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How Did the Rise of the State Affect the Power of the Monarch - Essay Example

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Name of student: Topic: Lecturer: Date of Presentation: Introduction Stefoff (2008 p. 96) indicates that by 1900, 90% of the people in the world were ruled by monarch but by 1983, only less than 1% was under monarch rule. This shows how the power of the monarch has declined over the years especially in European countries and replaced by other forms of government such as republican…
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How Did the Rise of the State Affect the Power of the Monarch
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Download file to see previous pages A great link existed between religion and the monarch; as messengers of God, monarchs had the divine right to rule hence everything they said was the law. The monarchy was held until death or abdication and was hereditary in nature in that it was passed on to the eldest child of the monarch. Later elective monarchs emerged as well as those who usurped power and declared themselves monarchs like the Napoleon of France (Parker, 1999). Absolute monarchy is whereby the monarch wields all the power; he is head of government as well as the state and he is the rule. Moreover, his decisions are viewed as being from God hence should not be contravened. An elective monarch is elected by an elective body for a period of time or for life such as the pope of Vatican City is elected by a college of cardinals. A constitutional monarch on the other hand is bound by the constitution hence he /she is just ceremonial. For example, Queen Elizabeth of England is a constitutional monarch and a head of state of several commonwealth monarchy states (Fandel, 2008). The two European countries that contributed much to the rise of the state are England and France. The revolutions in the two countries saw the decline in the power of the monarch and in some states its natural death. The paper will discuss how the ‘rise of the state’ affected the power of the monarch. European Absolute Monarchy Most of European countries such as France, Belgium, United Kingdom, Spain and others were ruled by an absolute monarch. According to Fandel (2008); Schiel (2005), the early monarchs arose as a result of wealth and power gained through hunting and later from agricultural activities. The wealthy people were respected and seen as closer to God than other members as they well endowed with resources. The monarchy was inherited through primogeniture whereby the eldest son ascended the throne after the monarch’s demise. However, Primogeniture was criticized by some nobles’ more so as it discriminated against women. As a result, some states started exercising equality by allowing females to inherit the throne. The monarchs had immense power which they derived from religion. Most of Europe was under Roman Catholic Church hence kings and queens were coronated by the church. Stefoff (2008) argues that the divine right was used to justify the unlimited power of the monarch. For example in France, king Louis XIV had absolute power which he shared with trusted ministers and lived in a palace in Versailles which symbolised wealth and power (Mason, 2011). However, Beik (2005) argues that there was no absolutism due to the fact that the king collaborated with powerful elites so as to gain their support. To assert his power king Louis XV made a proclamation in 1766: “sovereign power resides in my person alone…its to me alone that legislative power belongs without dependence or division, all public order emanates from me. “ Louis XIV had also made a proclamation during his rule: ‘’I am the state.” (Mason 2011 p. 15). This indicates the immense power the monarchs had; they were above the state. The monarch performed various roles such as making, enforcing, and interpreting laws. There was no separation of power between state organs such as the legislature, executive and judiciary. The monarch was not ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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