The Legitimists are royalists who adhere to the rights of dynastic succession to the French crown of the descendants of the eldest branch of the Bourbon dynasty, overthrown in the 1830 July Revolution. They reject the claim of the July Monarchy of 1830–1848 which placed Louis Philippe, Duke of Orléans head of the Orléans cadet branch of the Bourbon dynasty on the throne until he too was dethroned and driven with his family into exile. Following the movement of Ultra-royalists during the Bourbon Restoration of 1814, Legitimists came to form one of the three main right-wing factions in France, principally characterized by its counter-revolutionary views. According to historian René Rémond, the other two right-wing factions were the Orléanists and the Bonapartists. Legitimists hold that the king of France must be according to the traditional rules of succession based on the Salic law; when the direct line of Charles X became extinct in 1883 with the death of his grandson Henri, Count of Chambord, the most senior heir to the throne under these traditional rules was Juan, Count of Montizón, a descendant of Louis XIV through his grandson Philip V of Spain.
The fact that all French Legitimist claimants since 1883 have been members of the Spanish royal dynasty remains irrelevant to Legitimism, but it has prompted other French monarchists to pivot to support of the Orléans line. The current Legitimist pretender is Louis Alphonse, Duke of Anjou, the senior great-grandson of Alphonso XIII of Spain by male primogeniture, whose line was excluded from the Spanish throne by a morganatic marriage. Following the Bourbon Restoration in 1814, a restricted census suffrage sent to the Chamber of Deputies an Ultra-royalist majority in 1815–1816 and from 1824 to 1827. Called as such because they were more royalist than the king, the Ultras were thus the dominant political faction under Louis XVIII and Charles X. Opposed to the constitutional monarchy of Louis XVIII and to the limitation of the sovereign's power, they hoped to restore the Ancien Régime and cancel the rupture created by the French Revolution. By the same token, Ultras opposed all liberal and democratic ideas.
While Louis XVIII hoped to moderate the restoration of the Ancien Régime in order to make it acceptable to the population, the Ultras would never abandon the dream of an integral restoration after the 1830 July Revolution which set the Orléanist branch on the throne and sent the Ultras back to their castles in the countryside and to private life. Their importance during the Restoration was in part due to electoral laws which favored them. Louis XVIII's first ministers, who included Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord, Armand-Emmanuel de Vignerot du Plessis, Duc de Richelieu and Élie, duc Decazes, were replaced by the Chambre introuvable dominated by the Ultras. Louis XVIII decided to dissolve this chaotic assembly, but the new liberals who replaced them were no easier to govern. After the 1820 assassination of Charles Ferdinand, Duke of Berry, the ultra-reactionary son of the comte d'Artois and a short interval during which the Richelieu governed, the Ultras were back in government headed by the Jean-Baptiste de Villèle.
The death in 1824 of the moderate Louis XVIII emboldened the Ultra faction. In January 1825, Villèle's government passed the Anti-Sacrilege Act which punished by death the theft of sacred vessels; this anachronistic law was in the end never applied and repealed in the first months of Louis Philippe I's reign. The Ultras wanted to create courts to punish radicals and passed laws restricting freedom of the press. After the 1830 July Revolution replaced the Bourbons with the more liberal Orléanist branch, the Ultras' influence declined, although it survived until at least the 16 May 1877 crisis and 1879 and even longer, they made the restoration of the House of Bourbon their main aim. From 1830 on, they became known as Legitimists. During the July Monarchy of 1830 to 1848, when the junior Orléanist branch held the throne, the Legitimists were politically marginalized, many withdrawing from active participation in political life; the situation was complicated before 1844 by debate as to who the legitimate king was as Charles X and his son Louis-Antoine the Dauphin had both abdicated during the 1830 Revolution in favor of Charles's young grandson, Count of Chambord.
