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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 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]

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 example 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.



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.





China: Shenyang[edit]

For more information, see § Korea: Goryeo below.

Congo Free State to Belgium[edit]


Croatian crown was worn by Hungarian kings since 1102

In 1102, after a period of succession crisis following the death of King "Demetrius Zvonimir, the "Kingdom of Croatia entered a union with the Kingdom of Hungary in 1102.[3][4][5] The crown passed into the hands of the "Árpád dynasty with the crowning of King "Coloman of Hungary with the "Croatian crown as "King of Croatia and Dalmatia" in "Biograd.[6][7] 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.[6] Some of the terms of Coloman's coronation are summarized in "Pacta Conventa by which the "Croatian nobles agreed to recognise Coloman as king. Although it is not an authentic document from 1102 and is likely a forgery from the 14th century, the contents of the Pacta Conventa correspond to the political situation["clarification needed] of that time in Croatia.[3]["not in citation given][8][9]

The precise terms of the union between the two realms became a matter of dispute in the 19th century.[3][10] The nature of the relationship varied through time, Croatia retained a large degree of internal autonomy overall, while the real power rested in the hands of the local nobility.[11][12] Modern Croatian and Hungarian historiographies mostly view the relations between the "Kingdom of Croatia and Kingdom of Hungary from 1102 as a form of a personal union presided over by the "King of Hungary,[13][14] resembling the relationship of Scotland to England.[15][16]

It is argued that the medieval Hungary and Croatia were (in terms of public international law) allied by means of personal union until the "Battle of Mohács in 1526. On January 1, 1527, the Croatian nobles at "Cetin unanimously elected "Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria, as their king, and confirmed in "Cetingrad Charter the succession to him and his heirs.[17] However, officially the "Hungarian-Croatian state existed until the beginning of the 20th century and the "Treaty of Trianon.[7][18][19]



After 1707, see Great Britain below.



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[edit]

Before 1707, see England and Scotland.

After 1801, see United Kingdom below.


Holy Roman Empire[edit]




Korea: Goryeo[edit]

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.










Saxe-Weimar and Saxe-Eisenach[edit]

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[edit]

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

Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt and Schwarzburg-Sondershausen[edit]

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.


After 1707, see Great Britain above.



Leon, Castile and Aragon



United Kingdom[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Oppenheim, Lassa; Roxbrough, Ronald (2005). International Law: A Treatise. The Lawbook Exchange. "ISBN "1-58477-609-9. Retrieved 13 June 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. ^ a b c Britannica:History of Croatia
  4. ^ Kristó Gyula: A magyar–horvát perszonálunió kialakulása [The formation of Croatian-Hungarian personal union](in Hungarian)
  5. ^ "Histoire de la Croatie". "Larousse online encyclopedia (in French). 
  6. ^ a b Luscombe and Riley-Smith, David and Jonathan (2004). New Cambridge Medieval History: C.1024-c.1198, Volume 4. Cambridge University Press. pp. 273–274. "ISBN "0-521-41411-3. 
  7. ^ a b Font, Marta: Hungarian Kingdom and Croatia in the Middle Age
  8. ^ Pál Engel: Realm of St. Stephen: A History of Medieval Hungary, 2005, p. 35-36
  9. ^ Bárány, Attila (2012). "The Expansion of the Kingdom of Hungary in the Middle Ages (1000– 1490)". In Berend, Nóra. The Expansion of Central Europe in the Middle Ages. Ashgate Variorum. page 344-345
  10. ^ Sedlar, Jean W. (2011). East Central Europe in the Middle Ages. "University of Washington Press. p. 280. "ISBN "029580064X. Retrieved 16 January 2014. 
  11. ^ Singleton, Frederick Bernard (1985). A Short History of the Yugoslav Peoples. "Cambridge University Press. p. 29. "ISBN "978-0-521-27485-2. 
  12. ^ John Van Antwerp Fine: The Early Medieval Balkans: A Critical Survey from the Sixth to the Late Twelfth Century, 1991, p. 288
  13. ^ Barna Mezey: Magyar alkotmánytörténet, Budapest, 1995, p. 66
  14. ^ Heka, László (October 2008). "Hrvatsko-ugarski odnosi od sredinjega vijeka do nagodbe iz 1868. s posebnim osvrtom na pitanja Slavonije" [Croatian-Hungarian relations from the Middle Ages to the Compromise of 1868, with a special survey of the Slavonian issue]. Scrinia Slavonica (in Croatian). 8 (1): 155. 
  15. ^ Jeszenszky, Géza. "Hungary and the Break-up of Yugoslavia: A Documentary History, Part I". Hungarian Review. II (2). 
  16. ^ Banai Miklós, Lukács Béla: Attempts for closing up by long range regulators in the Carpathian Basin
  17. ^ R. W. SETON-WATSON: The southern Slav question and the Habsburg Monarchy page 18
  18. ^ Charles W. Ingrao, p.12: The Habsburg monarchy, 1618–1815
  19. ^ David Raič, p. 342: Statehood and the law of self-determination
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