The French Revolution was a period of far-reaching social and political upheaval in France and its colonies beginning in 1789. The Revolution overthrew the monarchy, established a republic, catalyzed violent periods of political turmoil, culminated in a dictatorship under Napoleon who brought many of its principles to areas he conquered in Western Europe and beyond. Inspired by liberal and radical ideas, the Revolution profoundly altered the course of modern history, triggering the global decline of absolute monarchies while replacing them with republics and liberal democracies. Through the Revolutionary Wars, it unleashed a wave of global conflicts that extended from the Caribbean to the Middle East. Historians regard the Revolution as one of the most important events in human history; the causes of the French Revolution are still debated among historians. Following the Seven Years' War and the American Revolution, the French government was in debt, it attempted to restore its financial status through unpopular taxation schemes, which were regressive.
Leading up to the Revolution, years of bad harvests worsened by deregulation of the grain industry and environmental problems inflamed popular resentment of the privileges enjoyed by the aristocracy and the Catholic clergy of the established church. Some historians hold something similar to what Thomas Jefferson proclaimed: that France had "been awakened by our Revolution." Demands for change were formulated in terms of Enlightenment ideals and contributed to the convocation of the Estates General in May 1789. During the first year of the Revolution, members of the Third Estate took control, the Bastille was attacked in July, the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen was passed in August, the Women's March on Versailles forced the royal court back to Paris in October. A central event of the first stage, in August 1789, was the abolition of feudalism and the old rules and privileges left over from the Ancien Régime; the next few years featured political struggles between various liberal assemblies and right-wing supporters of the monarchy intent on thwarting major reforms.
The Republic was proclaimed in September 1792 after the French victory at Valmy. In a momentous event that led to international condemnation, Louis XVI was executed in January 1793. External threats shaped the course of the Revolution; the Revolutionary Wars beginning in 1792 featured French victories that facilitated the conquest of the Italian Peninsula, the Low Countries and most territories west of the Rhine – achievements that had eluded previous French governments for centuries. Internally, popular agitation radicalised the Revolution culminating in the rise of Maximilien Robespierre and the Jacobins; the dictatorship imposed by the Committee of Public Safety during the Reign of Terror, from 1793 until 1794, established price controls on food and other items, abolished slavery in French colonies abroad, de-established the Catholic church and created a secular Republican calendar, religious leaders were expelled, the borders of the new republic were secured from its enemies. After the Thermidorian Reaction, an executive council known as the Directory assumed control of the French state in 1795.
They suspended elections, repudiated debts, persecuted the Catholic clergy, made significant military conquests abroad. Dogged by charges of corruption, the Directory collapsed in a coup led by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1799. Napoleon, who became the hero of the Revolution through his popular military campaigns, established the Consulate and the First Empire, setting the stage for a wider array of global conflicts in the Napoleonic Wars; the modern era has unfolded in the shadow of the French Revolution. All future revolutionary movements looked back to the Revolution as their predecessor, its central phrases and cultural symbols, such as La Marseillaise and Liberté, fraternité, égalité, ou la mort, became the clarion call for other major upheavals in modern history, including the Russian Revolution over a century later. The values and institutions of the Revolution dominate French politics to this day; the Revolution resulted in the suppression of the feudal system, emancipation of the individual, a greater division of landed property, abolition of the privileges of noble birth, nominal establishment of equality among men.
The French Revolution differed from other revolutions in being not only national, for it intended to benefit all humanity. Globally, the Revolution accelerated the rise of democracies, it became the focal point for the development of most modern political ideologies, leading to the spread of liberalism, radicalism and secularism, among many others. The Revolution witnessed the birth of total war by organising the resources of France and the lives of its citizens towards the objective of military conquest; some of its central documents, such as the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, continued to inspire movements for abolitionism and universal suffrage in the next century. Historians have pointed to many events and factors within the Ancien Régime that led to the Revolution. Rising social and economic inequality, new political ideas emerging from the Enlightenment, economic mismanagement, environmental factors leading to agricultural failure, unmanageable national debt, political mismanagement on the part of King Louis XVI have all been cited as laying the groundwork for the Revolution.