Until the deaths of Charles X and his son in 1836 and 1844 many Legitimists continued to recognize each of them in turn as the rightful king, ahead of Chambord. The fall of King Louis Philippe I in 1848 led to a strengthening of the Legitimist position. Although the childlessness of Chambord weakened the hand of the Legitimists, they came back into political prominence during the Second Republic. Legitimists joined with Orleanists to form the Party of Order which dominated parliament from the elections of May 1849 until Bonaparte's coup on 2 December 1851, they formed a prominent part of Odilon Barrot's ministry from December 1848 to November 1849 and in 1850 were successful in passing the Falloux Law which brought the Catholic Church back into secondary education. Through much of this time there was discussion of fusion with the Orléanist party so that the two could effect a monarchical restoration; this prospect prompted several sons of Louis Philippe to declare their support for Chambord, but fusio
Augustus was a Roman statesman and military leader, the first emperor of the Roman Empire, reigning from 27 BC until his death in AD 14. His status as the founder of the Roman Principate has consolidated an enduring legacy as one of the most effective and controversial leaders in human history; the reign of Augustus initiated an era of relative peace known as the Pax Romana. The Roman world was free from large-scale conflict for more than two centuries, despite continuous wars of imperial expansion on the Empire's frontiers and the year-long civil war known as the "Year of the Four Emperors" over the imperial succession. Augustus was born Gaius Octavius Thurinus into an old and wealthy equestrian branch of the plebeian gens Octavia, his maternal great-uncle Julius Caesar was assassinated in 44 BC, Octavius was named in Caesar's will as his adopted son and heir. Along with Mark Antony and Marcus Lepidus, he formed the Second Triumvirate to defeat the assassins of Caesar. Following their victory at the Battle of Philippi, the Triumvirate divided the Roman Republic among themselves and ruled as military dictators.
The Triumvirate was torn apart by the competing ambitions of its members. Lepidus was driven into exile and stripped of his position, Antony committed suicide following his defeat at the Battle of Actium by Octavian in 31 BC. After the demise of the Second Triumvirate, Augustus restored the outward façade of the free Republic, with governmental power vested in the Roman Senate, the executive magistrates, the legislative assemblies. In reality, however, he retained his autocratic power over the Republic as a military dictator. By law, Augustus held a collection of powers granted to him for life by the Senate, including supreme military command, those of tribune and censor, it took several years for Augustus to develop the framework within which a formally republican state could be led under his sole rule. He rejected monarchical titles, instead called himself Princeps Civitatis; the resulting constitutional framework became known as the Principate, the first phase of the Roman Empire. Augustus enlarged the Empire, annexing Egypt, Pannonia and Raetia, expanding possessions in Africa, completing the conquest of Hispania, but suffered a major setback in Germania.
Beyond the frontiers, he secured the Empire with a buffer region of client states and made peace with the Parthian Empire through diplomacy. He reformed the Roman system of taxation, developed networks of roads with an official courier system, established a standing army, established the Praetorian Guard, created official police and fire-fighting services for Rome, rebuilt much of the city during his reign. Augustus died in AD 14 at the age of 75 from natural causes. However, there were unconfirmed rumors, he was succeeded as emperor by his adopted son Tiberius. As a consequence of Roman customs and personal preference, Augustus was known by many names throughout his life: Gaius Octavius Thurinus: He received his birth name, after his biological father, in 63 BC. "Gaius" was his praenomen, "Octavius" was his nomen, "Thurinus" was his cognomen. His rival Mark Antony used the name "Thurinus" as an insult, to which Augustus replied, surprised that "using his old name was thought to be an insult".
Gaius Julius Caesar: After he was adopted by Julius Caesar, he adopted Caesar's name in accordance with Roman naming conventions. While he dropped all references to the gens Octavia, people colloquially added the epithet Octavianus to his legal name, either to differentiate him from his adoptive father or to highlight his more modest origins. Modern historians refer to him using the anglicized form "Octavian" between 44 BC and 27 BC. Gaius Julius Caesar Divi Filius: Two years after his adoption, he founded the Temple of Caesar additionally adding the title Divi Filius to his name in attempt to strengthen his political ties to Caesar's former soldiers, following the deification of Caesar. Imperator Caesar Divi Filius: From 38 BC, Octavian opted to use Imperator, the title by which troops hailed their leader after military success, his name is translated as "Commander Caesar, Son of the Divine". Imperator Caesar Divi Filius Augustus: Following his 31 BC defeat of Mark Antony and Cleopatra on his own insistence, the Roman Senate granted him the additional name, "Augustus", which he added to his previous names thereafter.
