MONARCHY. We know a great deal about the monarchs of early modern Europe, but we know much less about monarchy, that is, the institution of personal rulership. Until the French Revolution, monarchy was usually taken for granted by Europeans. Since it was endorsed by the Bible and Aristotle, the touchstones of written truth, few thought to analyze it further. Those who did, like Jean Bodin or Thomas Hobbes, were viewed with suspicion by more cautious minds. The adjectives that we employ today to describe types of monarchy, such as "absolutist," "divine right," or "constitutional," were not used in a systematic way before the eighteenth century because they were notgreatlyneeded. Other terms, like "thaumaturgic kingship," "sacral kingship," "the king's two bodies," or "enlightened absolutism," were coined long after 1800. While they may be quite useful in understanding earlymodern monarchy, it would be a mistake to apply them too rigorously, as if monarchs adhered to them as underlying principles.
Institutions that everyone takes for granted tend to be conservative, and this was certainly the case with monarchy. It generally fostered a distrust of political change. Yet monarchs could sponsor the most daring innovations, which became more acceptable because of their support. Indeed, perhaps the most remarkable feature of early modern European monarchy was its recurring dynamism, its ability to create or adapt to new circumstances. Unlike its counterparts in many other parts of the world, European kingship between 1450 and 1800 was constantly changing in response to competition or crisis. By the eighteenth century, European monarchs possessed more effective means of communication and control than their rivals elsewhere, combined with better military technology. These advantages encouraged them to impose themselves on other parts of the world. Their systems of governance may not have been superior, but their organization was, however haphazard it may seem to us today. Thus, the transformation of rulership in early modern Europe had global consequences.
If called upon to define "monarchy," we might say that it is rulership over a political entity by one person who inherits his or her position by hereditary succession, is crowned, reigns for life, and exercises authority by the will of God rather than by the choice of the people. While this may be a reasonable overall description, it does not fit most early modern European monarchies very precisely, because they were so diverse. To begin with, few of them were simple political entities. Most were composite states, amalgamations of regions, provinces, or even kingdoms, whose chief or only point of unity was the person of the monarch. Spain after 1516 was not a single administrative unit; rather, it was a collection of separate kingdoms united only by allegiance to a single ruler. The same was true of Great Britain between 1603 and 1707. Today, national states are held together by identities based on common values and impersonal institutions. It is hard for us to imagine a political body that would dissolve if a single office were vacant, but that was the case with most early modern monarchies.
This in turn complicated the meaning of rulership, which might relate to little more than the existence of a monarch at the head of a realm. The dayto-day direction of the polity might rest in the hands of the king only in an abstract sense. He was, to be sure, the ultimate source of authority in the kingdom. Yet nowhere did he make every political decision, either alone or in his council; and nowhere was his power unrestricted. Customs, privileges, traditions, laws, Estates, assemblies, and parliaments—all put boundaries on royal power, sometimes so severely that the king was able to do very little on his own. Besides, in the "age of the favorite," kings were often happy to delegate power to a leading minister, such as Olivares in Spain, Richelieu in France, Buckingham in England, Oxenstierna in Sweden, and Griffenfeld in Denmark.
Personal rulership was in flux during the early modern period. It was traditionally understood to mean two things above all: leadership in war and the administration of justice. Both roles had seriously decayed by the mid-1700s. Medieval kings regularly led troops into battle and were eager to intervene in strategic decisions during wartime. This began to change with the expansion of armies in the 1500s, and by 1750, generals and military experts were firmly in charge. Kings stopped regularly dispensing personal justice in the late Middle Ages and rarely exercised direct supervision of judicial systems, although they continued to use pardons as a means of exhibiting their final say over the law. The expanded mechanisms of war and impersonal justice were made possible by tax collection, which was carried out by officials acting in the king's name. Taxation became the most important practical function of government. Those who resisted taxes in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries liked to claim that the ruler was ignorant of the tyranny and corruption of his officers ("if the king only knew . . ."), but by the eighteenth century this polite fiction had worn thin. The rumor that Louis XVI (ruled 1774–1792) was involved in a pacte de famine against his own people was a crucial factor in the erosion of his rulership over France. In some eyes, the warrior leader and font of justice had become little more than a chief bureaucrat.
Was monarchy always strictly hereditary? Poland, Bohemia (to 1627), Hungary (to 1688) and the Holy Roman Empire were elected monarchies, and nobles in other countries, notably Muscovy, Denmark, and Sweden, could fall back on the elective principle in times of crisis. The only nation where hereditary right was fixed in law was France, which was why some observers, like Claude de Seyssel, thought the French monarchy was more stable than any other. Yet in spite of its supposed virtues, the Salic Law, invented to keep English claimants off the French throne by ruling out inheritance in the female line, was not imitated in the rest of Europe. The English determined their own succession by armed struggle in 1461, 1471, and 1485, by usurpation in 1483, by the novel principle of female inheritance in 1553 and 1558, and by parliamentary statute in 1689 and 1714. The Swedes, whose Vasa kings were viewed as mere usurpers by their former Danish overlords, thrice chose a king by legislative approval. The Spanish royal inheritance of 1702 was dictated by the testament of Charles II, not by lineage alone. The Ottoman succession was never secure. In spite of Mehmed II's edict requiring a new sultan to execute his brothers, the empire suffered several usurpations and wars of succession before the "law of fratricide" fell into disuse in the seventeenth century.
Did a king rule for life? Not necessarily. Charles I of England was tried and executed in 1649; his son James II was deposed in 1688, although Parliament declared it an abdication. Queen Christina of Sweden really did abdicate in 1654 (she expected to be treated with royal dignity for the rest of her life). Philip V took the unprecedented step of first abdicating in 1724, then reclaiming the Spanish throne after the premature death of his son, Luis. Victor Amadeus of Savoy's abdication in 1730 was perceived as a devious ploy to regain the throne with more power (it failed when he was imprisoned). Ottoman sultans could not abdicate, but they were regularly murdered, particularly by rebellious Janissaries. The same grim fate was meted out to several Russian tsars, including the false Dmitry, Peter III, and Ivan VI.
Not all kings were crowned. The Ottoman Empire lacked a coronation ceremony, as did Castile; in both cases, the ruler was simply proclaimed, and banners unfurled. Elsewhere, the coronation ceremony was carefully observed, but the ordines or rules that governed the ritual were always subject to revision. The church had at first resisted the idea that coronation made the king into a holy figure, like a priest. By the early modern period, however, the clergy had given way to royal assertiveness. The coronation was now represented as an ordination, replete with holy oils and chrisms for anointing the king's body. It conferred an aura of sacredness on the royal person. Yet in hereditary monarchies, coronation did not initiate rulership, which began at the death of the preceding monarch. This contradiction was often noted, never resolved. In the eighteenth century, the legitimizing power of the coronation declined throughout Europe, and it became simply another occasion for display and panoply.
While coronation ceremonies usually retained some form of popular acclamation, they tended to reinforce the idea that early modern kings ruled by the will of God rather than that of the people. This was a consistent message, even in Poland, where the king was elected by the nobles and was frequently bullied by them. In practice, however, the will of God could be narrowly interpreted, as the Providence that maintained the king on the throne and gave him victories. It might also extend to acts of the king that directly invoked the deity, like the miracle of the royal touch in England and France; but when the king laid hands on sufferers to cure scrofula, it was God, not he, who performed the healing. Divine sanction did not mean that the king was a saint (although Russian tsars, Louis XIII of France, and the martyred Charles I of England were represented in that way), or that specific acts of royal governance expressed the intentions of the Almighty. It was often the opponents of monarchs, from the French Catholic League to Belgian patriots of the 1780s, who were most strident in appropriating heavenly favor for their political actions. Kings were usually more wary; after all, they had to deal with the guardians of religion, who resented claims to God's approval that were made without their explicit support. Even the Ottoman sultan was circumspect in his use of the title "caliph" or heir to the prophet.
Monarchs gradually became bolder in asserting control over the clergy and religion. This did not make them more sacred, but it did make them controversial. Tsars Alexis Mikhaylovich and his son Peter I (Peter the Great) outraged traditionalists with their religious reforms; so did James II in England. The regalism of the Bourbons, especially Louis XIV in France and Charles III in Spain, created many critics among devout Catholics. The attack against Jansenism that was initiated by Louis XIV and continued by his successor created a political furor that lasted sixty years. The most daring offender against religious sensibilities may have been Emperor Joseph II, who dissolved monasteries, gave toleration to Jews, and aroused bitter clerical opposition. As a result, traditionalist church parties formed throughout Europe. What they had in common was disillusionment with monarchy, causing a distrust that could feed into revolutionary sympathies after 1789.
THEORIES OF RULERSHIP
If we turn from institutional definitions of monarchy to the theories of political writers, we may be surprised to find how little connection there was between them. Inspired by the ancients, political philosophers usually wanted to write for the ages, not to address specific institutional questions. While they were deeply influenced by what was happening around them, they consciously sought to separate their writings from contemporary circumstances. The impact of their theories, however, was seldom what they had expected.
