general

definition of absolute monarchy

As its name implies, the absolute monarchy is a type of government or political organization in which the person who has power concentrates everything in his person, in an absolute way, denying space for other independent institutions or for the division of powers (legislative, executive and judicial), a basic characteristic of democracy.

Form of government in which a single person, the king, assumes absolute authority and the rest of the institutions are subject to his decision

The individual who concentrates power in absolute monarchies is a monarch or king, the highest authority to which the rest of the institutions are subject, who has acceded to the position through inheritance, that is, the father dies or abdicates, and then assumes the first-born, that is, the eldest son.

In ancient times, only that place could be occupied by the first male child, the woman being relegated, while the loss of validity of the Salic law that established this, generated that women also have that possibility.

Just another of the characteristic features of this form of government is its hereditary nature, the king remains in power until he dies, succeeding his heir, who is usually someone from his own family, his son, a fact that the royal family maintains. his power

The absolute monarchy is a way of ensuring that power will not be divided among several states, spheres or powers and thus affirming that the person in charge of power will be solely responsible for making decisions.

Although there have always been various forms of this type of government, even to the present day, the period of greatest development of this form of government in the West was from the second half of the seventeenth century and throughout the eighteenth century, especially in France with Louis XIV and their successors.

The absolute monarchy establishes that only the current monarch is the only one capable of making decisions and governing the region in question.

The king receives power directly from God, an unquestionable postulate

To ensure that this is respected, the absolute monarchy used to use the notion of divine right, which assumes that the king receives power from God himself and not from the people.

This means that there is no one who can question his power since he stands above the rest of the inhabitants and is also the king, the only representative of God on Earth.

Especially this idea would be the one that would begin to enter into crisis with the new philosophical approaches of the eighteenth century known as the Enlightenment that ended up leading France to the famous French Revolution.

The French Revolution marks the beginning of the end of this form of government and its adaptation to new, more democratic forms

The hegemony available to the monarchy entered into crisis and will lose strength when the French Revolution happens in 1789, from this moment and progressively, the absolute monarchies were adapting to the new proposals and values, especially those associated with democracy. .

As the main consequence of this, the power of the monarch became symbolic and subordinate to what the people, the new sovereign, wanted, and expressed through the ballot box by electing the representatives of Parliament.

This change gave way to a new form of government known as a parliamentary monarchy and which today is in force in many European countries that were traditionally absolute monarchies, such as Spain, the United Kingdom, Belgium, the Netherlands and Norway, among others.

And we cannot ignore that in many countries that today are totally independent and are organized under democracy, such is the case of Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, they continue to respect and maintain the figure of the king as a symbol.

For the absolute monarchy there is no possibility that there is another power other than that of the king.

Thus, the idea of ​​division of powers is also denied because it is considered that they can become an obstacle for the one who governs.

The king can count on ministers, assistants and officials under his charge who carry out and execute his decisions and measures, but these never have a predominant role but only of consultation or help.

The monarch is the only one who executes and makes the decisions of his government and nothing that is decided does not pass through his hands first.

Absolute monarchies have been very common throughout world history, both in the East and in the West.

From the end of the Middle Ages to the end of the 18th century, the monarchy was the predominant political form in Europe and much of America since it was conquered by the Europeans.

Although the West began to put aside this idea of ​​absolute power after the French Revolution, some regions of the East are still organized under it.