Friday, November 22, 2013

Leopold Donchield Zu Leone- The Monarch

Leopold Donchield Zu Leone  – Symbolism and Growth

Leopold Donchield Zu Leone argues that symbolism plays an important role in a nation's capacity building and long term economic growth. Leopold Donchield Zu Leone makes the point that Sierra Leone would be even better off if constitutional monarchy was implemented. Leopold Donchield Zu Leone argues that constitutional monarchy is a perfect institution to have as a national symbol, a symbol for nationalism and long term unity. 

Monarchy and Symbolism in the United Kingdom

The principal symbol of the Monarchy is often deemed to be the Sovereign themselves. However, throughout the history of the Monarchy the authority of the Sovereign has been represented by symbols. The most notable symbols of Monarchy are the Crown Jewels and regalia, the Honours of Scotland and the Principality of Wales. Lesser known symbols include the Great Seal and personal emblems of the Monarch such as the Royal Standard and Coats of Arms. Even buildings such as Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and the Palace Holyroodhouse are often said to be a physical representation of the Monarchy.

Items such as the Crown Jewels, and especially the regalia, represent the continuity of the Monarchy. The regalia forms an integral part in the Coronation service for a new Sovereign and certain elements of the Crown Jewels are born before the Sovereign at the State Opening of Parliament. The Queen wears the Imperial State Crown as she delivers the speech.

The image of the Monarch is also seen as a symbol of the Monarchy with The Queen represented on items such as bank notes and stamps. Such images have been used for hundreds of years with images on Kings, Queens and Emperors being used on coins throughout Europe. Even ceremonies such as the Trooping of the Colour are seen as important symbols of the Monarchy.

Leopold Donchield Zu Leone argues that for a developing country national symbols would have a greater importance, as they would give the people a sense of national belonging and pride, which in turn inevitably would make them want to work in unity for the better of their nation. Leopold Donchield Zu Leone proposes that his native Sierra Leone should consider implementing constitutional monarchy,with a Sierra Leonean monarch as its head.

See also:

 Coat of Arms of H.S.H. Leopold-Maximilian Donchield Zu Leone


Leopold Donchield Zu Leone- Patriotism

Leopold Donchield Zu Leone – Patriotism

Leopold Donchield Zu Leone has some genius ideas for sustainable development and  long term economic growth in Sierra Leone. Leopold Donchield Zu Leone argues that constitutional monarchy as an institution if implemented correctly would be of great support to the democratically elected government. He argues that the constitutional monarchy would serve the nation as a representative instrument in attracting trade and investment, create a sense of exclusivity and national pride for its citizens. Leopold Donchield Zu Leone points to that the way to preserve the national identity is to pay tribute to indigenous people and culture, and the monarchy would be able to spread the light over the nations culture. This would have an overall positive effect on peoples awareness of the value of their culture, hence give the people a stronger incentive to work for a common cause to improve the nations economic well being.

Nationalism's growth and export

The invention of a symbolic national identity became the concern of racial, ethnic or linguistic groups throughout Europe as they struggled to come to terms with the rise of mass politics, the decline of the traditional social elites, popular discrimination and xenophobia. Within the Habsburg Empire the different peoples developed a more mass-based, violent and exclusive form of nationalism. This developed even among the German and Magyars, who actually benefited from the power-structure of the empire. On the European periphery, especially in Ireland and Norway, campaigns for national independence became more strident. In 1905 Norway won independence from Sweden, but attempts to grant Ireland the kind of autonomy enjoyed by Hungary foundered on the national divisions on the island between the Catholic and Protestant populations.

The Polish attempts to win independence from Russia had previously proved to be unsuccessful, with Poland being the only country in Europe whose autonomy was gradually limited rather than expanded throughout the 19th century, as a punishment for the failed uprisings; in 1831 Poland lost its status as a formally independent state and was merged into Russia as a real union country and in 1867 she became nothing more than just another Russian province. Faced with internal and external resistance to assimilation, as well as increased xenophobic anti-Semitism, radical demands began to develop among the stateless Jewish population of Eastern and Central Europe for their own national home and refuge. In 1897, inspired by the Hungarian-born Jewish nationalist Theodor Herzl, the First Zionist Congress was held in Basle, and declared their national 'home' should be in Palestine. By the end of the period, the ideals of European Nationalism had been exported worldwide and were now beginning to develop, and both compete and threaten the empires ruled by colonial European nation-states.

