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Reply with quote  #1 

I thought it useful to do a monarchist glossary, which will go like this. This original post is the glossary, which can be edited as it goes along, but we can discuss adding words to it, which will of course be done alphabetically.

Abolitionism- supporting the abolition of monarchies and replacement by republics; see also Jacobinism, Republicanism

Absolutism- where all effective power is vested in the sovereign, also called autocracy. Parliamentary institutions of a sort existed in most monarchies. Denmark from the mid-17th to mid-19th centuries an exception, weakening the nobility in the process.

Agnatic succession- succession by and through males only, to the exclusion of females; of the eldest male line heir as in Salic Law; see also Legitimism.

Altar and Throne- the founding principles of Roman Catholic monarchy.

Ancien regime- the order of Europe prior to 1789.

Autocracy- see absolutism; in Russia used to describe the monarchy prior to 1905, and the principle of "Orthodoxy, Autocracy, Nationality". Until 1917 there were parties that defended this order, usually known as Black Hundreds, this strain of Russian monarchism has been revived in some form since 1991.

Bonapartism- a supporter of the House of Bonaparte and of the legacy and principles of Napoleon and of Napoleon III, though the latter was arguably more conservative than the former. An occasional epithet, one even used to describe those who've created new monarchies either out of usurping existing ones or transforming republics into monarchies, though it is debatable whether such examples qualify as "Bonapartist". Bonapartism, like Orleanism, was an attempted compromise between the ancien regime and the French Revolution.

Carlism- the Carlist movement rose in support of Infante Carlos, brother of Ferdinand VII, as successor. Ideologically, Carlists descended from the royalist camp or court party of the years 1812-30, extremely conservative and Catholic. Their ideology was summed up as dios, patria, fueros, rey, in which fuero meant the ancient rights of self-government enjoyed by Catalonia, Aragon, Valencia and Navarre. Carlists attracted significant Basque and Catalan support and influenced the more conservative strain of Basque and Catalan nationalism (its rival being the republican separatist movements of Jacobin origin). This not dissimilar to Scottish and Irish support for the Jacobite cause, except that contemporary Scottish and Irish "nationalism" has no trace of Jacobite ideas in it. Since 1936, Carlists have support one claimant or another from the Bourbon-Parma line, rendering their cause to absurdity despite the inherent appeal of Carlist ideology to traditional Catholics.

Cavalier- partisans of the monarchy during the English Civil War and the republican tyranny of 1649-60. Cavaliers were succeeded by the Tories.

Clericalism- in 19th and early 20th century discourse in Catholic Europe and Latin America, synonymous with conservatism, reactionism and legitimism, supporting the established role of the Roman Catholic Church in affairs of state and society.

Conservative- opposition to change and preservation of the status quo; favouring gradual evolution rather than radical reform or revolution; defence of culture, identity, tradition, family, property. Conservatism is compatible with but not synonymous with monarchism. Conservatism is often but not always identified with free-market capitalism, traditionally more inclined to paternalism, corporatism and protectionism, to social and cultural conservatism, and patriotism. Conservatism today has many strains: liberal Conservatism, Christian conservatism (or Christian democracy) and religious conservatism more broadly, legitimism, paleoconservatism, etc.

Constitutional monarchy- in narrow modern discourse, a monarchy where the monarch's function is de facto ceremonial. More broadly, a monarchy whose institutions are codified by a constitution, written or (in Britain) unwritten. In England, this evolved gradually with the establishment of Parliament, Magna Carta, etc. In Poland, the Sejm, Nihil Novi and Henrician Articles established one of the most liberal monarchies prior to 1688 (or 1789). In Sweden, the Riksdag incorporated all social classes and the Instrument of Government codified them. Since the American Revolution, written constitutions whether monarchical or republican have often become something of objects of veneration.

Crown, The- the institution of the monarchy, and not merely the person.

Democracy- ostensibly, "government by the people and for the people". More soberly, democracy means free, fair and competitive elections for public office and guarantee of the right to participate and organise.

Divine right- the concept that Kings rule by Grace of God, and not because of earthly factors. The basis of monarchy and requirement of obedience to it is established in Christianity, in both Old and New Testaments of the Christian Bible. Similar concepts exist in other religions. In China, the Mandate of Heaven concept is superficially similar but with significant differences, explaining through it the cycle of Chinese history. In Islam, Qu'ran verses 3:26 and 5:20 more or less establish the principle.

