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Difference Between Absolute Monarchy and Constitutional Monarchy

Absolute Monarchy vs Constitutional Monarchy

The difference between absolute monarchy and constitutional monarchy is that in the absolute monarchy, the monarch holds the supreme or absolute powers, whereas in the constitutional monarchy, the head of state is a hereditary or elected monarch.

The law within a constitutional monarchy might be different from the law within an absolute monarchy. Differences between absolute and constitutional monarchies emerged during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries when many European countries experimented with absolutism and constitutional monarchies.

Absolute monarchy is also called undemocratic monarchy and constitutional monarchy is also called a liberal monarchy. In the absolute monarchy, the king or queen rules with absolute and total power whereas in a constitutional monarchy the king or queen has limited powers since they rule along with a parliament or a governing body. In other words, the king or queen of an absolute monarchy is a dictator.

An absolute monarch is entitled to make all the economic and other state -related decisions for the country whereas in the constitutional monarchy,the parliament is responsible for the economic and foreign affairs policies etc. The initiation of constitutional monarchy was made possible when the monarchs started abusing their powers. They started believing that God chose them and bestowed upon them the powers. This attitude proved to be devastating for the integrity and safety of their countries. Absolute monarchy was initiated with the decline of the church and partly due to religious or holy wars. However, a good absolute monarch can be advantageous whereas as an irresponsible monarch with absolute powers can be very dangerous.

An absolute monarch is not legally bound whereas a constitutional monarch is legally bound by the constitution of his country. In the absolute monarchy, the monarch gains powers either through heredity or marriage. In the constitutional monarchy, the prime minister is elected either directly or indirectly. Unlike in the absolute monarchy, the prime minister in the constitutional monarchy exercises effective political power.

United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Sweden, Malaysia, Luxemburg and Jordan are among the nations that have constitutional or limited monarchy system whereas Brunei, Saudi Arabia, Vatican City, Swaziland, Oman and Qatar are some of the few nations that still have absolute monarchs.


1. Absolute monarchy or undemocratic monarchy transmits absolute powers to the monarch who acts as a dictator or head of the state.

2. Constitutional monarchy or liberal monarchy gives limited powers to the monarch as in the monarchy of England.

3. In the constitutional monarchy, the prime minister of the state holds the maximum powers and political effectiveness.

4. Absolute monarchs were initiated due to holy wars and the decline of the church.

5. Constitutional monarchy was initiated when the monarchs emerged as irresponsible and careless leaders.

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  1. Jilani needs to read a little more about countires and their political systems. Who have a Constitutional monarchy and those who have a Absolute monarchs. for one Jordan is or have a Absolute monarchs since Britian carved out Jordan from the rigion and gave it to Hussian bin Ali, where his children and grand children inhirited the monarchy until today. It is an Absolute monarchy system where as the king has all the powers, decision making and rules over every one else. If Jilani considres a Parliament or a primeminister is a shape or form or democracy, then again he need to read more and study more about the political system in that part of the world, especially when he compares Jordan to Britian or canada….

    • More readers that support peace and are not afraid for change need to read more of articles like this one. It is with these reasons that Leopold Donchield Zu Leone II argues that constitutional monarchy system is a system that Africa and West Africa need to consider in order for political stability to be restored in Africa. The clear explanation that we see in your article is in line with the vision of Leopold Donchield Zu Leone II, that of the constitutional monarchy to be an institution that is above party politics and has a role that support any democratically elected government. It has been documented that the most successful and well run governments are those governments run with constitutional monarchy. Britain is an example of the longest and the most successful constitutional monarchy in the world.

      Leopold Donchield Zu Leone II argues that constitutional monarchy system, if implemented correctly in West Africa, would establish nation building, attract foreign investment, have free and fair elections, economic development, and transparency and improve trade and mineral resources. Constitutional monarchy is a system that could bring peace and prevent the what we see happening whereby when the other party is not satisfied with the outcome of the election, the court settles those differences and the actual work to serve the nation, do not start.

      • this was vary usfull.

      • West Africa is a very flawed example of a place where a constitutional monarchy would be useful seeing as there are so many different tribes and people groups occupying the region. In Ghana where I’m from for example, there are regular disputes about who is next in line to rule when a chief of a small village dies*. This happens in practically every tribe. Imagine having to select a single monarch to represent all these tribes, and how difficult it would be gaining the approval of the collective population. It’s a most unrealistic theory which would inevitably lead to greater political conflicts.
        In West Africa, what should be considered is how to make the elected officials more accountable to the population and act in the best interests of the people they represent, no more and nothing less

        * This is not to suggest that Ghana is a particularly violent or chaotic

    • that is alot to wright but I still liked the coment.

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