According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a monarchy is undivided rule or absolute sovereignty by a single person. For example, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is governed by a monarchy.
There are several types of monarchies. Some have absolute power, tempting them to tyrannical behavior, while others are limited in what they can do by a constitution. Since the mid-twentieth century, many of the constitutional are confined to largely passive or advisory roles.
Most monarchies are hereditary, meaning the title of monarch passes from one member of a ruling family to another member of the same family. A series of rulers from the same family would constitute a dynasty. This feature makes them largely unaccountable to the people they govern. Very few monarchs are elected or semi-elected.« Back to Glossary Index