A federal monarchy is a federation of states with a single monarch as over-all head of the federation, but retaining different monarchs, or a non-monarchical system of government, in the various states joined to the federation.
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.
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-states – Bremen, Hamburg and Lübeck – and Alsace-Lorraine, a semi-autonomous republic since 1912.
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 its land still being dived into several smaller kingdoms, duchies, republics, etc. each headed by a different dynasty or ruling class.
Currently, the term can be applied in the fullest sense to the United Arab Emirates and Malaysia; 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. Commonwealth realms are also sometimes referred to as federal monarchies in a way, as they all share the same individual as their respective sovereign while maintaining separate governments.
|Nation||Official name||Subdivisions||Head of state|
|Australia||Commonwealth of Australia||States and territories||King / Queen|
|Belgium||Kingdom of Belgium||Communities and Regions||King / Queen|
|Canada||Canada||Provinces and territories||King / Queen|
|Malaysia||Malaysia||States and federal territories||King|
|Saint Kitts and Nevis||Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis||Parish||King / Queen|
|United Arab Emirates||United Arab Emirates||Emirates||President|
Absolute monarchy is a form of monarchy in which the monarch holds supreme authority and where that authority is not restricted by any written laws, legislature, or customs. These are often hereditary monarchies. In contrast, in constitutional monarchies, the head of state's authority derives from and is legally bounded or restricted by a constitution or legislature.Some monarchies have a weak or symbolic legislature and other governmental bodies the monarch can alter or dissolve at will. Countries where monarchs still maintain absolute power are: Brunei, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Eswatini, Vatican City and the individual emirates composing the United Arab Emirates, which itself is a federation of such monarchies – a federal monarchy.Conscription
Conscription, sometimes called the draft, is the compulsory enlistment of people in a national service, most often a military service. Conscription dates back to antiquity and continues in some countries to the present day under various names. The modern system of near-universal national conscription for young men dates to the French Revolution in the 1790s, where it became the basis of a very large and powerful military. Most European nations later copied the system in peacetime, so that men at a certain age would serve 1–8 years on active duty and then transfer to the reserve force.
Conscription is controversial for a range of reasons, including conscientious objection to military engagements on religious or philosophical grounds; political objection, for example to service for a disliked government or unpopular war; and ideological objection, for example, to a perceived violation of individual rights. Those conscripted may evade service, sometimes by leaving the country, and seeking asylum in another country. Some selection systems accommodate these attitudes by providing alternative service outside combat-operations roles or even outside the military, such as Siviilipalvelus (alternative civil service) in Finland, Zivildienst (compulsory community service) in Austria and Switzerland. Several countries conscript male soldiers not only for armed forces, but also for paramilitary agencies, which are dedicated to police-like domestic only service like internal troops, border guards or non-combat rescue duties like civil defence.
As of the early 21st century, many states no longer conscript soldiers, relying instead upon professional militaries with volunteers. The ability to rely on such an arrangement, however, presupposes some degree of predictability with regard to both war-fighting requirements and the scope of hostilities. Many states that have abolished conscription still, therefore, reserve the power to resume conscription during wartime or times of crisis. States involved in wars or interstate rivalries are most likely to implement conscription, whereas democracies are less likely than autocracies to implement conscription. Former British colonies are less likely to have conscription, as they are influenced by British anti-conscription norms that can be traced back to the English Civil War.Elective monarchy
An elective monarchy is a monarchy ruled by an elected monarch, in contrast to a hereditary monarchy in which the office is automatically passed down as a family inheritance. The manner of election, the nature of candidate qualifications, and the electors vary from case to case. Historically it is not uncommon for elective monarchies to transform into hereditary ones over time, or for hereditary ones to acquire at least occasional elective aspects.Federal prince
Federal prince (German: Bundesfürsten, "Princes of the Federation") was the generic term for the royal heads of state (monarchs) of the various states making up the German Empire, with the exception of the states that were republics and Alsace-Lorraine which had a special status. The empire was a federal state, with its constituent states remaining sovereign states. Among the states, the majority were monarchies, 3 states were republics and Alsace-Lorraine was an imperial territory ruled by a steward. The states became part of the German Empire by an 1871 treaty. The head of the empire was granted the title German Emperor (with the title "Emperor of Germany" being deliberately avoided), and was simultaneously a federal prince as King of Prussia, the sovereign of its largest federal state. Of the princely heads of state, 4 held the title King (König) (the Kings of Prussia, Bavaria, Saxony, and Württemberg), 6 held the title Grand Duke (Großherzog), 5 held the title Duke (Herzog), and 7 held the title Prince (i.e. Sovereign Prince, Fürst). The heads of state of the city republics, where the concepts of nobility and royalty did not exist, were of equal standing to the federal princes and held the titles First Mayor and President of the Senate (Hamburg), Mayor and President of the Senate (Lübeck), and President of the Senate and Mayor (Bremen). The heads of state of the city republics were regarded as primi inter pares among the senators according to the states' republican constitutions, and these states were ruled by an oligarchy of hereditary Grand Burghers, also known as Hanseaten or patricians.In total, there were 22 federal princes of the German Empire and additionally three republican heads of state and the steward of Alsace-Lorraine.
