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Monarchy Lesson for Kids: Definition & Facts

Instructor: Debra Patuto

Debra has taught at elementary levels and has an M.ed with certification in elementary education and special education

This is a lesson on a government system called monarchy. Within this lesson you will learn about what a monarchy is and also learn about the modern monarchies that exist in the world today.

Next to be King!

Imagine that your father was king! You are next in your family to take over the throne and become the next monarch. How exciting! Let's put on your imaginary crown, sit upon your soon-to-be throne and learn more about what a monarchy is.

What is a Monarchy?

A monarchy is a government system where one person, the monarch, is the leader. The monarch is the one who has the final say in all that occurs within his or her country. Monarchies have been around for many years.

The monarch is usually a king or queen. The king or queen generally inherits his or her position in the government. What does it mean to inherit? Well, when someone inherits a position, he or she is handed down the role when the current king or queen deceases.

The two main types of monarchs are called an absolute monarchy and a constitutional monarchy. Let's take a close up look at both.

The Absolute Monarchy

If you were the monarch in an absolute monarchy, you would make all decisions. Yes, I mean all! You would have complete control over the land and all of the citizens. There is no elected government, so you can change laws at any time without having to get approval from anyone. It's like playing a game in gym class and being able to change the rules whenever you feel like it. This form of government was common throughout world history, but not so much today.

Absolute monarchist, King Louis XIV
King Louis XIV

Let's now take a look at the flip side of things as a citizen within an absolute monarchy. Imagine how you would feel if you bought land and built a home on it for your family. Then, the absolute monarch ruler took it away from you without any good reason! How would you feel? Probably not happy! This is an example of something that could happen in an absolute monarchy. The citizens hold no power. There are still some countries that have an absolute monarchy. These countries are Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Swaziland.

Constitutional Monarchy

Let's now pretend that you will be monarch of a constitutional monarchy. The constitutional monarchy is typically split into two parts. Together, the state and government make up one part of the monarchy. Social and ceremonial traditions, together, make up the second part.

If you were the monarch, you would be head of state and share leadership with the head of government. You would get to travel the world and build relations with other countries. You would also plan the many traditional and social engagements within your country.

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