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American Monarchies:

There've been plenty of dictatorships in the Americas, and plenty of places ruled by European monarchs. What, however, was the last North or South American state (and not merely a tribe or collection of tribes) that was ruled by a locally resident monarch?

I have a guess as to the answer in the comments, but I'm not positive that I'm right.

UPDATE: Whoops, at first omitted the italicized "locally resident." I am not looking for the "plenty of places ruled by European monarchs" (in the sense of those who live in Europe) but rather for an American country ruled by a monarch who sits within that country (regardless of where he was born).

Eugene Volokh (www):
Brazil, which was an empire throughout most of the 1800s, until 1889.
4.16.2006 1:42am
Freddy Hill (mail):
Last time I checked, Canada is still a monarchy, and its current head of government is QE2.
4.16.2006 1:57am
Freddy Hill (mail):
Sorry, ammend that. QE2 is not Canada's head of Gevernment, but head of STATE.
4.16.2006 2:01am
Joel H (mail):
Hawaii had a monarch until 1893, although at 2300 miles offshore it probably doesn't count as North or South America. Still, North America does appear to be its closest continent.
4.16.2006 2:13am
SLS 1L:
I was going to suggest the United States, ruled by Emperor Norton from 1859 to 1880. Since nobody succeeded Norton in office, Eugene's 1889 end date for Brazil's monarchy trumps.
4.16.2006 2:20am
Brian G (mail) (www):
The United States January 20, 2001-January 20, 2009.

OK, I'm just kidding. I just wanted to beat a liberal to it.
4.16.2006 2:22am
SteveK:
Depending on whether this question encompasses rule from afar there are a few other possibilities. Cuba was ruled by the Spanish King until 1898. The Virgin Islands were ruled by the Danish King until 1917. Were these states under your meaning?
4.16.2006 3:00am
AlanR (mail):
Two countries on the South American mainland were monarchies until the seventies. Guyana (formerly British Guiana)was not decolonised until 1966. Its neighbour Surinam (formerly Dutch Guiana) also beats the previous suggestions with decolonisation, still under the crown, in 1954. Dutch Queen ceased to be head of state there in 1975, making it five years later than Guyana in formally becoming a republic.
4.16.2006 4:22am
Alan K. Henderson (mail) (www):
Does Fidel Castro count as an absolute monarch?
4.16.2006 7:01am
jurisprude:
Judging from his post, in which he notes that many places in the Americas have been ruled by European monarchs, I think Eugene was likely asking about indigenous monarchies, i.e., states that established monarchies independent of any european rule. Canada, Cuba, the Virgin Islands, Surinam, and Guyana would all be out. Brazil would still be in.

I don't have a guess. Just trying to keep this place honest!
4.16.2006 7:30am
The River Temoc (mail):
Not only Canada, but what about Greenland? It is still under the Danish monarchy, right?
4.16.2006 8:30am
David Newton:
As others have said Canada is a monarchy. There are also Jamaica, Barbados, The Bahamas, Greneda, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and Grenadines, Antigua and Barbuda, Belize and St Kitts and Nevis which are monarchies.

They also cannot properly be called places ruled by a European monarch anymore. Elizabeth II is queen of those realms separately from being queen of the United Kingdom.
4.16.2006 9:21am
Bruce Hayden (mail) (www):
I would think that all these countries where QEII is head of state would qualify. After all, that is her position back in the U.K., with Tony Blair being head of government. These functions have been separated for quite awhile now over there, and it seems to work reasonably well. Indeed, I have seen suggestions that we might do better if we had separated them, maybe more in the French model of a president and a prime minister.
4.16.2006 9:35am
pgepps (www):
Greenland is not in the Americas, and Denmark is in Europe. Down by two.

Brazil sounds good to me, but I'm far from encyclopedic on this.
4.16.2006 9:39am
nste (mail):
The thing is the Emperors of Brazil were imports, princes from the Portugese royal family, just like the short lived Hapsburg empire of Mexico. So if we restrict ourselves to indigenous royalty probably the last native king was Tupac Amaru I (d. 1572), the last Inca, unless you count Tupac Amaru II (a descendant who lead a short uprising and died in 1781). If we allow Europeans then obviously the Queen is still queen of Canada, etc.

