Personal Union
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Personal Union

A personal union is the combination of two or more states that have the same monarch while their boundaries, laws, and interests remain distinct.[1] A real union, by contrast, would involve the constituent states being to some extent interlinked, such as by sharing some limited governmental institutions. In a federation and a unitary state, a central (federal) government spanning all member states exists, with the degree of self-governance distinguishing the two. The ruler in a personal union does not need to be a hereditary monarch.[2]

The term was coined by German jurist Johann Stephan Pütter, introducing it into Elementa iuris publici germanici (Elements of German Public Law) of 1760.[3]

Personal unions can arise for several reasons, ranging from coincidence (a woman who is already married to a king becomes queen regnant, and their child inherits the crown of both countries; the King of one country inherits the crown of another country) to virtual annexation (where a personal union sometimes was seen as a means of preventing uprisings). They can also be codified (i.e., the constitutions of the states clearly express that they shall share the same person as head of state) or non-codified, in which case they can easily be broken (e.g., by the death of the monarch when the two states have different succession laws).

The Commonwealth realms are independent states that share the same person as monarch.

Because presidents of republics are ordinarily chosen from within the citizens of the state in question, the concept of personal union has almost never crossed over from monarchies into republics, with the rare exception of the president of France being a co-prince of Andorra. In 1860 Marthinus Wessel Pretorius was simultaneously elected as the president of Transvaal and Orange Free State and he tried to unify the two countries but his mission failed and led to the Transvaal Civil War.

Andorra

Even though France is now a republic with a president and not a monarchy, it has nevertheless been in personal union with the neighboring nominal monarchy (non-hereditary) of Andorra since 1278.

Austria

Bohemia

  • Personal union with Poland 1003-1004 (Bohemia occupied by Poles)
  • Personal union with Poland 1300-1306 and Hungary 1301-1305 (Wenceslas II and Wenceslas III)
  • Personal union with Luxembourg 1313-1378 and 1383-1388
  • Personal union with Hungary 1419-1439 (Sigismund of Luxemburg and his son in law) and 1490-1526 (Jagellon dynasty)
  • Personal union with Austria and Hungary 1526-1918 (except years 1619-1620)

Brandenburg

Brazil

Congo Free State to Belgium

  • Personal union with Belgium from 1885 to 1908, when the Congo Free State became a Belgian colony. The only sovereign during this period was Leopold II, who continued as king of Belgium until his death a year later in 1909.

Croatia

Denmark

England

After 1707, see Great Britain below.

France

Note: The point at issue in the War of the Spanish Succession was the fear that the succession to the Spanish throne dictated by Spanish law, which would devolve on Louis, le Grand Dauphin — already heir to the throne of France — would create a personal union that would upset the European balance of power; France had the most powerful military in Europe at the time, and Spain the largest empire.

Georgia

Great Britain

Before 1707, see England and Scotland.

After 1801, see United Kingdom below.

Hanover

Holy Roman Empire

Hungary

  • Personal union with Croatia 1102-1918 (see § Croatia above for details).
  • Personal union with Poland and Bohemia 1301-1305.
  • Personal union with Poland from 1370 to 1382 under the reign of Louis the Great. This period in Polish history is sometimes known as the Andegawen Poland. Louis inherited the Polish throne from his maternal uncle Casimir III. After Louis' death the Polish nobles (the szlachta) decided to end the personal union, since they did not want to be governed from Hungary, and chose Louis' younger daughter Jadwiga as their new ruler, while Hungary was inherited by his elder daughter Mary. Personal union with Poland for the second time from 1440 to 1444.
  • Personal union with Bohemia, 1419-1439 and 1490-1918.
  • Personal union with the Holy Roman Empire, 1410-1439, 1556-1608, 1612-1740 and 1780-1806.
  • Real union with Austria, 1867-1918 (the dual monarchy of Austria-Hungary) under the reigns of Franz Joseph and Charles IV.

