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Open Access The Imperial Viceroy: Reflections on an Historical Type

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The Imperial Viceroy: Reflections on an Historical Type

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Chapter Summary

Empires are spatially extended polities of a composite and hierarchical nature. They have a monarch at the top or, in exceptional instances, a collective body such as an oligarchical senate, a politburo, or an elected republican government. This chapter focuses on that top echelon of peripheral governance which is indispensable for the running of empire and which is more visible than any other part of a regional apparatus of power. They attempt to portray a very special functional position which might succinctly be called that of an 'imperial viceroy'. In Europe, monarchs and more or less sovereign princes prevailed throughout the nineteenth century. Napoleon I was more powerful than any of his predecessors among French monarchs and unsurpassed in the speed with which he scattered the members of his own extended family across the thrones of Europe.

Keywords: Europe; French monarchs; imperial viceroy; Napoleon I; nineteenth century



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