The main classical sources for European political theory were Roman law, Aristotle (often filtered through Cicero), and the Roman historian Tacitus. Roman law dealt directly with the question of imperium, which could be understood variously, as absolute sovereignty (the emperor was above the laws) or as some sort of limited rulership (the emperor was bound by the laws). The civil lawyers often regarded imperium as meaning both simultaneously: that is, the king normally had to observe the laws, but could in special circumstances dispense with them. This was the point of view of leading imperial jurists, like Dietrich Reinking. The breakdown of imperial power in the Thirty Years' War, however, led some legal writers, like Hermann Conring and Samuel Pufendorf, to deny that the Holy Roman Empire was descended from ancient Rome. As a result, sovereign authority was held by German territorial rulers, not the emperor. The empire survived, however, and by the eighteenth century, constitutional equilibrium rather than imperium was the main concern of its civil lawyers.
The impact of Aristotle was more pervasive and subtle. His emphasis on personal balance and selfrestraint informed countless manuals on lordly behavior, or "Mirrors for Princes." They appeared in Muslim as well as Christian lands; in fact, one of the first and most important of them was written by the Islamic scholar al-Ghazālī, in the eleventh century. Desiderius Erasmus wrote one, as did Justus Lipsius and, in the eighteenth century, Frederick the Great of Prussia. The reading of Aristotle and Cicero inspired an abhorrence of despotism and a belief in the public good as the ultimate end of government. Aristotelians from Thomas Aquinas to Francisco de Vitoria to the great Spanish Jesuit writers (Pedro de Rivadeneira, Juan de Mariana, Francisco Suárez) held to the view that kings should rule for the benefit of the people. Since most of them were priests, they also stressed the supremacy of the church over any secular monarchy. Protestant Aristotelians like Martin Luther himself and Henning Arnisaeus accepted the primacy of religion but were more willing to separate monarchy from popular approval.
The third classical strain in early modern European political thought was derived from the historian Tacitus, who excoriated the corruption and decrepitude of the Roman imperial state. His main follower in our period was Niccolò Machiavelli, whose books on princely amorality and republican virtue were formally despised, but rarely ignored, by other political writers. Admirers of Tacitus were not always critical of monarchy; like Henry St. John, Lord Bolingbroke, in the eighteenth century, they might believe that only a strong, heroic ruler could restore decayed virtue. Similarly, Tacitus's view that empires must continually grow or necessarily decay could supply arguments to both opponents and defenders of imperial expansion.
The classical tradition gave only limited sustenance to those political writers who wanted a more "absolute" monarchy. In fact, Aristotle and Cicero could be read as consistent with an interpretation of the Bible that saw kings as responsible to the people rather than directly to God. This was expressed by certain followers of John Calvin, called "monarchomachs," notably the German Johannes Althusius, the Scot George Buchanan, and the Frenchmen François Hotman, Philippe Duplessis-Mornay, and Hubert Languet. They vested ultimate authority in the magistrates, in legislatures, or in the people rather the king. Buchanan, like Mariana, even allowed that open resistance to a tyrant might be legitimate.
Where could defenders of a stronger monarchy turn? To the Bible, of course, and to Roman history. For the French lawyer Jean Bodin, the sovereignty of a monarch could not be divided, shared, or legally resisted because it rested on the patriarchal power exercised by an all-powerful God as well as by ancient Roman fathers. The Englishman Robert Filmer carried Bodin a stage further by making patriarchal power "arbitrary," so that the father-ruler could do whatever he wanted, without any right of resistance. Most apologists for royal power, like Bishop Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet, did not go so far as either Bodin or Filmer; they simply maintained that the authority of the king was derived from God, to whom he was solely responsible. This did not entirely rule out some sort of original agreement with the people; but as the Dutch jurist Hugo Grotius pointed out, once such an agreement was made, the people surrendered their sovereignty and had no right to reclaim it. Thomas Hobbes repeated the point in his Leviathan of 1651, which presented government as the convergence of individual wills in an "artificial man," the state. Hobbes's unorthodox religious and philosophical views ensured that few in England would acknowledge his contribution for the next century. On the other side, only the most radical political thinkers, like John Locke, continued to argue for a right to resistance to monarchs by the end of the seventeenth century, and Locke was not very clear about how it could be activated.
The Enlightenment added a new dimension to these debates, by introducing a critical, comparative method. It was best exemplified in Montesquieu's L'esprit des lois (1748; Spirit of the laws), which sought to replace the ideal categories of classical philosophy with observations of the ways in which peoples were actually governed. The aristocratic Montesquieu was often read as a proponent of a mixed constitution based on the post-1688 English model. Admiration for England was widely held, but it did not wholly sway every enlightened mind (Voltaire, for example, continued to praise Louis XIV's powerful, activist monarchy). Foreign observers, moreover, tended to misinterpret the centralist English constitution.
By the late eighteenth century, many enlightened writers (Cesare Beccaria and Denis Diderot among them) had decided that the form of government was less important than what it accomplished in terms of the public good. Kings, it was hoped, would become reformers: "the first servants of the state," in Frederick the Great's memorable phrase. They would abolish torture, establish religious toleration, grant freedom of expression, and spread education among the masses. They might even transform the European empires into federations of sovereign states, a sentiment expressed by several prominent Spanish reformers.
The American Revolution complicated such aspirations because it associated reform with republicanism. At the same time, some proponents of economic change, like the Marquês de Pombal of Portugal, had proven themselves to be less than enlightened in other areas. A renewed threat to monarchy emerged in the writings of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who scorned the "despotism" of kings and suggested that sovereignty rested not in them, but in an abstract conception of the "general will" determined by the whole people. Few read Rousseau's Du contrat social (Social contract) when it first appeared in 1762, but it made a great impact on the subsequent generation. By the early 1790s, some enlightened thinkers throughout Europe held the view that, if kings were not willing to lead the nation and the people into a golden age of reform, they might not be necessary after all.
COURTS AND DISPLAY
The works of political philosophers shaped educated minds, but until the late 1700s, they made little difference to the conduct of royal courts. The court was the main arena of royal display and magnificence. In the absence of bureaucratic institutions, it was also the center of monarchical government. Leading members of the king's councils usually held prominent positions at court. Local officials often had to go to court to transact important business. Aristocrats jockeyed at court for positions, titles, honors, and the prestige of personal proximity to the sovereign.
The courts of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries were often peripatetic, moving between royal palaces and cities, or installing themselves temporarily in the houses of prominent nobles. By the late 1500s this had become too expensive and complicated, so courts became more or less fixed in a few big palaces, in or near administrative centers. They also grew. The salaried officials of the French court numbered around one thousand under Francis I; they swelled to eight to ten thousand under Louis XIV. The Spanish court remained at around fifteen to seventeen hundred persons during the same period, and the English court included about one thousand officers until the Civil Wars. The much smaller Austrian Habsburg court did not exceed six hundred persons from the late 1400s to the late 1600s, but by the second quarter of the eighteenth century it had reached twenty-five hundred. None of them, however, compared with the 95,000 employees and officers of the Ottoman court, among them 68,000 soldiers, 2,146 doorkeepers, 5,003 gardeners, and 1,372 cooks.
The main purpose of the court was to bring together the king's principal servants, both government officers and members of his household, in one place. This was particularly vital in composite monarchies, where high-ranking royal officials came from disparate regions and might even speak different languages. The king could not live in all his territories, so he had to call their leading men to him. A court where rewards were to be had was one to which they would flock; a feeble court would indicate a lack of cohesion in the kingdom. Thus, the court was above all a point of contact between the crown and the elite.
It was also a locale for royal and aristocratic display. Kings lived out much of their daily lives in public, and their every move, from rising in the morning to dining to walking in the palace gardens, could be accompanied by elaborate ceremony. Religious observances were particularly important occasions for ritual. The Russian court, for example, was highly ritualized until the reign of Peter I, because the tsar was expected to perform endless religious duties. Every member of the high aristocracy (between 24 and 153 men) had a part in these ceremonies. For similar reasons, the Spanish court under the Habsburgs was obsessed with ritual, partly derived from the ordinances of the dukes of Burgundy. The king of Spain's cousins at the imperial court of Vienna, however, were much more relaxed—the emperor even dined privately, with his wife! The ritual of the French court waxed under Henry III and waned thereafter, until it was reestablished by Louis XIV at Versailles. English court ritual was never formalized to the same extent, with the exception of the annual Garter Ceremony, a favorite duty of Charles I.
Participation in the rituals of the court was determined by etiquette—not a list of behavioral rules, but a ranking of courtiers by precedence. Etiquette dictated who sat or stood near the king, who handed him his clothes or his towels or his food, who had a right to wear a hat in his presence. A courtier's position might be determined by office, by birth, or by some other distinction, such as the holding of a chivalric order. The king was the ultimate source of precedence, and he could manipulate the system of etiquette as he could the distribution of political positions. Few monarchs, however, made dramatic changes in etiquette or used it arbitrarily to control the aristocracy. They tended to reward those who already had influence, wealth, and social prestige. The court was not a self-enclosed social system; rather, its etiquette reflected the wider hierarchical society beyond it.
Artistic patronage was also based at court. Most kings enjoyed theatrical performances—plays, ballets, operas, masques—that were designed to edify the court nobility. They might call for the ruler to appear directly on stage, surrounded by obeisant courtiers. Some kings, like Philip IV of Spain or Charles I of England, assembled magnificent collections of paintings, both religious and secular. A few, like Louis XIV at Versailles or Frederick the Great at Potsdam, wanted to make their courts into artistic centers for the whole kingdom. In evaluating the impact of court art, however, we should remember how restricted the audience usually was. Monarchs spent far more on clothing than on paintings, and no court dominated artistic life as completely as its royal patrons hoped.
