It is the political doctrine that grants unlimited authority and power to a monarch, who comes to exercise absolute supremacy. An absolute monarch exercises unrestricted political power over the state and its people . Absolute monarchy definition
In the absolutist monarchical political system, the monarch is not subject to contestations or regularizations carried out by any other body, be it judicial, legislative, religious, economic or electoral.
The two main theorists of this period were Thomas Hobbes (1588 – 1679), who was based on a radical and pessimistic theory of humanity, claiming that men are born selfish and bad, and Jacques Bossuet (1627 – 1704), who related politics to politics. religion, holding to the idea that monarchs were, in the first place, instituted by God to rule the people. Absolute monarchy definition
The characteristics of monarchical absolutism
Absolute monarchy is defined by:
- a single person dictates the rules in public management;
- the rules and laws imposed by the monarch cannot be revoked or questioned;
- the king has absolute control over the region or country.
- absolutist power consisted in taking away from feudal lords the power they had over their lands. Thus, kings begin to create bureaucracies and national armies. It’s called the monopoly of violence.
The monarchy was supported by the Catholic Church, which held that a particular person or family was chosen by God to rule as an agent of the divine on Earth .
The absolute monarch was answerable to God alone, that is, he could not be removed or questioned by men and was above reproach.
Within monarchical absolutism, anyone who spoke out against the king or disobeyed his laws was also disobeying God. Absolute monarchy definition
How did monarchical absolutism come about?
It originated in early modern Europe and was inspired by the individual leaders of the new nation-states created in the disruption of the medieval order. The power of these states was closely associated only with the power of their rulers.
In the 16th century, monarchical absolutism prevailed in much of Western Europe, and it was widespread in the 17th and 18th centuries.
In addition to France, whose absolutism was epitomized by Louis XIV , absolutism existed in a variety of other European countries, including Spain, Prussia, and Austria.
This view justified even tyrannical rule as a divinely ordained punishment, administered by rulers, for human sinfulness.
In its origins, the Divine Right theory can be traced to the medieval conception of God’s granting of temporal power to the political ruler, while spiritual power was given to the head of the Roman Catholic Church.
However, the new national monarchs asserted their authority in all matters and tended to become heads of church and state.
Enlightenment and monarchical absolutism
The Enlightenment and its ideals of freedom had a major impact on the ability of absolute monarchs to continue to rule as they had done.
Influential Enlightenment thinkers questioned the traditional authority and right to rule of monarchs. Thus begins a wave of change in much of the western world, including the birth of capitalism and democracy.
Today, very few nations continue to exist with an absolute monarch, but some examples remain, such as: Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Brunei. Absolute monarchy definition
Great Britain is an example of a constitutional monarchy . The prime minister holds royal political power and Queen Elizabeth II’s role is primarily ceremonial.
Enlightened despotism, also called benevolent despotism, was a form of government in the 18th century in which absolute monarchs pursued Enlightenment-inspired legal, social, and educational reforms.
They typically instituted administrative reform, religious tolerance, and economic development, but did not propose reforms that could threaten their sovereignty or disrupt the social order.
What is the difference between constitutional monarchy and absolute monarchy?
- the monarch has the supremacy of the government and is the only one who makes the laws;
- the monarch has absolute power to relate and make decisions with foreign countries;
- there is no Constitution to control laws and decisions. Absolute monarchy definition
- the monarch’s power is limited and is usually only ceremonial;
- the country’s citizens elect leaders, such as ministers, to make laws;
- the prime minister holds the real political power over the nation;
- the monarch’s power is limited by a Constitution.