Dispossession- when a monarchy is involuntarily liquidated by another monarchy or a republic. Key examples include the dispossessions of the Italian states in the wars of unification, of Hanover and other states in the Austro-Prussian war, the annexations of Ryukyu and Korea by Japan, of Hawaii by the United States, and of Hejaz and Jebel Shammar by Saudi Arabia.

Dynastic marriage- marriage between royals of different houses.

Equal marriage- see "dynastic marriage".

Enlightened absolutism- typified by the evolution of 18th century absolute monarchies who adopted Enlightenment ideas and carried out numerous reforms while essentially preserving the order of state and society and, of course, royal authority. Its benefits and legacy are intensely debated by monarchists.





Jacobinism- supporters of the most radical faction of the French Revolution, ideologically Jacobinism means violent republicanism and anticlericalism, a trend seen not only in France but also in republican movements in Spain, Portugal and Italy.

Jacobitism- the supporters of James II and his genealogical heirs, whose claims realistically ended by 1766 and definitively in 1807. Invariably they were from the Tory Party, themselves descended of the Cavaliers. Ideologically, Jacobites belived in divine right and maintaining the separate status of the three kingdoms, their ranks drawn not only from Catholics throughout the kingdoms but also Scottish Episcopalians among others. Two rebellions, 1715 and 1745, entered historic folklore; Genealogical Jacobitism has been mainly a fringe cause, ideological Jacobitism slightly less so.


Legitimism- Strictly-speaking, advocacy of strict application of Salic Law in succession. More broadly, it has assumed as much (if not more) of an ideology than strict geneology, in a counterrevolutionary and reactionary rejection of the leagacy of revolutions or compromise with such. The Bourbon Restoration of 1815 rejected the main corpus of the French Revolution, but did not undo the administrative reforms, decimal currency or metric system. Examples include French Legitimists, Carlists, Miguelists and Jacobites. In the cases of Spain, Portugal and Britain, such disputes have long been put to rest barring a fringe that can easily be dismissed. In Italy, Legitimist refers to those who favour the pre-1861 order and reject the unification of the Italian Peninsula. Today in France, Legitimist applies to supporters of Lous XX, who are generally right-wing Catholics.

Liberalism- in the broadest sense, liberalism means acceptance of Whiggery and of Enlightenment principles that created liberal democracy, though Poland and Sweden were exceptions. In the 19th century, liberalism meant support for secularism, free trade and market economics, democratic governance and the freedom of expression. In more modern terms, liberalism means cultural and social liberalism, and support of free-market economics to some degree or another. The term "liberal conservatism" applies to many modern conservative parties, but originated in a conservative acceptance of constitutionalism on the Continent. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, the "liberal state" denoted those run by liberal regimes which practiced both free-market principles and secularism.

Loyalist- in the American Revolution, those who were loyal to the British Crown, also Tories. Defeated in 1783, many Loyalists emigrated but there were those that never did; loyalism still counts adherents on this board and elsewhere. Also a term used to designate anyone loyal to a particular individual or movement.

Mandate of Heaven- a Chinese concept similar to divine right but with significant differences. Heaven granted the right to rule, which could be lost by catastrophic events. This explains the cycle of Chinese history, where the collapse of a state is followed by competing claims and an eventual victor that unites the country. The collapses of the Tang and Ming dynasties were examples of this, especially the former where the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms followed before the emergence of the Song Dynasty. The fall of the Qing Dynasty was followed by warlordism that continued to 1949. If this applies to the People's Republic of China, then CCP rule will not last indefinitely and signs of threats to its rule are slowly coming about.

Mediatisation- a process in the first decade of the 19th century by which many smaller German states would lose their statehood, but their erstwhile rulers retained their status for reasons of marriage.

