Monarchism is the advocacy of the system of monarchy or monarchical rule. A monarchist is an individual who supports this form of government independent of any specific monarch, whereas one who supports a particular monarch is a royalist. Conversely, the opposition to monarchical rule is referred to as republicanism.
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Depending on the country, a royalist may advocate for the rule of the person who sits on the throne, a pretender, or someone who would otherwise occupy the throne but has been deposed.
Monarchical rule is among the oldest political institutions. Monarchies have existed in some form since ancient Sumeria. Monarchy has often claimed legitimacy from a higher power (in early modern Europe the divine right of kings, and in China the Mandate of Heaven).
In England, royalty ceded power elsewhere in a gradual process. In 1215, a group of nobles forced King John to sign the Magna Carta, which guaranteed its barons certain liberties and established that the king's powers were not absolute. In 1687–88, the Glorious Revolution and the overthrow of King James II established the principles of constitutional monarchy, which would later be worked out by Locke and other thinkers. However, absolute monarchy, justified by Hobbes in Leviathan (1651), remained a prominent principle elsewhere. In the 18th century, Voltaire and others encouraged "enlightened absolutism", which was embraced by the Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II and by Catherine II of Russia.
In 1685 the Enlightenment began. This would result in new anti-monarchist ideas which resulted in several revolutions such as the 18th century, American Revolution and the French Revolution. Which were both additional steps in the weakening of power of European monarchies. Each in its different way exemplified the concept of popular sovereignty upheld by Jean-Jacques Rousseau. 1848 then ushered in a wave of revolutions against the continental European monarchies.
World War I and its aftermath saw the end of three major European monarchies: the Russian Romanov dynasty, the German Hohenzollern dynasty, including all other German monarchies and the Austro-Hungarian Habsburg dynasty.
The rise of the Hungarian Soviet Republic in 1919 provoked an increase in support for monarchism; however, efforts by Hungarian monarchists failed to bring back a royal head of state, and the monarchists settled for a regent, Admiral Miklós Horthy, to represent the monarchy until it could be restored. Horthy was regent from 1920 to 1944. In similar wise the 1938 autocratic state of Franco in Spain claimed to have reconstituted the Spanish monarchy in absentia (and in this case ultimately yielded to a restoration, in the person of King Juan Carlos). In 1920s Germany a number of monarchists gathered around the German National People's Party which demanded the return of the Hohenzollern monarchy and an end to the Weimar Republic; the party retained a large base of support until the rise of Nazism in the 1930s.
With the arrival of socialism in Eastern Europe by the end of 1947, the remaining Eastern European monarchies, namely the Kingdom of Romania, the Kingdom of Hungary, the Kingdom of Albania, the Kingdom of Bulgaria and the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, were all abolished and replaced by socialist republics.
The aftermath of World War II also saw the return of monarchist and republican rivalry in Italy, where a referendum was held on whether the state should remain a monarchy or become a republic. The republican side won the vote by a narrow margin, and the modern Republic of Italy was created.
Monarchism as a political force internationally has substantially diminished since the end of the Second World War, though it had an important role in the 1979 Iranian Revolution and also played a role in the modern political affairs of Nepal. Nepal was one of the last states to have had an absolute monarch, which continued until King Gyanendra was peacefully deposed in May 2008 and the country became a federal republic. One of the world's oldest monarchies was abolished in Ethiopia in 1974 with the fall of Emperor Haile Selassie.
The majority of current monarchies are constitutional monarchies. In most of these, the monarch wields only symbolic power, although in some, the monarch does play a role in political affairs. In Thailand, for instance, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who reigned from 1946 to 2016, played a critical role in the nation's political agenda and in various military coups. Similarly, in Morocco, King Mohammed VI wields significant, but not absolute power.
There remain a handful of countries in which the monarch is the true ruler. The majority of these countries are oil-producing Arab Islamic monarchies like Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates. Other strong monarchies include Brunei and Eswatini.
Justifications for monarchism
Otto von Habsburg advocated a form of constitutional monarchy based on the primacy of the supreme judicial function, with hereditary succession, mediation by a tribunal is warranted if suitability is problematic.
