The monarchy (of the mono Greek “only”, archein “to be able”: “to be able not of only one, but in only one”) is a political system where the unit of the capacity is symbolized in only one person, called monarch . She is neither necessarily a royalty, nor necessarily hereditary: there always existed of the elective monarchies, for example at the Gaulois. According to the definition of Montesquieu, a monarchy is defined by the absolute government of only one but this capacity is limited by laws.
Monarchy is constitutional when the monarch is limited in his capacities by a Constitution which establishes fundamental laws in writing envisaging a separation of the capacities . He is often admitted, when the State is threatened by a foreign war or civil, that a martial law gives him temporarily all the capacities: monarchy becomes then, with the ancient direction, a tyranny.
Monarchy is known as parliamentary when the chief of the Gouvernement, named by the king or the President of the Republic, is responsible in front of the Parlement, in this case the monarch is only one representative of the State, a referee, and parking continuity of the institutions (Example: Great Britain, France).
Monarchy is known as absolute when the monarch holds all the capacities. Such is, nowadays, the mode of the Liechtenstein, small State which is some very well. It is besides the people which chose, by way chief clerk, this type of mode.
Types of monarchies according to the title of the monarch
Despotat (Byzantine time)
- Grand Duchy
Monarchy of divine right and elective monarchy
In the monarchy of divine right, the capacity is legitimated by a spiritual bond which would maintain holding it the capacity with the divinities.
In the Republic polono-Lithuanian and the Germanic Roman Holy roman Empire, and still currently in Malaysia, with the the Vatican and in the United Arab Emirates, the Head of State is a monarch appointed by his pars during an election or Consensus.
The king and the Church with the the Middle Ages
This pagan bond, replaced at the time Christian woman the vision of the king like an intermediary between God and his subjects, the sky and the ground. Being based on a reading of Patristics (Saint Augustin in the City of God ), monarchy found its justification in the fact that, in the same way that only one reigned in the skies, it was right that only one did not reign on ground.
But this justification, associated with a relative confusion between temporal power and spiritual power ran up many times against the claims of the pope of Rome to the political power: in particular under pontificates of Leon IX and Gregoire VII (1073 - 1085). This last, in particular, developed the doctrines of the pontifical Théocratie which carried directly reached to wide of the royal capacity.
For sovereign pontiffs, indeed, the temporal power was to remain subjected to the spiritual power. It is obvious that the kings did not hear it this manner. In addition to the Excommunication, the popes profited against them from a legal weapon: a series of forgeries, forged by the pontifical chancellery, and of which most known is distorts it Donation of Constantin were used to them to support their claims with the temporal power.
The confrontations between the too independent kings and the Roman pontiffs, confrontations which concerned especially the sovereigns of the Saint Germanic Roman Empire, multiplied under the popes Innocent III and Innocent IV: these are the latter which approached more “pontifical theocracy” at the 13th century.
The king of France
The king of France, because of the baptism of Clovis, was regarded as the first sovereign of Christendom. See Sacring.
With the the Middle Ages as until the 18th century, one regarded the king of France as sovereign of divine right - “by the grace of God” and one lent thaumaturgical capacities to him, like the fact of curing scrofula.
Àpartir of second half of VIIIe century, the Sacre gave to king de France a crowned character, following the example kings Visigoths or of Aragon. Single fact among the monarchs of the Christendom, the king of France was “oint” by a representative of the Église. The oiling of the chrism, a mixture of perfume and olive oil whose use, prescribed in all the sacraments of the Church, and also forming part of the elements of the sacring of the bishops, contributed to make of king de France the “vicar of God”, his representative. It is “King Prêtre” about which Albert Camus speaks.
Being based on the significance of oiling, a movement of legists and bishops French faithful to monarchy, named “Gallicanisme”, affirmed following a conflict between Philippe Beautiful the and Boniface VIII the freedom of the French Church on the plans theological and legal and the superiority of king de France with regard to the pope as for the temporal power. Thus, at the beginning of the 14th century, the king of France contributed to the failure of the pontifical Théocratie.