Miguelism- Analogous to Carlism and Jacobitism, supporters of Dom Miguel as Miguel I of Portugal and opposed to liberal constitutionalism (which itself would be divided between the liberal Septembrists and conservative Chartists). The Miguelista line was the agnatic Braganza line which since 1932 has been the sole royal line of Portugal. Legitimism thus survived the fall of the Portuguese monarchy, and Portuguese monarchists by and large unite behind Duarte Pio as their rightful King. The divisions among monarchists survive in various forms today.

the changing of culture, society, religion and politics to "fit with the times", stridently condemned by the Roman Catholic Church until the early 20th century, but tragically compromising with it ever since.

Monarchism- advocacy of preservation or restoration of monarchy; supporting the concept of monarchy. Monarchism is not an ideology in itself but is often integral to the ideology of monarchists.

Morganatic marriage- marriage of royals to a person of lower social rank; no longer universally applied and increasingly common. This applies mainly in Christian monarchies, not so with non-Christian monarchies.


Obedience- Obedience to lawful authority is a Biblical requirement of Christians, articulated in Romans 13 and 1 Peter 2:13-17. For Muslims, the same requirement is in Qu'ran 4:59.

Old Order-
also known as ancien regime, used to describe Russia, Germany and Austria prior to 1918.

Orleanism- in France, support for the House of Orleans. Essentially Orleanism represented a compromise between the ancien regime and the French Revolution, while condemning much of the corpus of the latter and all of its excesses. Since 1883 the issue has been more complicated. Present-day supporters of the Orleans line range from centre-left to right-wing Catholics, reflective of both contemporary French politics and the contested succession.

Orangism- support for the House of Orange-Nassau. In 19th century Luxembourg, it meant support for the union with the Netherlands. In Belgium, Orangism was a reactionary movement against the Belgian Revolution of 1830. Flemish Orangism survives today despite the separatist and republican character of the much of Flemish nationalism; Siegfried Bracke of the N-VA is a notable Orangist.

a monarchy that has nominal hegemony over others, often assumed to be some sort of "empire", but more often a hegemony that is nominal. The best-known example of this is the Holy Roman Empire after 1648.

Political pensioner- a dispossessed monarchy or royal line that continues to receive an allowance from a conquering power. This was mainly concerning British-ruled India.

supporting preservation of existing monarchies.


Reactionary- one who rejects change and favours a return to the previous state of affairs; broadly, rejection of the legacy of revolutionary ideology and changes. The term originated in the French Revolution and applied to Royalists, but has garnered wider application. Reactionism can narrowly denote those who are right-wing, clericalist, conservative and monarchist, but not exclusively so, even if many monarchists fit the term "reactionary". In post-Communist Eastern Europe, the trend towards reactionism is strong on both sides of the political spectrum depending on country, in rejecting the legacy of Communist regimes, which can be termed rejectionist reactionism. The Arab Spring has seen elements of rejectionist reactionism, particularly in Libya, as people reject the regimes and legacies set up by anti-monarchist revolutions.

Republicanism- strictly-speaking, supporting the abolition of monarchies in favour of republics. Broadly applied to anyone who supports existing republics, but just as not all people living in monarchies are staunch monarchists, so not all people living in republics are staunch republicans.

supporting the restoration of former monarchies.

Roundhead- supporters of Cromwell and the republican regime of 1649-60. Roundheads were Puritans and the philosophical ancestor of the modern nanny state. After 1660, the successors of the Roundheads were the Whigs who while accepting constitutional monarchy as a compromise at least, were also anti-Catholic. Present-day republicans in Britain are more likely influenced by Jacobinism and Bolshevism.

Royalism- interchangeable with "monarchism", though more widely applied in some countries than others. In France, "monarchist" means anyone who is a Royalist or Bonapartist, whereas "royalist" strictly means Legitimist or Orleanist.

Subnational monarchy- a monarchy officially recognised on a subnational level and thus not sovereign. They may be constituent member of a federation (Malaysia, UAE, South Arabia aka South Yemen to 1967, Germany 1871-1918) or play a local role of upholding culture and tradition, as in many African countries and in Indonesia since the fall of Suharto.

