The History of Leith

August 9, 2012

Monarchomachs

The Monarchomachs (French: Monarchomaques) were originally French Huguenot theorists who opposed absolute monarchy at the end of the 16th century, known in particular for having theoretically justified tyrannicide. The term was originally a pejorative word coined in 1600 by the Scottish royalist and Catholic William Barclay (1548–1608) from the Greek ???????? (monarchos – “monarch, sole ruler”) and ??????? (“makhomai” – the verb meaning “to fight”), meaning “those who fight against monarchs.”

Born out of the context of the French Wars of Religion, they were most active between 1573, a year after the St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre, and 1584. The Monarchomachs pleaded in favour of a form of “popular sovereignty.” Arguing for a sort of contract between the sovereign and the people, they have been considered as the precursors of social contract theories, for more click here

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