Inkolat (from Latin incolatus "living in a place, esp. As an inmate (stranger)") is a term from nobility law and originally referred to the granting of the right to subjects of a foreign area, such as incolae , i.e. local subjects, to acquire land and to inherit. This could be land from non-privileged (“simple”) citizens or from aristocrats , such as landed goods . The sovereign issued the Inkolat letter, the associated document, primarily to secure the power structures and promote the economy, but also because of the beneficiaries' personal merits or after payment by them. The right to acquire land was deliberately handled differently for members of the nobility than for “commoners”. In an order from 1755, Frederick the Great explained that the incolat did not entitle bourgeoisie to purchase further aristocratic estates, as such a view violated the royal intention to preserve noble families. In Silesia, therefore, bourgeois people, with or without an incolation, are no longer allowed to buy aristocratic estates, unless the monarch has expressly given his prior consent.
The Inkolat was also awarded for other areas of law. So the sovereign was able to accept foreign nobles into the local nobility. This concerned, for example, in the (old) Austrian and Bohemian countries and in the Kingdom of Prussia the admission to the gentry or knighthood . At the same time, depending on traditions and power relations, acceptance into the aristocratic state community was significantly easier elsewhere and did not require an incolation by the sovereign, for example in Lusatia .
At times, some municipalities privileged by the sovereign had the right to declare non-residents to be citizens of their area, for example the city of Prague and some other “royal cities” in the Kingdom of Bohemia .
Inkolat rights were also granted to control and promote the economy and trade. So was Elector Max III. Joseph von Bayern gave foreign merchants the right to purchase their own food, livestock or wood without excise and to trade on the markets like the locals by issuing Inkolat letters .
In addition, social situations in need of regulation were decided through Inkolat awards, which arose, for example, when a foreigner married a local (a "land-capable woman"), especially if it was a woman from the aristocracy who owned land.
The right to participate in the state parliaments and to apply for offices reserved for members of the state estates was often linked to the incolation. The election or appointment as canon of an ecclesiastical or secular “collegial foundation” also required incolation at times in some regions. Critics noted that it was not the most capable, but those favored by power politics that got a chance.
Development of Inkolat Law
In Bohemia, until the Thirty Years' War , the estates alone decided who would award the incolate. After the failure of the class uprising of 1618/19, the king received this right in the " Renewed State Order " of 1627. Regarding land ownership, it was abolished there by the civil code of 1786 and the patent of 1789. Now both rural and civil goods could be "posseded" by foreigners as well as by local commoners. In the rest of Europe, too, the other rights that had previously been regulated by incolates were gradually abolished in the course of the reforms of 1848 and the departure from the corporate state .
The Indigenat concerned initially similar rights as the Inkolat, it sparked in Germany in the 19th century increasingly, and now belongs to abgewandeltem content on the rights of citizens of the European Union .
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