So I say Tupac Amaru I. Anyone going to call me?
4.16.2006 9:58am
Frank Drackmann (mail):
How about the Sultan of Swat?
4.16.2006 10:02am
Shangui (mail):
Run DMC:

"I'm the king of rock, there is none HIGHER, sucka MCs, should call me SIRE, to burn my kingdom, you must use FIRE, I wont stop rockin till I RETIRE!"

Or Elvis.
4.16.2006 10:34am
Sha_kri:
Greenland is part of the North American continent last time I checked and the Danish King, err Queen, does rule there.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenland
4.16.2006 10:35am
R. G. Lacsamana (mail):
If we include a military monarch, then it has to be Fidel Castro. Who else has held his country in his tight grip for so long? His counterparts in South America come and go, and I believe that's because citizens in those countries have become more enlightened. After Castro, absolutely monarchy will be but painful memory.
4.16.2006 10:36am
markm (mail):
Does the Danish monarch rule, or just reign? There is a difference, and Eugene used the word "rule". To me, that requires some degree of direct political power, not just being a revered living symbol. I do not know for sure about Denmark, but England is ruled by Parliament and the Prime Minister.

OTOH, Canada and the British possessions may count here, depending on whether Queen Victoria ruled or not.
4.16.2006 10:48am
Frank Drackmann (mail):
The Pope of Greenwich Village
4.16.2006 10:55am
Tim Howland (mail) (www):
How about Maximilian I, emperor of Mexico 1863 - 1867?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maximilian_I_of_Mexico
4.16.2006 10:58am
nste (mail):
Tim, Eugene specifically asked for a non-European monarch.

Maximilian was a Hapsburg princeling.

I believe that the remnant of the Inca empire, which the Spainards maintained diplomatic relations with, was the last part of Latin America not ruled by the Spainish. I'm no expert on this however, but I think they were the last hold-outs.
4.16.2006 11:06am
Freder Frederson (mail):
To me, that requires some degree of direct political power, not just being a revered living symbol. I do not know for sure about Denmark, but England is ruled by Parliament and the Prime Minister.

The question of the Queen's power is a very interesting one. On paper, she still has almost absolute power (e.g., Parliament cannot meet until she officially opens it and she is commander in chief of the military, titular head of the Church of England). But of course if she ever tried to exercise the theoretical power she holds, she would be deposed in a heartbeat and would have to get a real job. Most of the other European countries that still retain their monarchies have completely removed them from legal power at all, not so in England.
4.16.2006 11:08am
McGehee (never been able to log in) (mail) (www):
Under the terms of the update, Maximilian can be considered -- but since his reign ended in the 1860s he probably doesn't win.


"...an American country ruled by a monarch who sits within that country (regardless of where he was born)."
4.16.2006 11:32am
Sha_kri:
I think the definition of King is too much of a gray area. Indigenous American peoples had chiefs which certainly retain all or some of the powers that the European monarchies retained. With that said, there are still 100's, if not 1000's, of chiefs in america.
4.16.2006 12:09pm
DoubleDownRob:
As i read it, the question was locally resident king, not necessarily locally born king. thus, i think Maximilian would count, and so would the portugese monarchs who lived in Brazil and ruled. I can't think of a monarchy on the North or South American continent after 1889, so i'm going to go with the Professor on this one.
4.16.2006 12:33pm
DoubleDownRob:
Oh, and happy Easter/Spring Pagan Reproductive Festival/Bunny Logoed Spring Corporate Holiday to you all.
4.16.2006 12:35pm
Frank Drackmann (mail):
Chief Wahoo still rules over the Cleveland Indians, also known as the "Tribe" Chief Nok-a-Homa of the Braves nation has gone to the great diamond in the sky though.
4.16.2006 1:04pm
Cornellian (mail):
The question of the Queen's power is a very interesting one. On paper, she still has almost absolute power (e.g., Parliament cannot meet until she officially opens it and she is commander in chief of the military, titular head of the Church of England). But of course if she ever tried to exercise the theoretical power she holds, she would be deposed in a heartbeat and would have to get a real job. Most of the other European countries that still retain their monarchies have completely removed them from legal power at all, not so in England.

