- Federal monarchy
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.
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. [E.A. Freeman, "History of Federal Government", pp. 96-100. Available on [http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=9FYMAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA98&dq=%22federal+Monarchy%22#PPA100,M1 google books] .]
Historically the most important example of a federal monarchy is the
German Empireof 1871-1919. The head of state of the federation was a monarch, the emperor, who was also head of state of some constituent parts to the federation as king of Prussia, while other constituent kingdoms, such as the Kingdom of Bavariaor the Kingdom of Saxony, retained their own monarchs and armies. Some of the constituent states federated to the empire, namely Bremen, Hamburgand Lübeck, were non-monarchical city-states.
The concept played a role in political debates in Italy and Austria-Hungary in the nineteenth century and in the
Kingdom of Yugoslaviain the twentieth, without ever being put into effect in any of these cases. [ ]
In recent years the
Kingdom of Belgium, the Kingdom of Spain, and Canadahave been referred to as federal monarchies, although none are officially styled as such. [Ronald L. Watts, "Comparing Federal Systems". McGill-Queen's University Press, 2003. ISBN 0889118353]
Currently the term can be applied in the fullest sense to
Malaysia[ [http://www.malaysianbar.org.my/constitutional_law/is_malaysia_an_islamic_state_.html?date=2007-12-01 Tommy Thomas, "Is Malaysia an Islamic State?" 2005.] ] and the United Arab Emirates, in both of which the head of state of the federation is selected from among the heads (sultans or emirs respectively) who rule the constituent states of the federation.
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