The area of land which is now covered by the Principality of Liechtenstein has been a hereditary monarchy since 1719. Prior to that the land was under absolutist rule.
The Prince of Liechtenstein resided in Vienna and appointed a bailiff to handle the administration of the region. Over the years, the peasants battled to win back more and more rights, resulting in changes to the constitution in 1862 and 1921. Since 1921 Liechtenstein has been defined as a constitutional hereditary monarchy on a parliamentary and democratic basis.
A draft constitution presented by the Prince was accepted via referendum in 2003.