Absolute Monarchy

Absolute monarchy is a monarchical form of government in which the monarch exercises ultimate governing authority as head of state and head of government; his or her powers are not limited by a constitution or by the law. An absolute monarch wields unrestricted political power over the sovereign state and its people. Absolute monarchies are often hereditary but other means of transmission of power are attested. Absolute monarchy differs from limited monarchy, in which the monarch’s authority is legally bound or restricted by a constitution; consequently, an absolute monarch is an autocrat.

In theory, the absolute monarch exercises total power over the land and its subject people, yet in practice the monarchy is counterbalanced by political groups from among the social classes and castes of the realm: the aristocracy, clergy (see caesaropapism), bourgeoisie, and proletarians.

Some monarchies have weak or symbolic parliaments and other governmental bodies that the monarch can alter or dissolve at will. Countries where the monarch still maintains absolute power are Brunei, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Swaziland, and Vatican City (elected monarch).

Read more about Absolute MonarchyHistorical Examples, Current Examples, Contemporary Monarchies, Scholarship, Bibliography

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Famous quotes related to absolute monarchy:

    Absolute monarchy,... is the easiest death, the true Euthanasia of the BRITISH constitution.

    David Hume (1711–1776)