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- Absolute Monarchy Definition: "I Am The State"
- Absolute vs. Constitutional Monarchy
- Pros and Cons
- Sources and Further Reference
In an absolute monarchy, as in a dictatorship, the ruling power and actions of the absolute monarch may not be questioned or limited by any written law, legislature, court, economic sanction, religion, custom, or electoral process. Perhaps the best description of the governmental power wielded by an absolute monarch is often attributed to King Louis XIV of France, the “Sun King,” who reportedly declared, “I am the state.” In making this bold statement, Louis XIV drew inspiration from the ancient theory of monarchical absolutismknown as “the divine right of kings” asserting that the authority of kings was bestowed on them by God. In this manner, the king did not answer to his subjects, the aristocracy, or the church. Historically, tyrannical absolute monarchs have claimed that in carrying out the brutal acts they were merely administering God’s ordained punishment for the “sins” of the people. Any attempt, real or imagined, to depose the monarchs or limit their power was considered a...
In a constitutional monarchy, power is shared by the monarch with a constitutionally defined government. Rather than having unlimited power, as in an absolute monarchy, the monarchs in constitutional monarchies must use their powers according to the limits and processes established by a written unwritten constitution. The constitution typically provides for a separation of powersand duties between the monarch, a legislative body, and a judiciary. Unlike absolute monarchies, constitutional monarchies typically allow the people to have a voice in their government through a limited electoral process. In some constitutional monarchies, such as Morocco, Jordan, Kuwait, and Bahrain, the constitution grants significant discretionary powers to the monarch. In other constitutional monarchies, such as the United Kingdom, Spain, Sweden, and Japan, the monarch takes little part in the government, serving instead in mainly ceremonial and inspirational roles.
While living in one of the few modern absolute monarchies is nothing like living in the risky realm of King Henry VIII, it still requires taking some bad with the good. The pros and cons of absolute monarchy reveal that while it is perhaps the most efficient form of government, speed in governing is not always a good thing for the governed. The unlimited power of the monarchy can result in oppression, social unrest, and tyranny.Harris, Nathanial. “Systems of Government Monarchy.”Evans Brothers, 2009, ISBN 978-0-237-53932-0.Goldie, Mark; Wokler, Robert. “Philosophical kingship and enlightened despotism.”The Cambridge History of Eighteenth-Century Political Thought, Cambridge University Press, 2006, ISBN 9780521374224.Figgis, John Neville. “The Divine Right of Kings.”Forgotten Books, 2012, ASIN: B0091MUQ48.Weir, Alison. “Henry VIII: The King and His Court.”Ballantine Books, 2002, ISBN-10: 034543708X.
Of the historical examples of absolute monarchy, one that stands out is the reign of Louis XIV, who established this form of government in France. A monarch of the House of Bourbon, he ruled as the King of France and Navarre from May 14, 1643, until his death on September 1, 1715.
Another example of absolute monarchy is the czars of Russia. In Russia, czars ruled as absolute monarchs until 1905 and wielded absolute power over all subjects. It was not until the 1905 Revolution that Russia had a constitution or any sort of representative government.
Nov 28, 2019 · Absolute monarchy, or absolutism, meant that the ultimate authority to run a state was in the hands of a king who ruled by divine right. Divine right was the claim that a king was given his...
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Jun 14, 2019 · If you're looking for the names of countries with absolute monarchy governments then you're in the right place. Examples of items on this list include Qatar and Oman. This list answers the questions, "Which countries are ruled by absolute monarchy?" and "Which countries are governed by absolute monarchy?"
- Historical Examples of Absolute Monarchies
- Contemporary Trends
- Saudi Arabia
- Further Reading
In Ancient Egypt, the Pharaoh wielded absolute power over the country and was considered a living god by his people. In ancient Mesopotamia, many rulers of Assyria, Babylonia and Sumer were absolute monarchs as well. In ancient and medieval India, rulers of the Maurya, Satavahana, Gupta, Chola and Chalukya Empires, as well as other major and minor empires, were considered absolute monarchs. In the Khmer Empire, the kings were called Devaraja 'god-king' and Chakravartin, and exercised absolute...
Throughout much of European history, the divine right of kings was the theological justification for absolute monarchy. Many European monarchs claimed supreme autocratic power by divine right, and that their subjects had no rights to limit their power. James VI and I and his son Charles I tried to import this principle into Scotland and England. Charles I's attempt to enforce episcopal polity on the Church of Scotland led to rebellion by the Covenanters and the Bishops' Wars, then fears that...
Many nations formerly with absolute monarchies, such as Jordan, Kuwait and Morocco, have moved towards constitutional monarchy, although in these cases the monarch still retains tremendous power, to the point that the parliament's influence on political life is negligible. In Bhutan, the government moved from absolute monarchy to constitutional monarchy following planned parliamentary elections to the Tshogdu in 2003, and the election of a National Assembly in 2008. Nepal had several swings between constitutional rule and direct rule related to the Nepalese Civil War, the Maoist insurgency, and the 2001 Nepalese royal massacre, with the Nepalese monarchybeing abolished on 28 May 2008. In Tonga, the King had majority control of the Legislative Assemblyuntil 2010. Liechtenstein has moved towards expanding the power of the monarch: the Prince of Liechtenstein was given expanded powers after a referendum amending the Constitution of Liechtensteinin 2003, which led the B...
Saudi Arabia is an absolute monarchy, and according to the Basic Law of Saudi Arabia adopted by Royal Decree in 1992, the King must comply with Shari'a (Islamic law) and the Qur'an. The Qur'an and the body of the Sunnah (traditions of the Islamic prophet, Muhammad) are declared to be the Kingdom's Constitution, but no written modern constitution has ever been promulgated for Saudi Arabia, which remains the only Arab nation where no national elections have ever taken place since its founding. No political parties or national elections are permitted and according to The Economist's 2010 Democracy Index, the Saudi government is the eighth most authoritarian regime from among the 167 countries rated.
Anthropology, sociology, and ethology as well as various other disciplines such as political science attempt to explain the rise of absolute monarchy ranging from extrapolation generally, to certain Marxist explanations in terms of the class struggleas the underlying dynamic of human historical development generally and absolute monarchy in particular. In the 17th century, French legal theorist Jean Domat defended the concept of absolute monarchy in works such as "On Social Order and Absolute Monarchy", citing absolute monarchy as preserving natural order as God intended. Other intellectual figures who have supported absolute monarchy include Thomas Hobbes and Charles Maurras.Beloff, Max. The Age of Absolutism From 1660 to 1815(1961)——. Lord and Peasant in Russia from the Ninth to the Nineteenth Century. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1951.
Dec 03, 2017 · In Europe, the only example of absolute monarchy is the Vatican City, currently governed by Pope Francis. The Vatican City is also an example of State Religion where the Head was selected by a form of religious hierarchy. Another example of theocracy is Iran. There are still several examples of absolute monarchy in the world today.
An absolute monarchy or absolutist monarchy It is a form of government that allocates all political power to the hands of a king. In it there is no separation of powers or counterweights to the will of the monarch, whether or not there are political institutions other than the throne (such as parliament or the courts).
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