98

In 1699, Johann Adam Andreas von Liechtenstein bought Schellenberg and in 1712 the county of Vaduz. The county was operating under feudal principles, thus perhaps might not be considered a country in the modern meaning, but comes close. Schellenberg and Vaduz have been united in 1718, got the status of Fürstentum and were renamed to Liechtenstein, the name ...


82

The USSR didn't tend to go in for economic competition, but it made good use of intellectual competition and competition for prestige. It was also relatively good at creating organisations that did a specific thing, and kept on doing that. The competition between the MiG and Sukhoi fighter design offices, for example, was quite significant, driven by ...


52

The abdication of King Edward VIII of United Kingdom in 1936 was achieved without any bloodshed and resulted in ascension and coronation of his brother George as King of the United Kingdom. Although legally an abdication there is no doubt that his hand was forced by Parliament as well as Prime Ministers of several Commonwealth dominions. On 16 November ...


50

Theoretically, wars are still supposed to be declared. To quote the Hague Convention III of 1907: The Contracting Powers recognize that hostilities between themselves must not commence without previous and explicit warning, in the form either of a reasoned declaration of war or of an ultimatum with conditional declaration of war. However, after searching ...


48

Murad V, Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 30 May to 31 August 1876 was deposed by the Ottoman cabinet on the grounds of insanity. The Grand Mufti (seyhulislam) issued a fetva justifying the act on grounds of insanity, which was supported by a medical statement signed by several Istanbul physicians declaring that it was unlikely that Murat could ever ...


47

In certain sense yes. Didius Julianus purchased the position of the Roman emperor in 193. This position was actually auctioned by Praetorian guards to the highest bidder, the Wikipedia article on Didius Julianus contains a short account. Of course one can argue in what sense a Roman emperor "owned" the country. But at that time the emperors were absolute ...


41

In 1946, Italy held a referendum to change from being a kingdom to a republic. The last king of Italy, Umberto II, left the country peacefully to live the rest of his life abroad. He also absolved all the soldiers and other civil servants from their oath of fealty to the king.


32

Queen Elizabeth II has been deposed many times and I guess holds the record for the most times someone has been deposed (peaceful or not). This has happened many times when a former British colony became independent and, after a period of independence with the Queen as head of state, declared itself a republic with a president. Most of these did it ...


32

Genuinely like John Dallman's answer, but I'll add some to it: Outside of Party political games, one way to live a better life in the USSR was to hold a position prized by the Party. And something that was very much rewarded was anything that allowed the Communist system to get ahead of their enemies in fields that could lead to military advances. So it ...


27

In 1846, The East India Company annexed the Kashmir Valley, Jammu, Ladakh, and Gilgit-Baltistan from the Sikhs, and then transferred it to Raja Gulab Singh of Jammu in return for an indemnity payment of 7.5 Million (Nanakshahee) Rupees, making it an interesting incident in the history when a private company (annexed and) sold a state. [1][2]


24

It is in the Constitution - implicitly. The it "isn't anywhere in the constitution" argument is frequently popular to different groups on different topics, but in this case at least has no legal basis in jurisprudence. The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court ... The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and ...


24

this quote wasn't by ONE minister, it was by the whole French General Staff. page 3 The French military then dabbled briefly with the concept, creating two companies of paratroopers in 1936, but the experiment was dismissed by the French General Staff as “a circus act” and abolished before the war started. Piehl, Hauptmann. Ganze Männer. ...


23

As other answers have mentioned, there were state and local laws that prohibited alcohol before the Constitutional amendment. And there is the obvious fact that a Constitutional amendment is a more permanent measure than a normal law, which would require a more complex measure to overturn. (There may be a parallel to the moves in recent years to enshrine ...


23

The official, factual side As unsatisfactory as that might sound @JMS is rightly focussing on first Göring and then Dönitz/Goebbels, although the later declined to survive so that Schwerin von Krosigk was stepped up. But that is really it, as this is most typical of a dictatorship that is based on the love of the people for that very person. This is ...


22

The answer to this question depends somewhat on the kingdom, geography, and era. The ancient Achamaemenid Empire of Persia (Iran) was arguably the first true empire in history, and spanned a sizeable amount of territory. It made use of regularly stationed outputs with stables always containing well-fed and well-rested horses, for messengers to quickly get ...