Historians use this name to refer to him from 27 BC until his death in AD 14. While his paternal family was from the town of Velletri 40 kilometres from Rome, Augustus was born in the city of Rome on 23 September 63 BC, he was born at Ox Head, a small property on the Palatine Hill close to the Roman Forum. He was given the name Gaius Octavius Thurinus, his cognomen commemorating his father's victory at Thurii over a rebellious band of slaves. Suetonius wrote: "There are many indications that the Octavian family was in days of old a distinguished one at Velitrae; this man was leader in a war with a neighbouring town..." Due to the crowded nature of Rome at the time, Octavius was taken to his father's home village at Velletri to be raised. Octavius mentions his father's equestrian family only in his memoirs, his paternal great-grandfather Gaius Octavius was a military tribune in Sicily during the Second Punic War. His grandfather had served in several lo
The Xinhai Revolution known as the Chinese Revolution or the Revolution of 1911, was a revolution that overthrew China's last imperial dynasty and established the Republic of China. The revolution was named Xinhai because it occurred in 1911, the year of the Xinhai stem-branch in the sexagenary cycle of the Chinese calendar; the revolution consisted of many uprisings. The turning point was the Wuchang uprising on 10 October 1911, the result of the mishandling of the Railway Protection Movement; the revolution ended with the abdication of the six-year-old Last Emperor, Puyi, on 12 February 1912, that marked the end of 2,000 years of imperial rule and the beginning of China's early republican era. The revolution arose in response to the decline of the Qing state, which had proven ineffective in its efforts to modernize China and confront foreign aggression. Many underground anti-Qing groups, with the support of Chinese revolutionaries in exile, tried to overthrow the Qing; the brief civil war that ensued was ended through a political compromise between Yuan Shikai, the late Qing military strongman, Sun Yat-sen, the leader of the Tongmenghui.
After the Qing court transferred power to the newly founded republic, a provisional coalition government was created along with the National Assembly. However, political power of the new national government in Beijing was soon thereafter monopolized by Yuan and led to decades of political division and warlordism, including several attempts at imperial restoration; the Republic of China in Taiwan and the People's Republic of China on the mainland both consider themselves the legitimate successors to the Xinhai Revolution and honor the ideals of the revolution including nationalism, modernization of China and national unity. 10 October is commemorated in Taiwan as Double Ten Day, the National Day of the ROC. In mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, the day is celebrated as the Anniversary of the Xinhai Revolution. After suffering its first defeat to the West in the First Opium War in 1842, the Qing imperial court struggled to contain foreign intrusions into China. Efforts to adjust and reform the traditional methods of governance were constrained by a conservative court culture that did not want to give away too much authority to reform.
Following defeat in the Second Opium War in 1860, the Qing tried to modernize by adopting certain Western technologies through the Self-Strengthening Movement from 1861. In the wars against the Taiping, the Muslims of Yunnan and the Northwest, the traditional imperial troops proved themselves incompetent and the court came to rely on local armies. In 1895, China suffered another defeat during the First Sino-Japanese War; this demonstrated that traditional Chinese feudal society needed to be modernized if the technological and commercial advancements were to succeed. In 1898 the Guangxu Emperor was guided by reformers like Kang Youwei and Liang Qichao for a drastic reform in education and economy under the Hundred Days' Reform; the reform was abruptly cancelled by a conservative coup led by Empress Dowager Cixi. The Guangxu Emperor, who had always been a puppet dependent on Cixi, was put under house arrest in June 1898. Reformers Kang and Liang would be exiled. While in Canada, in June 1899, they tried to form the Emperor Protection Society in an attempt to restore the emperor.