Over the course of the 18th century, there emerged what the philosopher Jürgen Habermas called the idea of the "public sphere" in France and elsewhere
Andorra la Vella
Andorra la Vella is the capital of the Principality of Andorra. It is located high between France and Spain, it is the name of the parish that surrounds the capital. As of 2015, the city has a population of 22,886, the urban area, which includes Escaldes-Engordany plus satellite villages, has over 40,000 inhabitants; the principal industry is tourism, although the country earns foreign income from being a tax haven. Furniture and brandies are local products. Being at an elevation of 1,023 m, it is the highest capital city in a popular ski resort. Andorra la Vella means "Andorra the Town", to distinguish it from the Principality of Andorra as a whole. Although in Catalan the word vella is derived from the Latin word vetula which means "old", the Vella here is derived from the Latin word villa and means "town"; the site of Andorra la Vella has been settled since prior to the Christian era—notably by the Andosin tribe from the late Neolithic. The state is one of the Marca Hispanica created and protected by Charlemagne in the eighth century as a buffer from the Moorish settlers in the Iberian Peninsula.
The settlement of Andorra la Vella has been the principal city of Andorra since 1278 when the French and the Episcopal co-princes agreed to joint suzerainty. Andorra la Vella's old town -- the Barri Antic -- includes buildings dating from this time, its most notable building is the Casa de la Vall—constructed in the early sixteenth century—which has been the state's parliamentary house since 1702. Andorra la Vella was, during this period, the capital of a isolated and feudal state, which retained its independence due to this principle of co-sovereignty. Well into the twentieth century, the area around Andorra la Vella remained forgotten. After political turmoil in the 1930s and an attempted coup by Boris Skossyreff, an informal democracy developed. In 1993, the country's first constitution formalised this parliamentary democracy with executive and judicial branches located in Andorra la Vella. During this period, Andorra developed as a tax haven, resulting in the construction of modern banking offices in Andorra La Vella.
The city developed its skiing facilities, to the extent that Andorra la Vella was Andorra's applicant city for the XXI Olympic Winter Games, the 2010 Winter Olympics. However, Andorra la Vella was not selected by the IOC as a candidate city, following the evaluation report of an IOC commission, it hosted both the 1991 and 2005 Games of the Small States of Europe. Andorra la Vella is located in the south west of Andorra, at 42°30′N 1°30′E, at the confluence of two mountain streams, the Valira del Nord and the Valira de l'Orient, which join to form the Gran Valira, it adjoins the urban area of Escaldes-Engordany. The city is at 1,023 metres above sea level. Andorra la Vella chilly to cold, snowy winters; the average annual precipitation is 812.3 mm. Temperatures are lowered by the altitude compared with lowland areas; the parish of Andorra la Vella is divided into the villages of Andorra la Vella itself, La Margineda and Santa Coloma. The city's old town is characterized by old stone houses; the central Església de Sant Esteve church is part of the area that guidebooks label as a picturesque part of the city.
This was built in a Romanesque style in the eleventh century. As mentioned earlier, the old town includes the country's historic parliament building; the oldest building in the city is another church, dating from the ninth century, of Santa Coloma. Native Andorrans, who are ethnically Catalan, account for only a third of the population, with the plurality being Spanish, notable minorities of Portuguese and French; the city is the country's cultural centre, with the Government Exhibition Hall acting as a main theatre and museum. The piazza outside the parliament building is the location of a number of events, the town hosts a music festival every winter. Catalan is the official language, although Spanish and French are spoken. Most of the inhabitants are Roman Catholics, with a high life expectancy of over 80 years. Marc Forné Molné was the Prime Minister of Andorra from 1994 to 2005 Lluís Claret cellist of chamber music Albert Salvadó writer and industrial engineer Jaume Bartumeu GCIH lawyer and politician, who served as head of government from 2009 to 2011 Juli Minoves diplomat and the 13th President of Liberal International Pere López Agràs politician who served as an acting Prime Minister in 2011 Javier Sánchez is a former professional tennis player, 1986 to 2000 Sophie Dusautoir Bertrand ski mountaineer Toni Besolí judoka, who competed in the men's middleweight Marc Bernaus retired footballer who played as a left back.