The relationship between the German Emperor and the (other) federal princes soured quickly following William II's accession to the throne. Many federal princes felt William II treated them as mere vassals, when they were indeed sovereign monarchs of states that voluntarily had entered a federal monarchy. Both for this reason and because of their personal dislike of the Emperor, the federal princes tended to avoid the imperial court in Berlin.Federal republic
A federal republic is a federation of states with a republican form of government. At its core, the literal meaning of the word republic when used to reference a form of government means: "a country that is governed by elected representatives and by an elected leader (such as a president) rather than by a king or queen".
In a federal republic, there is a division of powers between the federal government, and the government of the individual subdivisions. While each federal republic manages this division of powers differently, common matters relating to security and defence, and monetary policy are usually handled at the federal level, while matters such as infrastructure maintenance and education policy are usually handled at the regional or local level. However, views differ on what issues should be a federal competence, and subdivisions usually have sovereignty in some matters where the federal government does not have jurisdiction. A federal republic is thus best defined in contrast to a unitary republic, whereby the central government has complete sovereignty over all aspects of political life. This more decentralized structure helps to explain the tendency for more populous countries to operate as federal republics. Most federal republics codify the division of powers between orders of government in a written constitutional document.
The political differences between a federal republic and other federal states, especially federal monarchies under a parliamentary system of government, are largely a matter of legal form rather than political substance, as most federal states are democratic in structure if not practice with checks and balances. However, some federal monarchies, such as the United Arab Emirates are based upon principles other than democracy.Federation
A federation (also known as a federal state) 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 of either party, the states or the federal political body. Alternatively, 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. It is often argued that federal states where the central government has the constitutional authority to suspend a constituent state's government by invoking gross mismanagement or civil unrest, or to adopt national legislation that overrides or infringe on the constituent states' powers by invoking the central government's constitutional authority to ensure "peace and good government" or to implement obligations contracted under an international treaty, are not truly federal states.
The governmental or constitutional structure found in a federation is considered to be federalist, or to be an example of federalism. It can be considered the opposite of another system, the unitary state. France, for example, has been unitary for multiple centuries. Austria and its Bundesländer was a unitary state with administrative divisions that became federated through the implementation of the Austrian Constitution following the 1918 collapse of Austria-Hungary. Germany, with its 16 states, or Bundesländer, is an example of a federation. Federations are often multiethnic and cover a large area of territory (such as Russia, the United States, Canada, India, or Brazil), but neither is necessarily the case (such as Saint Kitts and Nevis.
Several ancient chiefdoms and kingdoms, such as the 4th-century BCE League of Corinth, Noricum in Central Europe, and the Haudenosaunee Confederation in pre-Columbian North America, could be described as federations or confederations. The Old Swiss Confederacy was an early example of formal non-unitary statehood.
Several colonies and dominions in the New World consisted of autonomous provinces, transformed to federal states upon independence (see Spanish American wars of independence). The oldest continuous federation, and a role model for many subsequent federations, is the United States. Some of the New World federations failed; the Federal Republic of Central America broke up into independent states less than 20 years after its founding. Others, such as Argentina and Mexico, have shifted between federal, confederal, and unitary systems, before settling into federalism. Brazil became a federation only after the fall of the monarchy, and Venezuela became a federation after the Federal War. Australia and Canada are also federations.
Germany is another nation-state that has switched between confederal, federal and unitary rules, since the German Confederation was founded in 1815. The North German Confederation, the succeeding German Empire and the Weimar Republic were federations.
Founded in 1922, the Soviet Union was formally a federation of Soviet republics, autonomous republics and other federal subjects, though in practice highly centralized under the government of the Soviet Union. The Russian Federation has inherited a similar system.
Nigeria, Pakistan, India and Malaysia (then Federation of Malaya) became federations on or shortly before becoming independent from the British Empire.
In some recent cases, federations have been instituted as a measure to handle ethnic conflict within a state, such as Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Iraq since 2005.