Toryism- the roots of the original Tory Party in Britain dates backs to the Royalists or Cavaliers. Toryism involved a strident defence of the Crown and the Church, of the nobility as a benchmark for culture and tradition, and of a protected economy; these principles came to be known as High Toryism. The term "Tory" emerged to denote supporters of the Crown who opposed the Exclusion Bill, or "Abhorrers". From 1685 onwards Jacobites constituted a faction of the Tory Party, which from 1715 onwards would be out of office for the duration of the reigns of George I and George II. During the reign of George III, a reorganised Tory Party, more reconciled to Whiggish principles of liberal constitutional monarchy but still staunchly conservative, would gain the upper hand under William Pitt the Younger. High Toryism would be displaced in the Conservative Party after 1970 by the Manchester Liberalism of Margaret Thatcher and her successors. People like Gerald Warner, Peter Hitchens and Gregory Lauder-Frost epitomise High Toryism in slightly different ways.

Traditionalism- adherence to tradition in defiance of modernity, favouring preservation and restoration of tradition. The term is strongly linked to monarchism and reactionism. Traditionalist conservatives differ themselves sharply from more modern liberal counterparts and neoconservatives. The Traditionalist Movement in the Roman Catholic Church refers to divergent movements opposing the reforms of Vatican II or at least seeking preservation of Church traditions prior.

Usurper- anyone who claims to assume the throne in place of the legitimate ruler. Republics that have replaced monarchies are also usurpers. Whether monarchical usurpers and their heirs can claim legitimacy is of itself a matter of debate.

Vassal state- a state that, while autonomous in virtually all internal affairs, is not only in effect a dependency of a larger and stronger state, but is so by formal arrangement.

Whiggery- the Whigs originated in the mid-17th century Parliamentary side of the English Civil War, becoming the Roundheads. They emerged as supporters of the anti-Catholic Exclusion Bill. The Glorious Revolution of 1690 represented, broadly, a triumph of Whiggish principles (which at the time included anti-Catholcism), and at best a compromise or settlement of the ideological warfare that plagued England for 50 years prior. The Whigs dominated British politics in the reigns of George I and George II, waning in the reign of George III, but its influence is permanent and was generally accepted. In America, the Whig faction in the mid 18th century would form the basis of the American Revolution, hence a form Whiggery formed the basis of the United States of America. There were radical British and American politicians who cheered the French Revolution, at least initially, but there were those who were rightly horrified by it.





Posts: 7,534
Reply with quote  #2 
Thanks. I noticed one typo, 'morgantic' for 'morganatic'. There may be others, I wasn't applying full scrutiny! For agnatic succession I think I would suggest changing to 'succession by and through males only, to the exclusion of females'. This covers both agnatic seniority (where the males of a particular generation succeed each other in order of age, the next generation not commencing to reign until that generation is exhausted -- with modifications, this is the system seen in Saudi Arabia today, and followed in the early days in Hungary and also among the Rurikid princedoms in Russia) and Salic law.

Posts: 5,100
Reply with quote  #3 
No worries. Corrections are always welcome and this is by no means a complete project. Replies here are merely for debate!

Posts: 858
Reply with quote  #4 
Nice, I like this glossary. Perhaps you could also add 'heavenly mandate', 'Jacobitism' and 'Carlism'? 

Posts: 459
Reply with quote  #5 
A very nice, useful feature for this forum. 'Heir apparent' and 'heir presumptive' could be good additions.
Dis Aliter Visum "Beware of martyrs and those who would die for their beliefs; for they frequently make many others die with them, often before them, sometimes instead of them."

Posts: 171
Reply with quote  #6 
I think under agnatic succesion, daughters of male agnates could still be eligible for succesion, as long as their children are not in line if they married out of the family.

Posts: 7,534
Reply with quote  #7 
That is a good point, though the only example I can think of is Japan. Until Salic law was introduced with the so-called Meiji Restoration female agnates could succeed, but their successor must also be an agnate. I don't believe any son of an Empress regnant ever actually succeeded her directly (they were effectively used as placeholders when there was no male agnate old enough to carry out the ritual duties of the position, not all of which could be fulfilled by a regent), but obviously so long as she was married to an agnate it would have been possible.

Salic law however precludes succession by as well as through females. Semi-salic law generally allows for both in the event of their being no male agnate, but with exceptions such as Baden where a male could succeed semi-salically, but not the female he succeeded through.