By the eighteenth century, there were signs that the larger royal courts were in decline. The English court was reduced in size after 1660 and lost its centrality in art patronage after 1688. The king's old palaces were not updated, and in the end George III had to purchase a new one, Buckingham House, from a subject. Versailles remained magnificent, but under Louis XV its ceremonies became increasingly empty of significance, and it gained a reputation for luxury and corruption. Philip V's palace at La Granja and the new Habsburg palace of Schönbrunn near Vienna were designed for the private relaxation of the ruling family, an indication that royalty was no longer willing to live fully in the public glare. The Swedish court in the "Age of Liberty" was perceived as geriatric and moribund. There were exceptions: the Russian court, removed to St. Petersburg and stripped of much of its Orthodox ritual, presented a brilliant show, albeit one with limited relevance to the wider nation. It was still possible for a royal court to transform a city, architecturally and culturally, as the kings of Sardinia did at Turin after 1730.
Courts were never universally admired, even by those who frequented them. Throughout the early modern period, they were criticized for waste and vice. It is difficult to judge how effective they were in impressing a sense of royal grandeur on the minds of the people. Yet they were vital instruments of royal power, and it is impossible to imagine early modern monarchy without them.
MONARCHY BEYOND THE COURT
What did the people of Europe know about monarchy? Even in France or Russia, only a fraction of the nobility went to court. As for townspeople and peasants, they may not even have known where the court was. Yet they were exposed to various images of monarchy, and kings made a definite mark on their lives. Over time, the ruler's control over them appears to have increased.
Subjects who did not live near the court might see the monarch during a royal entry into a town or a progress through the countryside. These were more common in the sixteenth century when courts were peripatetic, but they continued into the eighteenth century. The events of a monarch's life, from birth and baptism to accession, coronation, and eventual death, were marked by public celebrations or mourning. Royal funeral ceremonies involved lyings-in-state, processions, grand catafalques, and numerous religious ceremonies that affected large numbers of people. The churches took an active part in almost every public ceremony of monarchy, as well as in the dissemination of royal messages. In France, Te Deum services proliferated in the seventeenth century to commemorate occasions of importance to the crown. The Ottoman sultans were regularly blessed at Friday prayers in mosques throughout their empire, just as the English monarchs were on Sundays in Anglican churches. In return, the king took every opportunity to associate himself with religion. Marching behind the Host in the Corpus Christi procession was an important annual ritual for many Catholic monarchs.
Graphic images of kings became more available in the late sixteenth century through engravings and woodcuts. Queen Elizabeth of England tried in vain to prevent the sale of unauthorized pictures of herself. The market for prints was concentrated in towns, among the urban nobility and bourgeoisie. Peddlers, however, carried prints into the countryside, along with printed chapbooks that might contain idealized images or descriptions of rulers. By the late eighteenth century, newspapers had spread throughout western and central Europe, and the doings of courts were among their favorite topics. While they were often heavily censored, and could be prosecuted for seditious libel even in a relatively tolerant kingdom like Great Britain or Prussia, newspapers gave a regular insight into court life that had previously been available only to a select few. They complemented the often scandalous court memoirs that became popular reading material. It would be unwise to argue that the growing awareness of the doings of courts bred disillusionment with royal government, but it certainly encouraged critics, including those French pornographers who invented lurid (and wholly fictitious) accounts of the orgies presided over by Queen Marie Antoinette.
Ordinary people often looked to the king's law courts for justice against their aristocratic overlords. In Tudor England, the Court of Star Chamber meted out cheap justice to the poor; and in 1665–1666, Louis XIV's Assizes of Auvergne passed eighty-seven sentences against gentlemen, "to rescue the people from the oppression of the powerful." Even as the Holy Roman emperor's power was declining after 1648, his Aulic Council continued to hear two to three thousand lawsuits every year. It made a big impression when Joseph I deposed a German prince after the council had investigated his execution of a peasant without a trial. Distrust of the nobility explains why ordinary people generally seem to have favored a stronger rather than a weaker monarchy. In Stockholm in 1743, for example, crowds eager for a Danish rather than a Russian successor to the throne called out, "One king and not many! No Russian puppet!" Unfortunately for them, they got almost thirty more years of aristocratic domination.
Subjects could prove more rebellious if the king tried to implement policies that were perceived to be despotic or impious, as the revolts of the mid-sixteenth and mid-seventeenth centuries demonstrated. After 1660, however, the privileged classes seem to have become less willing to support serious rebellions. This permitted monarchs to extend the state controls that had been building up for the previous two centuries. Their measures mainly involved military organization, conscription, and taxation; but state interference could spill over into new areas like social welfare, peasant labor services, comprehensive school systems, or even the structure of composite monarchy (for example, the union of England and Scotland, the dissolution of privileges in Aragón, or the annexation of the Ukraine). Reform did not always work; the French monarchs were amazingly ambitious in setting out plans for improving the economic conditions of their kingdom, but almost all of them ended in spectacular failure, due to the power of vested interests.
Did European monarchs lay the foundations of the modern state? In a fiscal and military sense, they certainly did; and they came up with the winning formula of controlling the individual by creating allegiance to a distant authority wearing a human face. Nevertheless, most rulers were resistant to the next, crucial step in state formation: the dissemination of national identities. A few, like George III of England and Gustav III of Sweden, were happy to be seen as patriot kings, although both made political havoc by overplaying the role. Frederick the Great was hailed as a German patriot by his admirers, but did not take the idea seriously. Joseph II tried to force the German language on his recalcitrant Hungarian subjects not because he was a patriot, but because he thought it would be more efficient. Charles III of Spain failed to appreciate the patriotic opposition to his Italian advisers, until riots in 1766 forced him to dismiss them. Catherine the Great and Louis XVI wanted to have nothing to do with national sentiments. Catherine was lucky enough to rule over a country where they were embryonic. Louis XVI was not so fortunate; his people wanted a patriot king, and when it became evident that he was not prepared to be one, popular disillusionment contributed to revolutionary anger.
In the next century, of course, monarchs would willingly become national icons. Their initial hesitation to commit themselves to nationalism, however, was well considered. Identification with a particular nation meant the end of the composite state with which early modern monarchy was so closely associated. It also meant that the ruler was now beholden to a national community, that is, to the people; and if he failed them, as so many monarchs did at the end of World War I, he could not expect to retain their allegiance.
See also Absolutism ; Authority, Concept of ; Bodin, Jean ; Court and Courtiers ; Divine Right Kingship ; Hobbes, Thomas ; Machiavelli, Niccolò ; Political Philosophy ; Resistance, Theory of ; Ritual, Civic and Royal .
Adamson, John, ed. The Princely Courts of Europe: Ritual, Politics and Culture under the Ancien Régime, 1500–1750. London, 1999. Beautifully illustrated collection of important essays.
Asch, Ronald G., and Adolf M. Birke, eds. Princes, Patronage and the Nobility: The Court at the Beginning of the Modern Age, c. 1450–1650. Oxford, 1991. Contains a wide selection of articles on court rituals and politics.
Bertelli, Sergio. The King's Body: Sacred Rituals of Power in Medieval and Early Modern Europe. Translated by R. Burr Litchfield. University Park, Pa., 2001. Wideranging theoretical approach to monarchy.
Bloch, Marc. The Royal Touch. Translated by J. E. Anderson. New York, 1989. Hugely influential study of thaumaturgic power to heal scrofula in England and France.
Dickens, A. G., ed. The Courts of Europe: Politics, Patronage, and Royalty, 1400–1800. London, 1977. The first significant collection of articles on court history in English.
Giesey, Ralph E. The Royal Funeral Ceremony in Renaissance France. Geneva, 1960. Interprets effigy in funeral ceremony as representing king's undying, corporate body.
Kantorowicz, Ernst H. The King's Two Bodies: A Study in Medieval Political Theology. Princeton, 1957. Highly influential work; argues that European kings were endowed with both a natural and an immortal corporate body.
Monod, Paul Kléber. The Power of Kings: Monarchy and Religion in Europe, 1589–1715. New Haven, 1999. A comparative study.
Oresko, Robert, G. C. Gibbs, and H. M. Scott, eds. Royal and Republican Sovereignty in Early Modern Europe: Essays in Memory of Ragnhild Hatton. Cambridge, U.K., and New York, 1997. Handsome collection of important essays.
Wortman, Richard S. Scenarios of Power: Myth and Ceremony in Russian Monarchy. Vol. I, From Peter the Great to the Death of Nicholas I. Princeton, 1995. Authoritative work on tsarist rituals.
"Monarchy." Europe, 1450 to 1789: Encyclopedia of the Early Modern World. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 21, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/monarchy-0
"Monarchy." Europe, 1450 to 1789: Encyclopedia of the Early Modern World. . Retrieved October 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/monarchy-0
The term “monarchy” has been used in both a broad and a narrow sense. The broad sense is found in the writings of the Ancients, especially Herodotus and the poets, where it denotes simply the rule of one man (or woman), whether good or bad, legitimate or unlawful, wise or incompetent. Plato and Aristotle introduced distinctions that narrowed the term by restricting it to rule by one good person; Plato defined the good by reference to law, and Aristotle did so by reference to happiness. In the modern West, another kind of narrowing has occurred in response to historical developments, especially feudalism. Here monarchy designates a particular type of one-person rule, characterized by legitimate blood descent, no matter how limited the extent of the governing functions; indeed, the term may even refer to regimes in which the monarch has no governing functions at all, as in Great Britain and the Scandinavian kingdoms.
