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A personal union is the combination by which two or more different states are governed by the same monarch while their boundaries, their laws and their interests remain distinct.[1][2] It should not be confused with a federation which is internationally considered a single state. Nor is it to be confused with dynastic union, where the union can be under a dynasty.

Personal unions can arise for very different reasons, ranging from near coincidence (a princess who is already married to a king becomes queen regnant, and their child inherits the crown of both countries) 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).

Because presidents of republics are ordinarily chosen from within the citizens of the state in question, personal unions are almost entirely a phenomenon of monarchies, the unique exception nowadays being the Principality of Andorra in which one of the two co-princes is the President of France. Sometimes the term dual monarchy is used to signify a personal union between two monarchies.

There is a somewhat grey area between personal unions and federations, and the first has regularly grown into the second.

Following a prose introduction, here are some notes on personal unions through history, organized by country. With the exception of the sixteen Commonwealth realms, such as Canada, Australia, and New Zealand[3], and of France and Andorra (where the union is partial), there are no longer any personal unions in today's world.[2]

The term personal union is also used to describe the bureaucratic device used in Nazi Germany to combine high level state positions with equivalent positions in the National Socialist Party.[4] The same bureaucratic device is also used by other governments, such as in the People's Republic of China. It is similar to the persona designata scheme by which judicial officers can be appointed to non-judicial or quasi-judicial functions under common law systems.

Contents

Andorra

Aragon, Crown of

In 1162 Alfonso II of Aragon was the first person to bear the titles of King of Aragon and Count of Barcelona, ruling what was called later Crown of Aragon. James I of Aragon later created and added the Kingdom of Majorca and the Kingdom of Valencia to the Crown. Later, Charles of Ghent — Charles I of Spain, Charles V of the Holy Roman Empire— would join Aragon and Castile in a personal union that would become Spain.

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

Commonwealth realms

The conception of a personal union was suggested to keep the Irish Free State as a Commonwealth Realm.[5]

The phrase personal union appears in some discussion about the early Commonwealth of Nations,[6] though its application to Commonwealth was refuted by others.[7] They fit the classical definition, but whether they are in personal union is doubted because of a) the functional unimportance of the monarch in today's Commonwealth governments,[citation needed] and b) the term being seen as an anachronism. Also it could be questioned whether a shared monarchy falls under the definition of a personal union, as the Crowns of the countries involved aren't entirely separate.[citation needed]

Congo Free State

Croatia (disputed)

Personal union theory

According to another theory, Kingdom of Croatia and Kingdom of Hungary formed a personal union of two kingdoms in 1102, united under the Hungarian king.[8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16] In c.1102, when the Croatian dynasty died out, the Croats joined the Hungarians in a personal union, but the Croatian State kept its political individuality with its ban and its assembly.[17] King Coloman established the personal union of the Kingdom of Croatia and the Kingdom of Hungary by an agreement called Pacta conventa.[18] After King Koloman was crowned as a Croatian king in Biograd, Croatian nobility retained strong powers.[19] Although, the precise time and terms of Pacta Conventa later became a matter of dispute; nonetheless there was at least a non-written agreement that regulated the relations between Hungary and Croatia in approximately the same way.[20]

In the union with Hungary, institutions of separate Croatian statehood were maintained through the Sabor (an assembly of Croatian nobles) and the ban (viceroy). In addition, the Croatian nobles retained their lands and titles.[21] Coloman retained the institution of the Sabor and relieved the Croatians of taxes on their land.[citation needed] Coloman's successors continued to crown themselves as Kings of Croatia separately in Biograd na Moru until the time of Bela IV.[22] In the 14th century a new term arose to describe the collection of de jure independent states under the rule of the Hungarian King: Archiregnum Hungaricum (Lands of the Crown of Saint Stephen).[23]

Medieval Hungary and Croatia were (in terms of public international law) allied by means of personal union until the Battle of Mohács in 1526.[citation needed] On January 1, 1527, the Croatian nobles at Cetin unanimously elected Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria, as their king, and confirmed the succession to him and his heirs.[24] However, officially the Hungarian-Croatian state existed until the beginning of the 20th century and the Treaty of Trianon.[14][15][16]

