What does Abdication Stand for?

Of the Latin abdicatĭo, abdication is the action and effect of abdicating (decline to sovereign or assign, to give rights or advantages). The term is also used to name the document in which said abdication appears.

For example: “The prince decided his abdication after the war with the neighboring people”, “Let all the subjects and lackeys know it: abdication is not an option for His Majesty”, “The abdication of King Martin IV left the throne in hands of his son Felipe ”.

In the 21st century we are witnessing, for example, some abdications by the kings who are at the head of their countries in Europe. This would be the case, for example, of the Spanish monarch Juan Carlos I who, after thirty-nine years on the throne, has abdicated in favor of his son.

Thus, in the aforementioned nation there is now a new king. And it is that Prince Felipe has gone on to become the monarch Felipe VI and his wife Queen Letizia. In this way, the heir to the throne is the eldest son of that one, Princess Eleanor.

The abdication implies an act through which a subject gives up his own position before the expiration of the previously established time. It is a concept similar to that of resignation.

In ancient times, the notion was also used to name the action of dispossessing a family member (such as disinheriting a child). Today, however, abdication is used almost exclusively in the aforementioned sense of renunciation of power.

Throughout history there have been numerous significant abdications. Diocletian (244 – 311), for example, was the first Roman emperor to leave office voluntarily. This man abdicated in 305 when he was sick and cornered by various problems.

Cristina de Sweden (1626 – 1689), meanwhile, abdicated in 1654, the same year he left Protestantism and converted to Catholicism. Felipe V of Spain, Luis Bonaparte of the Netherlands, Víctor Manuel de Sardinia, Fernando de Austria, Nicolás II of Russia and Farouk I of Egypt are other monarchs who, at a certain point in their reign, opted for abdication.

In the same way, we must not forget the well-known Abdications of Bayonne, which took place in 1808 in the French city that gives them their name. Specifically, what they supposed was that the kings Carlos IV and Fernando VII, son of the previous one, decided to renounce the throne of Spain in favor of the famous Napoleon Bonaparte. This figure, for his part, proceeded to do the same for the benefit of his brother: José Bonaparte, popularly known in the country as “Pepe Botella” for his fondness for alcohol.

The latter ruled under the name of José I and was practicing as such until 1813, at which time he would be forced to leave Spain due to various conflicts and lost battles. From his time on the throne, it has also been highlighted that he was also nicknamed “El rey plazuelas”, because he opened many squares in the city of Madrid.