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15.4C: Monarchies and Liberal Democracies
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- Distinguish between an absolute monarchy and a constitutional monarchy
- When the monarch has no or few legal restraints in state and political matters, it is called an absolute monarchy and is a form of autocracy.
- Monarchies are associated with political or sociocultural hereditary rule, in which monarchs rule for life (although some monarchs do not hold lifetime positions).
- An absolute monarchy refers to when the monarch has no or few legal restraints in state and political matters.
- In a constitutional monarchy, the monarch retains a unique legal and ceremonial role.
- Throughout history, monarchies have been abolished, either through revolutions, legislative reforms, coups d’état, or wars.
- Liberal democracy traces its origins—and its name—to the European 18th century, also known as the Age of Enlightenment.
- Enlightenment: A 17th and 18th-century philosophical movement in European history; the Age of Enlightenment or Age of Reason emphasizing rationalism.
- constitutional monarchy: A monarchy in which the monarch’s power is limited by a written constitution.
- absolute monarchy: A state over which a sole monarch has absolute and unlimited power.