Santiago Deu former middle-distance freestyle swimmer, competed 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney Meritxell Sabate former long-distance freestyle swimmer, competed in the 1996 and 2000 Summer Olympics Marta Roure singer and actress
A monarchy is a form of government in which a single person holds supreme authority in ruling a country performing ceremonial duties and embodying the country's national identity. Although some monarchs are elected, in most cases, the monarch's position is inherited and lasts until death or abdication. In these cases, the royal family or members of the dynasty serve in official capacities as well; the governing power of the monarch may vary from purely symbolic, to partial and restricted, to autocratic. Monarchy was the most common form of government until the 20th century. Forty-five sovereign nations in the world have monarchs acting as heads of state, sixteen of which are Commonwealth realms that recognise Queen Elizabeth II as their head of state. Most modern monarchs are constitutional monarchs, who retain a unique legal and ceremonial role, but exercise limited or no political power under the nation's constitution. In some nations, such as Brunei, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Eswatini, the hereditary monarch has more political influence than any other single source of authority in the nation, either by tradition or by a constitutional mandate.
The word "monarch" comes from the Greek language word μονάρχης, monárkhēs which referred to a single, at least nominally absolute ruler. In current usage the word monarchy refers to a traditional system of hereditary rule, as elective monarchies are quite rare; the form of societal hierarchy known as chiefdom or tribal kingship is prehistoric. The Greek term monarchia is classical, used by Herodotus; the monarch in classical antiquity is identified as "king" or "ruler" or as "queen". From earliest historical times, with the Egyptian and Mesopotamian monarchs, as well as in reconstructed Proto-Indo-European religion, the king held sacral functions directly connected to sacrifice, or was considered by their people to have divine ancestry; the role of the Roman emperor as the protector of Christianity was conflated with the sacral aspects held by the Germanic kings to create the notion of the "divine right of kings" in the Christian Middle Ages. The Chinese and Nepalese monarchs continued to be considered living Gods into the modern period.
Since antiquity, monarchy has contrasted with forms of democracy, where executive power is wielded by assemblies of free citizens. In antiquity, some monarchies were abolished in favour of such assemblies in Rome, Athens. In Germanic antiquity, kingship was a sacral function, the king was directly hereditary for some tribes, while for others he was elected from among eligible members of royal families by the thing; such ancient "parliamentarism" declined during the European Middle Ages, but it survived in forms of regional assemblies, such as the Icelandic Commonwealth, the Swiss Landsgemeinde and Tagsatzung, the High Medieval communal movement linked to the rise of medieval town privileges. The modern resurgence of parliamentarism and anti-monarchism began with the temporary overthrow of the English monarchy by the Parliament of England in 1649, followed by the American Revolution of 1776 and the French Revolution of 1789. One of many opponents of that trend was Elizabeth Dawbarn, whose anonymous Dialogue between Clara Neville and Louisa Mills, on Loyalty features "silly Louisa, who admires liberty, Tom Paine and the USA, lectured by Clara on God's approval of monarchy" and on the influence women can exert on men.
Much of 19th-century politics featured a division between anti-monarchist Radicalism and monarchist Conservativism. Many countries abolished the monarchy in the 20th century and became republics in the wake of either World War I, World War II, the Palestine War, or the Cold War. Advocacy of republics is called republicanism. In the modern era, monarchies are more prevalent in small states than in large ones. Monarchies are associated with political or sociocultural hereditary reign, in which monarchs reign for life and the responsibilities and power of the position pass to their child or another member of their family when they die. Most monarchs, both and in the modern day, have been born and brought up within a royal family, the centre of the royal household and court. Growing up in a royal family, future monarchs are trained for their expected future responsibilities as monarch. Different systems of succession have been used, such as proximity of blood and agnatic seniority. While most monarchs have been male, many female monarchs have reigned in history.
