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  #1  
Old 09-12-2015, 07:13 PM
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Powerful Presidents Becoming Monarchs

As late as the 1920s, powerful elected presidents from time to time would quit pretending to be subject to electoral politics and would just proclaim themselves to be kings. From Napoleon III of France to King Zog of Albania, examples are common.

Today, there are many powerful presidents around the globe. I won't name them and ask that you don't either (as I don't want to cross the line of discussing politics), but it seems to me that they are monarchs for all practical purposes, since they serve as long as they want and pass the reigns of power to a family member or other designated heir when they step down.
Some of these presidents rule countries with monarchical traditions.

Question: why don't these presidents just proclaim themselves to be monarchs? Not only would they be able to legitimize their perpetual rule, but doing so, if they wanted to fashion their new office as a nonpolitical one, would also allow themselves to step out of day-to-day politics, which could help protect them from popular revolt. For example, someone a typical Western European constitutional monarch stays out of politics and is less likely to be thrown out of office than an elected president, however powerful.

Thoughts?
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Old 09-12-2015, 08:42 PM
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I see your reasoning and I am no expert, but I believe there would be a lot of constitutional reasons why this doesn't happen. Re; Rome - Vatican, or other Church rules etc. A President would be better off being adopted by a King perhaps. Like the Bernadottes. But that is probably no longer possible today.
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Old 09-14-2015, 02:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CSENYC View Post
Question: why don't these presidents just proclaim themselves to be monarchs? Not only would they be able to legitimize their perpetual rule, but doing so, if they wanted to fashion their new office as a nonpolitical one, would also allow themselves to step out of day-to-day politics, which could help protect them from popular revolt. For example, someone a typical Western European constitutional monarch stays out of politics and is less likely to be thrown out of office than an elected president, however powerful.

Thoughts?
The only thought I have is: RIDICULOUS!! I cannot imagine ANY elected president deciding to declare him/herself King or Queen. The citizens wouldn't stand for it. That person would be assassinated during the riots that would start immediately.

Of course I know you're probably joking because you simply cannot be serious with a question like that.
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Old 09-14-2015, 04:21 PM
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Certainly an interesting question. Reason #1 could be that the respective countries have a constitution that determines whether it is a republic, monarchy or something else. Reason #2 is that many powerful presidents are elected, albeit perhaps not by the most democratic methods. By being "elected" the appearance may be of a democracy although a sham one. Monarchs tend to not be elected. Reason #3 could be that a monarch is risking an elected body may change the monarch's role into a constitutional one and thereby moving the power away from the monarch to someone else.
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Old 09-14-2015, 04:29 PM
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In some countries such a move would spark a Revolutionary or Civil type of war and said president would end up dead or fleeing the country.

The president is the CIC in some countries however the military has no obligation to follow immoral and/or illegal orders from anyone. Their oaths state they will defend the country from all enemies both foreign and domestic. Ergo, without the support of the military they couldn't succeed at such an attempt anyway.


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Old 09-14-2015, 05:52 PM
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I guess there are a whole host of reasons why a President would not become a monarch. Monarchs are not allowed to be political for a start. Lots of constitutional rules regarding Presidents and Monarchs as to what power they have. Monarchs are usually a hereditary position.
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Old 09-14-2015, 05:54 PM
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I think that the main issue is that it is no longer 'the in thing' most of the new countries that created monarchies and most of those who proclaimed themselves kings, did so because it garnered support and recognition for the country from other powerful countries. It also made the ruler seem more legitimate. Today Republicanism is the thing and someone giving themselves the title would not be taken seriously.
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Old 09-14-2015, 07:01 PM
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Given the topic I'd just ask what prepares the progeny of a president to be a decent ruler? Certainly, not the act of being born.




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Old 09-14-2015, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by AdmirerUS View Post
Given the topic I'd just ask what prepares the progeny of a president to be a decent ruler? Certainly, not the act of being born.



