The power of the English monarch to execute subjects


Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
Chalfont, Pennsylvania
And I say that no English or British monarch was ever an absolute monarch, but some may seem relatively absolute compared to others whose power seemed relatively limited. And as Duchess of York wrote:

.... Then again, I'm leery about the term "absolutism" in general. I don't even like applying it to the quintessential absolutist, Louis XIV. It's too much of a loaded term. Did Charles, James, and Louis espouse absolutist rhetoric? Of course they did. But can it be argued that their kingships, in practise, were indeed absolute? That, I believe, needs more looking into.
The power of all leaders is limited by various factors, including the total population of their state and the total wealth and energy production of their state as well as the limits to their legal and practical control of what the population does with their resources and time and effort.

Charles II, James II, and Louis XIV probably usually considered that their powers were relatively limited compared to the closer to absolute power they probably usually considered desirable. So they probably often claimed that they were rightfully and legally absolute monarchs in the hope that some persons would be convinced and so shift their support to them and make their power closer to absolute.
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Dec 2014
Serves me right for trying to engage in intelligent conversation while half asleep, haha. I do find that people oftentimes overestimate the importance Magna Carta. They treat it as if it's England's equivalent of the Constitution, which is quite troubling.
Not at all. It's one of the reason I like Historum - it's one of the few forums you can have an intelligent conversation with someone who actually knows what they are talking about instead of just churning out the potted details. You're absolutely right about Magna Carta, it is a major point in English constitutional history, but it does tend to get treated like some sort of declaration of universal freedom of rights, which it was a long, long way from being. It's importance comes from what it represented rather than what it was.