This kind of system is pretty useful in a country that doesn't have the formal constitutional restraints on the power of government than the United States has. For example, if a Prime Minister decides he's tired of elections and declares he's decided not to call anymore elections and to change all his stationery to say "Prime Minister for Life" it's not at all certain that the Queen at that point would be unable to dissolve Parliament and call an election without being deposed. No one knows how that scenario would turn out and that uncertainty is a useful thing for keeping Prime Ministers from going completely nuts.
4.16.2006 1:32pm
T.R.:
Prime Minister for Life doesn't really have a "ring" to it; "Perpetual Prime Minister" on the other hand ... (taking a cue from Diaz, the "Presidente Perpetual" of Mexico).

Also, the best answer so far has to be Brazil. A close reading of the question indicates chiefs of indian tribes are out, as are monarchs residing in Europe or elsewhere beyond the Americas, e.g. Queen Elizabeth. It does not, however, exclude monarchs of European descent residing in the Americas, e.g. Emporer Maximillian. When answering a law-prof's question, always "read the question!" first, especially come finals time.
4.16.2006 2:02pm
Gray (mail):
You might consider Jean-Jacques Dessalines who made himself Emperor of Haiti shortly after it had declared itself a republic in 1804. It was declared a rpublic again shortly tahat.

Still if the criteria is locally resident, I think Maximilian fits the bill, he was "locally resident" albeit of Eurpean origin.
4.16.2006 2:19pm
lee (mail):
What is hard about "locally resident?" I am trying to visualize Christian or Frederick number whatever sitting on his throne in Greenland. The Emperor of Brazil(though born in Portugal) was locally resident and no longer ruler of Portugal. Brazil it is.
4.16.2006 2:47pm
lee (mail):
Let me correct myself. Dom Pedro II was born in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.
4.16.2006 2:52pm
Timothy Sandefur (mail) (www):
Oh, I thought the answer is San Francisco, which was ruled by the United States Emperor Norton I, until 1880.
4.16.2006 2:58pm
Bruce Hayden (mail) (www):
It has been quite awhile since a king or queen realy ruled in much the world. Rather, the mostly reign as head of state. The queen in Hawaii, as I understand her, was probably in the middle.

The problem I see is that this transition is often not abrupt. In England, the process of devolution of power probably began when Black John Lackland met with his barons at Runnymede, and continues to the present day. Of QEII's predecessors, QEI was still probably "ruling", whereas Victoria was mostly reigning, and the present monarch has even less actual power.
4.16.2006 3:07pm
Randy R. (mail):
Don't forget, Alaska was part of the russian empire until we bought it in the 1860s. Although the request was for a non-European ruler, arguments have been made that Russia is not a European country.
4.16.2006 3:30pm
Bruce Wilder (www):
The transition to constitutional monarchy began with the slow motion overthrow of feudalism in the 16th and 17th century in the Netherlands and Britain. Anne, the last of the Stuarts, and therefore the last monarch whose claim to the throne rested on ancestry more than parliamentary mandate, was also the last British monarch to exercise the veto. William IV reluctantly cooperated in Lord Grey's threat to create a Whig majority in the House of Lords in order to force passage of the Reform Act of 1832. That was the last exercise of authority for an important political end that I know of.

But, monarchs in other countries continued to exercise political power. Wilhelm II exercised his considerable authority in the German Empire for political ends right to the end of the first World War. Ditto for the Russian Czar and the Hapsburg monarch. But, then the first World War was the end of feudalism for much of central and eastern Europe.

The new world never really had feudalism, per se, although there were some attempts to institute something like it in colonial regimes, including the Dutch manorial system in New York, as well as various Spanish schemes.

Unless, there was some obscure claim of monarchical status in a minor country, I would think Brazil's emperor was the last to meet the Professor's criteria.
4.16.2006 3:37pm
Kevin L. Connors (mail) (www):
There are certainly several problems with definition of terms here, Eugene. While not an absolute, in modern usage, a monarch is considered a hereditary ruler. While Bashar al-Asad's official title is President of Syria, few would argue that he is not a hereditary ruler. Further, it does not matter that a monarch achieves power by inheritance; few would argue that William I did not become monarch of England in 1066. As it is generally agreed that Raoul Castro is heir apparent to brother Fidel, it would follow that Fidel is monarch over Cuba.