Nonpartisan head of state and unifying force
British political scientist Vernon Bogdanor justifies monarchy on the grounds that it provides for a nonpartisan head of state, separate from the head of government, and thus ensures that the highest representative of the country, at home and internationally, does not represent a particular political party, but all people. Bogdanor also notes that monarchies can play a helpful unifying role in a multinational state, noting that "In Belgium, it is sometimes said that the king is the only Belgian, everyone else being either Fleming or Walloon" and that the British sovereign can belong to all of the United Kingdom's constituent countries (England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland), without belonging to any particular one of them.
Safeguard for liberty
The International Monarchist League, founded in 1943, has always sought to promote monarchy on the grounds that it strengthens popular liberty, both in a democracy and in a dictatorship, because by definition the monarch is not beholden to politicians.
British-American libertarian writer Matthew Feeney argues that Europe constitutional monarchies "have managed for the most part to avoid extreme politics"—specifically fascism, communism, and military dictatorship—"in part because monarchies provide a check on the wills of populist politicians" by representing entrenched customs and traditions. Feeny notes that "European monarchies--such as the Danish, Belgian, Swedish, Dutch, Norwegian, and British--have ruled over countries that are among the most stable, prosperous, and free in the world."
Human desire for hierarchy
In a 1943 essay in The Spectator, "Equality", British author C.S. Lewis criticized egalitarianism, and its corresponding call for the abolition of monarchy, as contrary to human nature, writing, "Where men are forbidden to honour a king they honour millionaires, athletes, or film-stars instead: even famous prostitutes or gangsters. For spiritual nature, like bodily nature, will be served; deny it food and it will gobble poison."
Support for the restoration of monarchy
The following is a list of countries and opinion polls for the restoration of abolished monarchies in those countries.
|Country||Polling firm/source||Sample size||Percentage of supporters||Date conducted||Ref.|
|Circle Monárquico Brasileiro||188||32%||September 2019|
|Consilium Regium Croaticum||1,759||41%||2019|
|SC&C Market Research||13%||2018|
|BVA Group||953||17%||March 2007|
|Kappa Research||2,040||11.6%||April 2007|
|Interdisciplinary Analysts||3,000||49%||January 2008|
|Correio da Manha||15.6%||2004|
|Institutul Roman pentru Evaluare si Strategie||1,073||21%||March 2016|
|Russian Public Opinion Research Center||~1,800||6%||March 2017|
|SAS Intelligence||1,615||39.7%||April 2013|
- Charles A. Coulombe (born 1960)
- Joan Sutherland (1926–2010)
- Tony Abbott (born 1957)
- Sophie Mirabella (born 1968)
- Scott Morrison (born 1968)
- Georg von Trapp (1880–1947)
- Joseph Roth (1894–1939)
- Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn (1909–1999)
- Ernst Fuchs (1930–2015)
- Alexander Tschugguel (b. 1993)
- José Bonifácio (1763–1838)
- Maria Quitéria (1792–1853)
- Baron of Taunay (1795–1881)
- Duke of Caxias (1803-1880)
- Count of Porto Alegre (1804–1875)
- Viscount of Itajubá (1805–1884)
- Baron of Santo Ângelo (1806–1879)
- Viscount of Rio Branco (1819–1880)
- João Lustosa da Cunha Paranaguá, Marquis of Paranaguá (1821–1912)
- José de Alencar (1829–1877)
- Antônio Conselheiro (1830-1897)
- Gaspar da Silveira Martins (1835-1901)
- Carlos Gomes (1836–1896)
- Afonso Celso, Viscount of Ouro Preto (1836–1912)
- André Rebouças (1838–1898)
- Machado de Assis (1839–1908)
- Joaquim Nabuco (1839–1910)
- Viscount of Taunay (1843-1899)
- Baron of Rio Branco (1845–1912)
