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"The April rain, the April rain,
Comes slanting down in fitful showers,
Then from the furrow shoots the grain,
And banks are fledged with nestling flowers;
And in grey shawl and woodland bowers
The cuckoo through the April rain
Calls once again."

Mathilde Blind, April Rain
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Should the Brits elect a president and disestablish the monarchy?

According to one website,there are only 28 monarchies left in the world. Even though the British monarchy is rather representative, and there are only some constitutional prerogatives left for The Queen, for some people in democratic countries it seems mind-boggling how things work with a patrimonial Head of State. Is the monarchy in Great Britain mere a big show for the rainbowpress? Or is there a important function out of a inherited office? What do you think? Do you belive in the god given duty of a monarch?

Comments

  • MatthiasAndernachMatthiasAndernach Posts: 89 ✭✭
    By the way- I'm a big fan of the netflix series The Crown .... I enjoy royalty ... but is it necessary, is it politically functional?
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 31,060 mod
    Actually I think it might be a lesser evil than having a president @MatthiasAndernach. As it is a constitutional monarchy, this means that the Queen doesn't have any power. For example, she's not believed to be in favour of Brexit but other than very quietly displaying her disapproval of what is happening (look at that beautiful outfit....), she has no authority to speak out on the subject.

    And just think how dreadful it might be with a president like Boris?


  • MatthiasAndernachMatthiasAndernach Posts: 89 ✭✭
    edited December 2017
    @mheredge It depends a bit on what powers you give that president. In Germany, since 1949, the president has much less power than in the Weimarer Republik (with wellknows notorious outcome), or the presidents in presidential systems like the USA or France. Sometimes they call him "Grüßaugust" because his main occupation through normal times is to greet guests of the state, and speak at christmas. Only in some special cases he got a bit of real political power. Some are nearly the same as this list: royalcentral. co. uk/blogs/ insight/ what-are-the-queens-powers-22069 ... At the moment he a little bit more important, because of the situation since the election in September. And our problems to form a new governmental coalition. He is the one who tries to talk with the parties, convince them to make compromises to bring a solid majority to government. But his constitutional duty is to stand beyond party lines.
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 31,060 mod
    I didn't realise that the president in Germany is more or less just a figurehead like the Queen @MatthiasAndernach. I guess that he must be fairly expensive to support however, what with security, a nice salary and lavish accommodation. The Queen is supposedly self-sufficient so at least this is a bonus.
  • MatthiasAndernachMatthiasAndernach Posts: 89 ✭✭
    @mheredge I looked it up, and the tagblatt wrote it is 4.6 million a year. BWhat do you mean by self-sufficient exactly. By self-owned capital of the Windsors? Or by the income from tourist, what one argument was i head. http :// www.independent.co. uk/news/people/ the-biggest-myth-about-the-queen-her-contribution-to-the-british-economy-10491277.html .... I don't know the figures by myself. But I would think a complete family could cost more than one ordinary guy.
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 31,060 mod
    I'm not sure if they actually cost the nation @MatthiasAndernach as they hold a lot of private wealth as well as earn the country money from tourism. I'm not sure how far they can be seen as a burden but this might just be my ignorance.
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 900 ✭✭✭
    > @MatthiasAndernach said:
    Even though the British monarchy is rather representative, and there are only some constitutional prerogatives left for The Queen, for some people in democratic countries it seems mind-boggling how things work with a patrimonial Head of State. Is the monarchy in Great Britain mere a big show for the rainbowpress? Or is there a important function out of a inherited office? What do you think? Do you belive in the god given duty of a monarch?

    I think that the British political system has proven itself extremely adaptable, at least for the three hundred years under the current dynasty @MatthiasAndernach . Britain has lived this time peacefully, without a revolution, notable public disorders or such. I don't know another European country, or, more, another country in the world which could boast the same. A revolution, turmoil, and, of course, a civil war always mean mass atrocities, emigration, wealth loss, disorder. IMO the monarchy in Britain is a common authority for the rivaling political forces which would settle their conflicts in a peaceful manner. I suspect, the Spanish monarchy helped the nation unite after Franco in a similar manner.
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 31,060 mod
    Britain has come close to revolution a few times @Practical_Severard during the last thousand years, but historians debate how somehow, English people never had that extra whatever it takes to carry through their protests to the end. They might shout and break a few windows but never went the next stage to really overthrow the government.
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 900 ✭✭✭
    edited December 2017
    > @mheredge said:
    > Britain has come close to revolution a few times @Practical_Severard during the last thousand years, but historians debate how somehow, English people never had that extra whatever it takes to carry through their protests to the end. They might shout and break a few windows but never went the next stage to really overthrow the government.

    I think that 'the last thousand years' is a bit too much. Britain came through a lot during the time, including the English Civil War (1642–1651), which was an actual revolution with a government change, the Scottish religious wars, than the Restoration, than the Glorious Revolution of 1688, which was a conquest by the Dutch.

