MONARCHY

Monarchy means rule by a single person, such as a king or a queen. Normally, rule passes from one generation to the next within the same family, or DYNASTY. In the 17th century monarchs held great power, but this power was increasingly being challenged, often with violence.

WHAT WAS THE DIVINE RIGHT OF KINGS?

This was the belief that monarchs were appointed by God to rule, and therefore had a right to impose their will on their subjects. This made it almost impossible to criticize or oppose the monarch.

WERE KINGS EVER ELECTED?

From 1573, kings of Poland were elected by an assembly of lords, called the Republic of Nobles. The great Polish soldier Jan Sobiewski was elected king in 1674, after defeating invading Turks. Many of those chosen as king were foreigners.

DYNASTIES

Dynasties, or royal families, often held power for hundreds of years. Many became hugely wealthy. Their rule came to an end if there were no children or relatives to inherit the throne, or if a monarch was overthrown by rivals or revolutions.

HABSBURG 1273–1918

The Habsburgs ruled Austria and at times the Holy Roman Empire, the Netherlands, and Spain. Charles V reigned 1516–1556.

STUART 1371–1714

The Stuarts ruled Scotland and, after 1603, England, Wales, and Ireland. Charles II reigned 1660–1685.

BOURBON 1589–1830

The Bourbons ruled in France, Navarre, Naples, and Spain. Louis XIV was King of France 1643–1715.

QING 1644–1912

The last dynasty of the Chinese Empire was founded by Manchurian invaders. Emperor Qianlong ruled 1711–1799.

ROMANOV 1613–1917

The Romanovs were the last Russian dynasty. Catherine the Great married into the family and was empress 1762–1796.

WHICH IS THE WORLD’S OLDEST DYNASTY?

The same dynasty has ruled Japan for 2,000 years or more. Legend states that it is even older, having been founded by Jimmu in 660 BC. However, the emperors have not always held great power. Sometimes, real power was held by military governors called shoguns.

Copyright © 2007 Dorling Kindersley

highlights

Bug Off! 6 Tick- and Mosquito-Borne Diseases
Which bug bites are dangerous? Learn about 6 diseases spread by ticks and mosquitoes, the signs and symptoms, and treatment options if someone in your family gets infected.

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, brought to you by Galactic Hot Dogs.

Top 10 Backyard Party Games for All Ages
Looking for some fun outdoor games for your Fourth of July party or barbecue? Check out these awesome group games, from sack races to cornhole, to make your backyard a kid-friendly party spot!

Registered for Kindergarten — Now What?
Try our award-winning Kindergarten Readiness app! This easy-to-use checklist comes with games and activities to help your child build essential skills for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Facebook icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks