It is first essential to draw out the principles of a monarchy form of government to understand monarchism.
- In this form of government, the monarch is the head of state. They are kings, queens, Ceasers, emperors, caliphs, sultans, and similar. The monarch is not elected. Instead, the power to rule is hereditary in one family.
- The monarch is in charge until their death or abdication. Abdication is simply giving up and passing the power to the next in line in the family.
- In some monarchies, the aristocracy has to vote for a new monarch from their lines. Thus, not everyone can become a monarch, another significant difference to a republic.
- The origin of the word is the Ancient Greek “Monárkhēs.” It consists of the words “one” and “ruler.” Hence, a monarchy is the rule of one.
Monarchists believe that a sole person, the monarch, should hold the right to rule. Unlike in republicanism, this right is usually hereditary. Further, there are two forms of monarchies, and thus, two approaches to this theory. In conclusion, it is the theory that supports the idea of a monarchy in the state.
There are several reasons why someone may support monarchy over a republic. First, it is the fact that monarchies tend to be stable at the point of the transfer of power. Further, the fact that the monarch does not belong to a party may also lay a place for more stability.
In addition, a monarchy relies on a more profound sense of continuity and consistency. It also offers the natural inclination towards a hierarchy in society.
Constitutional monarchism suggests that a constitution should exist. That limits the power of the monarch and allows the presence of a parliament body. On the other hand, the idea of unlimited rights in the monarch’s hands is absolute monarchism.
Monarchism is on the retreat. Monarchists (also called loyalists) lost during the American Independence war and in the French revolution. However, in many countries, parties and individuals are still promoting the idea. People actively support it in existing monarchies such as the UK, Belgium, Japan, or Thailand.