Empress Dowager Cixi controlled the Qing dynasty from this point on. The Boxer Rebellion prompted another foreign invasion of Beijing in 1900 and the imposition of unequal treaty terms, which carved away territories, created extraterritorial concessions and gave away trade privileges. Under internal and external pressure, the Qing court began to adopt some of the reforms; the Qing managed to maintain its monopoly on political power by suppressing with great brutality, all domestic rebellions. Dissidents could operate only in secret societies and underground organizations, in foreign concessions or in exile overseas. There were many revolutionaries and groups that wanted to overthrow the Qing government to re-establish Han led government; the earliest revolutionary organizations were founded outside of China, such as Yeung Ku-wan's Furen Literary Society, created in Hong Kong in 1890. There were 15 members, including Tse Tsan-tai, who did political satire such as "The Situation in the Far East", one of the first Chinese manhua, who became one of the core founders of the South China Morning Post.
Sun Yat-sen's Xingzhonghui was established in Honolulu in 1894 with the main purpose of raising funds for revolutions. The two organizations were merged in 1894; the Huaxinghui was founded in 1904 with notables like Huang Xing, Zhang Shizhao, Chen Tianhua and Song Jiaoren, along with 100 others. Their motto was "Take one province by force, inspire the other provinces to rise up"; the Guangfuhui was founded in 1904, in Shanghai with Cai Yuanpei. Other notable members include Tao Chengzhang. Despite professing the anti-Qing cause, the Guangfuhui was critical of Sun Yat-sen. One of the most famous female revolutionaries was Qiu Jin, who fought for women's rights and was from Guangfuhui. There were many other minor revolutionary organizations, such as Lizhi Xuehui in Jiangsu, Gongqianghui in Sichuan and Hanzudulihui in Fujian, Yizhishe in Jiangxi, Yuewanghui in Anhui and Qunzhihui in Guangzhou. There were criminal organizations that were anti-Manchu, including the Green Gang and Hongmen Zhigongtang.
Sun Yat-sen himself came in cont
The Trienio Liberal is a period of three years in the modern history of Spain between 1820 and 1823, when a liberal government ruled Spain after a military uprising in January 1820 by the lieutenant-colonel Rafael de Riego against the absolutist rule of Ferdinand VII. It ended in 1823 when, with the approval of the crowned heads of Europe, a French army invaded Spain and reinstated the King's absolute power; this invasion is known in France as the "Spanish Expedition", in Spain as "The Hundred Thousand Sons of St. Louis". King Ferdinand VII provoked widespread unrest in the army, by refusing to accept the liberal Spanish Constitution of 1812; the King sought to reclaim the Spanish colonies in the Americas that had revolted consequently depriving Spain from an important source of revenue. In January 1820, soldiers assembled at Cádiz for an expedition to South America, angry over infrequent pay, bad food and poor quarters, mutinied under the leadership of Colonel Rafael del Riego y Nuñez. Pledging fealty to the 1812 Constitution, they seized their commander.
Subsequently, the rebel forces moved to nearby San Fernando, where they began preparations to march on the capital, Madrid. Despite the rebels' relative weakness, Ferdinand accepted the constitution on March 9, 1820, granting power to liberal ministers and ushering in the so-called Liberal Triennium, a period of popular rule. However, political conspiracies of both right and left proliferated in Spain, as was the case across much of the rest of Europe. Liberal revolutionaries stormed the King's palace and seized Ferdinand VII, a prisoner of the Cortes in all but name for the next three years and retired to Aranjuez; the elections to the Cortes Generales in 1822 were won by Rafael del Riego. Ferdinand's supporters set themselves up at Urgell, took up arms and put in place an absolutist regency. Ferdinand's supporters, accompanied by the Royal Guard, staged an uprising in Madrid, subdued by forces supporting the new government and its constitution. Despite the defeat of Ferdinand's supporters at Madrid, civil war erupted in the regions of Castile and Andalusia.
