Baldwin II (d. 918)


Would the world be safer if Malia Obama married the son of another world leader?

Baldwin II “strengthened the dynastic importance of his family by marrying Aelfthryth, daughter of Alfred the Great, of Wessex, Eng. (EB).  This made me wonder if America’s rivals had any sons we could marry her off to in the name of world peace.  It was surprisingly hard to find sons for her.  Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has two daughters,  Russian Premier Dmitry Medvedev has one, and Chinese President Jinping has one daughter (Wikipedia).

I started wondering when marriages for political purposes ended.  It seems that monarchies were the driving force behind this custom.  While most of the world was governed by monarchies in the 19th century, “currently there are 43 nations in the world with a monarch as head of state” (Wikipedia, “Monarchy”).

That made me wonder what forces led to the decline of the monarchy as an idea.  What caused this system of government to become unpopular all across the globe at roughly the same time?  Was it corruption, or is the explanation more complex?    Why did the British monarchy outlast so many of the others?  Are there certain kinds of societies that would benefit from a monarchy?  Are there advantages to a monarchy that a republican or democrat might not be aware of?

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