- José do Patrocínio (1853-1905)
- Alberto Santos-Dumont (1873–1932)
- Monteiro Lobato (1882–1948)
- Câmara Cascudo (1898-1986)
- Arlindo Veiga dos Santos (1902-1978)
- Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira (1908-1995)
- José Osvaldo de Meira Penna (1917–2017)
- Ariano Suassuna (1927–2014)
- Prince Bertrand of Orléans-Braganza (born 1941)
- Olavo de Carvalho (born 1947)
- Gilberto Callado (born 1956)
- Ayrton Senna (1960-1994)
- Delegado Waldir (born 1962)
- Márcio Bittar (born 1963)
- Luiz Philippe of Orléans-Braganza (born 1969)
- Ricardo Felício (born 1970)
- Bruno Garschagen (born 1975)
- Carla Zambelli (born 1980)
- Paulo Eduardo Martins (born 1981)
- Thomas Medeiros (born 1988)
- Filipe Martins (born 1988)
- Enrico Misasi (born 1994)
- Hergé (1903–1983)
- Winston Churchill (1874–1965)
- Agatha Christie (1890–1976)
- J.R.R. Tolkien (1892–1973)
- C.S. Lewis (1898–1963)
- Harold Wilson (1916–1995)
- Peregrine Worsthorne (born 1923)
- Mary Warnock, Baroness Warnock (1924-2019)
- Betty Boothroyd (born 1929)
- Joan Collins (born 1933)
- Michael Heseltine (born 1933)
- Alan Bennett (born 1933)
- Judi Dench (born 1934)
- Julie Andrews (born 1935)
- Nikolai Tolstoy (1935)
- Frederick Forsyth (born 1938)
- Tom Jones (singer) (born 1940)
- Paul McCartney (born 1942)
- Vernon Bogdanor (born 1943)
- John Major (born 1943)
- Simon Blackburn (born 1944)
- Roger Scruton (1944-2020)
- Edwina Currie (born 1946)
- William Shawcross (born 1946)
- Elton John (born 1947)
- Jeremy Irons (born 1948)
- Tony Blair (born 1953)
- Anthony Seldon (born 1953)
- Alex Salmond (born 1954)
- Ian Botham (born 1955)
- Theresa May (born 1956)
- Stephen Fry (born 1957)
- Rupert Everett (born 1959)
- Nick Ferrari (born 1959)
- Alison Moyet (born 1961)
- Camila Batmanghelidjh (born 1963)
- Tracey Emin (born 1963)
- Quentin Letts (born 1963)
- Peter Morgan (born 1963)
- Andrew Roberts (born 1963)
- Nigel Farage (born 1964)
- Boris Johnson (born 1964)
- Rachel Johnson (born 1965)
- David Cameron (born 1966)
- Ed Vaizey (born 1968)
- Jacob Rees-Mogg (born 1969)
- Geri Halliwell (born 1972)
- Miranda Hart (born 1972)
- Victoria Coren Mitchell (born 1972)
- Victoria Beckham (born 1974)
- Alex Massie (born 1974)
- David Mitchell (born 1974)
- Emma Bunton (born 1976)
- Adele (born 1988)
- George-Étienne Cartier (1814–1873)
- John A. Macdonald (1815–1891)
- Alexander Tilloch Galt(1817–1893)
- Thomas D'Arcy McGee (1825–1868)
- Henri-Gustave Joly de Lotbinière (1829–1908)
- Emily Carr (1871–1945)
- William Lyon Mackenzie King (1874–1950)
- David Milne (1882–1953)
- Louis St. Laurent (1882–1973)
- Vincent Massey (1887–1967)
- Georges Vanier (1888–1967)
- Conn Smythe (1895–1980)
- John Diefenbaker (1895–1979)
- Lester B. Pearson (1897–1972)
- Eugene Forsey (1904–1991)
- George Montegu Black II (1911–1976)
- Robertson Davies (1913–1995)
- George Grant (1918–1988)
- Pierre Trudeau (1919–2000)
- Nancy Bell (1924–1989)
- Robert Layton (1925–2002)
- Glenn Gould (1932–1982)
- Jean Chrétien (born 1934)
- Don Cherry (born 1934)
- Margaret Atwood (born 1939)
- Charles Pachter (born 1942)
- Michael Valpy (born 1942)
- John Fraser (born 1944)
- Jack Layton (1950–2011)
- John Aimers (born 1951)
- Kevin S. MacLeod (born 1951)
- Stephen Harper (born 1959)
- Andrew Coyne (born 1960)
- Ray Novak (born 1977)
- Tranquilino de Bonilla y Herdocia (1797-1864)
- José Rafael Gallegos (1784-1850)
- Manuel María de Peralta y López del Corral (?-1837)
- Josip Frank (1844-1911)
- Abolition of monarchy
- Dark Enlightenment
- List of dynasties
- Reactionary modernism
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[s]ome people think the NDP may want to get rid of the monarchy but I can assure you that's absolutely not the case. My Dad was a big time monarchist and so am I.
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