Absolute monarchy and constitutional monarchy
The evolution of the Absolute monarchy, where the monarch does not have theoretically any account to return to anybody, towards the system of Constitutional monarchy, where its capacities are framed by a Constitution, was not done in only one stage, in the Kingdom of England for example the starting point was the Large Charter ( Magna Carta ) in 1215.
Under the Old Mode in France, the monarch, of divine right by the sacring, was defined like “the king in his councils”. These councils, which evolved/moved much with the wire of times, allowed the king to have an idea of the things by listening to the specialists who were there before making his decisions. Various companies or assemblies influenced the life of the Kingdom, the “intermediate bodies”, associations made up of the various elements forming the company: regional Parliaments, provincial States, trade association, baillage or échevinage, etc This type of political organization, with or without monarch at his head, is called Corporatisme.
The model of monarchy without being able other that d'" to inaugurate the chrysanthèmes" is often described as " monarchy of the scandinave" type; , it is regularly evoked besides in the debates on the subject with the Netherlands, in Belgium and with the the United Kingdom, three countries where there exists a recurring debate, though limited, between partisans of a monarchy to the reinforced capacities, of one monarchy “to the Scandinavian” and of a République, majority of the elected officials and population seeming rather favorable to a status quo , even if the economic arguments on the cost of monarchy have a larger echo, more particularly as for the equipments of the other family members royal than the monarch and the principal heirs to the throne.
This debate practically does not reach the Spain where the king Juan Carlos obtained the admiration of these subjects. The king restored the democracy after the death of Franco, it since resisted the military putsch which tried to restore the pro-Franco dictatorship. Moreover, the Spanish royal family is known to be maintained with closest to her subjects and the assistance in the difficult moments.
In Belgium, the king is the chief of the executive, and belonged to the capacity législatif.
He sanctions and promulgates the laws, but is regarded as “politically irresponsible”: any act of the King must be contresigned by a ministre.
The royal sanction posed problem in 1990 besides, when Baudouin Ier refused to sign the law on the avortement.
The King is also chief of the Armies.
A recent case of return of a system of constitutional monarchy towards a quasi absolute monarchy is that of the Liechtenstein, which caused besides a certain agitation within the the Council of Europe, which emitted remarks not very pleasing on this subject.
Cases of recent evolutions of absolute monarchies towards absolute monarchies, even constitutional, are found especially in the Arabo-Persian Gulf, with the restoration of the constitutions and the Parliaments to the Kuwait and with Bahrain and the election of local or national advisory counsels to the Qatar, with Oman and in Saudi Arabia, these last three States as well as monarchies members of the United Arab Emirates remainder of the absolute monarchies, just as the Bhutan, small Himalayan kingdom, the Kingdom of the Swaziland, in Southern Africa, the sultanate of the Brunéi, on the island of Borneo, as well as Kingdom of the Tonga islands, in the Southern Pacific. All these States make however left the United Nations and are theoretically signatories of its charter and the Universal declaration of the human rights.
Absolute monarchy and constitutional monarchy: distinction to be refined
Raymond Fusilier compared the systems of constitutional monarchy existing in Europe (in Belgium, Sweden, Denmark, Luxembourg, Norway, Netherlands), (`' parliamentary monarchies, Études on the systems of government'' (Sweden, Norway, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Denmark), working Éditions, Paris, 1960). concluding that the distinction must refine between Constitutional monarchy and Parlementaire , on the one hand, and Absolute monarchy , on the other hand. Indeed monarchy known as absolute like legitimate power (within the meaning of Montesquieu), is some constitutional share, because the King has above him the Laws of the Kingdom (that which determines its succession inter alia). And, in addition, so much in the absolute monarchy than in the mona' shits constitutional and parliamentary , the King to forever return accounts to the Public (within the meaning of Jürgen Habermas). The absolute King does not give an account of his political acts to the Public because this one does not exist with the strong direction in the Ancien Mode (period of not Publicité only J. Habermas describes in public space, Payot, Paris, 1978). The constitutional King exerts his power only by ministers (whom it meets, influence, from which it receives information according to the criteria retained by Bagehot). Those are the only ones with being able to pose valid political acts in a democratic regime, that is to say for which they are responsible, i.e. of which they have to return account before the Parliament, the Public (or the public opinion), in short the People which became truth Souverain . For Fusilier, the constitutional monarchy strongest de facto , is Belgian monarchy, because the King is surrounded there by an imposing cabinet, kind of government parallel which doubles the action of the ministers (members of this cabinet being named by the King, without real parliamentary control). This provision is one of the origins of the low register royal Question in Belgium, stage about the way of the Histoire of Belgian monarchy which politically explains that it was little by little blamed and that it lost its capacity little by little de facto, exchange in Belgium until the Sixties. The constitutional monarchs pose certainly public acts (like speeches), but these speeches (which are not Speeches from the throne written by the Prime Minister as in Great Britain, and where, consequently, the thought of the king is expressed), are covered by the Prime Minister if they are blamed at the Parliament as that arrived this year to Belgium.
