Deposing Monarchs analyses depositions in Northern Europe between 1500 and 1700 as a type of frequent political conflict which allows to present new ideas on early modern state formation, monarchy, and the conventions of royal rulership.
The book revises earlier conceptualizations of depositions as isolated, unique events that emerged in the context of national historiographies. An examination of the official legitimations of depositions reveals that in times of crisis, concepts of tradition, rule of law, and political consensus are much more influential than the divine right of kings. Tracing the similarities and differences of depositions in Northern Europe transnationally and diachronically, the book shows monarchical succession as more non-linear than previously presumed. It offers a transferable model of the different elements needed in depositions, such as opposition to the monarch by multiple groups in a realm, the need for a convincing rival candidate, and a legitimation based on political traditions or religious ideas. Furthermore, the book bolsters our understanding of authority and rule as a constant process of negotiation, adding to recent research on political culture, and on the cultural history of politics.
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