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Western European writers and publicists of the second half of the 16th and early 17th centuries who opposed absolutism.

The monarchomachs denied the divine origin of royal authority, believing that sovereignty belongs to the people. The people empower the monarch on a contractual basis; accordingly, they have the right to overthrow him if he violates the conditions of the contract, thus becoming a tyrant, and even to kill him.

The monarchomachs did not constitute a unified tendency in philosophy; depending on concrete historical conditions, they reflected the interests of different social strata such as the growing bourgeoisie in England and the Netherlands or the feudal elite in France. Employing the term “the people,” the monarchomachs in fact meant the bourgeoisie or the nobility, never the popular masses. The French monarchomachs in particular sought not the elimination of the monarchy but rather its limitation by institutions representing the various social estates.

Monarchomach theories were often advanced in the course of the religious-political struggle of this period. Among those developing such ideas were the Calvinists P. Du Plessis-Mornay and F. Hotman in France, J. Althusius in Germany, and G. Buchanan in Scotland; the Catholic J. Boucher in France, one of the founders of the Holy League of 1584–94; and the Jesuits J. de Mariana and F. Suarez in Spain.


References in periodicals archive ?
Both thinkers defended conceptions of the state as absolutist (or at least highly authoritarian) to make clear that the point of the state was to preserve order in the face of challenges to the peace posed by the Church or by proponents of group rights such as the Monarchomachs.
Protestant monarchomachs, literally "killers of kings," such as Theodore de Beze, Francois Hotman, and Philippe Duplessis-Mornay, also wrote on the problem of tyranny and what to do about it, especially after the Saint Bartholomew's Day Massacre (Giesey 57-66).
The Huguenot monarchomachs called for resistance, whereas the Leaguers called for death by any member of the body politic as an emancipating act.
lt;<Aristotelians, Monarchomachs and Republicans: Soveraignty and Respublica Mixta in Dutch and German Political Thought>>, en Van Gelderen, M.
One could accordingly believe in an aristocratic republic or even a monarchical republic or, more typically in the literature, a mixed republic, regimen mixtum, as the monarchomachs favored (Skinner and van Gelderen 2002,1.
Whatever the case, the silence of those Catholic monarchomachs on that particular matter did not carry much weight with the royalist John Maxwell, bishop of Tuam, when he came in 1644 to launch a long end powerful attack on those Jesuits and Puritans who "to depresse Kinges averre, that all power is originally, radically and formally inherent in the People or Communitie, and from thence is derived to the Kinge".
In The Political Thought of the Dutch Revolt, Martin van Gelderen is also engaged in a work of rescue: to redress what he regards as the unjustified dismissal of Dutch political ideas in standard accounts of sixteenth-century political thought as largely derivative of the French monarchomachs.
In the 16th century, tyrannicide became a primary issue in the writings of the Monarchomachs, a school of mainly French Protestant writers.
The aristocratic republicanism of the monarchomachs seems particularly close to the political attitudes implicit in Sidney's romance; as Norbrook notes, their claim that the "subaltern magistrate" had both the right and duty to rebel against a tyrannical prince was designed to sanction the Protestant nobility's resistance to its Catholic rulers.
By any standard a major cultural event for the realm, the Historia served throughout the century as a touchstone for virtually every Scottish intellectual, irrespective of politics or religion - appealing no less to monarchists than to monarchomachs, to Calvinists like George Buchanan and David Hume of Godscroft as well as to Catholics like David Chambers of Ormond.
In the first place, he shifts the context in which the De rege is to be read, removing it from the Anglo-French context framed by the monarchomach tradition and repatriating it, as it were, to its true home in Spain.