Three years of liberal rule followed. The Progresista government reorganized Spain into 52 provinces, it intended to reduce the regional autonomy, a hallmark of Spanish bureaucracy since Habsburg rule in the 16th and 17th centuries. Opposition of the affected regions, in particular, Aragon and Catalonia, shared in the king's antipathy for the liberal government; the anticlerical policies of the Progresista government led to friction with the Roman Catholic Church, attempts to bring about industrialisation alienated old trade guilds. The Spanish Inquisition, abolished by both Joseph Bonaparte and the Cádiz Cortes during the French occupation, was ended again by the government, which led to accusations of it being nothing more than afrancesados, only six years earlier, had been forced out of the country. More radical liberals attempted to revolt against the entire idea of a monarchy, regardless of how little power it had. In 1821, they were suppressed, but the incident served to illustrate the frail coalition that bound the government together.
The election of a radical liberal government in 1823 further destabilized Spain. The army, whose liberal leanings had brought the government to power, began to waver when the Spanish economy failed to improve, in 1823, a mutiny in Madrid had to be suppressed; the Jesuits, banned by Charles III in the 18th century, only to be rehabilitated by Ferdinand VII after his restoration, were banned again by the government. For the duration of liberal rule, Ferdinand lived under virtual house arrest in Madrid; the Congress of Vienna, ending the Napoleonic Wars, had inaugurated the "Congress system" as an instrument of international stability in Europe. Rebuffed by the "Holy Alliance" of Russia and Prussia in his request for help against the liberal revolutionaries in 1820, by 1822, the "Concert of Europe" was so concerned by Spain's liberal government and its surprising hardiness that it was prepared to intervene on Ferdinand's behalf. In 1822, the Congress of Verona authorized France to intervene. Louis XVIII of France was only too happy to put an end to Spain's liberal experiment, a massive army, the 100,000 Sons of Saint Louis, was dispatched across the Pyrenees in April 1823.
The Spanish army, fraught by internal divisions, offered little resistance to the well organised French force, who seized Madrid and reinstalled Ferdinand as absolute monarch. The liberals' hopes for a new Spanish War of Independence were dashed. Regarding the policy for America in the absolutist period, the new government changed political repression into negotiation. Sending troops was replaced by commissioners to attract pro-independence leaders, who were invited to submit to royal authority in exchange for recognition by Spain. With that in mind, the government announced a ceasefire for negotiations with the rebels until the 1812 Constitution, superseded by Ferdinand's actions, was accepted. According to the ceasefire, Spain would end the persecution and would issue a blanket amnesty for the insurgents; the 11 commissioners failed since the patriots demanded recognition of their independence from Spain. In 1822, Ferdinand VII applied the terms of the Congress of Vienna, lobbied for the assistance of the other absolute monarchs of Europe, in the process joining the Holy Alliance formed by Russia, Prussia and France to restore absolutism.
In France, the ultra-royalists pressured Lo
Nepalese Civil War
The Nepalese Civil War, known popularly as the Maoist Conflict, Maoist Insurgency or Maoist Revolution, was a ten-year-long armed conflict between the Communist Party of Nepal and the government of Nepal, fought from 1996 to 2006. The insurgency period was popularly known as Maovadi Dwandakaal in Nepal; the rebellion was launched by the CPN-M on 13 February 1996 with the main aim of overthrowing the Nepalese monarchy and establishing a People's Republic. It ended with the Comprehensive Peace Accord signed on 21 November 2006; the conflict was characterized by lynchings, purges and autonomous rule, spread of communist teachings, conflicts against the authority and crimes against humanity. The revolution resulted in deaths of over 17,000 people involving civilians, insurgents and police personnels, internally displaced hundreds of thousands of people; this revolution succeeded in overthrowing the 240 years old Hindu Shah monarchy of Gorkha and established secular republican regime which resulted in political and cultural change in Nepal popularly termed Krambhanga.