Cultural identity

Cultural identity can be expressed through certain styles of clothing or other aesthetic markers. Cultural identity is the identity of a group or culture or of an individual as far as one is influenced by one's belonging to a group or culture. Various modern cultural studies and social theories have investigated cultural identity. In recent decades, a new form of identification has emerged which breaks down the understanding of the individual as a coherent whole subject into a collection of various cultural identifiers.

These cultural identifiers may be the result of various conditions including: location, gender, race, history, nationality, language, sexuality, religious beliefs, ethnicity, aesthetics and even food.  The divisions between cultures can be very fine in some parts of the world, especially places such as Canada or the United States, where the population is ethnically diverse and social unity is based primarily on common social values and beliefs.

As a "historical reservoir", culture is an important factor in shaping identity. Some critics of cultural identity argue that the preservation of cultural identity, being based upon difference, is a divisive force in society, and that cosmopolitanism gives individuals a greater sense of shared citizenship. When considering practical association in international society, states may share an inherent part of their 'make up' that gives common ground and an alternative means of identifying with each other. Nations provide the framework for culture identities called external cultural reality, which influences the unique internal cultural realities of the individuals within the nation.

Also of interest is the interplay between cultural identity and new media.
Rather than necessarily representing an individual's interaction within a certain group, cultural identity may be defined by the social network of people imitating and following the social norms as presented by the media. Accordingly, instead of learning behaviour and knowledge from cultural/religious groups, individuals may be learning these social norms from the media to build on their cultural identity.

A range of cultural complexities structure the way individuals operate with the cultural realities in their lives. Nation is a large factor of the cultural complexity, as it constructs the foundation for individual’s identity but it may contrast with ones cultural reality. Cultural identities are influenced by several different factors such as ones religion, ancestry, skin color, language, class, education, profession, skill, family and political attitudes. These factors contribute to the development of one’s identity.

Leopold Donchield Zu Leone argues that the cultural and national identity of a post-colonial nation could be stronger under the umbrella of a constitutional monarchy. The monarchy would be able to work efficiently to promote the country's culture and induce a sense of nationalism and patriotism into the people. This would inspire the people of the nation to achieve higher common goals.




Thursday, August 8, 2013

The rise of the Constitutional Monarchy in Africa

Leopold Donchield Zu Leone II
The rise of the Constitutional Monarchy in Africa

I have been reading articles on Leopold Donchield Zu Leone II on constitutional monarchy system and economic development and his views and arguments he has on how African countries could benefit from this system. I found these ideas brilliant and that inspired me to make more research on constitutional monarchy holistically. I looked back in history to find out what other European countries and the rest of the world went through in order for them to use the constitutional monarchy system. There are a lot of writers who wrote books on constitutional monarchy. I make mention of Mr Walter Bagehot, Vernon Bogdanor and Benjamin Disraeli to mention just a few.

 Coat of Arms of the Princely House of Donchield Zu Leone

We will look into the arguments we see from Walter Bagehot’s theories on constitutional monarchy. He starts by referring us to the types of democracy used then, that of Representative Democracy and constitutional Democracy. He writes that in England for instance, the property owning class considered the return of an absolute monarch as a greater threat. Glorious revolution of 1688 deposed one King and replaced him with another one that agreed to abide by a set of rules limiting his powers.

The age of the constitutional monarchy was born and the concept of an unalterable constitution was to play a significant role in the next stage of the development of democracy theory. Mr Bagehot referred to the two political ideas that emerged in the 18th century;
a) Individual and individual rights in political society.
b) The rise of science as an explanatory tool. He also made mention of to the revolutions in America and France.

