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A political union is a type of state which is composed of or created out of smaller states. The process is called unification. Unifications of states that used to be together and are reuniting is referred to as reunification. Unlike a personal union or real union, the individual states share a central government and the union is recognized internationally as a single political entity. A political union may also be called a legislative union or state union. A union may be effected in a number of forms, broadly categorized as:

Incorporating union Incorporating annexation Federal (or confederal) union Federative annexation Mixed unions.

Contents

1 Incorporating union

1.1 Preservation of interests

2 Incorporating annexation 3 Federal or confederal union

3.1 Examples of federal or confederal union

4 Federal or confederal annexation 5 Mixed unions 6 Historical unions 7 Supranational
Supranational
and continental unions 8 Academic analysis 9 References 10 See also

Incorporating union[edit] In an incorporating union a new state is created, the former states being entirely dissolved into the new state (albeit that some aspects may be preserved; see below "Preservation of interests"). Incorporating unions have been present throughout much of History such as the Acts of Union, 1707 between the Kingdom of Scotland
Kingdom of Scotland
and the Kingdom of England
Kingdom of England
creating Great Britain, in 1910 the colonies of the Cape of Good Hope, Natal, Orange River Colony, and Transvaal were incorporated into the Union of South Africa, between the years of 1037 to 1479 Spain was in the process of Incorporating the Crown of Castile, Aragon, and Navarre into the Kingdom of Spain, though the process wasn't completed until 1716 (Aragon) and 1833 (Navarre), the Acts of Union 1800
Acts of Union 1800
united the Kingdom of Ireland
Kingdom of Ireland
and the Kingdom of Great Britain into the United Kingdom, in 1990 the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen
Yemen
united with Yemen Arab Republic
Yemen Arab Republic
(North Yemen) to form the Republic of Yemen, and in 1783 the Articles of Confederation were signed by each of the Thirteen Colonies, uniting them into the United States
United States
of America. Preservation of interests[edit] Nevertheless, a full incorporating union may preserve the laws and institutions of the former states, as happened in the creating of the United Kingdom. This may be simply a matter of practice or to comply with a guarantee given in the terms of the union. For example:

In the annexation of Brittany
Brittany
to France
France
in 1532 (Union of Brittany
Brittany
and France), a guarantee was given as to the continuance of laws and of the Estates of Brittany
Brittany
(a guarantee revoked in 1789 at the French Revolution). The Treaty of Union for creating the unified Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707 contained a guarantee of the continuance of the civil laws and the existing courts in Scotland[1] (a continuing guarantee). In the Union creating the United Kingdom of Great Britain
Kingdom of Great Britain
and Ireland in 1801, no such guarantee was given for the laws and courts of the Kingdom of Ireland, though they were continued as a matter of practice. Tyrol was guaranteed that its Freischütz companies would not be posted to fight outside Tyrol without their consent (a guarantee revoked by the Austrian republic).

Incorporating annexation[edit] In an incorporating annexation a state or states is united to and dissolved in an existing state, whose legal existence continues. Annexation
Annexation
may be voluntary or, more frequently, by conquest. Incorporating annexations have occurred at various points in history such as in 1535 and 1542 under the two Laws in Wales
Wales
Acts in which the Kingdom of England
Kingdom of England
formally annexed the Principality of Wales, in 1822 the Republic of Spanish Haiti
Republic of Spanish Haiti
was annexed by the Republic of Haiti, Prussia/Germany used incorporating annexation to unite many of the German Princes during the Second Schleswig War, the Austro-Prussian War, and the Franco-Prussian War, Sardinia annexed many of the Duchies and City-states in Italy during the period of Italian unification, in 1918 during the Podgorica Assembly the Kingdom of Serbia
Kingdom of Serbia
annexed the Kingdom of Montenegro, and in 1949 and 1951 the People's Republic of China
China
annexed Tibet
Tibet
(1950) and East Turkestan
East Turkestan
(Xinjiang) (1949). Federal or confederal union[edit] In a federal or confederal union the states continue in existence but place themselves under a new federal authority. The federal state alone will be the state in international law though the federated states retain an existence in domestic law. Examples of federal or confederal union[edit]

Australia
Australia
(1901) Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina
(federal union from 1995) Cameroon
Cameroon
(1961–1970) Canada
Canada
(1867) European Union
European Union
(The EU is more similar to a federal/supranational union but still has confederal/intergovernmental elements, since 1958/1993/2009)[2] Federal Republic of Central America
Federal Republic of Central America
(1823–circa 1838) German Empire
German Empire
(1871–1919) India
India
(1950) West Pakistan
West Pakistan
and East Pakistan
East Pakistan
(1947-1971) Peru–Bolivian Confederation
Peru–Bolivian Confederation
(1836–1839) Polish–Lithuanian union (1569–1791) Serbia and Montenegro
Serbia and Montenegro
(2003–2006) Switzerland
Switzerland
(confederation from 1291, later evolving into federation) Tanzania
Tanzania
(1964) The United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates
(1971) Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (1922–1991) The United States
United States
of America (in confederal union under the Articles of Confederation
Confederation
from 1781, later becoming a federal union under the United States
United States
Constitution in 1788)

