Protestant Monarchies and Catholic Republics

March 21, 2019

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B. Protestant Monarchies and Catholic Republics

An objection could be made to our theses: If the universal republican movement is a fruit of the Protestant spirit, then why is there only one Catholic king in the world today1 while so many Protestant countries continue to be monarchies?

President Reagan and Mrs. Reagan greet King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sophia of Spain for the State Dinner, October 13th, 1981.

The explanation is simple. England, Holland, and the Nordic nations, for a series of historical, psychological, and other reasons, have a great affinity with monarchy. When the Revolution penetrated them, it could not prevent the monarchical sentiment from “coagulating.” Thus, royalty obstinately continues to survive in those countries, even though the Revolution is penetrating deeper and deeper in other fields. “Surviving” … yes, to the extent that dying slowly can be called surviving. The English monarchy, reduced largely to a role of mere display, and the other Protestant monarchies, transformed for most intents and purposes into republics whose heads hold life-long hereditary office, are quietly agonizing. If things continue as they are, these monarchies will die out in silence.

Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.

Without denying that other causes contribute to this survival, we wish to stress this very important factor, which falls within the scope of our exposition.

On the contrary, in the Latin nations the love for an external and visible discipline and for a strong and prestigious public authority is, for many reasons, much smaller.

Crown Prince Umberto of Italy with his sisters Maria and Giovanna in the Vatican, along with Marquis Don Giovanni Battista Sacchetti, Major of the Apostolic Palace.

Consequently, the Revolution did not find in them such a deep-rooted monarchical sentiment. It easily swept away their thrones. But heretofore, it has not been sufficiently strong to overthrow religion.

1 The author is referring to the King of the Belgians. Subsequently, in 1975, Prince Juan Carlos was sworn in as King of Spain.-Ed.

Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, Revolution and Counter-Revolution (York, Penn.: The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property, 1993), Part I, Ch. VI, Pgs. 34 & 35.

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