Same with monarchies. But, Presidents do not become monarchs, because the nations they serve would not allow it. They do not have a monarch for a reason.
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Old 09-14-2015, 11:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Tarlita View Post
I guess there are a whole host of reasons why a President would not become a monarch. Monarchs are not allowed to be political for a start. Lots of constitutional rules regarding Presidents and Monarchs as to what power they have. Monarchs are usually a hereditary position.
In some Middle Eastern countries the monarch is the highest political and most powerful office in the country, Saud Arabia comes to mind. Their rules regarding succession is also somewhat different from most monarchies in that the ruling monarch choses who will succeed him among several branches of the families. The ruling monarch has also on occasion changes their mind and proclaimed a change in who is the crown prince.
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Old 09-18-2015, 09:11 PM
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Originally Posted by mslewis View Post
The only thought I have is: RIDICULOUS!! I cannot imagine ANY elected president deciding to declare him/herself King or Queen. The citizens wouldn't stand for it. That person would be assassinated during the riots that would start immediately.

Of course I know you're probably joking because you simply cannot be serious with a question like that.
It happened in Western Europe as late as the 1850s and in Eastern Europe as late as the 1920s.

Perhaps my words were too shorthand; the president wouldn't just literally announce, "I'm the King!" and thus be king. The president would have his party demand a constitutional convention, and then the constitution of the country would be amended by its terms, and then the people in the country would rubber-stamp the constitutional change to create a king.

I could see that happening in plenty of authoritarian countries.
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Old 09-18-2015, 09:57 PM
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Wouldn't it be easier just for the President to become a dictator and just be President for life. Sort of what Castro did in Cuba. Then you claim you're a man of the people instead of a King.


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Old 09-18-2015, 10:38 PM
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Castro a man of the people? Not so sure the people would agree. Particularly the ones who have risked their lives to flee his oppression...or have been murdered, or rot in jails still for daring to dissent.


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Old 09-19-2015, 07:41 AM
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Because those "presidents" don't need to become monarchs. There are already powerful and some of them dictators. That's more appealing for them. Pure and simple...
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Old 09-19-2015, 07:55 AM
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Originally Posted by CSENYC View Post
It happened in Western Europe as late as the 1850s and in Eastern Europe as late as the 1920s.
....
I could see that happening in plenty of authoritarian countries.
The last time someone tried was in 1976 in Africa, it was a short-lived attempt by Jean-Bédel Bokassa, and it lasted only three years. Perhaps the memory of that try is why no-one have tried it again.
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Old 09-19-2015, 09:25 AM
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Most Kings and Queens, in the west anyway, are constitutional monarchs bound by Parliament and precedent into being a purely symbolic Head of State with few if any real powers. I can't see a deeply ambitious politician settling for that.
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Old 10-19-2015, 09:57 PM
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A powerful President whether he/she be American or another country really doesn't mesh with being a monarch. When I think of a Monarch, I think of a long tradition which goes back centuries and is well established. Someone who tries to interfere with this or tried to interject themselves as Monarch would do so at their own peril as they would probably be overthrown or have to leave with the clothes off of their backs.

A President and his family has a lot more freedom than those born into royalty. They aren't bound by royal traditions although their behavior and actions are criticized by others. After they term is up, then they can become a private citizen. A monarch even if they retire, aren't really private citizens (they are the former monarch).

An American President or a President on any other country would have more power than a Constitutional monarchs whose political power is somewhat limited. A monarch couldn't remove a President who they didn't like nor could they remove someone who was a bad leader and who they had serious disagreements with politically or socially and vice versa even if a constitutional crisis arose.

A powerful President if they did become a monarch wouldn't be satisfied with limited power or Constitutional Monarchy. They would want complete or more power. This type of president most likely if they weren't careful or if they let it go to their head might become a dictator or change the monarchy to suit their needs which wouldn't go over well with the people.
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Old 10-19-2015, 11:57 PM
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I have been fascinated by Royal European history since childhood, and I love reading about and keeping up with various Royal families. I especially love the glamour and romance of Royal weddings.

But I also love living in a republic and am very particularly proud to be an American.

If I felt otherwise, I'd simply repatriate.
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