Monarchy and democracy
For its subjects, as long as those live free and equal, a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary can be a Démocratie very well.
However, the monarchs themselves are neither free (they must return accounts, would be this only with the media) nor equal, from their statute and their loads, vis-a-vis their citoyens.
The abdiction, such as that of Edouard VIII, being only one solution palliative.
Monarchy, to the extreme, is thus not a complete democracy.
Royal transfer of power
The royal transfer of power was generally ensured by the heritage of the more close relative of the following generation: in this case, the mode is that of “hereditary monarchy”. In theory, however, the king “was elected” - with the direction first, i.e. selected - by his pars, the large ones of the kingdom. This method was to make it possible to prevent that incompetents do not reach the throne. This is why were sung at the time of the ceremonies of the sacring the “Carolingian acclamations” thus taking again the old franque habit of the election of the king by his rise on the Pavois.
The historical events created the habit of the choice of the oldest son of the king like new king, because of association by his/her father of the son to the administration of the kingdom. And there still an old franque habit applied: the salic law (because coming from the Francs saliens like Clovis), excluding the women from heredity in the concern not only that the chief was always a man able to make the war if it were necessary it, but also that by marriage the territory is not dismembered or is not brought to the family of the husband…
Thus by the devolution of the crown by male primogeniture, the transmission of the goals and the methods of administration brought a stability in management of the businesses of the kingdom, and allowed the unification of France like the development of the country by the fact of the monarchical tradition (tradition = transmission).
Four European monarchies saw their rules of devolution modified in the last quarter century, the rule busy of primogeniture with male preference to degree equal to absolute primogeniture without consideration of sex:
- the Sweden in 1980. The Victoria princess (born in 1977), oldest daughter of the king Charles XVI Gustave thus became princess heiress instead of her younger brother Carl Philip (born in 1979).
- the Netherlands in 1982. The crown prince Willem-Alexander (born in 1967) having become father in 2003 to the princess Amalia, this one should become in theory in his turn queen of the Netherlands, in a nonforeseeable future.
- the Norway in 1990, but without retroactive effect, with the result that prince Haakon-Magnus (born in 1973), wire junior by the king Harald V, preserved its position of crown prince in spite of the existence to his Märtha-Louise older sister (born in 1971). However, the elder one of the children of prince Haakon-Magnus being a girl, the princess Ingrid Alexandra (born in 2004), the new rule will be applied to the following generation.
- the Belgium in 1991, where the women were up to that point excluded from the succession. This modification caused to place the Astrid princess (born in 1962), girl junior by the current king Albert II, in 3rd position in the order of succession of 1991 to 1994, then in 2nde position of 1994 to 2001. Now, the second position in the order of succession is occupied by the Elisabeth princess (born in 2001), oldest daughter of prince Philippe, duke of the Brabant (born in 1960).
Two European States, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and the principality of Liechtenstein, have a “semi-salic” rule of devolution: the throne is transmissible initially in all the male lines and, in the absence of male heir in one to these lines, with elder of the descendants, masculine or female, of the first female line. Luxembourg thus had two large-duchesses reigning of 1912 to 1964.
In addition, other monarchies preserve rules of devolution excluding the women from the succession: Japan (even if one lends to the government the intention to modify the Constitution on this point), Nepal and all monarchies of Moslem countries (Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Morocco, etc).
- Lists of monarchies in the World
- Constitutional monarchy, Absolute monarchy
- Monarchism - Républicanisme
- History of Belgian monarchy
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