Hungarian occupation theory

According to a theory, Croatia was subjugated and incorporated into Hungary[25]. The alleged document of the personal union, the so-called Pacta Conventa is most likely a forgery from centuries later.[26][27][28][22][29][30][19]

The Pacta Conventa, the alleged document under which Croatians became vassals of Hungarians never existed, but the story about it was important for the Croatian position in the Habsburg Empire during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, when the Croats claimed their right for statehood on the basis of that agreement[19]. Although Croatia ceased to exist as an independent state when King Coloman of Hungary defeated the last Croatian king, the Croatian nobility retained some powers.[19]

According to the Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress, the Croats enjoyed their own medieval kingdom for several centuries before a long period of Hungarian rule from 1102 to 1918.[31] Most Croats lived under Hungarian kings until 1526 and under Habsburg monarchs thereafter[31]; the Croats of Bosnia and Hercegovina and Slavonia lived under Ottoman rule for several hundred years; and the Croats of Dalmatia passed from Hungarian to Venetian to Austrian rule.[31] With the help of Roman Catholic clerics, the Croats maintained a strong collective memory of their former statehood despite their centuries of foreign domination.[31]

Analysis, conclusion

The actual nature of the relationship is inexplicable in modern terms because it varied from time to time.[32] Sometimes Croatia acted as an independent agent and at other times as a vassal of Hungary.[32] However, Croatia retained a large degree of internal independence.[32] The degree of Croatian autonomy fluctuated throughout the centuries as did its borders.[33]

Denmark

England

Finland

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).

Great Britain

Hanover

Holy Roman Empire

  • Personal union with Spain from 1519 to 1556 under Charles V.
  • Personal union with Hungary from 1526 to 1806.

Hungary

  • For the disputed situation regarding Croatia, see above.
  • 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 didn't 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 from 1419 to 1439 and from 1490 to 1918.
  • Personal union with the Holy Roman Empire from 1410 to 1439 and from 1526 to 1806 (except 1608-1612).
  • Real union with Austria from 1867 to 1918 (the dual monarchy of Austria-Hungary) under the reigns of Franz Joseph and Charles IV.

Iceland

  • Personal union with Denmark from 1918 to 1944 when the country became a republic.

Ireland

Lithuania

Luxembourg

  • Personal union with Bohemia, 1313 - 1378 and 1383 - 1388.
  • Personal union with the Netherlands from 1815 to 1890.

Navarre

  • Personal union with France from 1589 to 1620 due to the accession of Henry IV, after which Navarre was formally integrated into France.

The Netherlands

  • Personal union with Luxembourg from 1815 to 1890.

Norway

Poland

Poland-Lithuania

  • Personal union with Sweden from 1592 to 1599
  • Personal union with Saxony from 1697 to 1705, 1709 to 1733 and 1733 to 1763

Portugal

Romania

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.

  • 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 Schlewig-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 rulers of German monarchies) abdicated.

