Monarchomachs

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Monarchomachs

 

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.

F. A. KOGAN-BERNSHTEIN

References in periodicals archive ?
With the publication of the Les traites monarchomaques so soon after the appearance of his edited collection Et de sa bouche sortait un glaive (2006), Paul-Alexis Mellet has established himself as the preeminent current scholar of the so-called Monarchomaque approach to armed resistance to tyranny that emerged in the late sixteenth century.
The first part concentrates on the formation of the distinctive identity of the Monarchomaque "movement" out of a diverse set of texts, many of which will not be familiar to readers possessing only a casual acquaintance with late sixteenth-century political thought.
The second section considers the circumstances of the production and circulation of the Monarchomaque texts.
The third and final part of Mellet's book surveys the positive political ideals of the Monarchomaque authors.
8) For the author of one of the most famous monarchomaque texts, Theodore de Beze, a tyrant is one who "orders something manifestly irreligious or unjust".
While on the one hand the Troade remains much more respectful of royal authority than monarchomaque texts in that it does not even suggest the possibility of resistance to tyranny, on the other hand it proposes perhaps a more radically undermining worldview: the implication that the moral order can simply no longer be reliably found in the king or divinity, its traditional sources of authority, and that the remaining guarantor of justice, the personal moral order, promises an ever-widening circle of violence and reprisals.
The term monarchomaque has been used widely, and somewhat loosely, to describe a diverse array of sixteenth-century Protestant authors of a Calvinist orientation who defended some version of the view that kings committed to a tyrannical agenda, especially in matters of religious conformity, could legitimately be resisted by their populations.
This thread produces a collection of chapters that stand together as an integrated whole, even as they masterfully extend our understanding of many of the individual writers and texts grouped together under the monarchomaque rubric.
Thierry Menissier traces some of the relevant intellectual contexts for the emergence of monarchomaque teachings about the relations of obedience that ought to obtain between princes, magistrates, and subjects.
Even the king and the queen (Charles IX, Catherine of Medici, and Henry III) were not spared by the doctrine of the Monarchomaques, who threatened the authority of the king.
Includes: Thierry Menissier, "La place des Monarchomaques dans le debat sur les relations d'obeissance au XVI siecle"; Cornel Zwierlein, "La loi de Dieu et l'obligation a la defense: de Florence a Magdeburg (1494-1550)"; Paul-Alexis Mellet, "Nouveaux espaces et autre temps: le probleme de la Saint-Barthelemy et l'horizon europeen des Monarchomaques"; Hugues Daussy, "L'insertion des Vindiciae contra tyrannos dans le combat politique aux Pays-Bas"; Robert M.
Lea Ambassadears de Mathieu de Morgues er de Jose de Pellicer y Tovar"; Hubert Carrier, "Des guerres de religion a Ia Frond e, l'hdrirage des monarchomaques dans lea Mazarinades"; and Frank Learringan, "Musset er la Renaissance.