Since Western historical associations cannot be applied to one-person rule in other cultures, comparative politics stands in need of a generic concept similar to the original Greek meaning of monarchy, a concept that would cover primitive kingship, Oriental despotism, tyranny, dictatorship, and the Western kind of monarchy.
The term “monocracy,” or monocratic rule, first suggested by Max Weber, has been coming into use in recent years. When anthropologists discuss monocratic rule, they usually mean one-person rule among primitives, which prevails, or prevailed before the European conquest, in Polynesia, Africa, and parts of America as well as Asia. The economic, political, judicial, and priestly functions of monocratic rulers differ widely within the same culture area. These rulers are generally regarded as of divine origin, and their acts are invested with divine qualities. They are supposed to possess mana and in their persons are frequently taboo; to touch them constitutes treason. The power of such a ruler is typically related in a magical way to successful crops and wars: there can be little doubt that military leadership is often at the heart of his power.
When the rule of this kind of king-priest was extended over large territories, especially in the ancient Orient, it was accompanied by the development of a bureaucracy. Such a bureaucracy may and often does combine priestly and administrative functions. In Egypt, China, and elsewhere, such extended bureaucratic monocracy was often associated with an official doctrine, such as Confucianism, the mastery of which served as the principle for selecting participants in the regime.
The succession of empires from the Egyptian to the Persian shows how widespread was this form of governmental organization within very diverse culture patterns. Indeed, the extent and durability of such regimes suggest that monocratic rule is the usual form of governing extensive territorial domains. This fact may be related to a persuasive general proposition concerning the appearance of monocratic rule in a variety of social contexts: it appears whenever a group is engaged in a serious struggle for survival. The threat to survival may be internal or external: wars, floods, insurrections, and the crises of industrial society have all been “causes” of the appearance of one kind of monocracy or another.
Ancient monarchy. Primitive government in the historical perspective seems also to have been predominantly monocratic. In Greece, for example, chiefs of divine descent appear to have performed the key functions of military leader, high priest, and judge. But eventually the nobility secured, or perhaps recaptured, an effective share of government. These fluid situations are reflected in such poets as Homer and Pindar. Modern researches in anthropology, archeology, and prehistory have shown that the Greek situation exemplifies fairly universal and recurrent conditions of early government. It is worthy of note, however, that matriarchal or patriarchal monarchy occurs under conditions that call more for magical and arbitral abilities than for military prowess.
Tyranny. A marginal form of monocracy, rarely referred to as monarchy, is tyranny. It made its appearance in Greece, and elsewhere, when class warfare between the nobility and the plebs caused political order to dissolve into civil war and anarchy. According to Aristotle, tyranny is the least stable of all forms of government. The Romans sought to forestall such developments by institutionalizing tyranny in the form of dictatorship. Both forms have, of course, reappeared in more recent times. In Greece, aristocracies, democracies, and tyrannies were challenged by monarchy. Having successfully withstood the onslaught of the Persian kings, at least in Greece proper, the Greeks were overwhelmed by the Macedonian rulers. Philip and his brilliant son Alexander set the stage for a proliferation of dynasties, which had been traditional in Macedonia. These dynasties dominated Greece and Asia Minor during the Hellenistic age until their conquest by Rome.
Although deeply imbued with traditional antimonarchical sentiment nurtured by a triumphant aristocracy, Rome eventually became a monarchy of radically autocratic propensity. After an extended period of transition, during which republican trappings were deliberately cultivated by Augustus and his successors, the Roman Empire emerged as a full-fledged monarchy. It remained troubled by problems of succession throughout its long history, however, because the notion of legitimizing a ruler by blood descent remained unacceptable for many generations. Historians and political philosophers have speculated on why Roman republicanism should have been superseded by monarchical autocracy. In the works of writers from Machiavelli to Montesquieu, Gibbon, and Mommsen, to mention only the most famous, the explanations for this transformation were, variously, the decline in morals, in religion, and in traditional manners, the extension of Rome’s sway and the corrupting influence of Oriental ways, and even the personal defects of Sulla, Pompey, and Caesar.
Actually, the emergence, or rather re-emergence, of monarchy in Rome occurred in response to the same forces that characteristically fashion monarchical government: civil dissension, breakdown of public order, and serious foreign setbacks and threats arising on Rome’s far-flung frontiers. The continued pressure of outside enemies and internal dissensions operated in the direction of monocratic, and indeed autocratic, rule; when, in the third century, Diocletian openly proclaimed such rule, he was merely stating officially what had long been a fact.
It has been said that the change in the status of the emperor reflected a fundamental transformation in all conceptions of life. This may be true, but the impending Christianization of the empire presumably had an even more profound significance. As against the pagan preoccupation with affairs of this world, the Christian emphasis on the life hereafter became the dominant interest. “Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s” may be taken as the key symbolic utterance of a basic indifference toward politics. Soon the church was to claim complete autonomy, at least in the West, which spelled the end of monarchy in the priestly tradition; monarchy hereafter appeared as the secular arm of the one God, whose primary representative on earth was the monarchical head of the church.
It has rightly been said that the Roman Catholic church preserved and developed the great tradition of Roman law. This heritage had a profound impact upon the development of monarchy in the West. The crucial feature of the emerging monarchical pattern was, at first, not the doctrine of legibus solutus, but above all the emphasis on law as expressed in the principle Quod placet principem, legis habet vigorem. Reinforced by the monotheistic conception of the deity in the Old Testament, which stressed the law-giving aspect, the monarch became primarily the dispenser of justice in the legal sense. This kind of monarch was epitomized in the symbolic figure of St. Louis sitting under an oak tree expounding the law. Such a monarch was a far cry from the omnipotent Oriental ruler, surrounded by pomp and circumstance. A monarch, confronted by ecclesiastical authorities ever ready to remind him of the natural and spiritual limits of the law and to back up their reminder with excommunication and the release of the ruler’s subjects from their allegiance, needed to reinforce his position as an individual by the legitimation of monarchy as an institution. Such legitimation was provided by the hallowing of blood descent.
There has been a great deal of learned controversy with regard to the details of the intertwining of Germanic and Roman traditions in the evolving of Western forms of political order. But there can be little question that a real amalgamation took place. The decisive event in this process was the crowning of Charlemagne by the pope in the year 800. This event, the result of ecclesiastical initiative, decisively shaped Western monarchy, especially in France, Germany, Austria, Bohemia, and Poland. After Charlemagne, and in contrast to the caesaropapism of the Eastern Empire, which preserved the older pattern of monarchy and bequeathed it to Russia, Western monarchy was torn between the conception of the Holy Roman Empire and the folkways of Germanic kingship. The latter remained strong in England, Spain, and Scandinavia. In these countries the nobility successfully claimed a share in ruling and thereby provided the restraint that the church sought to exercise in the empire.
Nobility and clergy joined in shaping constitutional forms of monarchy, especially in England and Spain. These were “mixed” governments, rather than “pure” forms. But before they could become universal, most of Europe went through a phase of absolute monarchy. Absolutism, especially as practiced in France, at times turned into despotism. Absolutist regimes were at once the creators and the expressions of national unification. They did away with feudal impediments to economic growth and fostered national churches challenging the ultramontane bonds of Catholicism. What Protestantism accomplished by the complete break with Rome, Gallicanism provided in an indirect way: an ecclesiastical authority closely bound up with secular rule. The absolute power thus placed in the hands of the monarch “corrupted” men and regimes and eventually engendered the violent reaction of revolution. In due course, absolute monarchy was overthrown, never to reappear in the European West; it was replaced by various constitutionalist forms, which were inspired by the example of England but which rarely if ever achieved the stability that tradition lent to the British crown.
The French Charte constitutionelle is typical in that it contains a rather doctrinaire system of separation of powers, even though the theory underlying it was distrusted. Constitutional monarchies varied considerably in regard to the scope they allowed the monarchical element; the scope was gradually reduced, in stages punctuated by the revolutions of 1830 and 1848. In addition, a new form of monarchy made its appearance with the rise of Napoleon Bonaparte. Although at the outset he was more a dictator than a monarch, Bonaparte insisted upon acquiring the trappings of traditional monarchy and clearly hoped to found a dynasty. Although a more absolute ruler than the monarchs he emulated, he too acknowledged the persistent Western preoccupation with law in putting through his great codification. Still, his methods served to discredit absolutism, and the autocracy of the Russian tsars did nothing to rehabilitate it. Indeed liberalism, like the Enlightenment before it, rapidly undermined the bases of monarchical legitimacy.
The extent of the corrosion of monarchy was laid bare by World War i. Its revolutionary sequels swept away the monarchy in Germany, Austria–Hungary, and Russia, a process later completed by the disappearance of monarchy in Spain, Italy, and Turkey. Only a few, largely ceremonial monarchs remain in Europe. The decline of monarchy is a world-wide trend. It has toppled in China and is in rapid retreat in Japan, India, the rest of Asia, and most of Africa. It has never been able to establish much of a foothold in America. If it is remembered that in Britain the monarch has long ceased to be in control of the government, one might venture the proposition that traditional monarchy, legitimized in terms of blood descent and ecclesiastical unction, is becoming extinct.
