Reflecting in 1945 on what had led to the rise of Nazi Germany, Winston Churchill wrote: “This war would never have come unless, under American and modernizing pressure, we had driven the Hapsburgs out of Austria and Hungary and the Hohenzollerns out of Germany.”
“By making these vacuums,” he went on, “we gave the opening for the Hitlerite monster to crawl out of its sewer on to the vacant thrones.”
To be fair to the “American and modernizing” influence, a similar consideration led President Harry S. Truman and Gen. Douglas MacArthur to preserve the Japanese monarchy at the end of World War II. This wise policy enabled Japan’s remarkable and rapid evolution into the prosperous, peaceful democratic society it has been ever since.
...The historian Edward Gibbon, weighed the rival systems and came down with characteristic acerbity in favor of a hereditary sovereign. “We may easily devise imaginary forms of government, in which the sceptre shall be constantly bestowed on the most worthy, by the free and incorrupt suffrage of the whole community,” he wrote, but “experience overturns these airy fabrics.”
The advantage of monarchy is that the institution “extinguishes the hopes of faction” by rising above the toxic partisanship of competing parties and vying elected officials. “To the firm establishment of this idea,” Gibbon concluded, “we owe the peaceful succession, and mild administration, of European monarchies.”