planted. the 5 main families (which are the Gambino, Colombo, Bonanno, Lucchese, Genovese families) in new york, chicago and buffalo have formed “the comission” which acts as a “united nations “ of crime syndicates. term limits also make more people join, turn the former boss into an advisor and prevent capos from murdering their boss. the comission is used to enforce the term limits.

Succession and Failure

genghis and ogedei khan:

genghis khan died from falling from his horse. he instituted several laws, one of which was to destroy a mongol tradition and prevented his eldest son jochi from getting all of the land. genghis gave each of his sons lands to rule, but they would all be ruled by one son (tolui gets mongolia, juchi gets persia and europe, chagatai gets central asia and ogedei gets china) .  made ogedei his main successor. ogedei built kharakhorum, used tax and paper currency, and was religously tolerant. he created a pax mongolica. after ogedei has died he was replaced by guyuk khan who ruled for 2 years but was then replaced by mongke khan ,who got murder by his elder brother ariq who proclaimed himself khan. ariq than lost to kublai and defeated ariq, but for the price of destroying the empire.

war of the spanish succession:

king charles the 2nd was a horribly inbred man, and so he was incredibly mentally retarded. he was also a descendant of the habsburgs, and despite being a habsburg, he gave his throne to the french after he died. this led to all of europe uniting against france. in the end of the war spain lost its european holdings outsie of modern day spain, the french got spain but they couldn’t unify with them. and the french bourbons rule spain to this day.

war of the roses:

there were 2 cadet branches in the english royal house. the lancasters and the yorks . both were formed from the sons of edward III, who gave out duchies that have grown too independent, which created a power struggle between the king and the lords, as well as between the lords themselves. after the english lost the 100 years war the discontent among these lords, who have a legitimate claim to rule over england has grown to the point where they both wanted the crown. the warring houses were the yorks, the descendants of of edmund, edward’s 4th son, and the lancasters, the descendants of john, edward’s third son.  so they fought between each other. eventually the tudors (who were born when henry VII of lancaster became king and married elizabeth from the house of york) took over. the wars ranged for 32 years and drained england from its royal and noble elite.

the three kingdoms:

following the collapse of the han dynasty, china was divided between 3 main kingdoms, cao wei, shu han and eastern wu. eventually the jin dynasty that formed from a powerful clan from cao wei.

alex haig:

he was the secretary of state under the reagan adminstration. when reagan was shot his vice president assumed power for the 8 hours he was in the hospital, but he was on the plane. so the secretary of state in a speec to the press said that he was in charge.

disney succession:

thomas staggs, who was the chieff financial officer of disney, saved the life of robert eiger who almost suffocated while in dinner with other disney officials, but staggs was forced to leave, even though he thought he was the next in line to be ceo. this was because the current CEOs didn’t have confidence with him and that disney wouldn’t have been able to transition to the digital world under his rule.

pope succession:

the newest pope is elected by a council of 70 cardinals by a ⅔ majority. if they fail to elect a new pope they have to put up black smoke and start all over again.if they succeed they put up white smoke and the new pope must take a new name. there was a case in 1958 when the smoke was gray, which forced the cradinals to put a new smoke to indicate what happened. the unique thing about the newest pope selection was the friendship between the older and newer pope.

Succeeding Backwards

steve jobs:

the first apple CEO was put by their early investors and he was michael scott. the apple board didn’t trust steve jobs so michael got replaced by pepsi’s former CEO john sculley. it was because steve jobs was seen as hard to work with,but under his guidance they released the lisa in 1985. sculley than made the macintosh group lose some funding, and so steve jobs left to found next. sculley rose and fell and was replaced by michael spindler, who got outsed by the board after 3 years and was replaced by gil amelio who bought next for 492 million dollars and brought jobs back. jobs than convinced the board to make him a ceo and fire amelio after he anonymously sold all of his apple stock to make the stock markets panic. from there the rest is history.

howard schultz:

he was the CEO of starbucks, was born to a poor family and at age 29 he became a manager of retail operations and marketing. he brought the espresso machines to starbucks ,but when they didn’t agree to his ideas he founded a new cafe company and eventually the new company bought starbucks. in 200 he left starbucks and went on hiatus, but returned in 2008 to save the company, even taking only 1 dollar salaries in order to cut on everything. he saved starbucks and turned it into the empire we know and love today

gavin belson:

in HBO’s silicon valley he appears as the senior executive of hooli,a larger company in comparison with pied piper (the company of the protagonists). belson tried to buy the company for 10 million $ and sue pied piper for copying their designs.

larry page:

he founded google with sergey brin and he left in 2019. though by 2013 he didn’t do any press conferences and alphabet practically became a retirement plan for him.

jerry yang:

he’s a taiwanese hi-tech billionaire and founded yahoo. he served there as a ceo and was replaced. in 2007 he was brought back ad was a ceo until 2012.

king simeon of bulgaria:

he was the last tzar of bulgaria, but when the soviets took over he was forced into exile. when the socialist regime failed he won the public votes and became the president of bulgaria in 2001.

michelle bachelet & sebastian pinera:

sebastian pinera was the president of chile between 2010 to 2014, and between 2018 and 2022. he sold his shares in some companies to avoid conflicts of interest, and brought victory to the chilean right. in 2017 he won again. michelle bachelet worked with sebastian and was a part of his government. the main reason they both ruled between 2010 to 2014 and than between 2018 to 2022 is that 2 consecutive terms are not allowed in the chilean government

dan harmon:

the creator of “rick and morty” and “community”. community ran from 2009 to 2012 but because of creative conflicts with sony executives it fell. in 2014 the series was brought back.

james gunn:

james was the director of guardians of the galaxy,and he said some anti trump things. fans brought up old tweets about pedophilia and the holocaust and he lost the position. a petition was signed to bring him back with 400k signs, and so he was reinstated.

phil jackson:

he’s the coach of the lakers and because of problems with kobe bryant, and wishing to double his salary he left in 2004. in 2005 he was rehired and brought the team to great levels of success.

zinedine zidane:

the football manager and coach of real madrid, he brought the team to great success and left because the team started to fail in 2017. in 2019 he was brought back because real still failed and won some new trophies, and so he was kept.

Concluding Questions

grooming a heir for the job:

form a comittee that will decide the important needs for the job. use the job description as a screening tool, stay on the job for a few months to ease the process, individualize the process and leave knowing you’ve built a great legacy

prince charles:

the prince of charles was declared a successor to queen elizabeth. as the prince of wales he holds that title, and the 53 commonwealth members supported that. the queen starts to give him more and more responsibilities.

advice for new leaders:

in order to step out of the shadow of a legendary CEO and thus keep his new place, the new CEO has to build their own brand, set a new agenda and be empathic on forcing change, find the right pace for a change, engage and build connections with the board and get the office culture to help. using those tips can allow the CEO to succeed.

designated survivor:

whenever all of the cabinet and congress are in one place, one cabinet member leaves in case an emergency happens. that member is the dsignated survivor and he’s supposed to lead the country in case of a disaster. the designated survivor is chosen rather randomly between the 16 members, and there was a netflix series about it.

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