Difference between Democracy and Monarchy | Democracy vs Monarchy

By K Balaji|Updated : September 27th, 2022

The major difference between democracy and monarchy is the amount of power given to the general people to choose their ruler. A democracy is a form of government in which the individuals have the power to select their governing legislation. Monarchy, on the other hand, is a form of government in which an individual, commonly known as a monarch, is the state's leader for life or until abdication. People have no say in the formulation of laws and in choosing their leader.

In this article, the difference between monarchy and democracy is tabulated based on multiple factors such as definition, formation of laws, responsibilities of elected representatives, etc. All UPSC aspirants must check the similarities and differences of democracy vs monarchy provided below.

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Difference between Democracy and Monarchy

Democracy is a form of government in which individuals have the power to select their governing legislation. In contrast, a monarchy is a form of government in which a monarch or a king has the full authority of decision-making, the formation of laws, etc. The article analyses the difference between Democracy and Monarchy to help you better prepare for your upcoming UPSC mains and prelims exam.

Democracy vs Monarchy

Below is a tabular representation of the difference between Monarchy and Democracy:



When a nation is led by a Government elected by its citizens through elections, it is known as a Democracy.

When a nation is governed by Kings and Queens, when the privilege to rule a country is enacted through a dynasty and not through elections, it is known as a monarchy.

The elected delegates make the laws, regulations, and statutes on behalf of the people for the benefit of the citizens.

The statutes are framed by the Kings and Queens, and citizens have no right to speak in the law formulation.

The elected representatives are held responsible by the individuals of the nation. Therefore, elections are held, and candidates lose their right to rule if they do not fulfill the citizens' expectations.

Monarchs have no responsibility. Individuals do not have the authority to remove monarchs from power if they are unhappy with their government.

People have the freedom to provide their feedback on procedures, have the opportunity to bring about modifications in the policies, and have the privilege to blame the Government.

Individuals do not have the power to condemn the Monarchy.

People do not face pressure from a democratically chosen Government

People may encounter oppression if the monarch is a tyrant.

How is Democracy different from Monarchy?

To talk about how democracy is different from Monarchy, let us first go through the meaning of both along with important features.

What is Democracy?

'Democracy' derives from Greek roots and implies "rule by the people". Democracy in the contemporary world is a form of government where common individuals have the ultimate control over how the country operates. Two main features of democracy are as follows:

  • Representation of Minority Community: Every country across the globe has minority communities on one ground or the other. It is one of the principal features of democracy to provide equal citizenship privileges to all its citizens. Oppression and exclusion of minorities are despised. The nation's legal authority aids people in holding an equal status of life and earnings in every possible way.
  • Rule within the Country's Constitutional Law: In a democratic nation, the ruling government is not supreme. Instead, a democratic country's administrative body holds the ultimate authority, as defined by the country's constitution.

Since a new government is elected after a specified period, it exclusively holds the authority to make decisions and execute them while changing some established regulations. In addition, all such activities can only get accomplished under the surveillance of the country's legislation, which is independent of the ruling Government.

The positions are owned by the country's people based on their worth and aptitudes.

What is Monarchy?

A monarchy is a government where the state and government leader are selected based on birthright. The monarch's crown differs, but the most famous is a King or a Queen. Two main characteristics of a monarchy are as follows:

  • Divine Right: Monarchies and theology usually run hand in hand. Countries with state religions tend to have powerful associations between that religion and the nation's monarchy, and the leader or the ruler holds a divine right.
  • Lifelong Rule: A monarch will remain the head of the country for as long as the monarchy exists. While most politicians in a democracy hold term limitations, monarchs ascend to the throne in succession, usually after the former ruler departs.

Monarchy vs Democracy: Which is Better?

When it comes to the debate of Monarchy vs democracy, it is important to consider the merits and demerits of both. Suppose a king is responsible and accountable to the people. In that case, Monarchy can also be a better option as it will form a more stable government where people will trust their leader, and there will be less corruption as Monarch is the sole leader. Additionally, democracy does not always result in the benefit of the people. In modern times, our leaders come out during elections, make false promises, get the votes, and then rule over as per their discretion and for the benefit of their political party for the next 5 years.

On the other hand, in a monarchy, people have no say in the government. If they are not happy with their leader, they have no power to overthrow the government, which is not the case with democracy. In a democracy, people have the rights to protest if they want the government to hear their demands. They can put forward their views on various platforms, including social media.

To conclude, Democracy is a better option in the modern world, but it should be well regulated by the judiciary.

Similarities between Democracy and Monarchy

After learning the difference between democracy and monarchy, it is time to look at the similarities between the two forms of government.

  • Both are a type of authority in the government.
  • In both types, there are influences of powerful people over the country.
  • In a Monarchy, the acquisition of the seat is hereditary, and in a democracy, people with powerful ties with the leaders are preferred to run the elections.
  • In both types, the interests of people are subjugated by the ruling party/leader.

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FAQs on Democracy vs Monarchy

  • The difference between democracy and monarchy is that Democracy refers to a form of government in which the individuals have the power to select their leaders, and the person or a party with the maximum votes gets to form their government, whereas a monarchy is a form of government in which an individual, commonly known as a monarch, is the sole ruler and people have no right to say anything against him/her.

  • The three types of monarchy are limited, constitutional, and absolute monarchy. A limited monarchy is one where the king/queen has only ceremonial powers. A constitutional monarchy is one in which the leader is not the sole decision maker, and it is regulated by the constitution. At last, absolute monarchy is defined as a system in which the king or queen has all the powers and can exercise as per their will.

  • The major difference between monarchy and democracy is the power that the general public possesses. If people are allowed to vote, show their unhappiness with the government, have fundamental rights, etc., then that is a democratic form of government. In contrast, if the absolute power lies with the ruler, and people have no or less say in the government, it is a monarchy.

  • Monarchy is a traditional form of governance where the king or the leader has the ultimate power to make decisions for his people. With time, some changes are introduced, and monarchy is divided into three forms: Limited, Constitutional, and Absolute. It is different from the democratic form of government where people have the right to vote for a better leader and a party.

  • Yes, a country can follow both monarchy and democracy. It is known as constitutional monarchy which is explained above. England is one of the examples in which both monarchy and democracy can be observed.

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