Federal monarchy

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A federal monarchy, in the strict sense, is a federation of states with a single monarch as overall head of the federation, but retaining different monarchs, or having a non-monarchical system of government, in the various states joined to the federation.

Contents

As a term in political science

The term was introduced into English political and historical discourse by Edward Augustus Freeman, in his History of Federal Government (1863). Freeman himself thought a federal monarchy only possible in the abstract. [1]

Federal monarchies

Historically

Historically, the most prominent example of a federal monarchy in the Western world was the German Empire (1871–1918) and, to a lesser extent, its predecessors (North German Confederation and German Confederation). The head of state of the federation was a monarch, the German Emperor, who was also head of state of the largest constituent part to the federation as King of Prussia; other constituent monarchies, such as the kingdoms of Bavaria, Saxony and Württemberg and various grand duchies, duchies and principalities, retained their own monarchs and armies. Besides the 23 monarchies (22 constituent monarchies and the German emperor) there were also three republican city-statesBremen, Hamburg and Lübeck – and Alsace-Lorraine, a semi-autonomous republic since 1912.

In the Eastern Hemisphere, an example is the system of government in India in the 3rd century BCE Maurya Empire, where regional rulers appointed by the emperor headed the regional administration that governed the distant regions of the empire. It was revived in 16th century under the rule of Mughal Emperor Akbar, in which the subahs (other than Delhi) were controlled by subehdars appointed by the emperor and the regional kings. The emperor himself supervised the regional rulers and thus personally looked after the welfare of his people.[ citation needed ][ dubious ]

The concept played a role in political debates in Italy and Austria-Hungary in the nineteenth century and in Yugoslavia in the twentieth century, but it was not put into effect in any of the cases. For example, modern Italy had not unified until Risorgimento of the late 19th century, with the several smaller kingdoms, duchies, republics, etc., each headed by a different dynasty or ruling class, being disestablished in favor of a unitary monarchy under the house of Savoy.

Currently

Currently, the term can be applied in the fullest sense to the United Arab Emirates and Malaysia. [2] In both, the head of state of the entire federation is selected from among the heads of states (Emir, Sultan or Raja, respectively) who rule the constituent states of the federation.

While not officially declared as such, Spain has been referred to as a federal monarchy, due to having many autonomous communities helmed by presidents who all answer to the Spanish crown. [3] Officially, Spain is a unitary state displaying a high degree of devolution.

List of federal monarchies (in the strict sense)

NationOfficial nameSubdivisions Head of state
Flag of Malaysia.svg  Malaysia Malaysia States and federal territories Yang di-Pertuan Agong (currently Abdullah of Pahang)
Flag of the United Arab Emirates.svg  United Arab Emirates United Arab Emirates Emirates President

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Constitutional monarchy</span> Type of monarchy in which power is restricted by a constitution

A constitutional monarchy, parliamentary monarchy, or democratic monarchy is a form of monarchy in which the monarch exercises their authority in accordance with a constitution and is not alone in deciding. Constitutional monarchies differ from absolute monarchies in that they are bound to exercise powers and authorities within limits prescribed by an established legal framework. Constitutional monarchies range from countries such as Liechtenstein, Monaco, Morocco, Jordan, Kuwait, and Bahrain, where the constitution grants substantial discretionary powers to the sovereign, to countries such as Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, the Netherlands, Spain, Belgium, Sweden, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, and Japan, where the monarch retains significantly less personal discretion in the exercise of their authority.

Federalism is a mixed or compound mode of government that combines a general government with regional governments in a single political system, dividing the powers between the two. Federalism in the modern era was first adopted in the unions of states during the Old Swiss Confederacy.

These are lists of incumbents, including heads of states or of subnational entities.

