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ABDICATION (Lat. abdicatio, disowning...

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Originally appearing in Volume V01, Page 33 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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ABDICATION (Lat. abdicatio, disowning, renouncing, from ab, from, and dicare, to declare, to proclaim as not belonging to one), the act whereby a person in office renounces and gives up the same before the expiry of the time for which it is held. In Roman law, the term is especially applied to the disowning of a member of a family, as the disinheriting of a son, but the word is seldom used except in the sense of surrendering the supreme power in a state. Despotic sovereigns are at liberty to divest themselves of their powers at any time, but it is other-wise with a limited monarchy. The throne of Great Britain cannot be lawfully abdicated unless with the consent of the two Houses of Parliament. When James II., after throwing the great seal into the Thames, fled to France in 1688, he did not formally resign the crown, and the question was discussed in parliament whether he had forfeited the throne or had abdicated. The latter designation was agreed on, for in a full assembly of the Lords and Commons, met in convention, it was resolved, in spite of James's protest, " that King James II. having endeavoured to subvert the constitution of the kingdom, by breaking the original contract between king and people, and, by the advice of Jesuits and other wicked persons, having violated the fundamental laws, and having withdrawn himself out of this kingdom, has abdicated the government, and that the throne is thereby vacant." The Scottish parliament pronounced a decree of forfeiture and deposition. Among the most memorable abdications of antiquity may be mentioned that of Sulla the dictator, 79 B.C., and that of the Emperor Diocletian, 'A.D. 305. The following is a list of the more important abdications of later times: Benedict IX., pope . . Stephen II. of Hungary Albert (the Bear) of Brandenburg . Ladislaus III. of Poland . Celestine V., pope . L ohn Baliol of Scotland ohn Cantacuzene, emperor of the East chard II. of England John XXIII., pope Erie VII. of Denmark and XIII. of Sweden Murad II., Ottoman Sultan Charles V., emperor . Christina of Sweden . . John Casimir of Poland L 2ABDOMEN A.D. lames II. of England 16$8 rederick Augustus of Poland 1704 Philip V. of Spain 1724 Victor Amadeus II. of Sardinia 173o Ahmed III., Sultan of Turkey 1730 Charles of Naples (on accession to throne of Spain) 1759 Stanislaus II. of Poland . 1795 Charles Emanuel IV. of Sardinia ^ June 4, 1802 Charles IV. of Spain . Mar. 19, 18o8 Joseph Bonaparte of Naples June 6, 1808 Gustavus IV. of Sweden . Mar. 29, 1809 Louis Bonaparte of Holland . July 2, 1810 Napoleon I., French Emperor. April 4, 1814, and June 22, 1815 Victor Emanuel of Sardinia . Mar. 13, 1821 Charles X. of France Aug. 2, 1830 Pedro of Brazil 1 April 7, 1831 Miguel of Portgual . May 26, 1834 William I. of Holland Oct. 7, 1840 Louis Philippe, king of the French Feb. 24, 1848 Louis Charles of Bavaria . Mar. 21, 1848 Ferdinand of Austria Dec. 2, 1848 Charles Albert of Sardinia Mar. 23, 1849 Leopold II. of Tuscany my 21, 1859 Isabella II. of Spain . June 25, 1870 Amadeus I. of Spain . eb. II, 1873 Alexander of Bulgaria Sept. 7, 1886 Milan of Servia . Mar. 6, 1889
End of Article: ABDICATION (Lat. abdicatio, disowning, renouncing, from ab, from, and dicare, to declare, to proclaim as not belonging to one)
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