Absolute monarchy  

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"Louis XVI ruled as King of France from 1774 until 1791. His execution signaled the end of absolute monarchy in France and would eventually bring about the rise of Napoleon Bonaparte."

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Absolute monarchy is a monarchical form of government where the monarch exercises ultimate governing authority as head of state and head of government, thus wielding political power over the sovereign state and its subject peoples. In an absolute monarchy, the transmission of power is two-fold, hereditary and marital; as absolute governor, the monarch’s authority is not legally bound or restricted by a constitution.

In theory, the absolute monarch exercises total power over the land and its subject peoples, yet in practice the monarchy was counter-balanced by political groups from among the social classes and castes of the realm: the aristocracy, clergy (see caesaropapism), bourgeoise, and proletarians.

Some monarchies have powerless or symbolic parliaments and other governmental bodies that the monarch can alter or dissolve at will. Despite effectively being absolute monarchies, they are technically constitutional monarchies due to the existence of a constitution and national canon of law.

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