Difference Between Absolute Monarchy and Constitutional Monarchy

A Monarchy is a type of rule in which the Monarch is referred to as the head of a state or country.


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There are two main types of monarchies, Absolute Monarchy, and Constitutional Monarchy.

Absolute Monarchy vs Constitutional Monarchy

The difference between an Absolute Monarchy and a Constitutional Monarchy is that in an Absolute Monarchy, the decision is taken solely by the monarch, whereas in a Constitutional Monarchy, the parliament is also involved in decision-making. The add-up is also that in an Absolute Monarchy, the monarch will have all the powers, whereas, in a Constitutional Monarchy, the king or queen will have limited powers.

Absolute Monarchy vs Constitutional Monarchy

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In an Absolute Monarchy, the monarch is the one person who has all powers. He may be abided by the country’s constitution, or he can be on his own terms.

Nobody has more power than he does, and he is the sole decision-maker. Usually, the power is followed through the next generations, also called hereditary.

In a Constitutional Monarchy, the monarch has only limited powers. All the people, including the monarch and parliament, should abide by constitutional rules.

The monarch, along with the parliament, takes the decisions. Usually, parliamentarians are elected by the people.

Solely neither the monarch nor parliament alone can have full powers over the people.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonAbsolute MonarchyConstitutional Monarchy
Crime RateUsually, low compared to constitutional as rules can be altered anytime and the king gives strict orders about rulesUsually higher than absolute monarchy because the punishments were given according to laws given in the constitution.
Also Known asAbsolutismDemocratic monarchy
Highest AuthorityMonarchMonarch and parliament
Decision MakerMonarchMonarch and parliament
Amount of PowerMonarch will have the highest power everMonarch powers were limited by parliament and the constitution
Constitution FollowingMay follow or may notEveryone should abide by the constitution
How Authority is GivenThe authority usually passes down the generations, usually calling them the royal familyThey were elected by the people.

What is Absolute Monarchy?

An Absolute Monarchy mainly refers to a ruling by the monarch, either by the king or queen. They have all power over the rules.

This type of rule is also known as Absolutism. They may abide by constitutional rules or may create their own set of rules.

They think of or refer to them as people sent by God and act like they are gods. No one can question or judge them, or else they will be severely punished by the king.

The king has all the power to decide many things, like taxes, administration, foreign policy, public welfare, etc.

They make rules and can also destroy them.

The monarch and their families were referred to as Royals, and the monarchy was normally passed down over the generations.

The crime rate was found to be low as there were severe punishments during those times. They used to make decisions even if they were not good.

Those who crossed the rules or revolted against the king were remarked upon as sinners or people who stood against the will of God. The Absolute Monarchy is still practiced in some countries, like Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Vatican City, Brunei, etc.

What is a Constitutional Monarchy?

A Constitutional Monarchy refers to a rule by a monarch along with parliament. This ruling is also known as the “Democratic ruling.”

Here, the monarch is referred to as the prime minister, and he is the highest of all. He has limited powers in his hand and can’t make decisions solely without Parliament’s approval.

Everyone, including the monarch and parliament, should abide by the Constitution. The parliament and monarch are generally elected by the people.

But the monarch has the power to dissolve parliament according to rules in the Constitution if people grow restless about it.

The monarch nor parliament don’t have any rights to punish beyond the Constitution.

The modern Constitutional Monarchy was first developed in the United Kingdom and has two types: Executive and Ceremonial.

In Executive Monarchism, the monarch can have an influence or impact on this system of government.

Whereas in Ceremonial Monarchism, the monarch has little or no impact on the system of government.

The three main and important factors distinguish the monarchies from one another. They are Royal Prerogative, Sovereign Immunity, and Allegiance.

The present Constitutional Monarchies are Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, Afghanistan, Belgium, etc.

Main Differences Between Absolute Monarchy and Constitutional Monarchy

  1. In an Absolute monarchy, the sole power belongs to the monarch, who is either king or queen, whereas, in a Constitutional Monarchy, the power belongs to the monarchy as well as parliament, which consists of a group of people elected by the government.
  2. In an Absolute Monarchy, the constitution may or may not be followed as the monarch makes his own rules, whereas, in a Constitutional Monarchy, the rules should be strictly followed according to the constitution.
  3. In an Absolute Monarchy, power is passed down through the generations, whereas in a Constitutional Monarchy, the rulers were elected by the people.
  4. The Monarchs of an Absolute Monarchy consider themselves divine people, or people sent by God to rule over people, whereas in a Constitutional Monarchy, the monarch and parliament people are considered public servants.
  5. The main difference lies in the power the monarch holds. The Absolute Monarch has the power to stop everything in the place he rules and make any decision he wants. Whereas in a Constitutional Monarchy, the monarch is given very limited powers.
  1. https://heinonline.org/hol-cgi-bin/get_pdf.cgi?handle=hein.journals/mslr2012&section=58
  2. https://irhj.sbu.ac.ir/index.php/Lignocellulosic/article_95738.html?lang=en
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