Rule may be hereditary in practice without being considered a monarchy: there have been some family dictatorships, some political families in many democracies. The principal advantage of hereditary monarchy is the immediate continuity of leadership; some monarchies are non-hereditary. In an elective monarchy, monarchs are elected, or appointed by some body for life or a defined period, but once appointed they serve as any other monarch. Four elective monarchies exist today: Cambodia, Malaysia and th
Luxembourg the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, is a small landlocked country in western Europe. It is bordered by Belgium to the west and north, Germany to the east, France to the south, its capital, Luxembourg City, is one of the three official capitals of the European Union and the seat of the European Court of Justice, the highest judicial authority in the EU. Its culture and languages are intertwined with its neighbours, making it a mixture of French and German cultures, as evident by the nation's three official languages: French and the national language, Luxembourgish; the repeated invasions by Germany in World War II, resulted in the country's strong will for mediation between France and Germany and, among other things, led to the foundation of the European Union. With an area of 2,586 square kilometres, it is one of the smallest sovereign states in Europe. In 2018, Luxembourg had a population of 602,005, which makes it one of the least-populous countries in Europe, but by far the one with the highest population growth rate.
Foreigners account for nearly half of Luxembourg's population. As a representative democracy with a constitutional monarch, it is headed by Grand Duke Henri and is the world's only remaining grand duchy. Luxembourg is a developed country, with an advanced economy and one of the world's highest GDP per capita; the City of Luxembourg with its old quarters and fortifications was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994 due to the exceptional preservation of the vast fortifications and the old city. The history of Luxembourg is considered to begin in 963, when count Siegfried I acquired a rocky promontory and its Roman-era fortifications known as Lucilinburhuc, ′little castle′, the surrounding area from the Imperial Abbey of St. Maximin in nearby Trier. Siegfried's descendants increased their territory through marriage and vassal relations. At the end of the 13th century, the Counts of Luxembourg reigned over a considerable territory. In 1308, Henry VII, Count of Luxembourg became King of the Germans and Holy Roman Emperor.
The House of Luxembourg produced four Holy Roman Emperors during the high Middle Ages. In 1354, Charles IV elevated the County to the Duchy of Luxembourg. Since Sigismund had no male heir, the Duchy became part of the Burgundian Circle and one of the Seventeen Provinces of the Habsburg Netherlands. Over the centuries, the City and Fortress of Luxembourg, of great strategic importance situated between the Kingdom of France and the Habsburg territories, was built up to be one of the most reputed fortifications in Europe. After belonging to both the France of Louis XIV and the Austria of Maria Theresia, Luxembourg became part of the First French Republic and Empire under Napoleon; the present-day state of Luxembourg first emerged at the Congress of Vienna in 1815. The Grand-Duchy, with its powerful fortress, became an independent state under the personal possession of William I of the Netherlands with a Prussian garrison to guard the city against another invasion from France. In 1839, following the turmoil of the Belgian Revolution, the purely French-speaking part of Luxembourg was ceded to Belgium and the Luxembourgish-speaking part became what is the present state of Luxembourg.
Luxembourg is a founding member of the European Union, OECD, United Nations, NATO, Benelux. The city of Luxembourg, the country's capital and largest city, is the seat of several institutions and agencies of the EU. Luxembourg served on the United Nations Security Council for the years 2013 and 2014, a first in the country's history; as of 2018, Luxembourgish citizens had visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 186 countries and territories, ranking the Luxembourgish passport 5th in the world, tied with Austria, the Netherlands, Portugal, the United Kingdom and the United States. The recorded history of Luxembourg begins with the acquisition of Lucilinburhuc situated on the Bock rock by Siegfried, Count of Ardennes, in 963 through an exchange act with St. Maximin's Abbey, Trier. Around this fort, a town developed, which became the centre of a state of great strategic value. In the 14th and early 15th centuries, three members of the House of Luxembourg reigned as Holy Roman Emperors. In 1437, the House of Luxembourg suffered a succession crisis, precipitated by the lack of a male heir to assume the throne, which led to the territories being sold by Duchess Elisabeth to Philip the Good of Burgundy.
