Muhammad XI

Muhammad XI

Muhammad XI, d. 1538, last sultan of Granada in Spain (1482-92); also called Boabdil by the Spanish. He seized the throne from his father and thus plunged Granada into civil war at the time the Castilians were beginning their attack on the kingdom. As the Christians overran western Granada, Muhammad secretly promised (1487) them that he would surrender the city of Granada in return for some cities held by the rival Granadian party. However, he repudiated the agreement, and in Apr., 1491, the Castilians laid siege to Granada. After valiant resistance, Muhammad surrendered in Jan., 1492, and fled to Morocco. His surrender marked the end of Moorish rule in Spain, and he is the subject of a number of romantic legends.
Throughout history monarchies have been abolished either through legislative reforms, coups d'etat, or wars.

One example is the overthrow in 1649 of the English monarchy by the Parliament of England, led by Oliver Cromwell. The monarchy was restored in 1660. Another is the abolition of the French monarchy in 1792, during the French Revolution. The French monarchy was later restored several times until 1871. The ancient monarchy of China ceased to exist in 1912 after the revolution of Sun Yat-sen. The last emperor of Korea lost his throne in 1910 when the country was annexed by Japan. After the death of the last khagan in 1924 Mongolia became a republic.

In 1893 foreign business leaders overthrew the Queen of the Kingdom of Hawaii. They established a republic, which joined the United States in 1898. The monarchy of Portugal was overthrown in 1910, two years after the assassination of King Carlos I.

World War I saw perhaps the most fundamental abolishment of monarchies in history. The conditions inside Russia and the poor performance in the war gave rise to a communist revolution which toppled the entire institution of the monarchy, executed the Tsar and implemented a proletarian dictatorship. The losing monarch empires of Germany, Austria and Turkey saw the abolishment of their monarchies in the close aftermath of the war. During the war, monarchies were planned for the Grand Duchy of Finland (to have a Finnish King), and for Lithuania (Mindaugas II of Lithuania), with a protectorate-like dependency of Germany. Both kings renounced their thrones after Germany's defeat in November 1918.

In 1939 Italy invaded Albania and removed the existing King Zog and instated the Italian King as its new monarch. Italy, along with the other eastern European monarchies of Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania joined with Germany in World War II against the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, the western allies and the Soviet Union. As the axis powers came to a defeat in the war, communist partisans in occupied Yugoslavia and occupied Albania seized power and ended the monarchies. Communists in Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania removed their monarchies with strong backing by the Soviet Union which had many troops and supporters placed there during the course of the war. The King of Italy had switched sides during the war in favour of the western allies, but a referendum in 1946 saw the monarchy ended there as well. A unique feature of the war was the Japanese Emperor who had held a debated but important role in Japan's warfare against the allied powers, being reduced in stature from a divine monarch to a figurehead one by the occupying United States, instead of being abolished altogether.

In Greece the king was forced into exile after a coup d'état in 1967 and the republic was proclaimed in 1973 (confirmed by referendum in 1974).

The monarchies of India, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe were abolished when, or shortly after, they became independent of the United Kingdom, while remaining within the Commonwealth in the middle of the 20th century. That of Ireland was not abolished when Ireland became independent of the United Kingdom in the 1920s, but was abolished by the Republic of Ireland Act of 1948, which came into force in 1949. Pakistan became a republic in 1956. The monarchy in South Africa was abolished in 1961 with referendum. The latest country to become a Commonwealth republic was Mauritius in 1992.

That of Egypt was abolished after a coup d'état in 1952; that of Tunisia in 1957, that of Iraq in 1958, that of Libya in 1969, that of Iran was abolished by the Islamic revolution of 1979. In Ethiopia the emperor lost his throne in 1975 due to a communist takeover. Communist revolutions put to end the monarchies of Indochina after World War II: Vietnam in 1955, Laos in 1975 and Cambodia in 1970. Later the monarchy was restored in Cambodia under Norodom Sihanouk in 1993.

Brazil rejected an attempt to restore its monarchy in the 1990s , while efforts to restore the monarchies of some of the Balkan states in the former Eastern Bloc continue. In Bulgaria, Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, who was deposed from the Bulgarian throne in 1946, was elected and recently served as the Prime Minister of his country from 2001 to 2005. In a 1999 referendum, the voters of Australia rejected a proposal to abolish their monarchy in favour of a specific republic model. The proposal was rejected in all states, with only the Australian Capital Territory passing the proposal.

On December 24, 2007, the Nepalese government decided in an accord to abolish the monarchy after the elections to be held in April, 2008. The Nepalese monarchy was formally abolished on 28 May, 2008.

