The Exhibition in Zaragoza | Modern monarchy

Modern monarchy

The descendants of the first Bhutanese King, Ugyen Wangchuck, led the country into the 20th century, established first international relationships and, by doing so, brought Bhutan's decade-long isolation to an end.

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The second King Jigme Wangchuck (reign: 1927-1952) continued his father's work, the spiritual and political consolidation of the state. He established a streamlined administration and reformed the old system of taxation. The third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck (reign: 1952-1972) is regarded as the father of modern Bhutan. During his reign the national assembly congegrated for the first time in 1955, slavery was abolished in 1956, the first five-year plan for the development of the country was introduced in 1961, and in 1971 Bhutan became a member of the United Nations. The third king ended Bhutan's long-lasting isolation from the outside world and sought to establish international relations. With the help of foreign support the country is to be modernized. The process of modernization is guided by the maxim that the development of the country shall be in balance with its tradition and its cultural heritage. Since 1972 King Jigme Singye Wangchuck rules the country as head of the state and of the government. He is assisted by a cabinet, a civil administration, the "Royal Council" of nine and the national assembly. Laws are initiated and passed by the king and the national assembly in close collaboration.