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A hereditary monarchy is one in which the crown is passed down from one member of the royal family to another.

It is historically the most common type of monarchy and remains the dominant form in extant monarchies. It has the advantages of continuity of the concentration of power and wealth and predictability of who controls the means of governance and patronage.. Provided that the monarch is competent, not oppressive, and maintains an appropriate royal dignity, it also offers the stabilizing factors of popular affection for and loyalty to the royal family.[citation needed] The adjudication of what is oppressive, dignified and popular tends to remain in the purvue or the monarch. The main disadvantage is the heir apparent may be physically or temperamentally unfitted to rule. Other disadvantages are the inability of a people to choose their head of state, the ossified distribution of wealth and power across a broad spectrum of society, and the continuation of outmoded religious and social-economic structures mainly for the benefit of the Monarch, their families, and supporters.

Theoretically, when the king or queen of a hereditary monarchy dies or abdicates, the crown is typically passed to the next generation of the family. If no qualified child exists, the crown may pass to a brother, sister, nephew, niece, cousin, or other relative, in accordance with a predefined order of succession, often enshrined in legislation. This process establishes who will be the next monarch beforehand and avoids disputes among members of the royal family. In practice, there is an almost irresistible drive amongst the claimants to the throne. There are few if any monarchies that have not acquired and defended their hold on power through deceipt, murder, war and oppression.

In most current monarchies, the typical order of succession is based on a form of primogeniture, but there exist other methods such as seniority, tanistry (in which an heir-apparent is nominated from among qualified candidates) and rotation [clarification needed], which were more common in the past.

Historically, there have been differences in systems of succession, mainly revolving around the question of whether succession is limited to males, or if females are also eligible (historically, the crown often devolved on the eldest male child, as ability to lead an army in battle was a requisite of kingship). Agnatic succession refers to systems where females are neither allowed to succeed nor to transmit succession rights to their male descendants (see Salic Law). An agnate is a kinsman with whom one has a common ancestor by descent in an unbroken male line. Cognatic succession once referred to any succession which allowed both males and females to be heirs, although in modern usage it specifically refers to succession by seniority regardless of sex. Another factor which may be taken into account is the religious affiliation of the candidate or the candidate's spouse, specifically where the monarch also has a religious title or role; for example the British monarch has the title of Supreme Governor of the Church of England.

Elective monarchy can function in practice as a hereditary monarchy. If eligibility is limited to members of one family, or even specific sub-sets of members if allowed by the rules of the election. The limiting case, that only one family member is eligible for election, functions as hereditary monarchy (it could be regarded as a form of tanistry). This could come about if the reigning monarch exercised the monarchical power to have a chosen relative elected as heir during his or her reign. This system might be more aptly described as pseudo-elective or virtually-hereditary, with the succession system being in transition. Many late-medieval countries of Europe were officially elective monarchies, but in fact pseudo-elective; most became officially hereditary in the early modern age.

See also[edit]


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4 news items

The Guardian

The Guardian
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 14:00:00 -0700

As Grade put it: “You wouldn't invent a hereditary monarchy today, you wouldn't invent the House of Lords, you wouldn't invent the BBC in a dynamic market. You either believe in it or you don't. You can't intellectually – in a modern sense with a ...
 
NFTU
Fri, 15 Aug 2014 05:25:43 -0700

Essentially, Visigoths did not have a firm concept of hereditary monarchy. One of the perennial problems of the Visigothic Kingdom was that it was essentially a diffused aristocratic (or oligarchic) government with the King being merely the head of the ...
 
Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal
Thu, 31 Jul 2014 15:47:25 -0700

Thus a monstrous “camp” of Cuba, Venezuela, Putin's Russia, China, Assad's Syria (some days, not others, I guess), Iran's theocracy (though I guess not when it was hailing NATO's war on Gaddafi) , the hereditary monarchy in North Korea, Gaddafi's Libya ...

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9 канал Израиль
Mon, 28 Jul 2014 19:33:28 -0700

Самого понятия Палестина как административной единицы со времен римлян и до Первой мировой войны не существовало. Была Палестина как терминологический эквивалент христианского понятия Святая Земля, или Земля Израиля. Арабы ...
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