Further, there seems to be some confusion amongst the readers as to the status of Greenland. While it was integrated into Denmark with the new constitution of 1953, it was granted self-rule in 1979. Margrethe II status with respect to Greenland is similar to Elizabeth II's to Canada.
4.16.2006 3:38pm
Freder Frederson (mail):
Well, this thread has been up for almost twelve hours and no one has said it yet, so I will--how about King George II of the United States. Appointed by the Supreme Court in 2001 and retained by Diebold in 2004.
4.16.2006 4:14pm
Kevin L. Connors (mail) (www):
Oh, but to give you the answer you want: This was covered in the Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions, Semifinal Game 1, Game #1426 - Monday, November 12, 1990: Double Jeopardy! Round, catagory "South America", level $800:

Abdicating in 1889, this Brazilian emperor was the last monarch in the Americas

Answer (Eric Terzuolo): Pedro [actually, Pedro II]
4.16.2006 4:16pm
Average Joe (mail):
Brian G 4.16.2006 1:22am:

The United States January 20, 2001-January 20, 2009.

OK, I'm just kidding. I just wanted to beat a liberal to it

Freder Frederson 4.16.2006 3:14pm:

Well, this thread has been up for almost twelve hours and no one has said it yet, so I will--how about King George II of the United States. Appointed by the Supreme Court in 2001 and retained by Diebold in 2004.
4.16.2006 4:25pm
R.K. in MD (mail):
Henri Christophe in Haiti?
4.16.2006 4:54pm
Robert Schwartz (mail):
Still alive: B.B. King, King of the Blues.
4.16.2006 5:06pm
Syd (mail):
I'm fairly sure Pedro II is the last one.

The last one born in the Western Hemisphere would probably be Agustin de Iturbide, who reigned as Augustus I of Mexico from 1822-23, unless some independent Indian Nation existed after that.

Augustus's grandson, by the way, was the heir apparent of Maximilian.
4.16.2006 5:07pm
Freder Frederson (mail):
Still alive: B.B. King, King of the Blues.

And don't forget his Queen, Lucille.
4.16.2006 5:31pm
Fern:
Kevin--Isn't the correct answer "who is Pedro II?" :-)
4.16.2006 6:00pm
Kevin L. Connors (mail) (www):
LOL Fern. Yeah, I hate that you can't edit comments. :)
4.16.2006 6:08pm
KateCoe (mail):
Neverland, ruled by the King of Pop.
Graceland, ruled by the King of Rock 'n Roll.
Broadway, ruled by the Prince of Players.
Cleavage, ruled by the Queen of brassieres, Selma Koch, NYC.
King of America, Elvis Costello.
King of Kansas City, Roger Miller.
Queen of the Blues, Koko Taylor.
Queen of the Night, Whitney Houston.
Queen of Disco, Donna Summer.
Fats Domino, KING OF RHYTHM AND BLUES
4.16.2006 6:09pm
JosephSlater (mail):
King of America by Elvis Costello rules. And what about the "Sultans of Swing"?
4.16.2006 6:17pm
DoubleDownRob:
Howard Stern, King of All Media
4.16.2006 6:23pm
Adam (mail):
If Hawai'i is counted as part of North America, then Queen Lili'uokali would beat the last Brazilian emperor. The Kingdom of Hawai'i had diplomatic relations with many states in Europe and elsewhere, and was not "merely a tribe".
4.16.2006 6:24pm
Adam (mail):
That would be "Queen Lili'uokalani".
4.16.2006 6:25pm
Andrew Hyman (mail) (www):
Jean-Claude Duvalier became dictator of Haiti at the age of 19, when his father died.
4.16.2006 6:39pm
subpatre (mail):
"King of Pop, King of Rock 'n Roll, Prince of Players..."

The King was Mohammad Ali, the fighter formerly known as Cassius Clay. He was simply, "The King".