22

The short answer is that it didn't. Monarchies did not become more common, and Europe in general did not adopt absolutist rule, immediately after the fall of Rome. First, to answer your literal question, monarchies were already common before Rome fell. Imperial Rome was itself a monarchy, even though the imperators were initially careful to maintain the ...


21

In British parlance the Royal Navy is The Senior Service due to having been created as a permanent establishment in Tudor times, while the Army only became permanent a few centuries later. The importance of a distinction is the need for military officers to know, at all times, who is the most senior for command purposes. Within each service officers at a ...


19

Most likely because it was signed by Sir Robert Howard of Ashtead, Surrey[1], son of Thomas Howard the 1st Earl of Berkshire. As a royalist, he was made Clerk of Patents in Chancery[2] in June 1660, presumably as a reward. He appears to have stayed in that position until 1664[3]. Letters patents, including royal charters, are not signed by the Lord Privy ...


18

FDR was not the first president to come to power during a financial "panic" (aka: Recession or Depression). However, he was the first one after the advent of modern economics, and he was listening to the new economists. Economically, banning private holding of gold had the effect of propping up the US currency. Normally in hard times (and I think 1933 ...


18

There are two questions here. The first question is about which Western air minister former Generaloberst Kurt Student was referring to in Chapter 32 of The Soviet Army. The second is whether that claim actually had any basis in fact. The first question is easy to answer. The claim originates in the book Ganze Männer by Hauptmann Piehl, and it is ...


18

Augusto Pinochet, after 15 years as the dictator of Chile, stepped out of power because on the 5th October 1988 he lost a referendum with about 44% of votes and he accepted that result. Benito Mussolini fell from power after the Grand Council of Fascism passed a vote of no confidence on him. After that, he was dismissed by King Victor Emmanuel III.


17

The official statistics on the number of federal employees (excluding army and postal service) between 1960 and 2005 are available at http://www.opm.gov/feddata/html/ExecBranch.asp. The data only shows the numbers at the end of each fiscal year (which at the time ended in June), so if we take Kennedy's presidency as lasting roughly from the start of 1961 (...


17

Yes. Absolutism is rarely, if ever, as absolute as the name suggests. Even after the ascension of Louis XIV, the Estates of France continued to meet in assemblies. The most famous and powerful was of course the Estates General, a national body which admittedly only met once in this period. And it ended up ushering in the French Revolution. However, on the ...


17

Are you perhaps thinking of Maryland Senator George W. Vickers? He was elected to the US Senate in 1868, just as the impeachment trial of Andrew Johnson was getting underway. Apparently, men crossed the Chesapeake Bay in an ice-boat to wake him in the middle of the night and inform him of his election. Vickers then hurried to Washington, and was sworn in ...


15

The end of German Democratic Republic , a.k.a. East-Germany, was also quite peaceful. Prior to the German Reunification the GDR government applied some degree of oppression, yet the large-scale, peaceful protest made it quite hard to justify using force. In the end, the GDR held its only free election which brought a government into power that more or less ...


15

In 933 King Rudolph II of Burgundy and King Hugh of Burgundy both wished to rule Italy. So they made a deal. Hugh traded his kingdom of Burgundy to King Rudolph of the other kingdom of Burgundy, thus forming the united kingdom of Burgundy or Arles, in return for Hugh getting the right to rule Italy undisturbed (by Rudolph at least). So this is an example ...


14

Prohibition required a constitutional amendment, because the Federal government does not have the power to regulate intra-state commerce. The majority of states and many localities had already banned the sale of alcohol. The progressive and women's suffrage movements saw banning alcohol as a way to improve living conditions for women and children and reduce ...


14

The "persisted for at least a few generations" and "conscious educated decision" requirements really nailed the coffin in this case. Especially that latter. It is not altogether uncommon to find organised states collapse; while the result might meet some definitions of anarchy, none of them really made a "conscious educated decision" to practice anarchism. ...


13

Throughout history this has proven to be a difficult task for a number of empires, including the Greeks, the Chinese, the Persians, and the Romans. The larger their territory, the more difficult it became to manage and control them. The real shortcoming was in the inability to communicate quickly and effectively. In some instances, those who needed ...


13

I think the answer lies in the Chinese idea of the Mandate of Heaven. Literally the ruler was allowed to rule because heaven blessed him. This idea goes all the way back to the Zhou dynasty (1046–256 BC). Added to this was the philosophy of Confucian Relationships. This gave a very fixed notion of who had what position in society and why. The King or Emperor ...


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