With the United States Constitution having become effective on 4 March 1789, the United States is the oldest surviving federation. On the other end of the timeline is Nepal, which became the newest federation after its constitution went into effect on 20 September 2015.Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland
The Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland (also known as the Central African Federation, CAF) was a federal semi-Dominion that consisted of three southern African territories—the self-governing British colony of Southern Rhodesia and the British protectorates of Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland—between 1953 and 1963.
The Federation was established on 1 August 1953. The Federation was established with a Governor-General as the Queen's representative at the centre. An interesting and novel feature was the African Affairs Board, set up to safeguard the interests of Africans and endowed with statutory powers for that purpose, particularly in regard to discriminatory legislation. The constitutional status of the three territories – a self-governing Colony and two Protectorates – was not affected, though certain enactments applied to the Federation as a whole as if it were part of Her Majesty's dominions and a Colony. The economic advantages to the Federation were never seriously called into question, and the causes of the Federation's failure were purely political: the strong and growing opposition of the African inhabitants.The rulers of the new black African states were united in wanting to end colonialism in Africa. With most of the world moving away from colonialism during the late 1950s and early 1960s, the United Kingdom was subjected to pressure to de-colonize from both the United Nations and the Organization of African Unity (OAU). These groups supported the aspirations of the black African nationalists and accepted their claims to speak on behalf of the people.
The federation officially ended on 31 December 1963. In 1964, shortly after the dissolution, Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland became independent under the names Zambia and Malawi, respectively. In 1965, Southern Rhodesia unilaterally declared independence from the United Kingdom as the state of Rhodesia.German Emperor
The German Emperor (German: Deutscher Kaiser [ˈdɔʏtʃɐ ˈkaɪzɐ]) was the official title of the head of state and hereditary ruler of the German Empire. A specifically chosen term, it was introduced with the 1 January 1871 constitution and lasted until the official abdication of Wilhelm II on 28 November 1918. The Holy Roman Emperor is sometimes also called "German Emperor" when the historical context is clear, as derived from the Holy Roman Empire's official name of "Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation" from 1512.
Following the revolution of 1918, the function of head of state was succeeded by the President of the Reich (German: Reichspräsident), beginning with Friedrich Ebert.Government
A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, often a state.In the case of its broad associative definition, government normally consists of legislature, executive, and judiciary. Government is a means by which organizational policies are enforced, as well as a mechanism for determining policy. Each government has a kind of constitution, a statement of its governing principles and philosophy. Typically the philosophy chosen is some balance between the principle of individual freedom and the idea of absolute state authority (tyranny).
While all types of organizations have governance, the word government is often used more specifically to refer to the approximately 200 independent national governments on Earth, as well as subsidiary organizations.Historically prevalent forms of government include monarchy, aristocracy, timocracy, oligarchy, democracy, theocracy and tyranny. The main aspect of any philosophy of government is how political power is obtained, with the two main forms being electoral contest and hereditary succession.Gulf Cooperation Council
The Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (Arabic: مجلس التعاون لدول الخليج العربية), originally (and still colloquially) known as the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC, مجلس التعاون الخليجي), is a regional intergovernmental political and economic union consisting of all Arab states of the Persian Gulf except Iraq. Its member states are Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. The Charter of the Gulf Cooperation Council was signed on 25 May 1981, formally establishing the institution.All current member states are monarchies, including three constitutional monarchies (Qatar, Kuwait, and Bahrain), two absolute monarchies (Saudi Arabia and Oman), and one federal monarchy (the United Arab Emirates, which is composed of seven member states, each of which is an absolute monarchy with its own emir). There have been discussions regarding the future membership of Jordan, Morocco, and Yemen.A 2011 proposal to transform the GCC into a "Gulf Union" with tighter economic, political and military coordination has been advanced by Saudi Arabia, a move meant to counterbalance the Iranian influence in the region. Objections have been raised against the proposal by other countries. In 2014, Bahrain prime minister Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa said that current events in the region highlighted the importance of the proposal.In order to reduce their future dependence on oil, the GCC states are pursuing unprecedented economic structural reform.Kingdom of Libya
The Kingdom of Libya (Arabic: المملكة الليبية; Libyan Kingdom; Italian: Regno di Libia), originally called the United Kingdom of Libya, came into existence upon independence on 24 December 1951 and lasted until a coup d'état led by Muammar Gaddafi on 1 September 1969 overthrew King Idris and established the Libyan Arab Republic.Law of Libya
The law of Libya has historically been influenced by Ottoman, French, Italian, and Egyptian sources. Under the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Libya has moved towards a legal system based on sharia, but with various deviations from it.Monarchy
A monarchy is a form of government in which a single person holds supreme authority in ruling a country, also performing ceremonial duties and embodying the country's national identity. Although some monarchs are elected, in most cases, the monarch's position is inherited and lasts until death or abdication. In these cases, the royal family or members of the dynasty usually serve in official capacities as well. The governing power of the monarch may vary from purely symbolic (crowned republic), to partial and restricted (constitutional monarchy), to completely autocratic (absolute monarchy).