Nothing of the kind can be said for monarchy in the sense of the monocratic rule of one man. This type of government is actually on the increase all over the world, not only in totalitarian dictatorships but in military and even constitutional regimes. The rising importance of executive power, linked as it is to the increasing complexity of the decisions required in a technological age, enhances the monocratic thrust inherent in bureaucratic structures. Not only men like Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Tito, and Gomulka but also Kemal Atatürk, Ayub Khan, Nasser, Nkrumah, and in a sense even de Gaulle and some of the more recent Latin American dictators, are the new monarchs in the original Greek meaning of the term. Rulers like the kings of Morocco and of Saudi Arabia are in fact becoming monocrats. The legitimacy of these rulers (as well as of their succession) varies. In the totalitarian states their legitimacy is based upon the party and its ideology; in other countries it rests upon military achievement and support; in still others it is linked to a broad plebiscitary appeal; and in all of them such rule is further legitimized by a rising standard of living and the furtherance of economic development. Nor is there any end to this trend in sight; rather the opposite. While hereditary monarchy is finished—even the movements trying to resuscitate it, like the Action Frangaise, are dead or moribund—plebiscitary monarchy, as first instituted by Napoleon, seems destined to spread during the remainder of the twentieth century.
Carl J. Friedrich
Barker, Ernest 1923 The Conception of Empire. Pages 45–89 in Cyril Bailey (editor), The Legacy of Rome. Oxford: Clarendon.
Bryce, James (1864) 1956 The Holy Roman Empire. New ed., rev. & enl. London: Macmillan.
Coulborn, Rushton (editor) 1956 Feudalism in History. Princeton Univ. Press.
Eisenstadt, Shmuel N. 1963 The Political Systems of Empires. New York: Free Press.
Figgis, John N. (1896) 1922 The Divine Right of Kings. 2d ed. Cambridge Univ. Press. → First published as The Theory of the Divine Right of Kings. A paperback edition was published in 1965 by Harper.
Frankfort, Henri 1948 Kingship and the Gods: A Study of Ancient Near Eastern Religion as the Integration of Society and Nature. Univ. of Chicago Press.
Friedrich, Carl J. (1937) 1950 Constitutional Government and Democracy: Theory and Practice in Europe and America. Rev. ed. Boston: Ginn. → First published as Constitutional Government and Politics: Nature and Development.
Friedrich, Carl J. 1963 Man and His Government. New York: McGraw-Hill. → See especially Chapter 10.
Gierke, Otto von (1868–1913) 1954 Das deutsche Genossenschaftsrecht. 4 vols. Graz (Austria): Akademische Druck- und Verlagsanstalt. → Volume 1: Rechtsgeschichte der deutschen Genossenschaft. Volume 2: Geschichte des deutschen Körperschaftsbegriffs. Volume 3: Die Staats- und Korporationslehre des Altertums und des Mittelalters und ihre Aufnahme in Deutschland. Volume 4: Die Staats- und Korporationslehre der Neuzeit.
Hocart, Arthur M. 1927 Kingship. Oxford Univ. Press.
Hooke, Samuel H. (editor) 1958 Myth, Ritual, and Kingship. Oxford: Clarendon.
Kern, Fritz (1914) 1939 Kingship and Law in the Middle Ages. Oxford: Blackwell. → First published as Gottesgnadentum und Widerstandsrecht im früheren Mittelalter.
Koebner, Richard (1961) 1965 Empire. New York: Grosset & Dunlap.
Loewenstein, Karl 1952 Die Monarchic im modernen Staat. Frankfurt am Main (Germany): Metzner.
Mair, Lucy P. (1962) 1964 Primitive Government. Baltimore: Penguin.
Maurras, Charles (1909) 1928 Enquête sur la monarchic. New ed. Versailles (France): Bibliothèque des Oeuvres Politiques.
Mommsen, Theodor (1871) 1887–1888 Römisches Staatsrecht. 3d ed., 3 vols. Leipzig: Hirzel. → See especially Volume 2, Part 2.
Nicolson, Harold G. 1962 Kings, Courts and Monarchy. New York: Simon & Schuster.
Petrie, Charles A. 1952 Monarchy in the Twentieth Century. London: Dakers.
Pine, Leslie G. 1958 The Twilight of Monarchy. London: Burke.
Rostovtsev, Mikhail I. (1926) 1963 The Social and Economic History of the Roman Empire. New ed., 2 vols. Oxford: Clarendon.
Syme, Ronald (1939) 1960 The Roman Revolution. Oxford Univ. Press.
Weber, Max (1922) 1956 Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft. 4th ed., 2 vols. Tübingen (Germany): Mohr. → See especially Chapter 3 of Volume 1, Part 1.
Wittfogel, Karl A. 1957 Oriental Despotism: A Comparative Study of Total Power. New Haven, Conn.: Yale Univ. Press. → A paperback edition was published in 1963.
Wolff-Windegg, Philipp 1958 Die Gekrönten: Sinn und Sinnbilder des Königtums. Stuttgart (Germany): Klett.
"Monarchy." International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 21, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/applied-and-social-sciences-magazines/monarchy-0
"Monarchy." International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. . Retrieved October 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/applied-and-social-sciences-magazines/monarchy-0
More sober claims traced English monarchs back to Cerdic, king of Wessex in the early 6th cent. Even this was difficult to sustain, the royal blood running thin in places. Eighth-cent. Wessex kings are particularly badly documented and the link with Cerdic has largely to be taken on trust. Harold II had no royal blood at all, and William the Conqueror's claim was merely that his grandfather's sister, Emma of Normandy, had been married first to Æthelred, then to Cnut. But lineage was of such consequence that rulers whose claims looked shaky hastened to buttress them. The Conqueror's son Henry I married a Saxon princess, great-granddaughter of Edmund Ironside.
If we accept Cerdic as founder, the English monarchy dates back to about 519. The Scottish monarchy may be dated from c.843, when Kenneth MacAlpin of Dalriada united Picts and Scots to form the kingdom of Alba. The role of the monarch was essentially that of battle-leader. As a consequence, strict primogeniture was slow to establish itself, since it could result in a child or a simpleton on the throne. Few monarchs lasted long enough for old age to be a problem. In the earlier period, the king was chosen from the extended royal family and was often a brother or a cousin of his predecessor. With expectation of life short, it was unlikely that the eldest son would be old enough for the task. Edgar's eldest son Edward was only 13 when chosen in 975 but the innovation was hardly encouraging since he was murdered within three years. As royal power grew, kings increasingly chose their sons or were succeeded by them. The earlier convention increased the chances of having an effective ruler, but added to the risk of disputes, and many early kings were overthrown, exiled, or killed by their kin.
Apart from waging war—admittedly at times a demanding business—early kings had little to do. They attempted very few of the activities of the modern state. Justice was dispensed by landowners themselves; the king did not make law, though he might declare what it was; there was little revenue to collect, though he was entitled to support and hospitality. There was no economic or education policy to supervise. One doubts whether the army spent much time drilling, an occupation which fascinated later rulers. Foreign relations consisted of sending envoys to neighbouring kings, arranging alliances, and negotiating marriages. The most sophisticated organization was the church and sensible rulers devoted care to choice of archbishops and bishops.
But the great effort needed to push back the Danes in the 9th and 10th cents. produced important developments in the institutions of Wessex. Burhs, erected as strong points, had to be built and garrisoned, naval vessels commissioned and manned, and all had to be paid for. At Winchester, the capital of Wessex and then of England until the 12th cent., more than 3,000 yards of walls necessitated a garrison of 2,400 men. There were well over 50 burhs and they included places of great importance—Worcester, Bedford, Oxford, Colchester, Nottingham, Exeter, Derby, Stafford, Bath, Chichester, and Manchester. Even if the garrisons were not permanent nor necessarily efficient, a remarkable organizational effort was required, and the Burghal Hidage shows a systematic attempt to ensure adequate support. By the reign of Athelstan a much more complex governmental structure is apparent and the kingdom of England has emerged. Indeed, by the reign of Edgar, one can see the outlines of a claim to British sovereignty, with the monarch rowed on the Dee in 973 by kings from Scotland, from Wales, and of the British.
The monarchy was still, and for centuries remained, dependent upon the personal ability of the ruler. The 11th-cent. Saxon kingdom was unable to sustain the momentum. The return of Viking raids at the end of the 10th cent. proved almost too much for Æthelred and at his death the kingdom passed rapidly to Cnut. Though his rule was firm, he was no great innovator. The royal bodyguard and a navy were maintained and the revenue to support them raised. But his Scandinavian and imperial ambitions left him little time to ponder English problems, and the law code for which he is famous was largely derived from Edgar. Nor was Edward the Confessor, the last Saxon king, the man to invigorate government. The main development was the increasing use of the sheriff, a direct royal officer, to implement decisions in the shires.
With the Conquest in 1066 the kingdom was once more in alien hands, though to subjects accustomed to Scandinavian rule only a generation before, this may not have seemed novel, however unwelcome. By adding yet another people to be assimilated, the Conquest multiplied domestic problems, though the resentment felt by most of the English may have served to unify them. The first three Norman rulers were powerful. Their significance is seen more in relations with the other rulers in the British Isles than in domestic reform. Scotland felt the change quickly. William I paralleled the expedition by Cnut in 1031 with his own march to the Tay in 1072, which brought about the submission of Malcolm Canmore. His son William Rufus reoccupied Cumberland in 1092. Into Wales, the incursion of Norman lords began, particularly in the south, as early as one year after Hastings and William visited St Davids in 1081. The Norman attack upon Ireland was postponed until the 12th cent. and the reign of Henry II.
