As civilization advances we find as a natural evolution, that chief executives know less and less of military matters - they are not of the fighting strength at all. People became crowded and delegated fighting to a portion only, the generals ceased to be rulers, but became instruments of the executive, to do certain things as best he could. For a long time the war lord, not of royal blood, was supreme in war and above the royal king, and just as the Japanese Shoguns were for 250 years in peace. He finally became subordinate, even in war - a chief of staff we call it. William was forced to let Von Moltke manage the military branch as he saw fit, and always ordered the plans suggested. We have not reached that stage yet, but temporarily we have made the Chief Executive the Commander-in-Chief in war, and have not provided him with a complete staff, but we will, and then we will see the Presidents do as William did - turn over the military plans to the modern representative of the modern War Lord - the general staff composed of many big brains skilled in specialties, because one brain cannot possibly absorb all the details of the modern science of war.
The division of labor of modern society limits the duties of a king. He has so little to do, indeed, that he requires but little originality. He signs what is put before him and asks no questions. If he thinks he has power to modify the course of events, he is informed that it is easy to get a substitute for him. This is why there have been eminent royalties but little removed from feeble-mindedness. They are the survival of the fittest. A sultan needs more brains than an Aryan king, but even he must submit to popular will sometimes, as in Persia and Turkey, and perhaps Egypt, too.
The history of the Teutonic peoples shows that they have always been democratic - that is, the sovereignty resided in all the male citizens. As the nation was all of one blood, there was equality, omitting, of course, the slaves taken in war. Hence, the sovereignty was equally divided among the people, and they were all sovereigns. When it became necessary to entrust the execution of their will - that is, the laws - to an executive, and that executive was made hereditary, the idea gradually arose that he and not the people, was the sovereign, and the king assumed that he was a sovereign by the divine command of God. It is to be remembered that upon every conquest of England by Roman, Saxon, Dane or Norman, the sovereignty was taken from the people and divided up among the conquerors, so that it became an easy matter for the king to steal it all. The first marked break in this condition was the charter of Norman Henry, in 1100; then after Runnymede, in 1215, came the Magna Charta, or acknowledgment by the king that he would share with the nobles. England then became an aristocracy, but its later history is a long and wearisome account of the struggles of the people to regain their sovereignty. At one time they had to import the House of Hanover, to get rid of the greater nuisance - the Catholic Stuarts - for we have seen that this religion, so fitted to the lower submissive races of Southern Europe, is repugnant to self-assertive Teutons. In time George III and his degenerate obese minister, Lord North, denied these same rights to American colonists, and the revolution had to occur again, as it had times innumerable before and has since. Burke and others saw the inevitable outcome, but were powerless to stop it.*
When George III refused to sign a bill passed by Parliament, the Prime Minister said, "Very well, your Majesty, it is easy to get a king who will sign it." When a later queen asked a prime minister what it would cost to enclose St. James' Park for her private use, he simply replied, "Two crowns, your Majesty." By the execution of some and the banishment of others, the people have eliminated the royal lines which could not understand that they were public servants, and as a survival of the fittest, the present Royal houses are perfectly adjusted to this proper relationship. They will even change religions to please the people they serve. The king has, in fact, become the servant of the State, though the old forms are retained. When the king uses the first person, "my army," "my Parliament," etc., he is no longer speaking as the sole sovereign. It is a figure of speech. It is really the people speaking. If they could do it conveniently, they would say "our army," "our Parliament." Every one knows in England that when the King says "my army," that the sentence means "the Sovereign's Army," that is, "the People's Army." No one is deceived and no one worries over it.
Technically, only the King can declare war, yet it recently raised a great outcry when the Cabinet in the name of the King, entered into a compact with Germany to declare war on Venezuela by a blockade. The people said that it was their right, and no one could do such a thing except the people in assembled Parliament. The Cabinet had to disavow the transaction and settle with Venezuela in a hurry. They were on thin ice for a while, because they had stolen the rights of the sovereign people. Likewise, the word "subject" has a new meaning. It no longer means "subject of the king." Every man is part of the social organism, subject to its combined will, and dependent upon it, a real subject of the State. This is as true in the United States as in England, only we dislike the word so much that we use the word sovereign. So we say Americans are all sovereigns, but each one is subject to the will of the majority - the law. There was once a great outcry against our Ambassador to England, Mr. Bayard, who, in a speech, used the word "subject" in referring to American citizens. He probably used the word in its English sense, so as to be better understood by his hearers. In France, the same revolution has occurred. Louis XIV said, "L'etat, c'est moi," but he did not know that society consists of its people. At present every Frenchman is recognized as part of the State.
* All these facts are explained in Green's " History of the English People," and Bryce's "The American Commonwealth".