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Personal union

From Academic Kids

A personal union consists of two or more entities that are internationally considered separate states, but sharing the same Head of State (and thence also sharing whatever political actions are vested in the Head of State, but no, or at least extremely few, others). It is not to be confused with a federation (like the United States), which is internationally considered a single state.

Personal unions can arise for very different reasons, ranging from near coincidence (a princess who is already married to a king becomes a 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 (the constitutions of the states clearly express that they shall be joined together) or non-codified (in which case they can easily be broken by e.g. different succession rules).

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. With the decline of their number during the 20th century, personal unions have become quite uncommon. Where they do exist, most notably between the so-called Commonwealth Realms, they are now mostly ceremonial, as the Governor-General, in theory the representative of the Head of State, has only marginal political power, and is nominated by and has to take the advice of the local Head of Government.

There is a somewhat grey area between personal unions and federations, and the one has regularly grown into the other. This article is an attempt at listing some historical and contemporary personal unions.

Contents: top - 0-9 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Albania

  • Personal union (not universally recognized) with Italy from 1939 to 1946 (when republic was proclaimed)
  • Personal union (not universally recognized) with Ethiopia from 1939 to 1941

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)

Antigua and Barbuda

Australia

  • The Commonwealth Realms, officially a personal union since 1927 (see Antigua and Barbuda, above, for participants)

Austria

Bahamas

  • The Commonwealth Realms, officially a personal union since 1927 (see Antigua and Barbuda, above, for participants)

Barbados

  • The Commonwealth Realms, officially a personal union since 1927 (see Antigua and Barbuda, above, for participants)

Belize

  • The Commonwealth Realms, officially a personal union since 1927 (see Antigua and Barbuda, above, for participants)

Canada

  • The Commonwealth Realms, officially a personal union since 1927 (see Antigua and Barbuda, above, for participants)

Croatia

Denmark

England

Ethiopia

  • Personal union (not universally recognized) with Italy from 1936 to 1941
  • Personal union (not universally recognized) with Albania from 1939 to 1941

Finland

France

  • Partial personal union with Andorra since 1607 (the French president is one of the Heads of State in Andorra)

Great Britain

Grenada

  • The Commonwealth Realms, officially a personal union since 1927 (see Antigua and Barbuda, above, for participants)

Hanover

Holy Roman Empire

Hungary


  • 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 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

Ireland

Italy

Jamaica

  • The Commonwealth Realms, officially a personal union since 1927 (see Antigua and Barbuda, above, for participants)

Lithuania

Luxembourg

New Zealand

  • The Commonwealth Realms, officially a personal union since 1927 (see Antigua and Barbuda, above, for participants)

Northern Mariana Islands

Norway

Netherlands

Papua New Guinea

  • The Commonwealth Realms, officially a personal union since 1927 (see Antigua and Barbuda, above, for participants)

Poland

Poland-Lithuania

Portugal

Russia

Saint Kitts and Nevis

  • The Commonwealth Realms, officially a personal union since 1927 (see Antigua and Barbuda, above, for participants)

Saint Lucia

  • The Commonwealth Realms, officially a personal union since 1927 (see Antigua and Barbuda, above, for participants)

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

  • The Commonwealth Realms, officially a personal union since 1927 (see Antigua and Barbuda, above, for participants)

Scotland

Spain

Schleswig and Holstein

Duchies with peculiar rules for succession.

Solomon Islands

  • The Commonwealth Realms, officially a personal union since 1927 (see Antigua and Barbuda, above, for participants)

Sweden

Main article: Unions of Sweden

Tuvalu

  • The Commonwealth Realms, officially a personal union since 1927 (see Antigua and Barbuda, above, for participants)

United Kingdom

de:Personalunion nl:Personele unie no:Personalunion pl:Unia personalna pt:Unio pessoal ru:Личная уния sv:Personalunion zh:共主邦聯

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