The French revolution in 1789 and wars in America in 1861-65 left to a claim for a legitimate claim for a political system that is based on the will of the people. These rights were:
  • Freedom of speech;
  • Freedom of assembly;
  • Freedom of religious belief;
  • Freedom to participate in the legislative process.

The signing of the Magna Carta in 1215. Leading of England succeeded in forcing King John to accept that they and other freemen had rights against the crown. In 1688 Parliamentarians drew up a bill of rights which established basic tenets such as the supremacy of Parliament. The constitutional monarchy we know today developed in the 18th and 19th centuries as day to day power came to be exercised by ministers in cabinet and by parliaments elected. (Reference book “The English Constitution” of 1867 by Walter Bagehot)

These are some of the reasons I see the arguments raised by Leopold Donchield Zu Leone II to be in line with those of Mr Walter Bagehot. Mr Walter Bagehot wrote that the nation is divided into parties, but the crown is of no party. Its apparent separation from business is that which removes it both from enmities and from desecration, which preserves its mystery which enable it to combine the affection of conflicting parties, the Royal family brings down the pride of sovereignty to the level of petty life. Mr Walter Bagehot refers to 3 rights:
  • The right to be consulted.
  • The right to encourage.
  • The right to warn.

By the time King George V rules, the principles of constitutional monarchy was firmly established in Britain. The bill of rights of 1689 set out the foundation of the constitutional monarchy. They were:
  • Freedom from Royal interference with the law.
  • Freedom from taxation by Royal prerogative.
  • Freedom to petition the King.
  • Freedom to elect members of parliament without interference from the sovereign.

Mr Walter Bagehot wrote the monarchy was the better form of government than a republic because it had more appeal. He outlined his reasons as:
  • Monarchy is ‘an intelligible government’.
  • Monarchy presents the nation with a family.
  • ‘Royalty is a government in which the attention of the nation is concentrated on one person doing interesting actions.’

In his book ‘efficient secret’, Mr Walter Bagehot divided the constitution into the ‘dignified’ and ‘efficient parts’. He refers to parliament as the efficient part, monarchy the dignified, where the role of the monarchy is mentioned above. He wrote that the ‘secret lies in the fact that the British people are not aware of what is happening. They see the grandeur and panoply of monarchy and are deluded into believing that the Queen has real power. The people are incapable of governing themselves and therefore it is right to deny them a share in the government. Because they are enormously deferential, they welcome the monarch and its apparent powers. It is important for the monarchy to be visible’.

At the time Mr Walter Bagehot was misunderstood as describing how the monarchy functioned in his day, but in fact he was prescribing as to how it should function. Queen Victoria played a far more active role than Walter Bagehot’s theories allowed. Only after the death of Queen Victoria it was realised that Bagehot’s thesis were relevant. Walter Bagehot argued that the best government was based on discussion; it was most effectively managed not by the many but by ‘a select few’, men who had enjoyed a life of leisure, a long culture, a varied experience, an existence by which the judgement is incessantly exercised and by which it may be incessantly improved. The selected few were members of parliament.

These are the very views that Leopold Donchield Zu Leone II share and argues in his vision for constitutional monarchy and economic development for the African continent.
The European Monarch Genealogy:

The history of the constitutional monarchy dates back from that of Habsburgs dynasty. The dynasty first gained power in 1278 when Rudolf of Habsburg seized the Apline duchies of Austria and Styria. The Alpine duchies, which were part of land in Switzerland, Italy, France and Germany, ruled by the Bohemian King Otakar. Rudolf of Habsburg had already owned family lands in southern Germany and Alsace, a region on northern France. Austria became the head, or central point, of the Habsburg Empire. Over the next few centuries the descendants of Rudolf expanded the empire towards the west. The family seized control of Tyrol, a province in Western Austria and Northern Italy. During this time, the family also gained control of Carinthia, the Southern part of Austria.

