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Divine Right of Kings

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The Divine Right of Kings is the theory that monarchs rule by God's direct appointment. This doctrine is based on the belief that monarch is a divinely ordained institution, that kings are accountable for their acts to God alone, and that non-resistance and passive obedience on the part of subjects is enjoined by God.

There were numerous exponents of this position in England and Scotland, the most famous of them being himself a king, James VI of Scotland, later James I of England. A few years later, Sir Robert Filmer presented a slightly different version of the doctrine, which became almost a bible to the adherents of the later kings of the House of Stuart.

The doctinr, however, received a sharp setback with the expulsion of James II in the Glorious Revolution of 1688, and a mortal blow in the French Revolution. Nevertheless, in the early years of the 20th century, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany proclaimed phrases derived from the old theory.