Nonetheless, the question asked for "the last North or South American state" ruled by a resident monarch; and even Ali's reign fails that test. Brazil it is.
4.16.2006 6:53pm
Le Messurier (mail):
One might consider James Jesse Strang who was the first and only king in what is the United States. He was king of Beaver Island in Lake Michigan and his Mormon followers from 1850 to June 20, 1856 when he was assasinated.
4.16.2006 6:57pm
btorrez (mail):
KateCoe:

You forgot Solomon Burke The King of Rock &Soul!!!

or how bout the King Family, Freddy, Albert, BB, (who was mentioned), and we'll throw in Claude for good measure.
4.16.2006 6:57pm
Syd (mail):
Gene Chandler was the Duke of Earl, but I'm not sure where the Duchy of Earl was located or if he was an independent monarch or a subordinate noble.
4.16.2006 7:16pm
Syd (mail):
Come to think of it, The Duke of Earl must have been an absolute monarch. Nothing could stop him, which implies there must that the Duchy lacked a system of checks and balances.
4.16.2006 7:23pm
Wild Pegasus (mail) (www):
We know Chandler was, if nothing else, a fount of honours. Once in her arms, she would automatically be granted the title of Duchess of Earl.

- Josh, whoo-oo-oo-oooo-ooh
4.16.2006 8:16pm
C Moss (mail):
Leona Helmeley, the Queen of Mean!
4.16.2006 9:20pm
Kevin L. Connors (mail) (www):
Adam: Note that volcanic islands, such as Hawaii or Iceland, are not considered parts of continents. Ref.
4.16.2006 9:44pm
byomtov (mail):
The Kingfish?
4.16.2006 9:53pm
Toby:
Doesn't matter who's in Austin, Bob Wills is still the king
4.16.2006 10:21pm
jackson dyer (mail):
Did any one mention the Falkland Islands?
4.16.2006 10:44pm
Eugene Volokh (www):
Mr. Frederson demonstrates that any question, no matter how light-hearted, can be turned into an occasion for political axe-grinding.
4.16.2006 10:54pm
Felix of Gainesville (mail) (www):
How about Agustin de Iturbide, Emperor of Mexico (1822-1833)?
4.16.2006 11:28pm
Maniakes (mail) (www):
King Kong?
Larry King?
4.17.2006 12:15am
AlanDownunder (mail):
US dynasties, actual or threatened: Kennedy, Bush, Clinton.
4.17.2006 2:29am
Eugene Volokh (www):
AlanDownUnder and others: Could folks please try to keep answers within the call of the question -- or, if you must depart from the question, at least depart with an attempt at something funny?
4.17.2006 2:37am
Alan K. Henderson (mail) (www):
The last emperor of the Americas has never been in my kitchen.

Somebody had to say it...
4.17.2006 3:20am
speedwell (mail):
From time to time, in libertarian circles, I hear or read about something called "individual sovereignty." I imperfectly understand the concept at best and I'm plenty suspicious of it, but it seems to involve some form of citizenship renunciation and an assertion that the individual "belongs" only to himself. Would such an individual supposedly count as a sovereign monarch over his own property (assuming he has any)?
4.17.2006 8:50am
Jam (mail):
This was fun.

Why would Hawaii be considered part of "the Americas?"

Free the Kingdom of Hawaii now!
4.17.2006 10:39am
Juan Notwithstanding the Volokh:
Muhammed Ali's nickname was "The Greatest." Elvis was "The King."
4.17.2006 11:02am
ak47pundit (www):
King James of Beaver Island in Michigan.

In 1847 James Strang set up a colony for his followers, dissenters from the main body of Mormonism. Strang crowned himself "King James" in 1850. Hatred of the sect by non-Mormons led to the Battle of Pine River in 1853 at present-day Charlevoix. On June 16, 1856, because they hated his authoritarian rule, some of Strang's subjects mortally wounded him. Later in the summer mainlanders drove the Mormons from Beaver Island.

Also the only monarch to have been elected to a seat in Michigan's Legislature.
4.17.2006 11:03am
David Chesler (mail) (www):
The Duke of Earl did not rule over a duchy, but a dukedom.
4.17.2006 11:23am
Freder Frederson (mail):
After Katrina, some guy who was upset with the hurricane relief effort here in New Orleans, seceded from the U.S. and declared that his house and property in Uptown New Orleans was a sovereign nation. I don't know what title he decided upon for himself. (I think he was a lawyer.)
4.17.2006 11:26am
McGehee (never been able to log in) (mail) (www):

The last emperor of the Americas has never been in my kitchen.