Since medieval government centred on the king, its efficacy varied greatly. Under strong rulers, the monarchy advanced, royal justice was extended, revenue increased, local government reorganized. Under weak rulers, control became slack and important concessions were made to subjects—Magna Carta in 1215, even if the immediate beneficiaries were the barons. Monarchs were frequently in danger since they were still expected to lead in battle: Edward II, Richard II, and Henry VI were deposed and killed, Edward V murdered, Richard III killed on the battlefield. The institution of monarchy was not in itself in danger—indeed, brutality often led to the survival of the fittest. Success in war, on the other hand, gave the king a strong, if not impregnable, position— William I, Edward I, Edward III, Henry V.
The prestige and standing of the monarchy was enhanced in a variety of ways. The coronation ceremony became more elaborate and more dignified. Some early coronations were so hasty that rehearsals could hardly have been possible. Harold was crowned the day after Edward's death, and Henry I apologized to Anselm for his coronation three days after succeeding Rufus, explaining that ‘enemies would have risen up against me’. Monarchs were competitive. The kings of France were proud that, at the coronation of Clovis, an angel had appeared bearing holy oil: fortunately the balance was more than restored when the Virgin Mary herself presented Becket with holy oil, which was quickly incorporated into the English coronation ceremony. Scottish kings in the 13th cent. petitioned the pope for permission to include anointing, but the English kings protested and the Scots were forced to wait until 1329. Similarly, hearing that the kings of France practised the royal touch, English monarchs from Edward I onwards began stroking.
It was also of value to a monarch to be associated with great buildings and great deeds. The Confessor built Westminster abbey, consecrated just before his death, and Henry III rebuilt it. Rufus built Westminster Hall and Richard II embellished it. Henry VI sponsored Eton and King's College, Cambridge. David I of Scotland founded the abbeys of Holyrood and Dunfermline, later turned into royal residences. Edward III's institution of the Order of the Garter was supported by a new chapel at Windsor, completed by Edward IV, and deliberately echoed the legendary deeds of King Arthur.
Cheaper was glory through the proliferation of titles. Edward I created his son prince of Wales in 1301; for decades the title of duke, first used in 1337, was reserved for members of the royal family. In 1483 the use of cloth of gold and purple was by statute limited to the king and his close relatives. By the 16th cent., the usual form of address had moved from ‘Your Grace’ or ‘Your Highness’ to ‘Your Majesty’. By the 1530s the breach with Rome had added to the monarch's authority his headship over the church.
By the 16th cent., the traditional role of the monarch as battle-leader was declining, though George II still led his men at Dettingen as late as 1743. But as warfare became more professional and since guns were no respecters of persons, royal valour diminished in importance. Though Henry VIII pined for military glory, he was usually kept at a safe distance from the action, and the greatest victory of his reign at Flodden was achieved not by the king but by Lord Surrey (Norfolk). Circumstance in both England and Scotland facilitated the change. In England Edward VI was too young, Mary and Elizabeth ruled out by sex, though Elizabeth's heroic speech at Tilbury was an effective substitute. In Scotland, James IV died fighting at Flodden in 1513; James V was too ill to take the field at Solway Moss; Mary, queen of Scots, could not fight in person, though she urged her men on; and the inclinations of James VI and I did not run towards martial glory. Charles I was with his troops all through the Civil War, but as supreme commander rather than a fighting man—a role subsequently played by William III.
The Tudor period is usually regarded as the apogee of the English monarchy. Certainly it was stronger than in the 15th cent., when the Wars of the Roses produced frequent changes of ruler. None of the Tudor rulers was to be trifled with. Yet lawlessness and rebellion were not easily stamped out. Henry VII faced risings on behalf of the pretenders Simnel and Warbeck, Henry VIII the Pilgrimage of Grace, Edward VI's government Kett's rebellion, Mary the Lady Jane Grey episode and the Wyatt rebellion, Elizabeth the rising of the northern earls and innumerable plots against her life. Several of their policies returned to haunt their successors. The take-over of church powers added greatly to the patronage of the monarch but also involved him more directly in religious disputation at a time when the waves of controversy were beginning to run high. The pope was no longer a lightning conductor for disgruntled critics, and James I's attempts to hold the line—‘no bishop, no king’—plunged his son into further difficulty. The Civil War, after all, began with Charles I's dispute over religion with his Scottish subjects. The vast proceeds of the dissolution of the monasteries were not merely squandered by the crown but finished up with the nobility, helping to strengthen its position. The house of Russell, which gained enormously from the dissolution, was prominent in its opposition to the crown in the 17th cent. Henry VIII's use of Parliament to effect the Reformation, and Mary and Elizabeth's use to adjust it, gave it confidence to challenge the monarchy in the following century.
Though at one level the Civil War was disastrous for monarchy—the king beheaded, the institution abolished—in the end it may have helped its survival. The role of the army in the 1650s and the social upheaval of the Commonwealth period sobered the gentry and nobility and prepared the ground for the peaceful restoration of Charles II in 1660. The complex negotiations of the early 1640s, in which Charles I had described the role of the crown as a balancing one, pointed the way to a compromise between crown and Parliament. From the melodrama of James II's reign, the monarchy emerged strengthened—limited certainly in its formal powers and prerogatives, but more in touch with the wishes of the nation.
From 1688 onwards, though the monarchy retained fundamental powers, it was in slow constitutional retreat. The Bill of Rights removed the suspending power and the dispensing power as it had been employed. The prolonged warfare under William and Anne meant that the crown could no longer avoid annual sessions of Parliament and the timing of a dissolution became a matter for ministers, in practice if not in form. The right of veto fell into abeyance after Anne's reign. Though the choice of ministers remained an important prerogative it was increasingly limited by the growth of party loyalty, and the fiasco of Lord Bute at the start of George III's reign suggested that royal favourites would no longer serve. During George IV's reign the debility of the monarchy was apparent. The king could no longer prevent catholic emancipation, though he regarded it, with some justice, as a breach of his coronation oath. In 1827 he contemplated leaving the choice of prime minister to the cabinet. Even the granting of honours fell largely into the hands of the prime minister and new orders had to be invented so that the monarch could retain some personal control.
But there were compensations in the changing role. It was not necessarily to the advantage of the monarch to be involved in the dust and reproach of day-to-day government, and the crown's retreat opened the way for a more national role. After the first three Georges, who had revealed little desire to show themselves to their subjects, George IV introduced a new note, with well-publicized visits to Scotland and Ireland. Victoria and Albert, a more appealing spectacle than a florid and elderly gentleman, were able to exploit the new railway age and built on George's foundations. Though Victoria was not a battle-leader, she undoubtedly became a symbol of the nation and of the empire, as her Golden and Diamond Jubilees in 1887 and 1897 demonstrated.
The 20th-cent. British monarchy survived when most others were swept away because it came to terms with democracy. The dangers that awaited it were, in the end, not red revolution or republican egalitarianism, but the more insidious difficulty of knowing what image to present in an age of rapidly changing standards. Like the church, the monarchy, once regarded as a rock of stability and certainty in a confusing world, came to seem, by the end of the century, as confused as its subjects. Royal advisers tended to be modernizers or traditionalists. The abdication of Edward VIII in 1936 appears in retrospect less a grave constitutional issue than an early warning of the problems that would arise if the monarch, or members of the royal family, were not prepared to do their duty. Though few people still regarded the monarchy as a sacred institution, they expected, as Baldwin pointed out, high standards from it in exchange for its social privileges. The monarchy was not helped by the growth of a vulgar, censorious, and meretricious press. Universal education produced a nation of critics, less respectful than their 7th-cent. ancestors. An increasing number of subjects felt that members of the royal family wished to be ordinary people when it suited them, royal when it did not. The monarchy had survived 1,500 years by a process of adaptation to change, but the pace and nature of change at the end of the 20th cent. were so rapid that the monarchy was in danger, not merely of being left behind, but of seeming increasingly irrelevant.
J. A. Cannon
Cannon, J. A. , The Modern British Monarchy: A Study in Adaptation (Reading, 1987);
Cannon, J. A., and and Griffiths, R. , The Oxford Illustrated History of the Monarchy (Oxford, 1988);
Golby, J. M., and and Purdue, A. W. , The Monarchy and the British People: 1760 to the Present (1988).
"monarchy." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 21, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/monarchy
"monarchy." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Retrieved October 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/monarchy
Monarchy literally means “rule by one,” and comes from the combination of the Greek words for “alone” (mono ) and “to rule” (archein ). It is a form of government in which supreme authority is vested in a single person, the monarch, who is consecrated in office and whose right to rule is generally hereditary and lifelong. By contrast, a republic is a form of government that does not have a monarch. All but a few countries in the world are republics, as there were only twenty-nine sovereign monarchies at the beginning of the twenty-first century (Lesotho, Morocco, and Swaziland in Africa; Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, Japan, Malaysia, Nepal, and Thailand in Asia; Belgium, Denmark, Holland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom in Europe; Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates in the Middle East; and Samoa and Tonga in the Pacific). A monarch typically reigns as a permanent head of state with varying formal and ceremonial powers. If the monarch is only a nominal ruler, then a regent will govern in his or her name. In contrast, the head of state in a republic is usually an elected president, who is chosen for only a limited period of time.