During the 1445 – 1792 the head of the Habsburg family was elected regularly the Holy Roman Emperor. The Habsburgs also took control of Hungary and Bohemia and Turkish. Emperor Ferdinand, born in 1503, became King of Hungary and Bohemia after the death of Louis II in 1526. The Habsburg became the supreme power for multiple reasons. They were the defenders of Christianity against Islam. They were the protector of Catholicism against Protestantism in East-central Europe.

The house of Habsburg is greatest known for being a source of all formally elected Holy Roman Emperors between 1438 and 1740. The dynasty was originally from Switzerland and first ruled Austria.
Mr Vernon Bogdanor goes deep detailing the whole family tree of the Habsburg Empire.

The Monarchy and the Constitution (how Vernon Bogdanor views it).

Looking back in history Vernon Bogdanor raises questions on ‘How does monarchy function in a modern democracy?’ In his book ‘The Monarchy and the constitution’, Mr Bogdanor argues that since the British constitution is so heavily dependent upon history, the question can only be answered historically. The rules that regulate Britain’s constitutional monarchy and personal prerogatives are then discussed. Three twentieth-century constitutional crises in which the authority of the sovereign was in question are then analysed. Finally, the book considers how the monarchy is financed, and the relationship between the monarchy, the Churches of England and the Monarchy and the Commonwealth work.

The Evolution of Constitutional Monarchy: (Vernon Bogdanor)

Here Vernon Bogdanor views the British monarchy as by far the oldest of all constitutional monarchies. It’s been traced back to even before the Norman Conquest. The influence of Magna Carta and the Bill of Rights are also discussed by Bogdanor, just as Walter Bagehot discussed them as well above. It was during the reign of Queen Victoria that the monarchy took on its recognizable modern form. Also the most imaginative politician, Benjamin Disraeli shared these views.

The Basic Constitutional Rules: The rules of succession

Vernon Bogdanor views the constitutional monarchy as a form of monarchy governed by the rules. In Britain, he refer to these rules in two kinds; Non-statutory rules governing hereditary succession and statutory rules laying down certain conditions that the holder of the throne must meet. Although descent is the main criterion of succession, the great constitutional struggles of the seventeenth century, culminating in the Bill of Rights of 1689 and the Act of Settlement of 1701, confirmed that the succession could be regulated by parliament. The British monarchy is a parliamentary monarchy and the succession can only be altered by Act of Parliament. The rules regulating the royal consort and the heir to the throne and the Royal Marriages Act of 1772 are analysed.

The Basic Constitutional Rules: Influence and the Prerogative

Vernon Bogdanor writes that the head of state should be distinguished from that of the head of government. There are three main functions of the head of state:
  • The constitutional functions, which today are primarily of a residual or formal kind, such as appointing a prime minister and agreeing to dissolve the legislature.
  • The ceremonial functions that President de Gaulle once dismissed as opening exhibitions of chrysanthemums.
  • The symbolic or representative function by means of which the head of state represents the nation to itself.

The financing of the Monarchy:

Vernon Bogdanor argues that financing the monarchy has always had constitutional implications. It was always a crucial issue in the battle between the King and the Parliament in the seventeenth century. Today the financing is designed to ensure that the sovereign is largely, though not wholly, depend upon Parliament for money. A careful balancing is needed.

The Sovereign and the Church:

The Church of England and the Church of Scotland are both established churches and the sovereign enjoy a special relationship with each other. Disestablishment of the Church of England is once again a lively political issue as it was much of the nineteenth century.

The Future of Constitutional Monarchy:

Vernon Bogdanor writes that until 1914, monarchy was the prevalent form of government in Europe. The only three European states; France, Portugal and Switzerland were republics. Today there are only eight monarchies in Europe. These monarchies are the most stable and well-governed states in the continent. If the conjunction of monarchy and democracy might seem a contradiction, it would be as well to bear in mind Freud’s dictum that it is only logic that contradiction cannot exit.

Leopold Donchield Zu Leone II shares these view and has a vision that Africa will develop to a greater continent if the same process could be followed the African context.

What are your thoughts on Constitutional Monarchy for Africa, especially West Africa?