Somebody had to say it...


But I'll bet he did use toothpaste.
4.17.2006 11:33am
Gordo:
Related (sort of) question: which is the last American Republic, Monarchy, or Colony to end legal slavery? I think Cuba and Brazil are in the running, but I'm not sure about anywhere else.
4.17.2006 12:17pm
pgepps (www):
Just wanted to acknowledge the error: Greenland should be considered North American; I got my childhood "largest islands" and continents lists mixed up. Point about the location of the Danish monarchs stands.

So, out by one, not two. Oops.
PGE
4.17.2006 12:54pm
M G (mail):
Emperor Norton I of course!
He was the self declared "Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico" from 1859-1880. Now sure he didn't have any official royal crown or throne or light saber, but clothes do not an emperor make. He had the love of the people of San Francisco and he repeatedly ordered Congress to be dissolved.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emperor_Norton_I
4.17.2006 1:16pm
Steveo987 (mail):
It's too bad no one mentioned Emperor Norton.
4.17.2006 1:24pm
rvman (mail):
Leslie King, Jr. ruled the USA from 1974-1977, as an unelected ruler. He used an alias, of course.
4.17.2006 1:27pm
Martyn A.:
Obvously the correct answer depends on determining the original intent of the questioner. As best I understand, in full form it would read: Who was the last monarch (a) of a sovereign state in the Americas who (b) did not hold the position by virtue of being part of or immediately succeeded from a European ruling family?

Thus phrased, Faustin Soulouque of Haiti, who assumed the titl of Emperor Faustin I in 1849 and ruled the country with extreme severity for the next decade. He also created a vast peerage, which no one ever seems to discuss.
4.17.2006 1:31pm
James V. Kruse (mail):
How about Abraham Lincoln. He ruled America like an absolute monarch. Same with FDR and LBJ. What about the Samozas in Nicaragua or Pinochet in Chile? Were they considered monarchs or just brutal American puppets?
4.17.2006 2:01pm
James V. Kruse (mail):
Batista in Cuba?
4.17.2006 2:02pm
Charlie (Colorado) (mail):
National Pride compells me to mention my distant cousin Chad, Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation.
4.17.2006 2:21pm
Jeek:
National Pride compells me to mention my distant cousin Chad, Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation.

Didn't President Clinton break relations with Chad back in 1998?
4.17.2006 2:32pm
Mark in Colorado:
Hank Aaron is still the Home Run King.
4.17.2006 2:38pm
Maniakes (mail) (www):
Jeek, and look what Chad did to us in retaliation, sabotaging the 2000 presidential election.
4.17.2006 3:02pm
Eugene Volokh (www):
Folks: Just to be clear, my post specifically distinguishes dictatorships, of which there have been plenty, from monarchies, which is what I'm looking for. Yes, it's a formalistic distinction; but the purpose of this post is to look for a fun little historical tidbit, not to score political points, or to bemoan the general lack of democracy in various parts of the Americans over the decades.
4.17.2006 3:29pm
The River Temoc (mail):
Indeed, I have seen suggestions that we might do better if we had separated them, maybe more in the French model of a president and a prime minister.

I read an interesting article or book a few years ago (unfortunately, I can't remember the author or title) that proposed that the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court ought to serve as head of state, leaving the president to be head of government.

I think this is a fascinating suggestion. Arguably it would make our presidential campaigns focus more on substantive issues and less on the appropriateness of Al and Tipper's public display of affection at the 2000 Democratic National Convention, Clinton's preferences as to boxers versus briefs, Kerry's enjoyment of fried twinkies, etc. (Then again, politics wouldn't be half as interesting without those kinds of distractions...)

