Resources for Teachers and Students
The death of Queen Elizabeth II brings the constitutional role of monarchy in Britain and 14 other Commonwealth countries into sharp focus The prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda announced plans to hold a referendum on becoming a republic. And, debates over the monarchy have been reignited from Australia to Canada to the Caribbean. "I think mainly out of respect for Elizabeth II, these discussions were not taking place," said historian Ed Owens. "There was, I think, an anticipation that these conversations would start when the new king came to the throne, and that's what we're seeing."
Class discussion: Is there a reason to still have kings and queens in the 21st century? Why or why not? While the role of monarchs like King Charles III are largely ceremonial, there are still some who wield absolute power. Where do those monarchs rule? Do they use force against their own people to maintain power? Are “royal” families just the descendants of some armed toughs who forced other people to obey them? Should anyone hold great power and immense wealth based on who their parents were? Why are so many Americans still fascinated with the British royalty we rejected in 1776?
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