Monarchies abolished in the 20th-21st centuries

Country Last Monarch Year Annotations
Portugal Manuel II 1910 revolution
Korea Sunjong native monarchy abolished; replaced by rule by Japan, a monarchy, through 1945
China Puyi 1912 Xīnhài Revolution – Emperor ousted by warlords and republicans
Albania William I 1914 monarchy restored in 1928 (Albanian Kingdom)
Russia Nikolai II 1917 February Revolution
Montenegro Nikola I 1918 referendum deposed King and united with Serbia
Germany Wilhelm II All on account of German defeat in World War I and the following German Revolution
Bavaria Ludwig III
Württemberg Wilhelm II
Saxony Friedrich August III
Hesse Ernst Ludwig I
Baden Friedrich II
Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach Wilhelm Ernst I
Mecklenburg-Schwerin Friedrich Franz IV
Oldenburg Friedrich August II
Brunswick Ernst August I
Anhalt Joachim Ernst I
Saxe-Coburg and Gotha Carl Eduard I
Saxe-Meiningen Bernhard III
Saxe-Altenburg Ernst II
Waldeck-Pyrmont Friedrich I
Lippe Leopold IV
Schaumburg-Lippe Adolf II
Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt Günther Victor I
Reuss Senior Line
Reuss Junior Line
Austria Karl I deposed and monarchy abolished
Finland Frederick Charles I (king-elect) never in effect
Lithuania Mindaugas II (king-elect)
Poland None (ruled by Regency Council)
Hungary Károly IV restored 1920, although throne remained vacant with a Regent
Bukhara (Uzbekistan) Mohammed Alim Khan 1920
Khiva (Uzbekistan) Abdallah Khan
Turkey (Ottoman Empire) Mehmed VI 1923 Turkish War of Independence followed by a parliamentary decision in 1923
Caliphate Abdülmecid II 1924
Greece Georgios II 1924 restored 1935 and later abolished in 1974 (see below)
Mongolia Bogd Khan
Spain Alfonso XIII 1931 later restored (see below)
Croatia Tomislav II 1943 abdicated after withdrawal of Italian support
Iceland Christian X 1944 union with Denmark terminated
Yugoslavia Petar II 1945 communist reconstruction
Manchukuo Puyi merged into the Republic of China after abolition of the Empire
Hungary None (Miklós Horthy as regent) 1946 Decision of the parliament without a referendum.
Italy Umberto II referendum; official result: 54,3% in favour of republic
Bulgaria Simeon II referendum initiated by the Soviets; official result: 95% against monarchy
Albania Zog I deposed by Communists
Sarawak Charles Vyner Brooke White Rajahs hand over power to British crown
Romania Mihai I 1947 forced out by communists
Indian Princely States See article 1947-
became federal states of an independent India
Ireland George VI 1949 Abolished the last "King of Ireland", the King of the United Kingdom
India George VI 1950 Abolished Commonwealth monarchy
Egypt Fu'ād II 1953 coup d'état
Vietnam Bảo Đại 1955 referendum
Pakistan Elizabeth II 1956 Abolished Commonwealth monarchy
Tunisia Muhammad VIII al-Amin 1957 coup d'état
Iraq Faisal II 1958
Ghana Elizabeth II 1960 Abolished Commonwealth monarchy
South Africa 1961
Rwanda Kigeli V coup d'état
Tanganyika Elizabeth II 1962 Abolished Commonwealth monarchy
Yemen Muhammad XI coup d'état
Nigeria Elizabeth II 1963 Abolished Commonwealth monarchy
Kenya 1964
Zanzibar Jamshid bin Abdullah coup d'état
Burundi Ntare V 1966
Malawi Elizabeth II Abolished Commonwealth monarchy
Maldives Muhammad Fareed Didi 1968 referendum
Libya Idris I 1969 coup d'état
Cambodia Norodom Sihanouk 1970 later restored (see below)
The Gambia Elizabeth II Abolished Commonwealth monarchy
Sierra Leone 1971
Ceylon 1972 Abolished Commonwealth monarchy, state name changed in to "Sri Lanka"
Afghanistan Mohammed Zahir Shah 1973 coup d'état
Ethiopia Haile Selassie I 1974
Greece Konstantinos II referendum; official result: 69% against monarchy
Malta Elizabeth II Abolished Commonwealth monarchy
Laos Savang Vatthana 1975 coup d'état
Sikkim Palden Thondup Namgyal referendum; official result: 97% to become a state of India
Trinidad and Tobago Elizabeth II 1976 Abolished Commonwealth monarchy
Iran Mohammad Reza Pahlavi 1979 Iranian Revolution
Central Africa Bokassa I coup d'état
Fiji Elizabeth II 1987 Abolished Commonwealth monarchy. Queen Elizabeth II recognised as Paramount Chief by the Great Council of Chiefs
Mauritius Elizabeth II 1992 Abolished Commonwealth monarchy
Samoa Malietoa Tanumafili II 2007 Last non-elected ruler (O le Ao o le Malo) died, country de facto switched to parliamentary republic
Nepal Gyanendra I 2008 Monarchy abolished on 28 May 2008, replaced with secular federal republic

Current monarchies that were abolished and then restored

Country Year Annotations Restored
England 1649 Commonwealth of England established 1660
Spain 1873 First Spanish Republic established 1874
1931 Second Spanish Republic established, then restored in 1947 (de jure), initially under the regency of Francisco Franco 1975
(de facto)
Ankole 1967 Abolished by government under new constitution of Milton Obote 1993
Cambodia 1970 coup d'état 1975
1976 King forced into exile once again by Khmer Rouge 1993

See also


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