Samuel Huntington also argues quite persuasively in POLITICAL ORDER IN CHANGING SOCIETIES that "differentiation of structures" (and if memory serves, he proffered the division between head of state and head of government as an example) as characteristic of advanced polities.
4.17.2006 3:46pm
Kevin L. Connors (mail) (www):
LOL - You CERTAINLY got more than you asked for with this one, Eugene.
4.17.2006 4:53pm
NickM (mail) (www):
I'm in agreement with Adam, that the Kingdom of Hawaii, ruled by a monarch until 1893, should count (and at 4 years past Brazil, should win).

Nick
4.17.2006 6:30pm
Randy R. (mail):
An interesting related trivia question:

Who is the only monarch represented in the Hall of States in the US Capitol? Answer below.

(Each state gets two statues of anyone they choose to represent that state)
While you are thinking, the District of Columbia is NOT a state, although we have been angling for that for some time. But now I'm hearing that we might be entitled to a statute in the hall, and they are asking residents for suggestions. Which I think is a bad thing to do, as people tend to vote for people they know, ignoring historical figures.

Answer: King Kamahala of Hawaii. (Spelled phonetically).
4.17.2006 7:27pm
Andrew Hyman (mail) (www):
The essential difference between a dictator and a monarch is whether it's hereditary. See here and here. That being the case, it seems pretty clear that Baby Doc Duvalier was a monarch; he assumed power in Haiti at the age of nineteen when his father (Papa Doc) died. So, do I win a prize now, or something?
4.17.2006 8:09pm
ScoutAZ (mail):
Lloyd B. Free, the Prince of mid-air
4.17.2006 9:01pm
Harry Eagar (mail):
Kamehameha is the spelling.

According to a smallish but noisy fraction of indigenes, Hawaii is still ruled by a king. I personally know four claimants to the throne, and there are others whose aquaintance I have never made.

Some of these 'Kingdoms of Hawaii' have their own courts, land registration books, legislatures, aristocracy, titles etc.

No army, though, which limits their practical jurisdiction.
4.17.2006 9:53pm
Charlie (Colorado) (mail):

Folks: Just to be clear, my post specifically distinguishes dictatorships, of which there have been plenty, from monarchies, which is what I'm looking for.



See? I'm telling you, it's Cousin Chad.

(And that's Chad Smith, not the African Chad. Sheesh.)
4.17.2006 10:23pm
Average Joe (mail):
Randy R. writes about kings in the Hall of States in the U.S. Capitol Building and then notes that D.C. "might be entitled to a statute in the hall, and they are asking residents for suggestions," but he does not note that one of the best suggestions for a D.C. statute is a man who is true American royalty: Duke Ellington.

Aside: Some years ago, when I was living in the D.C. area, someone asked me, quite rudely, what I thought of Edward Kennedy. Some days later I realized that, instead of the straightforward answer that I gave, I should have said, "Edward Kennedy Ellington. That cat was it!"
4.17.2006 10:56pm
arbitraryaardvark (mail) (www):
http://www.castlecoalition.org
Couldja rigorously define monarch, state, rule, and tribe?
Aside to toby: i just scored some bob wills 78s at an auction, want em?
4.17.2006 11:25pm
Rich Rostrom (mail):
Randy R.: It's Kamehameha. Now, what is the only US Navy warship ever named for a monarch? Ans: USS KAMEHAMEHA (SSBN 642), a Polaris/Poseidon nuclear missile submarine, commissioned 1965, scrapped 2002.

(One could make a claim for USS SAINT LOUIS (CL49), a BROOKLYN-class light cruiser, since the name derives from King Louis IX of France, made a saint for his crusading zeal. But if we count that, then we get into nonsense like the protest against naming an attack submarine CORPUS CHRISTI. BTW, according to Wikipedia, a portrait of Louis IX hangs in the chamber of the US House of Representatives. Creeping monarchism everywhere!)

Now, for a real bonus: who was the last child of a royal house born in the Americas?

Ans: Princess Margriet of the Netherlands, younger sister of Queen Beatrix, born in 1943 in Ottawa, Canada, where then-Crown Princess Juliana and her children were in exile.
4.18.2006 12:49am
Marc :
it isn't me?
4.18.2006 1:16am
Alan K. Henderson (mail) (www):
So who was the first locally resident monarch of the Americas? (That could be divided into pre- and post-Columbian categories.)

