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Absolute monarchy

An absolute monarchy is a idealised form of monarchy where the ruler has the power to rule their country and citizens freely with no laws or opposition telling the monarchy what to do. Basically an absolute monarch has total power over its people and land.

The theory of absolute monarchy developed in the late Middle Ages from feudalism during which monarchs were still very much first among equals among the nobility. With the creation of centralised administrations and armies backed by expensive artillery, the power of the monarch gradually increased relative to the nobles, and from this was created the theory of absolute monarchy. The political theory which underlies absolute monarchy was that the monarch held their position by the grace of God and was therefore not answerable to mortals. Much of the attraction of the theory of absolute monarchy in the Middle Ages was that it promised an end to devastating civil wars.

In practice, the monarchs in absolute monarchy often found their power limited. In the 16th century, efforts by the English monarch to create an absolute monarchy led to persistent struggles with Parliament which the monarch eventually lost. In France, the monarchy was able to eventually centralise its powers and sideline Parliament and nobles. The example of an absolute monarchy is Louis XIV of France. During the Enlightenment, the theory of absolute monarchy was supported by some intellectuals as a form of enlightened despotism[?].

The notion of absolute monarchy declined substantually after the French Revolution and American Revolution which popularised theories of government based on popular sovereignty[?].

The only remaining absolute monarchy in the modern world is Swaziland.

In Liechtenstein, nearly two-thirds of the tiny principality's electorate have agreed to back Prince Hans Adam's demands to become an absolute monarch; if he is successful, then Liechtenstein may become the modern world's second absolute monarchy.

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