In the following centuries, Luxembourg's fortress was enlarged and strengthened by its successive occupants, the Bourbons, Habsburgs and the French. After the defeat of Napoleon in 1815, Luxembourg was disputed between Prussia and the Netherlands; the Congress of Vienna formed Luxembourg as a Grand Duchy within the German Confederation. The Dutch king became, in the grand duke. Although he was supposed to rule the grand duchy as an independent country with an administration of its own, in reality he treated it to a Dutch province; the Fortress of Luxembourg was manned by Prussian troops for the German Confederation. This arrangement was revised by the 1839 First Treaty of London, from which date Luxembourg's full independence is reckoned. At the time of the Belgian Revolution of 1830–1839, by the 1839 Treaty establishing full independence, Luxembourg's territory was reduced by more than half, as the predominantly francophone western part of the country was transferred to Belgium. In 1842 Luxembourg joined the German Customs Union (Zoll
The German Empire known as Imperial Germany, was the German nation state that existed from the unification of Germany in 1871 until the abdication of Kaiser Wilhelm II in 1918. It was founded in 1871 when the south German states, except for Austria, joined the North German Confederation. On 1 January 1871, the new constitution came into force that changed the name of the federal state and introduced the title of emperor for Wilhelm I, King of Prussia from the House of Hohenzollern. Berlin remained its capital, Otto von Bismarck remained Chancellor, the head of government; as these events occurred, the Prussian-led North German Confederation and its southern German allies were still engaged in the Franco-Prussian War. The German Empire consisted of 26 states, most of them ruled by royal families, they included four kingdoms, six grand duchies, five duchies, seven principalities, three free Hanseatic cities, one imperial territory. Although Prussia was one of several kingdoms in the realm, it contained about two thirds of Germany's population and territory.
Prussian dominance was established constitutionally. After 1850, the states of Germany had become industrialized, with particular strengths in coal, iron and railways. In 1871, Germany had a population of 41 million people. A rural collection of states in 1815, the now united Germany became predominantly urban. During its 47 years of existence, the German Empire was an industrial and scientific giant, gaining more Nobel Prizes in science than any other country. By 1900, Germany was the largest economy in Europe, surpassing the United Kingdom, as well as the second-largest in the world, behind only the United States. From 1867 to 1878/9, Otto von Bismarck's tenure as the first and to this day longest reigning Chancellor was marked by relative liberalism, but it became more conservative afterwards. Broad reforms and the Kulturkampf marked his period in the office. Late in Bismarck's chancellorship and in spite of his personal opposition, Germany became involved in colonialism. Claiming much of the leftover territory, yet unclaimed in the Scramble for Africa, it managed to build the third-largest colonial empire after the British and the French ones.
As a colonial state, it sometimes clashed with other European powers the British Empire. Germany became a great power, boasting a developing rail network, the world's strongest army, a fast-growing industrial base. In less than a decade, its navy became second only to Britain's Royal Navy. After the removal of Otto von Bismarck by Wilhelm II in 1890, the Empire embarked on Weltpolitik – a bellicose new course that contributed to the outbreak of World War I. In addition, Bismarck's successors were incapable of maintaining their predecessor's complex and overlapping alliances which had kept Germany from being diplomatically isolated; this period was marked by various factors influencing the Emperor's decisions, which were perceived as contradictory or unpredictable by the public. In 1879, the German Empire consolidated the Dual Alliance with Austria-Hungary, followed by the Triple Alliance with Italy in 1882, it retained strong diplomatic ties to the Ottoman Empire. When the great crisis of 1914 arrived, Italy left the alliance and the Ottoman Empire formally allied with Germany.
In the First World War, German plans to capture Paris in the autumn of 1914 failed. The war on the Western Front became a stalemate; the Allied naval blockade caused severe shortages of food. However, Imperial Germany had success on the Eastern Front; the German declaration of unrestricted submarine warfare in early 1917, contributed to bringing the United States into the war. The high command under Paul von Hindenburg and Erich Ludendorff controlled the country, but in October after the failed offensive in spring 1918, the German armies were in retreat, allies Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire had collapsed, Bulgaria had surrendered; the Empire collapsed in the November 1918 Revolution with the abdications of its monarchs. This left a postwar federal republic and a devastated and unsatisfied populace, which led to the rise of Adolf Hitler and Nazism; the German Confederation had been created by an act of the Congress of Vienna on 8 June 1815 as a result of the Napoleonic Wars, after being alluded to in Article 6 of the 1814 Treaty of Paris.