And the first locally resident dictator? I'd guess Toussaint L'Overture, leader of the slave revolt that created Haiti.
4.18.2006 1:47am
lee (mail):
Hawaii is NOT part of North America!
4.18.2006 3:01am
James M (mail):
Ah, but Mr. Rostrom, the Canadian government designated that entire floor of the hospital to be Dutch territory, like unto an embassy, because of a Dutch law requiring inheritors of the throne to actually be born in Holland.

But then, that would mean that Margriet was born on Dutch soil in North America, so you're still right.
4.18.2006 12:25pm
Kevin L. Connors (mail) (www):
Andrew Hyman: As I demonstrated here, your concept of heredity is in error, as it does not allow for dynastic patriarchs.

Harry Edgar: Your other citations are considered pretenders to the throne, and are invalid. Queen Liliuokalani was the last true monarch of Hawaii. But this is trivial, as I have shown here, Hawaii is by definition not part of North America.

Eugene, It would appear that your distinction is inadequate, as the sets are not exclusive. Within autocracies, ALL monarchs are dictators. However, a dictator is not necessarily a monarch. :)
4.18.2006 12:54pm
Alan H. Martin:

Kevin L. Connors 4.16.2006 8:44pm:
Adam: Note that volcanic islands, such as Hawaii or Iceland, are not considered parts of continents. Ref.


Is Wizard Island part of North America?
4.18.2006 3:16pm
Ron:
I was thinking the answer is the Kansas City Monarchs, a team in the Negro Leagues that was formed in 1920. They were disbanded in 1962. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kansas_City_Monarchs
4.18.2006 3:52pm
LiZa:
That's what I was thinking.

LiZa, Live, from WiZard Island, Ruled by Monarch Butterflies
4.18.2006 4:19pm
Brian W. (www):
I submit for your consideration the wife of one Sammy Kershaw, who upon yielding her heart to Mr. Kershaw was named Queen of his Double-Wide Trailer. It is unclear whether she surrendured this title upon leaving Mr. Kershaw in favor of Earl, The Charlie Daniels of the Torque Wrench.
4.18.2006 5:13pm
Andrew Hyman (mail) (www):
Kevin L. Connors:

I'm puzzled. Why don't you think Baby Doc was a monarch? Must a monarch wear a crown and have a throne? If we're looking for incidentals like that, then it should be noted that everyone in Haiti referred to Baby Doc's abode as a "palace."

You cite three examples that you suggest are evidence that Baby Doc wasn't a monarch: Assad of Syria, William I of England, and Castro of Cuba.

Regarding Castro, he is not commonly understood to be a "monarch," nor should he be. No child of his is in line to succeed him, nor did he succeed a parent. If indeed Raoul Castro is in line to succeed Fidel, then what does that prove? Raoul Castro would not be a hereditary leader, as he is a brother rather than a child of Fidel. Moreover, Fidel does have children, including five sons, and none of them are in line to succeed him.

It's commonly understood that heredity means:

1. Descended, or capable of descending, from an ancestor to an heir at law; received or passing by inheritance, or that must pass by inheritance; as, an hereditary estate or crown.

2. Transmitted, or capable of being transmitted, as a constitutional quality or condition from a parent to a child; as, hereditary pride, bravery, disease.


Regarding William the Conqueror, was not his son William Rufus, King of England? Was not his other son Henry Beauclerc, also King of England? Of course William I was a monarch, just like the Duvaliers. Although William I did not inherit the monarchy, he certainly did pass it along to his children.

And regarding the Assads, the question is whether either Hafez or Bashar qualify as "monarchs." I'd say that they do, assuming that Bashar is really in control in Syria. The status of Bashar Assad does not seem significantly different from that of Jordan's King Abdullah. Why not call them both monarchs?
4.18.2006 8:39pm
LiZa:
Why insult perfectly innocent butterflies like that?

sheesh

LiZa, amazed that someone did it with Fidel..and not just once, mind you.
4.18.2006 10:57pm
Alan K. Henderson (mail) (www):
LiZa, amazed that someone did it with Fidel..and not just once, mind you.


Homely rich guys get lots of chicks. Nothing amazing about that.
4.19.2006 5:32am