Abolition of monarchy

The abolition of monarchy is the occurrence, actual or topical, of the ending of an aristocratic ("hereditary government") control of a country and the cessation of its kind of government ("monarchy"). It has occurred throughout history, either through revolutions, coups d'état, wars, or legislative reforms (such as abdications). The founding of the Roman Republic is a noteworthy example and became part of the nation's traditions including as justification for the assassination of Julius Caesar. The twentieth century saw a major acceleration of this process, with many monarchies violently overthrown by revolution or war, or else abolished as part of the process of decolonisation. By contrast, the restoration of monarchies is rare in modern times, with only two major examples, Spain and Cambodia.

An early example of the abolition of a monarchy in modern times occurred in 1649 with the overthrow of the English monarchy by the Parliament of England and its armed forces under leaders such as Oliver Cromwell. 1660 saw a monarchical restoration - though in a more limited form moderated by a more independent Parliament.

Anti-monarchism in the United States developed out of the gradual process of revolution that began as early as 1765, as colonists resisted the Stamp Act through boycott and the expulsion and condemnation of royal officials. While subjects of Great Britain (a union of the Kingdom of England with the Kingdom of Scotland), the colonists of British North America enjoyed a level of autonomy which increasingly clashed with royal and Parliamentary authority which did not consult colonial needs. With the Declaration of Independence in 1776, the most violent wave of anti-monarchical protest began, with the systematic destruction of the relics and symbols of monarchy. Examples can be found in the toppling of the equestrian statue of George III on Bowling Green in New York City (9 July 1776). Monarchic loyalists were particularly affected by partisan attacks or harassment, with tens of thousands leaving for Canada, Britain, and other colonies. Wealth or property which remained was typically confiscated. Thomas Paine, the famous author of the revolutionary pamphlet "Common Sense", urged the colonists to finance the revolutionary war through this means. Even today, very few artifacts depicting the British monarchy from the colonial period can be found in the United States. However, not all anti-British or anti-Loyalist sentiment equated to anti-monarchism. The normalcy of having a King at the head of a polity had strong roots in much political thought (Machiavelli, Hobbes) and in religious doctrine (see for example 1 Samuel 8:6-9. Some Americans saw the presidency in monarchical terms.

However, the most famous abolition of monarchy in history - apart from the Dutch Republic of 1581 to 1795 - involved the French monarchy in 1792, during the French Revolution. The French monarchy was later restored several times with differing levels of authority. Napoleon, initially a hero of the Republican revolution, crowned himself emperor in 1804 only to be replaced by the Bourbon Restoration in 1815 which in turn was replaced by the more liberal July Monarchy in 1830.

The 1848 Revolution was a more clear anti-monarchic uprising that replaced the succession of royal leaders with the short-lived Second French Republic. Louis Napoleon Bonaparte established the Second French Empire (1852 to 1870), retaining republican aspects while placing himself in the center of the state until the losses in the Franco-Prussian War precipitated his fall, resulting in the French Third Republic and the definitive end of monarchism in the governing of France.

In 1858 the Mughal Empire came to an end after losing a war against Britain, and its Emperor, Bahadur Shah II, lost his throne. Between 1859 and 1861, four monarchies in Southern Europe ceased to exist: Parma, Modena, Tuscany and the Two Sicilies, when they all became part of the new Kingdom of Italy. The Second Mexican Empire collapsed in 1867, and its Emperor, Maximilian I of Mexico, was executed. The Second French Empire came to an end in 1870 after it had lost the war against Prussia, causing Emperor Napoleon III to lose his throne. He was the last monarch of France.

This page was last edited on 1 February 2018, at 07:03.
Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abolished_monarchy under CC BY-SA license.

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