More than 17,000 people were killed during the conflict, including over 4,000 Nepalis killed by Maoists from 1996-2005, over 8,200 Nepalis killed by government forces from 1996-2005. In addition, an estimated 100,000 to 150,000 people were internally displaced as a result of the conflict. Furthermore, this conflict disrupted most rural development activities. On 10 January 1990, the United Left Front was formed, together with the Nepali Congress, was the backbone of the broad-based movement for democratic change. However, communist groups, uncomfortable with the alliance between the ULF and the Congress Party, formed a parallel front, the United National People's Movement; the UNPM called for elections to a constituent assembly, rejected compromises made by ULF and the Congress Party with the royal house. In November 1990, the Communist Party of Nepal, or CPN, was formed, included key elements of the UNPM. On 21 January 1991, the CPN set up the United People's Front of Nepal, with Baburam Bhattarai as its head, as an open front to contest elections.
The CPN held its first convention on 25 November 1991, adopted a line of "protracted armed struggle on the route to a new democratic revolution", decided that the party would remain an underground party. In the 1991 election, the UPFN became the third-largest party in the Nepali parliament. However, disagreements within the UPFN surged. One group, led by Pushpa Kamal Dahal, argued for immediate armed revolution, while the other group, led by Nirmal Lama, claimed that Nepal was not yet ripe for armed struggle. On 22 May 1994, the CPN/UPFN was split in two; the militant faction renamed itself the Communist Party of Nepal, or CPN. This faction described the government forces, mainstream political parties, the monarchy, as "feudal forces"; the armed struggle began on 13 February 1996, when the CPN carried out 7 simultaneous attacks over 6 districts. The Nepali government mobilized the Nepal Police to contain the insurgency; the Royal Nepal Army was not involved in direct fighting because the conflict was regarded as a matter for which the police would sustain control.
Controversy grew regarding the army not assisting the police during insurgent attacks in remote areas. On 19 July 2001, Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala resigned over his inability to tackle the Maoist insurgency, over the refusal of the army to take part in the conflict. On 25 July 2001, the government of Sher Bahadur Deuba and the Maoist insurgents declared a ceasefire, held peace talks from August–November of that year; the failure of these peace talks resulted in the return to armed conflict, beginning when the Maoists attacked an army barracks in Dang District in western Nepal, on 22 November. Overnight, the army was unleashed against the insurgents, mobilizing artillery; the insurgency situation changed in 2002, as the number of attacks by both sides increased and more people died than in any other year of the war. The government responded to the insurgency by banning anti-monarchy statements, imprisoning journalists, shutting down newspapers accused of siding with the insurgents. Several rounds of negotiations, accompanied by temporary ceasefires, were held between the insurgents and the government.
The government categorically rejected the insurgents' demand for elections to a constituent assembly, for fear that it would result in the abolition of the monarchy by a popular vote. At the same time, the Maoists refused to recognize the installation of a constitutional monarchy. In November 2004, the government rejected both the Maoists' request to negotiate directly with King Gyanendra rather than via Prime Minister Deuba, the Maoists' request for discussions to be mediated by a third party such as the United Nations. Throughout the war, the government controlled the main cities and towns, whilst the Maoists dominated the rural areas; this was a result of the fact that all government institutions were located in either the capital city Kathmandu, or the headquarters of a district. In August 2004 Kathmandu came under rebel control, as the Maoists performed a week-long blockade of the city. Under the aegis of the global War on Terror and with the stated goal of averting the development of a "failed state" that could serve as a source of regional and international instability, the United States, United Kingdom, India, among other nations, provided extensive m
Absolute monarchy is a form of monarchy in which the monarch holds supreme authority and where that authority is not restricted by any written laws, legislature, or customs. These are hereditary monarchies. In contrast, in constitutional monarchies, the head of state's authority derives from and is bounded or restricted by a constitution or legislature; some monarchies have a weak or symbolic legislature and other governmental bodies the monarch can alter or dissolve at will. Countries where monarchs still maintain absolute power are: Brunei, Saudi Arabia, Vatican City and the individual emirates composing the United Arab Emirates, which itself is a federation of such monarchies – a federal monarchy. In Ancient Egypt, the Pharaoh wielded absolute power over the country and was considered a living god by his people. In ancient Mesopotamia, many rulers of Assyria and Sumer were absolute monarchs as well. In ancient and medieval India, rulers of the Maurya, Gupta and Chalukya Empires, as well as other major and minor empires, were considered absolute monarchs.
