Several countries around the world subscribe to a form of government involving the monarchy, but only a few still adhere to absolute monarchy. One of the best examples is in the Vatican where the pope rules the land. Once elected, they have authority over the people as well as the Church.
But giving someone unrestricted political power can be both advantageous and dangerous. One of the major causes of the English Civil War was over fears that Charles I was attempting to establish an absolutist government. Louis XIV of France is considered one of the most successful absolute monarchs given the reign he had over his country and men. To know why absolute monarchy is preferred or detested, take a look at the advantages and disadvantages.
List of Advantages of Absolute Monarchy
1. It allows for quicker decisions to be made
The monarch has authority over his land and people. They don’t listen to advisers when it comes to making decisions. Yes, they may have people who help them out but ultimately, the final say lies with them.
Some favor this kind of government because it would reduce squabbling over what’s right and what’s wrong. With this kind of leadership, decisions can be made as soon as possible and not drag on for years. Having too many people involved in the decision-making process hinders progress because there’s sure to be disagreements over terms. The people want answers to problems and sometimes, having a monarch decide these matters allows for a quicker run through all the issues that need to be addressed.
2. It makes law making easier
In an absolute monarchy, there’s only one person who gets to make the decisions. When there are laws to be made to benefit the people, an absolute monarch can command to get this done. This in turn will make the people more thankful that their needs were addressed in the shortest possible time.
3. It allows for long-term goals to be planned and met
A monarch rules for life. As such, they make plans for the long term. In some ways, this is beneficial for the country because it won’t likely get scrapped unlike when someone else assumes office and decides not to pursue the plan because it’s not part of their agenda. For a monarch, issues that arises during their reign has a good chance of getting addressed given they rule for life.
List of Disadvantages of Absolute Monarchy
1. It doesn’t involve a democratic process
Once a monarch decides, that is it. There can be no debate surrounding the decision and surely, the monarch can’t be held accountable for what they just decided.
2. It creates an excess of fame
Fame can be both good and bad, but with an absolute monarch, fame can be dangerous. How can internal changes be expected when the leader in question is a much beloved figure?
3. It involves a leader not chosen by the people
Monarchs get to their position by inheritance. This could be bad because there’s no telling whether the monarch that succeeds is capable of leading a nation.
Natalie Regoli is a child of God, devoted wife, and mother of two boys. She has a Master's Degree in Law from The University of Texas. Natalie has been published in several national journals and has been practicing law for 18 years.