The establishment of a republic was in and of itself a revolutionary act. In 1787 power in the West was divided between hereditary monarchs who soaked their colonies for wealth and resources. Moreover a class of so-called nobles lived lives of privilege, largely because of emoluments from royal appointments to public offices. In stark contrast, the framers sought to built a society in which merit rather than title determined one’s life chances. The U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 9, Clause 8 states: “No title of nobility shall be granted by the United States: and no person holding any office of profit or trust under them, shall, without the consent of the Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state” (U.S. Constitution). The prohibition against titles of nobility underscores the framer’s commitment to republicanism and sets a foundation for meritocracy. There would be no individuals stamped with the divine right to rule—no kings, queens, prince, princesses, lords, dukes, or duchesses. At least on paper, everyone was equal and the phrase “his majesty” would be stricken from the American lexicon. By establishing a republic, the framers made a clean break from the political institutions and values of their European forebears.