In the Khmer Empire, the kings were called "Devaraja" and "Chakravartin", exercised absolute power over the empire and people. Throughout Imperial China, many emperors and one empress wielded absolute power through the Mandate of Heaven. In pre-Columbian America, the Inca Empire was ruled by a Sapa Inca, considered the son of Inti, the sun god and absolute ruler over the people and nation. Korea under the Joseon dynasty and short-lived empire was an absolute monarchy. In the Ottoman Empire, many sultans wielded absolute power through heavenly mandates reflected in their title, the "Shadow of God on Earth". Throughout much of European history, the divine right of kings was the theological justification for absolute monarchy. Many European monarchs, such as those of Russia, claimed supreme autocratic power by divine right, that their subjects had no rights to limit their power. James VI of Scotland and his son Charles I of Scotland and England tried to import this principle. Charles I's attempt to enforce episcopal polity on the Church of Scotland led to rebellion by the Covenanters and the Bishops' Wars fears that Charles I was attempting to establish absolutist government along European lines was a major cause of the English Civil War, despite the fact that he did rule this way for 11 years starting in 1629, after dissolving the Parliament of England for a time.
By the 19th century, the Divine Right was regarded as an obsolete theory in most countries in the Western world, except in Russia where it was still given credence as the official justification for the Tsar's power until February Revolution in 1917. There is a considerable variety of opinion by historians on the extent of absolutism among European monarchs. Some, such as Perry Anderson, argue that quite a few monarchs achieved levels of absolutist control over their states, while historians such as Roger Mettam dispute the concept of absolutism. In general, historians who disagree with the appellation of absolutism argue that most monarchs labeled as absolutist exerted no greater power over their subjects than any other non-absolutist rulers, these historians tend to emphasize the differences between the absolutist rhetoric of monarchs and the realities of the effective use of power by these absolute monarchs. Renaissance historian William Bouwsma summed up this contradiction: Nothing so indicates the limits of royal power as the fact that governments were perennially in financial trouble, unable to tap the wealth of those ablest to pay, to stir up a costly revolt whenever they attempted to develop an adequate income.
Though some historians doubt if he had, Louis XIV of France is said to have proclaimed "L'état, c'est moi". Although criticized for his extravagances, such as the Palace of Versailles, he reigned over France for a long period, some historians consider him a successful absolute monarch. More revisionist historians have questioned whether Louis' reign should be considered'absolute', given the reality of the balance of power between the monarch and the nobility; the King of France concentrated in his person legislative and judicial powers. He was the supreme judicial authority, he could condemn people to death without the right of appeal. It was both his duty to stop them from being committed. From his judicial authority followed his power both to annul them. One of his steps in creating an absolute monarchy in France was to build the Palace of Versailles, where he lived with many of his nobles and other important people, in order to control and watch over them. Absolutism was underpinned by a written constitution for the first time in Europe in 1665 Kongeloven of Denmark-Norway, which ordered that the Monarch "shall from this day forth be revered and considered the most perfect and supreme person on the Earth by all his subjects, standing above all human laws and having no judge above his person, neither in spiritual nor temporal matters, except God alone".