German nationalism shifted from its liberal and democratic character in 1848, called Pan-Germanism, to Prussian prime minister Otto von Bismarck's pragmatic Realpolitik. Bismarck sought to extend Hohenzollern hegemony throughout the German states, he envisioned a Prussian-dominated Germany. Three wars led to military successes and helped to persuade German people to do this: the Second Schleswig War against Denmark in 1864, the Austro-Prussian War in 1866, the Franco-Prussian War against France in 1870–71; the German Confederation ended as a result of the Austro-Prussian War of 1866 between the constituent Confederation entities of the Austrian Empire and its allies on one side and the Kingdom of Prussia and its allies on the other. The war resulted in the partial replacement of the Confederation in 1867 by a North German Confederation, comprising the 22 states north of the Main; the patriotic fervour generated by the Franco-Prussian War overwhelmed the remaining opposition to a unified Germany in the four stat
House of Liechtenstein
The House of Liechtenstein, from which the principality takes its name, is the family which reigns by constitutional, hereditary right over the nation of Liechtenstein. Only dynastic members of the family are eligible to inherit the throne; the dynasty's membership and responsibilities are defined by a law of the family, enforced by the reigning Prince and may be altered by vote among the family's dynasts, but which may not be altered by the Government or Parliament of Liechtenstein. The family comes from Castle Liechtenstein in Lower Austria, which the family possessed from at least 1140 to the 13th century, from 1807 onwards. Heinrich I. von Liechtenstein was lord of Nikolsburg and Petronell. Through the centuries, the dynasty acquired vast swathes of land, predominantly in Moravia, Lower Austria and Styria, though in all cases, these territories were held in fief under other more senior feudal lords under various lines of the Habsburg family, to whom several Liechtenstein princes served as close advisors.
Thus, without any territory held directly under the Imperial throne, the Liechtenstein dynasty was unable to meet a primary requirement to qualify for a seat in the Imperial Diet. A seat in the Imperial government would add power, would be afforded by lands which would be immediate, or held without any feudal personage other than the Holy Roman Emperor himself having rights on the land; the head of the family was able to arrange the purchase from the Hohenems family of the minuscule Lordship of Schellenberg in 1699, the County of Vaduz in 1712. Schellenberg and Vaduz indeed had no feudal lord other than their comital sovereign and the suzerain Emperor. On 23 January 1719, after the purchase had been made, Charles VI as Holy Roman Emperor decreed Vaduz and Schellenberg to be united and raised to the dignity of a Principality by the name of "Liechtenstein", in honour of " true servant, Anton Florian of Liechtenstein". On this date, Liechtenstein became a member state of the Holy Roman Empire.
The Princes of Liechtenstein did not set foot in their new principality for several decades, a testament to the pure political expediency of the purchases. According to the Constitution of the Princely House of Liechtenstein of 26 October 1993, all members other than the reigning prince shall bear the titles of Prince or Princess of Liechtenstein and Count or Countess of Rietberg; the Prince and Princess The Hereditary Prince and Hereditary Princess Prince Joseph Wenzel Princess Marie-Caroline Prince Georg Antonius Prince Nikolaus Sebastian Prince Maximilian and Princess Angela Prince Alfons Prince Constantin and Princess Marie Prince Moritz Princess Georgina Prince Benedikt Princess Tatjana Prince Philipp Erasmus and Princess Isabelle Prince Alexander and Princess Astrid Princess Theodora Prince Wenzeslaus Prince Rudolf and Princess Tılsım Princess Laetitia Prince Karl Ludwig Prince Nikolaus and Princess Margaretha Princess Maria-Annunciata Princess Marie-Astrid Prince Josef-Emanuel The Dowager Marchioness of Mariño Below are all male and male-line dynastic descendants of Johann I Joseph, Prince of Liechtenstein.