Monarchy was the most common form of government until the 20th century. Forty-five sovereign nations in the world have monarchs acting as heads of state, sixteen of which are Commonwealth realms that recognise Queen Elizabeth II as their head of state. Most modern monarchs are constitutional monarchs, who retain a unique legal and ceremonial role, but exercise limited or no political power under the nation's constitution. In some nations, however, such as Brunei, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Eswatini, the hereditary monarch has more political influence than any other single source of authority in the nation, either by tradition or by a constitutional mandate.Monarchy of Germany
The Monarchy of Germany (the German Monarchy) was the system of government in which a hereditary monarch was the sovereign of the German Empire from 1871 to 1918.Negeri Sembilan
Negeri Sembilan (Malay pronunciation: [ˈnəgəri səmbiˈlan]) is a state in Malaysia which lies on the western coast of Peninsular Malaysia. It borders Selangor on the north, Pahang in the east, and Melaka and Johor to the south.
The name is believed to derive from the nine (sembilan) villages or nagari in the Minangkabau language (now known as luak) settled by the Minangkabau, a people originally from West Sumatra (in present-day Indonesia). Minangkabau features are still visible today in traditional architecture and the dialect of Malay spoken.
Unlike the hereditary monarchs of the other royal Malay states, the ruler of Negeri Sembilan is known as Yang di-Pertuan Besar instead of Sultan. The election of the Ruler is also unique. He is selected by the council of Undangs who lead the four biggest territories of Sungai Ujong, Jelebu, Johol, and Rembau, making it one of the more democratic monarchies.
The capital of Negeri Sembilan is Seremban. The royal capital is Seri Menanti in Kuala Pilah District. Other important towns are Port Dickson, Bahau and Nilai.
The Arabic honorific title of the state is Darul Khusus ("the Special Abode").Non-sovereign monarchy
A non-sovereign monarchy is one in which the head of the monarchical polity (whether a geographic territory or an ethnic group), and the polity itself, are subject to a temporal authority higher than their own. The constituent states of the German Empire provide a historical example; a contemporary one is the Zulu King, whose power derives from the Constitution of South Africa.Sikh Empire
The Sikh Empire (also Sikh Khalsa Raj or Sarkar-i Khalsa) was a major power originating in the Indian subcontinent, formed under the leadership of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, who established a secular empire based in the Punjab. The empire existed from 1799, when Ranjit Singh captured Lahore, to 1849 and was forged on the foundations of the Khalsa from a collection of autonomous Sikh misls. At its peak in the 19th century, the Empire extended from the Khyber Pass in the west to western Tibet in the east, and from Mithankot in the south to Kashmir in the north. Religiously diverse, with an estimated population of 3.5 million in 1831, it was the last major region of the Indian subcontinent to be annexed by the British.
The foundations of the Sikh Empire can be traced to as early as 1707, the year of Aurangzeb's death and the start of the downfall of the Mughal Empire. With the Mughals significantly weakened, the Sikh army, known as the Dal Khalsa, a rearrangement of the Khalsa inaugurated by Guru Gobind Singh, led expeditions against them and the Afghans in the west. This led to a growth of the army which split into different confederacies or semi-independent misls. Each of these component armies controlled different areas and cities. However, in the period from 1762 to 1799, Sikh commanders of the misls appeared to be coming into their own as independent warlords.
The formation of the empire began with the capture of Lahore, by Maharaja Ranjit Singh, from its Afghan ruler, Zaman Shah Durrani, and the subsequent and progressive expulsion of Afghans from the Punjab, by defeating them in the Afghan-Sikh Wars, and the unification of the separate Sikh misls. Ranjit Singh was proclaimed as Maharaja of the Punjab on 12 April 1801 (to coincide with Vaisakhi), creating a unified political state. Sahib Singh Bedi, a descendant of Guru Nanak, conducted the coronation. Ranjit Singh rose to power in a very short period, from a leader of a single misl to finally becoming the Maharaja of Punjab. He began to modernise his army, using the latest training as well as weapons and artillery. After the death of Ranjit Singh, the empire was weakened by internal divisions and political mismanagement. Finally, by 1849 the state was dissolved after the defeat in the Anglo-Sikh wars.
The Sikh Empire was divided into four provinces: Lahore, in Punjab, which became the Sikh capital, Multan, also in Punjab, Peshawar and Kashmir from 1799 to 1849.
Autonomous types of first-tier subdivision administration