This law authorized the king to abolish all other centers of power. Most important was the abolition of the Council of the Realm. In Brandenburg-Prussia, the concept of absolute monarch took a notable turn from the above with its emphasis on the monarch as the "first servant of the state", but it echoed many of the important characteristics of Absolutism. Frederick William, known as the Great Elector, used the uncertainties of the final stages of the Thirty Years' War to consolidate his territories into the dominant kingdom in northern Germany, whilst increasing his power over his subjects
The Russian Revolution was a pair of revolutions in Russia in 1917 which dismantled the Tsarist autocracy and led to the rise of the Soviet Union. The Russian Empire collapsed with the abdication of Emperor Nicholas II and the old regime was replaced by a provisional government during the first revolution of February 1917. Alongside it arose grassroots community assemblies which contended for authority. In the second revolution that October, the Provisional Government was toppled and all power was given to the Soviets; the February Revolution was a revolution focused around Petrograd, the capital of Russia at that time. In the chaos, members of the Imperial parliament assumed control of the country, forming the Russian Provisional Government, dominated by the interests of large capitalists and the noble aristocracy; the army leadership felt they did not have the means to suppress the revolution, resulting in Tsar Nicholas's abdication. The Soviets, which were dominated by soldiers and the urban industrial working class permitted the Provisional Government to rule, but insisted on a prerogative to influence the government and control various militias.
The February Revolution took place in the context of heavy military setbacks during the First World War, which left much of the Russian Army in a state of mutiny. A period of dual power ensued, during which the Provisional Government held state power while the national network of Soviets, led by socialists, had the allegiance of the lower classes and the left-leaning urban middle class. During this chaotic period there were frequent mutinies and many strikes. Many socialist political organizations were engaged in daily struggle and vied for influence within the Duma and the Soviets, central among which were the Bolsheviks led by Vladimir Lenin who campaigned for an immediate end to the war, land to the peasants, bread to the workers; when the Provisional Government chose to continue fighting the war with Germany, the Bolsheviks and other socialist factions were able to exploit universal disdain towards the war effort as justification to advance the revolution further. The Bolsheviks turned workers' militias under their control into the Red Guards over which they exerted substantial control.
In the October Revolution, the Bolsheviks led an armed insurrection by workers and soldiers in Petrograd that overthrew the Provisional Government, transferring all its authority to the Soviets with the capital being relocated to Moscow shortly thereafter. The Bolsheviks had secured a strong base of support within the Soviets and, as the now supreme governing party, established a federal government dedicated to reorganizing the former empire into the world's first socialist republic, practicing Soviet democracy on a national and international scale; the promise to end Russia's participation in the First World War was honored promptly with the Bolshevik leaders signing the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk with Germany in March 1918. To further secure the new state, the Cheka was established which functioned as a revolutionary security service that sought to weed out and punish those considered to be "enemies of the people" in campaigns consciously modeled on similar events during the French Revolution.
Soon after, civil war erupted among the "Reds", the "Whites", the independence movements and the non-Bolshevik socialists. It continued for several years, during which the Bolsheviks defeated both the Whites and all rival socialists and thereafter reconstituted themselves as the Communist Party. In this way, the Revolution paved the way for the creation of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in 1922. While many notable historical events occurred in Moscow and Petrograd, there was a visible movement in cities throughout the state, among national minorities throughout the empire and in the rural areas, where peasants took over and redistributed land; the Russian Revolution of 1905 was said to be a major factor contributing to the cause of the Revolutions of 1917. The events of Bloody Sunday triggered nationwide protests and soldier mutinies. A council of workers called. While the 1905 Revolution was crushed, the leaders of the St. Petersburg Soviet were arrested, this laid the groundwork for the Petrograd Soviet and other revolutionary movements during the lead up to 1917.
The 1905 Revolution led to the creation of a Duma, that would form the Provisional Government following February 1917. The outbreak of World War I prompted general outcry directed at Tsar Nicholas II and the Romanov family. While the nation was engaged in a wave of nationalism, increasing numbers of defeats and poor conditions soon flipped the nation's opinion; the Tsar attempted to remedy the situation by taking personal control of the army in 1915. This proved to be disadvantageous for the Tsar, as he was now held responsible for Russia's continuing defeats and losses. In addition, Tsarina Alexandra, left to rule in while the Tsar commanded at the front, was German born, leading to suspicion of collusion, only to be exacerbated by rumors relating to her relationship with the controversial mystic Grigori Rasputin. Rasputin's influence led to disastrous ministerial appointments and corruption, resulting in a worsening of conditions within Russia; this led to general dissatisfaction with the Romanov family, was a major factor contributing to the retaliation of the Russian Communists against th