Monarchs have traditionally based their claim to the throne in terms of blood descent from a reigning or dynastic family, or even from a god (e.g., the kings of ancient Sparta claimed to be descended from the mythical Greek hero and demigod Hercules). Some European monarchs were originally elected by the ruling nobility (e.g., the Holy Roman Emperors), but in the early Middle Ages the elective principle was replaced by the purely hereditary principle and the ecclesiastical consecretion of the monarch as proof of godly sanction. Legitimacy was formally conferred by a solemn religious ceremony, the coronation, in which the monarch was given a crown as a symbol of office upon his or her succession to the throne. Hereditary monarchy was justified on the grounds of royal birthright, religion, history, and tradition. Today monarchy is more likely to serve as a symbol of national unity and continuity—with powers ranging from nominal to absolute. Most modern monarchies are constituted by tradition or are codified by law so that the crowned sovereign has little real practical authority, but in others the monarch holds considerable or even absolute power. But even where the monarch's will is law and the royal court is the acme of political power and prestige, the king or queen must still rule by custom.
In ancient Greece, the philosopher Plato (428–347 BCE) believed that a monarchy ruled by a sagacious philosopher-king was the best form of government. For Plato's pupil Aristotle (384–322 BCE), monarchy was a benevolent dictatorship, under which power is vested in a person of exceptional virtue and wisdom who rules for the benefit of the entire people. But Aristotle admitted that monarchy can degenerate into tyranny, a corrupt and unstable form of government, under which rulers exercise undivided power for the benefit of themselves alone, ignoring the will of the people.
Monarchy is the oldest form of government, whose origins can be traced to the primitive kingship of early tribal chiefs. The kingdoms of antiquity claimed divine descent for their monarch, who—as the embodiment or descendant of God—could do no wrong. The king of Babylon and the pharaoh of Egypt were each considered a living god with supernatural powers, and the pharaohs even married their sisters or daughters so that royal authority could remain within the sacred family. Other ancient monarchs, such as the “celestial” emperor of China or the Achaemenid “king of kings” in Persia, claimed to be the temporal representatives of God, ruling on Earth on behalf of the omnipotent deity. Later monarchs, such as the tyrants of ancient Greece, the Roman emperors, or the kings of the Franks, also claimed to be God's annointed, but derived their authority from the consent of the warrior aristocracy. As the chosen agents of God's will and defenders of the Christian faith, the medieval European monarchs were crowned by the church, but their power was still dependent on the nobles. Later European monarchs, such as Henry VIII of England (1491–1547), Louis XIV of France (1638–1715), Frederick II of Prussia (1712–1786), and Catherine the Great of Russia (1729–1796), became increasingly absolutist at a time when centralized nation-states were formed. They justified their total power with the doctrine of the “divine right of kings,” developed in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, which claimed that the monarch was responsible not to the governed, including the church, but to God alone. The essence of monarchical absolutism was epitomized by the famous words of Louis XIV: “L'état c'est moi!” (“I am the state!”).
With the democratic revolutions of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, absolute monarchy began to decline, and although many monarchs kept their life tenure and remained symbols of national unity and state-hood, real power gradually passed to representative assemblies. Many of the countries retaining monarchy as a form of government turned into limited or constitutional monarchies—that is, a monarchy in which the central authority of the sovereign is limited by the provisions of a constitution and the acts of a legislature. The figurehead monarch is legally obligated to follow the advice of his or her government ministers and is always politically neutral. The first step in the movement toward constitutional monarchy was the incremental rise of parliamentary supremacy (“the king-in-parliament”) in England, which imposed significant legal and political limitations on monarchical authority, and as a result of which no British monarch has challenged an act of Parliament since 1703.
After the French Revolution of 1789 most countries eventually abolished their monarchies and became instead presidential or parliamentary republics. Today many remaining monarchies are figurehead constitutional monarchies in which the monarchs have a largely symbolic and ceremonial role, such as those found in Europe. For example, although King Juan Carlos I has played an active political role since 1975, especially in restoring democracy in his country, Spain is officially a “parliamentary monarchy” under the constitution of November 1978. A popular referendum in 2003 empowered the regnant prince of Liechtenstein to dismiss the cabinet government at will, making him by far the most powerful constitutional monarch in Europe, but this probably temporary shift in constitutional authority could be easily reversed by another referendum. The British queen, Elizabeth II, also holds significant potential power as head of state, nominal head of the Anglican Church, and leader of the British Commonwealth of Nations, but like all titular heads of state, she only symbolically represents her nation—mostly by receiving foreign dignitaries, giving speeches on ceremonial occasions, and formally approving decisions made by elected officials. As in most limited monarchies, the head of government—the British prime minister, who is elected by parliament—is the real working executive responsible for the day-to-day operation of the cabinet government. But many constitutional monarchs retain certain important residual powers, under which they could potentially exercise considerable political influence. These so-called prerogative powers, which could be used in a political emergency to protect the constitution from abuse and partisan manipulation, include formally nominating the head of government, convening or dissolving the legislature, and signing enacted legislation into law.
In absolute monarchies, by contrast, there are no constitutional restrictions on the prerogatives of the autocratic ruler, who is theoretically above the law. Among the few remaining absolute monarchies at the beginning of the twenty-first century were Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Brunei, Bhutan, and Swaziland. In Jordan and Morocco, the king still wields substantial despotic power independently of his formal role within the constitutional framework. The traditional monarchies that survive today are probably doomed unless they can eventually transform themselves into limited monarchies. Failure to do so led to the overthrow of traditional monarchies and their replacement by radical revolutionary regimes in Egypt, Iraq, Libya, Ethiopia, Cambodia, and Iran during the second half of the twentieth century. After failing to crush a stubborn Maoist insurgency, the king of Nepal was forced to give up absolute rule and surrender all his powers as head of state to the prime minister in December 2006.
The monarchical institution is believed to have performed an integrative function, holding together diverse social groups during the difficult period of democratization. The traditional sectors of society—the clergy, the aristocracy, army officers, and big landowners—usually oppose democracy and may be tempted to carry out coups d'état to derail the process of democratization. But these sectors are also monarchist in orientation, and if the king or queen is seen to support democracy, the traditional sectors of society will also go along with it. The monarchy thus facilitated the transition from the traditional political system of the late Middle Ages to the democratic political system of today (Lipset 1981, pp. 65–66). For instance, King Juan Carlos I of Spain defeated an attempted military coup in 1981 when he went on national television to declare that he was defending democracy and expected the armed forces to do the same. Following his public rebuke, the rebellion collapsed for lack of military backing; even the staunchly antimonarchist Spanish Communist Party announced its support for the monarch. By proclaiming his loyalty to the new democratic institutions, the king united the fractious sectors of Spanish society in defense of democracy, including those that had previously been revolutionary and antimonarchist.
SEE ALSO Aristocracy; Authoritarianism; Democracy; Divine Right; Monarchism; Monarchy, Constitutional; Nation-State; Referendum
Bendix, Reinhard. 1978. Kings or People: Power and the Mandate to Rule. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Lipset, Seymour Martin.  1981. Political Man: The Social Bases of Politics. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.
Pine, Leslie Gilbert. 1958. The Twilight of Monarchy. London: Burke.
Slavin, Arthur Joseph. 1964. The “New Monarchies” and Representative Assemblies: Medieval Constitutionalism or Modern Absolutism? Boston: Heath.
Tames, Richard. 2003. Monarchy. Chicago: Heinemann Library.
Tomlinson, Richard. 1995. Divine Right: The Inglorious Survival of British Royalty. Boston: Little, Brown.
"Monarchy." International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 21, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/applied-and-social-sciences-magazines/monarchy
"Monarchy." International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. . Retrieved October 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/applied-and-social-sciences-magazines/monarchy
Monarchism is a belief in and advocacy of monarchy, one of the oldest forms of government, which typically consists of a single head of state who reigns over a sovereign territory and its people for life. Monarchism embodies the traditional values of heredity, class and clericalism, concepts antithetical to modern notions of popular sovereignty, egalitarianism, and secularism.
Some of the earliest monarchs were well-known Hebrew kings of the Bible—Saul and Solomon—whose power derived from divine authority. These early monarchs often came from the ranks of judges, and in addition to ruling at the pleasure of the deity, served as guardians and interpreters of law and justice. The rulers of the Roman Empire were monarchs who derived their authority from the warrior and upper classes by acclamation and ruled over nearly every aspect of Roman society. Rome's emperors from Augustus (27 BCE-14 CE) to Constantine XI Palaeologus (1449–1453) ruled over vast swaths of land in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East for several centuries.
Throughout the Middle Ages, absolute monarchy was the dominant form of government in Europe, giving rise to a number of influential figures including Charlemagne (768–814), William the Conqueror (1066–1087), and King John of England (1199–1216). One of the earliest efforts to limit the monarch's power and establish a constitutional monarchy occurred with the signing of the Magna Carta in 1215. In 1649 King Charles I was overthrown and beheaded during the English Revolution, marking the first time in history that a monarch had ever been publicly executed. Despite these efforts to curtail the monarch's authority, absolute monarchy continued to be the dominant form of government in Europe until the French Revolution in 1789.