    The later history was surpisingly peaceful, apart from the Jacobite risings but they were likely wars for power which didn't affect the whole of the population, weren't they?

    That's why I think that three hundred years is a more accurate term.
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 31,060 mod
    Even back then, they were still not as significant revolutions as those elsewhere in the world @Practical_Severard. They were more like revolts than revolutions.
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 900 ✭✭✭
    > @mheredge said:
    > Even back then, they were still not as significant revolutions as those elsewhere in the world @Practical_Severard. They were more like revolts than revolutions.

    Ok, so what's the distinguishing criteria?
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 31,060 mod
    Revolts I see as protests or demonstrations that people want something different @Practical_Severard but revolutions are where things are definitely turned on their head, changed and something quite different results from the people's actions.

    So for instance, the Peasant's Revolt in the 14th century was an expression of discontent but didn't lead to much change. Similarly before the French Revolution, there were numerous revolts during the 18th century in different areas of France but it was not until 1789 that this translated into something more powerful.

    There was a civil war in England but this is different to a revolution. A revolution is an uprising against a particular organisation, idea or person. In a country this is usually against the rulers. So the French Revolution, it was against the nobles who kept everything to themselves and were indifferent to the suffering of the poor.

    A civil war however is fought between two factions within the same country (there can be more factions) on a large scale over a period of time, often for years.

    But yes, I am forgetting Britain did have a revolution. The Glorious Revolution, or Revolution of 1688 (sometimes erroneously referred to as the Bloodless Revolution) is the one period of British history I am not so familiar with as for reason I never studied this. This was when King James II of England (James VII of Scotland) was overthrown by a union of English Parliamentarians with the Dutch William III, Prince of Orange. William's successful invasion of England with a Dutch fleet and army led to his ascension to the throne as William III of England jointly with his wife, Mary II, James's daughter, after the Declaration of Right, leading to the Bill of Rights 1689. The Revolution permanently ended any chance of Catholicism becoming re-established in England. For British Catholics its effects were disastrous socially and politically. It is suggested by some historians that James's overthrow began modern English parliamentary democracy with the Bill of Rights of 1689 and never since has the monarch held absolute power.

    This was the last time Britain was invaded by a foreign force.


    The Prince of Orange lands at Torbay

  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 900 ✭✭✭
    edited December 2017
    > @mheredge said:
    > Revolts I see as protests or demonstrations that people want something different @Practical_Severard but revolutions are where things are definitely turned on their head, changed and something quite different results from the people's actions.

    So a revolt is about a process while a revolution is about a result, aren't they?
    >
    > So for instance, the Peasant's Revolt in the 14th century was an expression of discontent but didn't lead to much change. Similarly before the French Revolution, there were numerous revolts during the 18th century in different areas of France but it was not until 1789 that this translated into something more powerful.

    I was told a remarkable thing about Wot Tyler. A poll tax was levied at the time, and the adults of the both sexes had to pay it. The maturity age was 15, and when a tax collector came to W(Walter)ot Tyler's house he demanded tax for a daughter of his to be paid. That lead to an argument about her age and the collector tried to prove his point in a not quite gentlemanly manner what lead to his death. After that Wot Tyler had only two options: either to be hanged on King's gallows or to become a leader of popular uprising, and, eventually, to be hanged too. He chose the second option.

    https://books.google.ru/books?id=ZVffYKxmZMIC&pg=PA100&lpg=PA100&dq=wot+tyler+per+capita+tax&source=bl&ots=LRanAsyKPO&sig=iHVc_kCUczwNNePaU9WSnEs1TFg&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjXh5LhzqTYAhWnDZoKHc7lBL4Q6AEILzAB#v=onepage&q=wot tyler per capita tax&f=false

    > There was a civil war in England but this is different to a revolution. A revolution is an uprising against a particular organisation, idea or person. In a country this is usually against the rulers. So the French Revolution, it was against the nobles who kept everything to themselves and were indifferent to the suffering of the poor.

    Well, the English Civil War was fought against King Charles I, who was actually a ruler, doesn't this fact make it a revolution?

    In my opinion, the definition of revolution is a rebellion which aims to change the political system of a country. The English Civil War was a rebellion and it changed the Britain’s political system into a republic. So I classify it as a revolution in spite of the fact that it’s traditionally known as a civil war. There have been rebellions aimed to oust certain individuals or particular groups from power without changing an actual system, so they haven’t been revolutions. The Jacobite uprisings are examples: there were about a dynasty change.
  • MatthiasAndernachMatthiasAndernach Posts: 89 ✭✭
    www. nytimes.com/2018/01/06/world/europe/monarchy-us-advantage.html - The USA with a King --- interesting Idea ....... very far away from everything I can imagine ..... but ....
  • MatthiasAndernachMatthiasAndernach Posts: 89 ✭✭
    Queen Hillary I. of America :wink:
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 31,060 mod
    Hillary does a reasonable job of queening it already @MatthiasAndernach.
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