This was not quite the basis on which Edward III claimed France through his (still living) mother Isabella. His claim was based on proximity of blood, in which the male most closely related to the previous monarch succeeds. The concept is obsolete except, as it happens, with semi-salic law, where normally this is how succession is decided if the male line fails altogether, usually as already said with females allowed to succeed and then followed by their agnates.

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Posts: 16
Reply with quote  #8 
Very nice glossary.

Posts: 7,534
Reply with quote  #9 
I've been doing a little reading about the eight Japanese Empresses regnant, discovering in the process that a form of agnatic seniority was also prevalent in Japan until the laws were changed under the Meiji Emperor. Some were in fact succeeded by their own children, and in one case a daughter!

1) Empress Suiko, daughter of Emperor Kimmei and consort of Emperor Bidatsu, her half-brother (full siblings could not marry each other but half-siblings often did). Her successor, Emperor Jomei, was a double grandson of Emperor Bidatsu, his parents also being half-siblings, but neither was a child of Suiko.

2) Empress Kogyoku, a great-granddaughter in male line of Emperor Bidatsu, was consort of Emperor Jomei above, her uncle. She abdicated and was succeeded by her full brother Emperor Kotoku, then upon his death re-ascended as Empress Saimei. The successor to her second reign was her son by Emperor Jomei, Emperor Tenji.

3) Empress Jito was the daughter of Emperor Tenji and the consort of his brother, her uncle, Emperor Temmu, whom she succeeded. Her own successor was her grandson, Emperor Mommu. His parents were her son by Emperor Temmu, Prince Kusakabe, and Princess Abe, another daughter of Emperor Tenji and therefore Kusakabe's maternal aunt as well as wife.

4) The aforesaid Princess Abe succeeded her son, reigning as Empress Gemmei. She abdicated and was succeeded by her daughter.

5) Empress Gensho, daughter of Empress Gemmei and sister of Emperor Mommu, abdicated and was succeeded by her nephew, Emperor Shomu, the son of Emperor Mommu.

6) Empress Koken also reigned twice, the second time as Empress Shotoku. She was a daughter of the aforesaid Emperor Mommu. She abdicated in favour of a cousin, Emperor Junnin, a grandson of Emperor Temmu. After some years she changed her mind and deposed and exiled Emperor Junnin and commenced her second reign. Her successor was another cousin, Emperor Konin, a grandson of Emperor Tenji. His wife was a daughter of Emperor Shomu, and thus a niece of Empress Koken.

7) Empress Meisho came much later. Empress Koken died in 770, but Empress Meisho's dates were 1624-1696, so evidently this little flurry of Empresses was felt to have been sufficient for the next eight centuries or so. She was a daughter of Emperor Go-Mizunoo (= Mizunoo II), and succeeded him upon his abdication (abdication after a reign of ten years or so was for centuries quite usual, though not invariable, so there was nothing untoward about all these abdications). She herself abdicated, and was succeeded by her brother, Emperor Go-Komyo.

8) Empress Go-Sakuramachi (reigned 1762-1771) was the daughter of Emperor Sakuramachi and sister of Emperor Momozono, whom she succeeded upon his abdication. She abdicated and was succeeded by Emperor Momozonu's son, her nephew, Emperor Go-Momozonu. He died young and childless and was succeeded by a distant cousin, Emperor Kokaku, first of the presently reigning branch.

Empress Go-Sakuramachi was the last regnant Empress to date, and perhaps ever, the succession law of Japan continuing to exclude females even after the changes following WWII. There was talk of altering the law prior to the birth of Prince Hisahito, but this idea was then put on the back burner with a good many sighs of relief. While obviously there is ample precedent for a female to succeed and carry out the ritual duties of the Emperor, this is only possible if she is an agnate of the Imperial line. Which her children would not necessarily be, opening a very tangled can of worms indeed. Let us hope that Prince Hisahito in due course has sons of his own, keeping the lid firmly sealed.

Posts: 171
Reply with quote  #10 
Japan should just reinstate all the other branches of the imperial family and have each branch exchange princesses as wives, this would both silence those who would complain about inbreeding since the branches are sufficiently distant from each other genetically, and this would permanently make sure every child by every member of the imperial family would be an agnate, unless in one generation there is a greater ratio of princesses to princes.

That can technically be solved by polygamy... Which i don't see being reinstated in japan in the near future

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