Correcting Misconceptions About The Middle Ages, Medieval Kingship, Democracy, And Liberty

When you think of democracy, what comes to mind? Comparing democracy to monarchy, are you thankful to be living free rather than suffering oppression under a medieval tyrant? What if you could be evidentially shown that the democracy you hold so dear is not only less ideal than you’ve been taught, but is actually inferior to the kingdoms of the Middle Ages?

Get ready for a real history lesson you won’t soon forget. In Jeb Smith’s latest work Missing Monarchy, he uncovers eye-opening facts about the Medieval period, kingship, democracy, and more. When you learn how societies of our past addressed their governmental needs, you may begin to perceive that our current system isn't the utopia it is commonly portrayed as. And as you come to understand how power is wielded under our democracy, you just might start missing monarchy too.

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Excerpt from Missing Monarchy © Copyright 2024 Jeb Smith

The title of this book, Missing Monarchy, carries a dual meaning. First, Americans are missing what monarchy really is, and don’t realize that what they think they know is considerably wide of the mark. This is detrimental to correctly understanding how much has been lost, what has gone on and continues to go on behind the scenes, and where we are today. Second, I am personally missing monarchy as a form of government.

Despite the best efforts of many historians, Americans continue to believe a mix of half-truths, myths, distortions, exaggerations, and lies fed to them regarding monarchy. The truth about the medieval world, and in particular, its political systems, remains unknown. No matter how clearly these scholars have described the Middle Ages, the period remains “a magnet for stereotypes and misconceptions in the realm of popular culture.” (Bull 2005 Introduction)

My study of diverse historical periods has convinced me history is always told from the winner’s perspective. For its own survival, the victorious culture distorts, misrepresents, and vilifies the subjugated one to ensure the former society will not rise again from the ashes of defeat. It discredits the former competition in its citizens’ minds so no one “turns back” or looks at the past with anything but puritanical snobbery.  A compliant citizenry must be created, believing their new situation is on an improving, upward trajectory so no matter what action the government takes, it can be labeled progress. The people must believe the newly imposed political structure is the best, creating ideal “patriots” willing to die for it.

The belittling of the former culture will occur regardless of who the victor is. During the Protestant and Catholic wars, the Catholics when in power misrepresented Protestants. The reverse was also true. It continues to this day. As an American Protestant, I can testify misinformation and falsehood concerning Catholicism plague our churches, having sat in the pews and Bible studies listening to well-meaning pastors and teachers reciting all kinds of errors about the Catholic faith and Church history. Likewise, in my communications with Catholics I’ve found what they believe about Protestantism often misses the mark. Secularism in recent history overcame Christendom. The same pattern has occurred and continues.

In America, we are two steps removed from a proper understanding of the Middle Ages. First, America when founded was mainly a Protestant country inheriting much of the anti-Catholic, anti-Middle Ages propaganda. Now, having converted to secularism, we have added an anti-Christian prejudice to our former biases. Since Catholicism overshadowed every area of European life in the Middle Ages, we do not receive an authentic portrayal of the period. Expecting an honest depiction of medieval monarchy in a secularist democracy would be like expecting a fair report of Christianity in a Muslim country or Catharism in Medieval France.

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