Saturday, April 18, 2009


Usually refers, in its political meaning, to a ruler's renunciation of the supreme power of the state. Abdication may be voluntary, as in the case of Queen Christina of Sweden, who abdicated her throne in 1654 partly because she wished to become a Roman Catholic. Many Abdications, however, indicate the failure of reign and the loss of power, and only superficially involve the free will of the sovereign. The abdication of Tsar Nicholas II, which immediately preceded the Russian Revolution in 1917, was brought on by social unrest intensified by World War II. Abdication differs from resignation in that abdication implies the relinquishing of an office held by law or by hereditary right, whereas resignation involves the surrender of an office to one from whom the office was received. Absolute sovereigns are free to relinquish their powers at any time, nut limited, or constitutional, monarchs may not do so. It has not been lawful since 1688 for the King of England to abdicated without the consent of both houses of Parliament.

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