In France, the concept of popular sovereignty arose from the ashes of the French Revolution and the overthrow of the monarch, Louis XVI. The demise of the monarchy led to the emergence of imperial rule under Napoléon Bonaparte (Napoléon I) and the Napoleonic Wars throughout Europe. The French eventually restored the Bourbon Dynasty (Louis XVIII) to the throne following the abdication of Napoléon I. The ouster of Louis-Philippe in 1848 paved the way for the Second Republic and the ascendency of Napoléon III. Since then, royalists have attempted to restore the monarchy of France, but with little success. The entanglement of the French monarchy and the Catholic Church—the long-standing alliance between the “Throne and the Altar”—is largely to blame for the demise of monarchism in France and the development of the modern secular French state.
Since the mid-nineteenth century, monarchies have been dismantled in Russia, Germany, Italy, and Austria-Hungary, among other nations. Most monarchies have retained their royal families for traditional or symbolic reasons, as in the United Kingdom, Belgium, Luxembourg, Denmark, Norway, and Japan. Today, forty-five nations are considered to be monarchies in one form or another; sixteen of them fall under the common monarch of the United Kingdom. Those Commonwealth nations that continue to recognize the British monarch include Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Canada, Grenada, Jamaica, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, the Soloman Islands, and Tuvalu.
Monarchy can take a variety of forms, including absolute monarchy, elected monarchy, hereditary monarchy, and constitutional monarchy. In an absolute monarchy, the monarch possesses total power over the land and its inhabitants, and there is no authority or body of law above the monarch. Bhutan, Brunei, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Swaziland are considered to be absolute monarchies today.
An elected monarchy is a form of government in which the king or queen is elected by the people or a select body of individuals. In this system, succession to the throne is determined by election, usually by a small group of people or a council. In the Holy Roman Empire (800–1806) kings were elected by a council of nobles. Between the seventh and eleventh centuries the Witenagemot consisted of noblemen charged with the task of approving the succession of monarchs in Anglo-Saxon England. The twentieth century saw the election of monarchs to the thrones of Norway, Greece, Romania, and Bulgaria. At present, elective monarchies exist in Andorra, Cambodia, Kuwait, Malaysia, and Vatican City, where the pope is elected to a life term by the College of Cardinals. Most elective monarchies have been succeeded by hereditary monarchies.
In a hereditary monarchy the succeeding monarch comes from the same family or bloodline. A major advantage of this form of monarchy is that it ensures predictability and stability in the transition to power from one monarch to the next. Typically, an order of succession is established beforehand so that when a monarch dies or abdicates the throne, the crown is usually passed to a son or daughter, based on seniority. Throughout history, disputes over hereditary succession to the throne have led to numerous wars. Most of the world's existing monarchies today are hereditary monarchies in which the order of succession is determined by primogeniture. In most of these, the royal families act in a primarily ceremonial capacity, serving a symbolic role in society.
A constitutional monarchy is a form of government in which the monarch's power is limited by a separate branch of government. In this system, a parliament or legislative body usually acts on behalf of the state, and the constitutional monarch has little power in government, generally playing a symbolic role as the figurehead representing the nation and doing charitable work. Modern constitutional monarchies usually incorporate the separation of powers concept, with the monarch serving as the head of the executive branch in a purely ceremonial role, the parliament or legislature serving as the lawmaking body, and a high court interpreting and enforcing the law. Today, most constitutional monarchies are representative democracies. The English monarchy is the oldest continuous constitutional monarchy.
Monarchism is defended and supported by a variety of groups who believe that monarchies serve an important symbolic role in society and provide an important link to a nation's past. For example, promonarchist movements in France support the revitalization of monarchy as the best way to restablish cultural and religious ties to the Catholic Church. Moreover, debates over the relevance of monarchy in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand serve as a driving force for these governments to maintain cultural ties to the United Kingdom. The traditional values of heredity, class, and clericalism embued in monarchical systems tend to clash with the more modern notions of democracy, egalitarianism, and secularism in different parts of the world.
Some of the more prominent organizations and political groups that support the retention or restoration of monarchy as a form of government include Action Française, the Monarchist League of Canada, the Monarchist League of New Zealand, Australians for Constitutional Monarchy, the National Alignment (Greece), the People's Monarchist Party (Portugal), the Legitimists and Orléanists (France), the Iraqi Constitutional Monarchy, the Vietnamese Constitutional Monarchist League, the Iranian Monarchists, the Southeast Asia Imperial and Royal League, and the International Monarchist League. These groups believe in the values and traditions embedded in the monarchical system of government and are committed to preserving these values and traditions in society.
SEE ALSO Democracy; French Revolution; Monarchy; Monarchy, Constitutional; Sovereignty; Tradition
Dower, John. 2000. Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II. New York: W. W. Norton.
Downes, Paul. 2002. Democracy, Revolution, and Monarchism in Early American Literature. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press.
Falk, Ze'ev W. 1964. Hebrew Law in Biblical Times. Jerusalem: Wahrmann Books.
Griffiths, Ralph Alan, and John Ashton Cannon. 1998. The Oxford Illustrated History of the British Monarchy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Harvey, Robert. 2006. The War of Wars: The Great European Conflict, 1793–1815. New York: Carroll and Graf.
Hastings, Adrian. 2000. A World History of Christianity. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.
Hobsbawm, Eric J. 1992. Nations and Nationalism Since 1780: Programme, Myth, Reality. Cambridge, U.K.: Canto.
Kaufmann, Walter. 1953. Monarchism in the Weimar Republic. New York: Bookman Associates.
Pearsall, Ronald. 1998. Kings and Queens: A History of British Monarchy. New York: New Line Books.
Said, Edward. 1979. Orientalism. New York: Vintage.
Taylor, Antony. 1999. ‘Down with the Crown’: British Anti-monarchism and Debates About Royalty Since 1790. London: Reaktion Books.
Klint W. Alexander
"Monarchism." International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 21, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/applied-and-social-sciences-magazines/monarchism
"Monarchism." International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. . Retrieved October 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/applied-and-social-sciences-magazines/monarchism
monarchy, form of government in which sovereignty is vested in a single person whose right to rule is generally hereditary and who is empowered to remain in office for life. The power of this sovereign may vary from the absolute (see despotism) to that strongly limited by custom or constitution. Monarchy has existed since the earliest history of humankind and was often established during periods of external threat or internal crisis because it provided a more efficient focus of power than aristocracy or democracy, which tended to diffuse power.
Most monarchies appear to have been elective originally, but dynasties early became customary. In primitive times, divine descent of the monarch was often claimed. Deification was general in ancient Egypt, the Middle East, and Asia, and it was also practiced during certain periods in ancient Greece and Rome. A more moderate belief arose in Christian Europe in the Middle Ages; it stated that the monarch was the appointed agent of divine will. This was symbolized by the coronation of the king by a bishop or the pope, as in the Holy Roman Empire.
Although theoretically at the apex of feudal power (see feudalism), the medieval monarchs were in fact weak and dependent upon the nobility for much of their power. During the Renaissance and after, there emerged "new monarchs" who broke the power of the nobility and centralized the state under their own rigid rule. Notable examples are Henry VII and Henry VIII of England and Louis XIV of France. The 16th and 17th cent. mark the height of absolute monarchy, which found its theoretical justification in the doctrine of divine right. However, even the powerful monarchs of the 17th cent. were somewhat limited by custom and constitution as well as by the delegation of powers to strong bureaucracies. Such limitations were also felt by the "benevolent despots" of the 18th cent.
Changes in intellectual climate, in the demands made upon government in a secular and commercially expanding society, and in the social structure, as the bourgeoisie became increasingly powerful, eventually weakened the institution of monarchy in Europe. The Glorious Revolution in England (1688) and the French Revolution (1789) were important landmarks in the decline and limitation of monarchical power. Throughout the 19th cent. royal power was increasingly reduced by constitutional provisions and parliamentary incursions.
In the 20th cent., monarchs have generally become symbols of national unity, while real power has been transferred to constitutional assemblies. Over the past 200 years democratic self-government has been established and extended to such an extent that a true functioning monarchy is a rare occurrence in both East and West. Among the few remaining are Brunei, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and Swaziland. Notable constitutional monarchies include Belgium, Denmark, Great Britain, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and Thailand.
"monarchy." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 21, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/monarchy
"monarchy." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved October 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/monarchy
"monarchy." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 21, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/monarchy
"monarchy." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved October 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/monarchy
mon·ar·chy / ˈmänərkē; ˈmänˌär-/ • n. (pl. -chies) a form of government with a monarch at the head. ∎ a state that has a monarch. ∎ (the monarchy) the monarch and royal family of a country: the monarchy is the focus of loyalty and service.
"monarchy." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 21, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/monarchy-0
"monarchy." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved October 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/monarchy-0
mon·ar·chism / ˈmänərˌkizəm; ˈmänˌär-/ • n. support for the principle of having monarchs. DERIVATIVES: mon·ar·chist n. & adj.
"monarchism." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 21, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/monarchism
"monarchism." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved October 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/monarchism
This entry includes two subentries:Overview
"Monarchy." New Dictionary of the History of Ideas. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 21, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/monarchy
"Monarchy." New Dictionary of the History of Ideas. . Retrieved October 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/monarchy
"monarchy." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 21, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/monarchy
"monarchy." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved October 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/monarchy