The divine right theory of government posits that a ruling authority, such as a monarch, derives power directly from God. As a result, the king is not answerable to the aristocracy, the church, the people or anyone else.Know More
According to the divine right theory, any attempt to overthrow the king, limit his powers or go against his will in any way was sacrilege, as it was also an act against God himself. This allowed kings freedom to do whatever they wanted, because only God was able to judge a king. A French political philosopher named Jean Bodin first proposed this theory in the 16th century.
One of the first proponents of the divine right of kings was King James I. Originally known as James VI of Scotland, King James I held the three crowns of Scotland, Ireland and England in the early 17th century. During his reign he sponsored the Bible translation that bears his name, the Authorized King James Version. He wrote a treatise called "The True Law of Free Monarchies," in which he argued that kings were superior to other men and had royal prerogative to impose laws as they saw fit. Across the English Channel, the French King Louis XIV was also a strong advocate of the divine right theory. By the late 18th century, with the American and French revolutions, support for the theory weakened, and by the beginning of the 20th century, the theory was defunct.Learn more about Types of Government
A limited government is a political system in which power is controlled by a constitution and divided among different entities in order to prevent tyranny. The governments of the United States and other western democracies are based on the idea of limited government.Full Answer >
One major difference between the governmentsof the United States and Great Britain lies in the separation of powers in the U.S. andthe parliament system in the UK, where parliament holds the majority of the power and the prime minister is subject to their wishes.In the United States, powers can be shared by the House of Representatives and the Senate, but the president has the power to veto any legislation passed by congress.Full Answer >
The constitution of a nation is the set of rules that governs how a government can exercise power. The constitution usually allocates different powers to various institutions and determines how they should exercise their powers. It is important to have rules that regulate how a government exercises its power because a government is usually the most powerful coercive force within a country.Full Answer >
The theory of nullification, introduced by John C. Calhoun, claims that a state in theory has the right to nullify or invalidate any federal law that the state deems unconstitutional. This theory is no longer in use today, but was a large factor in many legal cases and situations prior to and during the Civil War era.Full Answer >