Scotland

Spain

Sweden

United Kingdom

References

  1. ^ Lalor, ed. Various authors. See Contents. Cyclopaedia of Political Science. New York: Maynard, Merrill, and Co., ed. John Joseph Lalor, 1899. online version; accessed 21 June 2008
  2. ^ a b Oppenheim, Lassa; Roxbrough, Ronald (2005). International Law: A Treatise. The Lawbook Exchange. ISBN 1584776099, 9781584776093. http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=vxJ1Jwmyw0EC&pg=PA154&dq=%22personal+union%22+monarch&sig=ACfU3U1hl7VxWK410aPkbxUnOqtpY7tI-w#PPA154,M1. Retrieved 2008-10-05. "At present there is no Personal Union in existence" 
  3. ^ Personal Union
  4. ^ Steinweis, A.E. (1996). Art, Ideology, and Economics in Nazi Germany. UNC Press. p. 60. 
  5. ^ Mansergh, Nicholas (1934). The Irish Free State - Its Government and Politics. Read Books. pp. 263. http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=pla9SUe1yS0C&pg=RA1-PA263&dq=%22personal+union%22+Dominions&lr=&sig=ACfU3U2S-6-1i0tVX4H3jmV_yrEWjk7lFQ. 
  6. ^ F. R. Scott (January 1944). "The End of Dominion Status". The American Journal of International Law 38 (1): 34–49. doi:10.2307/2192530. http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0002-9300%28194401%2938%3A1%3C34%3ATEODS%3E2.0.CO%3B2-B. "The common kinship within the British group today establishes a form of personal union". 
  7. ^ P. E. Corbett (1940). "The Status of the British Commonwealth in International Law". The University of Toronto Law Journal 3 (2): 348–359. doi:10.2307/824318. http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0042-0220%281940%293%3A2%3C348%3ATSOTBC%3E2.0.CO%3B2-J. 
  8. ^ Europa Publications Limited, p.271: Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States, Svezak 4
  9. ^ Alain Finkielkraut, (pp. 17-18): Dispatches from the Balkan War and other writings
  10. ^ Imogen Bell, p.173: Central and South-Eastern Europe 2003
  11. ^ Mitja Velikonja p.78: Religious separation and political intolerance in Bosnia-Herzegovina
  12. ^ Piotr Stefan Wandycz, p.159: The price of freedom: a history of East Central Europe from the Middle Ages
  13. ^ Adrian Webb,Inc NetLibrary, Adrian Webb, p.218: The Routledge companion to Central and Eastern Europe since 1919
  14. ^ a b Charles W. Ingrao, p.12: The Habsburg monarchy, 1618-1815
  15. ^ a b David Raic, p. 342: Statehood and the law of self-determination
  16. ^ a b Font, Marta: Hungarian Kingdom and Croatia in the Middle Age
  17. ^ Vauchez, Dobson, Lapidge, André, Richard Barrie, Michael (2000). Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages, Svezak 1. Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers. pp. 384–385. ISBN 1-57958-282-6. 
  18. ^ Font, Marta:Hungarian Kingdom and Croatia in the Middle Age
  19. ^ a b c d Matjaž Klemenčič, Mitja Žagar (2004). The Former Yugoslavia's Diverse Peoples: A Reference Sourcebook. ABC-CLIO. p. 16. ISBN 9781576072943. 
  20. ^ Britannica:History of Croatia
  21. ^ http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/143561/Croatia
  22. ^ a b Curta, Stephenson, p. 267
  23. ^ Ana S. Trbovich (2008). A Legal Geography of Yugoslavia's Disintegration. Oxford University Press. p. 87. ISBN 9780195333435. 
  24. ^ R. W. SETON -WATSON:The southern Slav question and the Habsburg Monarchy page 18
  25. ^ Power, Daniel (2006). The Central Middle Ages: Europe 950-1320. Oxford University Press. pp. 186. ISBN 9780199253128. 
  26. ^ Van Antwerp Fine, John (2006). When Ethnicity Did Not Matter in the Balkans: A Study of Identity in Pre-nationalist Croatia, Dalmatia, and Slavonia in the Medieval and Early-modern Periods. University of Michigan Press. pp. 71. ISBN 9780472114146. 
  27. ^ Van Antwerp Fine, p. 70
  28. ^ Curta, Florin; Paul Stephenson (2006). Southeastern Europe in the Middle Ages, 500-1250. Cambridge University Press. pp. 267. ISBN 9780521815390. 
  29. ^ Bellamy, Alex J. (2003). The Formation of Croatian National Identity: A Centuries-old Dream. Manchester University Press. pp. 37. ISBN 9780719065026. 
  30. ^ Molnar, Miklos; Anna Magyar (2001). A concise history of Hungary. Cambridge concise histories. Cambridge University Press. pp. 30. ISBN 9780521667364. 
  31. ^ a b c d Curtis, Glenn E. (1992). "A Country Study: Yugoslavia (Former) - The Croats and Their Territories". Library of Congress. http://memory.loc.gov/frd/cs/yutoc.html. 
  32. ^ a b c Bellamy, p. 38
  33. ^ Singleton, Frederick Bernard (1985). A short history of the Yugoslav peoples. Cambridge University Press. pp. 29. ISBN 9780521274852. 

