Friday, May 14, 2010

Is a monarchy more or less effective than a democracy

Is a monarchy more or less effective than a democracy? A monarchy is run by a single king or queen. A democracy is run by individuals who are elected by the people. Historically, a monarchy was more effective, especially in the Elizabethan age. In the United States today, our system is a democracy. This system contains checks and balances which suppress the chance of a monarchy. A democracy has proved to be more effective because a democracy promotes equality and freedom and does not focus on one, solitary leader.

In England, King Henry VIII was leading a monarchy that was becoming a very powerful influence, which would eventually fall into devastation. King Henry separated himself and his people from the Roman Catholic faith. He created his own religion, The Church of England. Lord Mountjoy stated, “Our King does not desire gold or gems or precious metals, but virtue, glory, immortality”.( Henry VII and his wife, Catherine of Aragon, couldn’t produce a son, and that is why he broke away from the Catholic Church. He needed to divorce his wife, and marry a new one so he could have a son. The pope wasn’t allowing him to do that so he broke away. He was left with two daughters, until he finally had a son with Jane Seymour. ( This son grew up to become King Edward VI. In a monarchy, sons were more venerated than daughters. Kings always wanted to give birth to sons. In a democracy if a woman was fit to “rule”, they would be elected, vice versa if it was a male. Henry’s reign was putting a damper on the English economy. His obnoxious spending and high taxing method was killing the economy. This is why one person cannot rule a nation. Most of the time, the ruler is all about themselves and only wants money and power.

There seems to be only one account in England during the 1500’s and the 1600’s where the monarchy was actually a success. Elizabeth I was the woman who changed everything. She admired her father greatly. After her father Henry VII died, Edward VI took the throne but he fell ill and passed away. Mary, her older half sister, became queen but her reign was short lived. She, once again, had no son to succeed her. Elizabeth I finally took the crown and inherited a bankrupt nation; a nation that was hanging on by a thread. ( Elizabeth had to pay off all of the debts her country was collapsing under. The monarchy was barely keeping its head above water. In one of her speeches addressing the attack on England she says, "I know I have but the body of a weak and feeble woman; but I have the heart of a king, and of a king of England, too; and think foul scorn that Parma or Spain, or any prince of Europe, should dare to invade the borders of my realms: to which, rather than any dishonor should grow by me, I myself will take up arms; I myself will be your general, judge, and rewarder of every one of your virtues in the field”.( Elizabeth tried her hardest) Elizabeth I tried her hardest to put England on a pedestal. She was successful, but a monarchy still only has diminutive evidence in proving to be successful. In a monarchy, it’s not about what the people want. This is true only in a democracy.

The United States has a democracy. It has proved to be successful since day one. There are several varieties of democracy, some of which provide better representation and more freedoms for their citizens than others. ( From the beginning, Americans wrote their own Constitution and Declaration of Independence. The Constitution even begins with “We the People of the United States…” ( The people of the United States wanted to be considered, “out of many, one”. In a democracy the people elect who they want to lead the country. If a person doesn’t fit the job, they will not be elected. In a monarchy, if the king or queen is not fit for the throne, it doesn’t matter. They are still king or queen. The only way to get a ruler off the throne is to kill them or make them want to step down. A democracy is obviously more effective because the people, who make up the nation, get to choose who they want to rule. Everybody is equal in a democracy. In a monarchy, no one is.

The current U.S. president is Barrack Obama. In recent news, according to the New York Times, “President Obama signed a health care bill that was the biggest expansion of the safety net in 40 years. And now Congress is in the final stages of a bill that would tighten Wall Street’s rules and probably shrink its profit margins”. ( This was a big decision for America. If Congress and Representatives didn’t like the idea, they could have overruled the President. The system of checks and balances is essential for a democracy to be successful. This helps the country maintain an equal society. The United States’ success as a country proves that a democracy in better than a monarchy.

A democracy has several advantages while a monarchy barely has any. England wouldn’t have sunken so low into bankruptcy if the people could have oust Henry VIII and elected someone who could’ve brought the nation back to life. It wouldn’t have been a bad idea for all monarchies to switch over to a democracy. The only problem is that individuals in a monarchy were too power hungry. It was all about money and power. In a democracy, it is all about equality and freedom. Equality and freedom is always over money and power.

Works Cited
" Http://" Medieval History - Life in the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Web. 21 May 2010. .
"Democracy." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 21 May 2010. .
"Henry VIII of England." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 21 May 2010. .
"King Henry VIII: Biography, Portraits, Primary Sources." Web. 21 May 2010. .
"Monarchy." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 21 May 2010. .
The New York Times - Breaking News, World News & Multimedia. Web. 21 May 2010. .
"The United States Constitution - The U.S. Constitution Online -" Index Page - The U.S. Constitution Online - Web. 21 May 2010. .

1 comment:

  1. Nice job with the primary sources. One question I would ask with regards to your thesis: if democracies are more effective, why did the Classical Athenian democracy crumble so quickly?