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Absolute monarchy is a monarchial form of government where the ruler has the power to rule his or her land or country and its citizens freely, with no laws or legally-organized direct opposition in force. Although some religious authority may be able to discourage the monarch from some acts and the sovereign is expected to act according to custom, in an absolute monarchy there is no constitution or body of law above what is decreed by the sovereign (king or queen). As a theory of civics, absolute monarchy puts total trust in well-bred and well-trained monarchs raised for the role from birth.

In theory, an absolute monarch has total power over his or her people and land, including the aristocracy and sometimes the clergy (caesaropapism), but in practice, absolute monarchs have often found their power limited. One current example is the Kingdom of Nepal, which is technically an absolute monarchy, but which faces stiff opposition from Maoist insurgents.

Some monarchies have powerless or symbolic parliaments and other governmental bodies that the monarch can alter or dissolve at will. Despite effectively being absolute monarchies, they are technically constitutional monarchies due to the existence of a constitution and national canon of law.

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