See also


Simple English

A personal union is a relationship of two or more sovereign states, which, through law, share the same person as their head of state.

Personal unions can begin for very different reasons. The case that a princess who is already married to a king becomes pregnant, and their child inherits the crown of both countries is a rather common cause. But a personal union sometimes was seen as a means against uprisings if a state wants an annexation of an other state. These unions can be written down in a constitution that clearly expresses that both states shall share the same person as head of state, but that is not always the case. Under these circumstances a personal union can easily be broken.

Contents

Some examples for personal unions

Andorra

  • Partial personal union with France since 1607 (the French president, and formerly the king of France, is one of the Heads of State in Andorra, the other co-head of state is the Bishop of La Seu d'Urgell, Catalonia, Spain.)

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

  • Personal union with the Duchy of Prussia from 1618, when Albert Frederick, Duke of Prussia died without male heirs and his son in law John Sigismund, Elector of Brandenburg became ruler of both countries. Brandenburg and Prussia maintained separate governments and seats of power in Berlin and Königsberg respectively until 1701, when Frederick William I consolidated them into one government.

Australia

  • Since 1941, upon the ratification of the Westminster Statute in 1942 - which ended the British Parliament's ability to legislate for Australia. The Australia Act of 1986, amongst other things, removed the Privy Council as the last court of Appeal in the Australian Judicial System. Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom serves, independently, as Queen of Australia, through her Vice-Regal Representative, the Governor-General, nominated by the Prime Minister.

Ireland

  • Personal union with the Kingdom of England from 1541, when the Irish Parliament proclaimed King Henry VIII of England to be also King of Ireland, to 1707 when the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland both united by the Treaty of Union and were replaced by the Kingdom of Great Britain.
  • Personal union with the Kingdom of Scotland from 1603, when King James VI of Scotland became King of England and King of Ireland to 1707, when the kingdom of England and the kingdom of Scotland united and were replaced by the Kingdom of Great Britain.
  • Personal union with the Kingdom of Great Britain from 1707 to 1800 when the two kingdoms were merged into the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
  • Personal union with Hanover from 1714 to 1800.
  • As a Commonwealth realm from 1922-1936/1949, when it became a republic (see Irish head of state from 1936-1949).

Denmark

England

The actual situation was slightly more complex with the Dutch provinces Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Gelderland and Overijssel entering into personal union in 1689 and Drenthe in 1696. Only 2 Dutch provinces never entered into the personal union: Friesland and Groningen.

France

  • Personal union with the Duchy of Brittany from 1491, when Duchess Anne of Brittany married King Charles VIII of France under duress, to 1532 when the Duchy of Brittany was formally annexed to the Kingdom of France.
  • Personal union with Navarre from 1589 to 1620, when Navarre was formally integrated into France.
  • Partial personal union with Andorra since 1607 (the French president is one of the Heads of State in Andorra)

Great Britain

Hanover

Holy Roman Empire

Hungary

  • Personal union with Croatia from 1102 to 1918.
  • 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 in the second time from 1440 to 1444.
  • Personal union with Bohemia from 1419 to 1439 and from 1490 to 1918
  • Personal union with the Holy Roman Empire from 1410 to 1439 and from 1526 to 1806 (except 1608-1612)
  • Personal union with Austria from 1867 to 1918 (the dual monarchy of Austria-Hungary) under the reigns of Franz Joseph and Charles IV (in fact it was rather a dynastic union, not a personal union.)

Iceland

  • Personal union with Denmark from 1918 to 1944 when the country became republic.

Ireland

Lithuania

Luxembourg

Navarre

  • Personal union with France from 1589 to 1620, when Navarre was formally integrated into France.

The Netherlands

Norway

Poland

Poland-Lithuania

Portugal

Romania

Scotland

Spain

Sweden

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland








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