Federal or confederal annexation[edit] If a unitary state becomes a federated unit of another existing state, the former continuing its legal existence, then that is a federal annexation. The new federated state thus ceases to be a state in international law but retains its legal existence in domestic law, subsidiary to the federal authority. Federal annexations have occurred in many places, such as British Columbia in 1871, Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island
in 1873, and Newfoundland in 1949 which were all annexed into Canada, Eritrea
Eritrea
was annexed into Ethiopia
Ethiopia
from 1951 to 1962, Switzerland
Switzerland
federally annexed Geneva
Geneva
in 1815, Saarland
Saarland
was federally annexed by West Germany
West Germany
in 1957, Vermont (1791), Texas (1846), and California (1848) all were annexed by the United States
United States
of America, and Crimea was annexed into the Russian Federation
Federation
in 2014. Mixed unions[edit] The unification of Italy involved a mixture of unions. The kingdom consolidated around the Kingdom of Sardinia. Several states voluntarily united with Sardinia to create the Kingdom of Italy. Others, the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies
Kingdom of the Two Sicilies
and the Papal States, were conquered and annexed. Formally the union in each territory was sanctioned by a popular referendum, formally asking the people to agree to have as new ruler Vittorio Emanuele II (the King of Sardinia) and his legitimate heirs. The unification of Germany was ultimately a confederal union, but it began in earnest by Prussia's annexation of numerous petty states in 1866. Historical unions[edit]

Bulgarian unification
Bulgarian unification
in 1885, after the 1396 Ottoman conquest. Union of Transylvania with Romania
Union of Transylvania with Romania
in 1918 Union of Bessarabia with Romania
Union of Bessarabia with Romania
in 1918 Creation of Yugoslavia
Creation of Yugoslavia
(1918) Ukrainian unification in 1919 Chinese reunification (1928)
Chinese reunification (1928)
or "Northeast Flag Replacement" proclaimed victory of the Guangzhou/Nanjing government over the Beiyang government after the 1912 division. German reunification
German reunification
in 1990, divided since the 1949 division decided at the Potsdam Conference
Potsdam Conference
in August 1945.

German unification
German unification
in 1866–71; what became Germany was heavily fragmented by feudalism and partible inheritance (Salic patrimony) during the middle ages but remained united under the overlordship of East Francia/the Kingdom of Germany
Kingdom of Germany
and the Holy Roman Empire. However, the states grew steadily more de facto independent through the early modern era as imperial power waned. Finally, the Empire was dissolved in 1806 during the Napoleonic wars, and the German states became fully sovereign, and were only united (between 1815 and 1866) by the non-sovereign German Confederation. Anschluss
Anschluss
(1938 Nazi reunification of "Lesser Germany" and Austria into "Greater Germany")

Italian unification
Italian unification
1815–71, divided since its partition into the Lombard Kingdom
Lombard Kingdom
(itself divided between Langobardia Major
Langobardia Major
and Langobardia Minor) and the Byzantine
Byzantine
Exarchate of Ravenna
Exarchate of Ravenna
in 568, Italy was further divided since Charlemagne's conquest of Langobardia Major and Spoleto in 774 and the subsequent fragmentation due to feudalism. Polish reunification
Polish reunification
in 1918–22, divided since 24 October 1795 save for a brief revival as the Duchy of Warsaw
Duchy of Warsaw
(1807–15) during the Napoleonic wars. Vietnam
Vietnam
at the end of the Vietnam
Vietnam
War in 1976, divided since 1954. Yemenite reunification
Yemenite reunification
in 1990, divided since the acquisition of South Yemen
Yemen
by Britain by 1867 and the secession of Lahj in 1728. Denmark
Denmark
and the northern part of Southern Jutland
Southern Jutland
in 1920. See Schleswig Plebiscites.

Supranational
Supranational
and continental unions[edit] See also: Supranational
Supranational
union and Continental union In addition to regional movements, supranational organizations that promote progressive integration between its members started appearing in the second half of the 20th century. Most of these organization were inspired by the European Union[clarification needed], and while member states are often reluctant to form more centralized unions, the concept of unionism if often present in public debate. Academic analysis[edit] The political position of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
is often discussed;[3][4] and former states like Serbia and Montenegro
Serbia and Montenegro
(2003–2006), the Soviet Union (1922–1991) and the United Arab Republic
United Arab Republic
(1958–1961). Lord Durham was widely regarded as one of the most important thinkers in the history of the British Empire's constitutional evolution. He articulated clearly the difference between a full legislative union and a federation. In his 1839 Report, in discussing the proposed union of Upper and Lower Canada, he says:

Two kinds of union have been proposed – federal and legislative. By the first, the separate legislature of each province would be preserved in its present form and retain almost all its present attributes of internal legislation, the federal legislature exercising no power save in those matters which may have been expressly ceded to it by the constituent provinces. A legislative union would imply a complete incorporation of the provinces included in it under one legislature, exercising universal and sole legislative authority over all of them in exactly the same manner as the Parliament legislates alone for the whole of the British Isles.[5]

References[edit]

^ ". . . that no Alteration be made in Laws which concern private Right, except for evident Utility of the Subjects within Scotland" — Article XVIII of the Treaty of Union ^ http://www.ies.ee/iesp/No11/articles/03_Gabriel_Hazak.pdf ^ Encyclopædia Britannica: "The United Kingdom of Great Britain
Kingdom of Great Britain
and Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
is the political union of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland." ^ A Disunited Kingdom? - England, Ireland, Scotland
Scotland
and Wales, 1800-1949[permanent dead link], Christine Kinealy, University of Central Lancashire, Cambridge University Press, 1999, ISBN 978-0-521-59844-6: "... explaining how the United Kingdom has evolved, the author explores a number of key themes including: the steps to political union, ..." ^ Marianopolis College: Archived September 8, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.

See also[edit]

Union (other) Confederation Federation Real union Irredentism List of prop

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