A monarch is a head of state for life or until abdication, and therefore the head of state of a monarchy. A monarch may exercise the highest authority and power in the state, or others may wield that power on behalf of the monarch. Usually a monarch either personally inherits the lawful right to exercise the state's sovereign rights or is selected by an established process from a family or cohort eligible to provide the nation's monarch. Alternatively, an individual may proclaim themself monarch, which may be backed and legitimated through acclamation, right of conquest or a combination of means.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Monarchy</span> Form of government

A monarchy is a form of government in which a person, the monarch, is head of state for life or until abdication. The political legitimacy and authority of the monarch may vary from restricted and largely symbolic, to fully autocratic, and can expand across the domains of the executive, legislative, and judicial.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Republic</span> Form of government where the head of state is not a monarch

A republic is a form of government in which "supreme power is held by the people and their elected representatives". In republics, the country is considered a "public matter", not the private concern or property of the rulers. The primary positions of power within a republic are attained through democracy or a mix of democracy with oligarchy or autocracy rather than being unalterably occupied by any given family lineage or group. With modern republicanism, it has become the opposing form of government to a monarchy and therefore a modern republic has no monarch as head of state.

A grand duchy is a country or territory whose official head of state or ruler is a monarch bearing the title of grand duke or grand duchess.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Federation</span> Political union of partially self-governing territories under a central government

A federation is a political entity characterized by a union of partially self-governing provinces, states, or other regions under a central federal government (federalism). In a federation, the self-governing status of the component states, as well as the division of power between them and the central government, is typically constitutionally entrenched and may not be altered by a unilateral decision, neither by the component states nor the federal political body. Alternatively, a federation is a form of government in which sovereign power is formally divided between a central authority and a number of constituent regions so that each region retains some degree of control over its internal affairs.

The abolition of monarchy and anti-royalism is a legislative or revolutionary movement to abolish monarchical elements in government, usually hereditary.

A personal union is the combination of two or more states that have the same monarch while their boundaries, laws, and interests remain distinct. A real union, by contrast, would involve the constituent states being to some extent interlinked, such as by sharing some limited governmental institutions. Unlike the personal union, 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.

Grand prince or great prince is a title of nobility ranked in honour below king and emperor and above a sovereign prince.

Lands of the Bohemian Crown Incorporated states in Central Europe during the medieval and early modern periods

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Regional state</span> Type of unitary decentralized state limited to regional government

A regional state, or a regionalised unitary state, is a term used to denote a type of state that is formally unitary but where a high degree of political power has been highly decentralised to regional governments. This contrasts with a state organized on principles of federalism where the powers of the regions are enshrined in constitutional law. In many cases, the regions are based on long standing cultural or regional divisions.

A political union is a type of political entity which is composed of, or created from smaller polities, or the process which achieves this. These smaller polities are usually called federated states and federal territories in a federal government; and prefectures, regions, or provinces in the case of a centralised government. This form of government may be voluntary and mutual and is described as unionism by its constituent members and proponents. In other cases, it may arise from political unification, characterised by coercion and conquest. The unification of separate states which, in the past, had together constituted a single entity, is known as reunification. Unlike a personal union or real union, the individual constituent entities may have devolution of powers but are subordinate to a central government or coordinated in some sort of organization. In a federalised system, the constituent entities usually have internal autonomy, for example in the setup of police departments, and share power with the federal government, for whom external sovereignty, military forces, and foreign affairs are usually reserved. The union is recognised internationally as a single political entity. A political union may also be called a legislative union or state union.

A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or state. The term derives from the ancient Roman provincia, which was the major territorial and administrative unit of the Roman Empire's territorial possessions outside Italy. The term province has since been adopted by many countries. In some countries with no actual provinces, "the provinces" is a metaphorical term meaning "outside the capital city".

A non-sovereign monarchy or constituent monarchy is one in which the head of the monarchical polity, and the polity itself, are subject to a temporal authority higher than their own. The constituent states of the German Empire or the Princely States of British India provide historical examples; while the Zulu King, whose power derives from the Constitution of South Africa, is a contemporary one.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Monarchy of Germany</span>

The Monarchy of Germany was the system of government in which a hereditary monarch was the sovereign of the German Empire from 1871 to 1918.

References

  1. E.A. Freeman, History of Federal Government, pp. 96-100. Available on google books.
  2. Tommy Thomas, "Is Malaysia an Islamic State?" 2005.
  3. Ronald L. Watts, Comparing Federal Systems. McGill-Queen's University Press, 2003. ISBN   0-88911-835-3