Iceland

Ireland

Korea: Goryeo

  • Personal union with Shenyang in Mongolian Yuan Dynasty of China 1308-1313 (King Chungseon)
    • As King of Goryeo (?) and King of Shenyang () in 1308-1310
    • As King of Goryeo and King of Shen () in 1310-1313

The King Chungseon reigned as King of Goryeo in 1298 and 1308-1313 and King of Shenyang or Shen from 1307 (according to the History of Yuan) or 1308 (according to Goryeosa) to 1316. At that time, Goryeo had already become a vassal of Yuan and the imperial family of Yuan and the royal family of Goryeo had close relationship by marriages of convenience. Because he was a very powerful man during Emperor Wuzong's era, he could become the King of Shenyang where many Korean people lived in China. However, he lost his power in the court of Yuan after the death of Emperor Wuzong. Because the Yuan Dynasty made Chungseon abdicate the crown of the Goryeo in 1313, the personal union was ended. King Chungsuk, Chungseon's eldest son, became the new King of Goryeo. In 1316, the Yuan Dynasty made Chungseon abdicate the crown of Shen in favour of Wang Go, one of his nephews, resulting in him becoming the new King of Shen.

Lithuania

Luxembourg

Naples

Navarre

  • Personal union with France from 1285 to 1328 due to the marriage between Philip IV of France and Joan I of Navarre and the reign of their three sons, and from 1589 to 1620 due to the accession of Henry IV, after which Navarre was formally integrated into France.

Netherlands

  • Personal union with England (1689-1702).
  • Personal union with Luxembourg from 1815 to 1890.

Norway

  • Sweyn Forkbeard ruled both Norway and Denmark from 999 to 1014. He also ruled England from 1013 to 1014.
  • Cnut the Great ruled both England and Denmark from 1018 to 1035. He also ruled Norway from 1028 to 1035.
  • Personal union with Denmark 1042-1047 Magnus I of Norway who died of unclear circumstances.
  • Personal union with Sweden from 1319 to 1343.
  • Personal union with Sweden from 1449 to 1450.
  • Personal union with Denmark from 1380 to 1389/97.
  • The Kalmar Union with Denmark and Sweden from 1389/97 to 1521/23 (sometimes defunct).[vague]
  • Personal union with Denmark 1523 to 1814.
  • Personal union with Sweden from 1814 (when Norway declared independence from Denmark and was forced into a union with Sweden) to 1905.

Poland

Portugal

Prussia

Romania

Sardinia

Saxe-Weimar and Saxe-Eisenach

The duchies of Saxe-Weimar and Saxe-Eisenach were in personal union from 1741, when the ruling house of Saxe-Eisenach died out, until 1809, when they were merged into the single duchy of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach.

Schleswig and Holstein

Duchies with peculiar rules for succession. See the Schleswig-Holstein Question.

  • The kings of Denmark at the same time being dukes of Schleswig and Holstein 1460-1864. (Holstein being part of the Holy Roman Empire, while Schleswig was a part of Denmark). The situation was complicated by the fact that for some time, the Duchies were divided among collateral branches of the House of Oldenburg (the ruling House in Denmark and Schleswig-Holstein). Besides the "main" Duchy of Schleswig-Holstein-Glückstadt, ruled by the Kings of Denmark, there were states encompassing territory in both Duchies. Notably the Dukes of Schleswig-Holstein-Gottorp and the subordinate Dukes of Schleswig-Holstein-Beck, Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg and Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg.

Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt and Schwarzburg-Sondershausen

The duchies of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt and Schwarzburg-Sondershausen were in personal union from 1909, when Prince Günther of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt succeeded also to the throne of Schwarzburg-Sondershausen, until 1918, when he (and all the other German monarchs) abdicated.

Scotland

After 1707, see Great Britain above.

Sicily

Spain

Leon, Castile and Aragon

Spain

Sweden

United Kingdom

See also

References

  1. ^ Oppenheim, Lassa; Roxbrough, Ronald (2005). International Law: A Treatise. The Lawbook Exchange. ISBN 978-1-58477-609-3. Retrieved 2013.
  2. ^ In the Holy Roman Empire, many prince-bishops had themselves elected to separate prince-bishoprics, which they ruled in a personal union. For example, Joseph Clemens von Bayern (1671-1723) was Prince-Bishop of Freising (1685-1694), Prince-Bishop of Regensburg (1685-1694), Prince-Elector of Cologne (1688-1723), Prince-Bishop of Liège (1694-1723) and Prince-Bishop of Hildesheim (1702-1723).
  3. ^ Harding, Nick (2007). Hanover and the British Empire, 1700-1837. Boydell & Brewer. ISBN 9781843833000.

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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