The numbers represent the positions in the line of succession. List of Princes of Liechtenstein List of Princesses of Liechtenstein Line of succession to the Throne of Liechtenstein Liechtenstein Museum for the important princely art collection The Princely House of Liechtenstein
Coat of arms
A coat of arms is a heraldic visual design on an escutcheon, surcoat, or tabard. The coat of arms on an escutcheon forms the central element of the full heraldic achievement which in its whole consists of shield, supporters and motto. A coat of arms is traditionally unique to an individual person, state, organization or corporation; the Roll of Arms is a collection of many coats of arms, since the early Modern Age centuries it has been a source of information for public showing and tracing the membership of a noble family, therefore its genealogy across time. The ancient Greek hoplites used individual insignia on their shields; the ancient Romans used similar insignia on their shields. Heraldic designs came into general use among western nobility in the 12th century. Systematic, heritable heraldry had developed by the beginning of the 13th century. Who had a right to use arms, by law or social convention, varied to some degree between countries. Early heraldic designs were personal. Arms become hereditary by the end of the 12th century, in England by King Richard I during the Third Crusade.
Burgher arms are used in Northern Italy in the second half of the 13th century, in the Holy Roman Empire by the mid 14th century. In the late medieval period, use of arms spread to the clergy, to towns as civic identifiers, to royally chartered organizations such as universities and trading companies; the arts of vexillology and heraldry are related. The term coat of arms itself in origin refers to the surcoat with heraldic designs worn by combattants in the knightly tournament, in Old French cote a armer; the sense is transferred to the heraldic design itself in the mid-14th century. Despite no widespread regulation, heraldry has remained consistent across Europe, where tradition alone has governed the design and use of arms; some nations, like England and Scotland, still maintain the same heraldic authorities which have traditionally granted and regulated arms for centuries and continue to do so in the present day. In England, for example, the granting of arms has been controlled by the College of Arms.
Unlike seals and other general emblems, heraldic "achievements" have a formal description called a blazon, which uses vocabulary that allows for consistency in heraldic depictions. In the present day, coats of arms are still in use by a variety of institutions and individuals: for example, many European cities and universities have guidelines on how their coats of arms may be used, protect their use as trademarks. Many societies exist that aid in the design and registration of personal arms. Heraldry has been compared to modern corporate logos; the French system of heraldry influenced the British and Western European systems. Much of the terminology and classifications are taken from it. However, with the fall of the French monarchy there is not a Fons Honorum to enforce heraldic law; the French Republics that followed have either affirmed pre-existing titles and honors or vigorously opposed noble privilege. Coats of arms are considered an intellectual property of municipal body. Assumed arms are considered valid unless they can be proved in court to copy that of an earlier holder.
In the heraldic traditions of England and Scotland, an individual, rather than a family, had a coat of arms. In those traditions coats of arms are legal property transmitted from father to son. Undifferenced arms are used only by one person at any given time. Other descendants of the original bearer could bear the ancestral arms only with some difference: a colour change or the addition of a distinguishing charge. One such charge is the label, which in British usage is now always the mark of an heir apparent or an heir presumptive; because of their importance in identification in seals on legal documents, the use of arms was regulated. This has been carried out by heralds and the study of coats of arms is therefore called "heraldry". In time, the use of arms spread from military entities to educational institutes, other establishments. In Scotland, the Lord Lyon King of Arms has criminal jurisdiction to control the use of arms. In England, Northern Ireland and Wales the use of arms is a matter of civil law and regulated by the College of Arms and the High Court of Chivalry.
In reference to a dispute over the exercise of authority over the Officers of Arms in England, Arthur Annesley, 1st Earl of Anglesey, Lord Privy Seal, declared on 16 June 1673 that the powers of the Earl Marshal were "to order and determine all matters touching arms, ensigns of nobility and chivalry. It was further declared that no patents of arms or any ensigns of nobility should be granted and no augmentation, alteration, or addition should be made to arms without the consent of the Earl Marshal. In Ireland the usage and granting of coats of arms was regulated by the Ulster King of Arms from the office's creation in 1552. After Irish independence in 1922 the office was still working out of Dublin Castle; the last Ulster King of Arm