Suzerainty

Suzerainty

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Suzerainty occurs where a region
Region
Region is most commonly found as a term used in terrestrial and astrophysics sciences also an area, notably among the different sub-disciplines of geography, studied by regional geographers. Regions consist of subregions that contain clusters of like areas that are distinctive by their uniformity...

 or people
Nation
A nation may refer to a community of people who share a common language, culture, ethnicity, descent, and/or history. In this definition, a nation has no physical borders. However, it can also refer to people who share a common territory and government irrespective of their ethnic make-up...

 is a tributary
Tributary state
The term tributary state refers to one of the two main ways in which a pre-modern state might be subordinate to a more powerful neighbour. The heart of the relationship was that the tributary would send a regular token of submission to the superior power...

 to a more powerful entity which controls its foreign affairs
Foreign Affairs
Foreign Affairs is an American magazine and website on international relations and U.S. foreign policy published since 1922 by the Council on Foreign Relations six times annually...

 while allowing the tributary vassal state
Vassal state
A vassal state is any state that is subordinate to another. The vassal in these cases is the ruler, rather than the state itself. Being a vassal most commonly implies providing military assistance to the dominant state when requested to do so; it sometimes implies paying tribute, but a state which...

 some limited domestic autonomy. The dominant entity in the suzerainty relationship, or the more powerful entity itself, is called a suzerain. The term suzerainty was originally used to describe the relationship between the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 and its surrounding regions. It differs from sovereignty
Sovereignty
Sovereignty is the quality of having supreme, independent authority over a geographic area, such as a territory. It can be found in a power to rule and make law that rests on a political fact for which no purely legal explanation can be provided...

 in that the tributary has only some (often limited) self-rule. A suzerain can also refer to a feudal lord
Lord
Lord is a title with various meanings. It can denote a prince or a feudal superior . The title today is mostly used in connection with the peerage of the United Kingdom or its predecessor countries, although some users of the title do not themselves hold peerages, and use it 'by courtesy'...

, to whom vassal
Vassal
A vassal or feudatory is a person who has entered into a mutual obligation to a lord or monarch in the context of the feudal system in medieval Europe. The obligations often included military support and mutual protection, in exchange for certain privileges, usually including the grant of land held...

s must pay tribute. Although it is a concept which has existed in a number of historical empires, it is a concept that is very difficult to describe using 20th- or 21st-century theories of international law
International law
Public international law concerns the structure and conduct of sovereign states; analogous entities, such as the Holy See; and intergovernmental organizations. To a lesser degree, international law also may affect multinational corporations and individuals, an impact increasingly evolving beyond...

, in which sovereignty
Sovereignty
Sovereignty is the quality of having supreme, independent authority over a geographic area, such as a territory. It can be found in a power to rule and make law that rests on a political fact for which no purely legal explanation can be provided...

 either exists or does not. While a sovereign nation can agree by treaty to become a protectorate
Protectorate
In history, the term protectorate has two different meanings. In its earliest inception, which has been adopted by modern international law, it is an autonomous territory that is protected diplomatically or militarily against third parties by a stronger state or entity...

 of a stronger power, modern international law does not recognize any way of making this relationship compulsory on the weaker power.

Imperial China


Historically, the Emperor of China
Emperor of China
The Emperor of China refers to any sovereign of Imperial China reigning between the founding of Qin Dynasty of China, united by the King of Qin in 221 BCE, and the fall of Yuan Shikai's Empire of China in 1916. When referred to as the Son of Heaven , a title that predates the Qin unification, the...

 saw himself as the center of the entire civilized world
All under heaven
Tianxia is a phrase in the Chinese language and an ancient Chinese cultural concept that denoted either the entire geographical world or the metaphysical realm of mortals, and later became associated with political sovereignty.In ancient China, tianxia denoted the lands, space, and area divinely...

, and diplomatic relations in East Asia
East Asia
East Asia or Eastern Asia is a subregion of Asia that can be defined in either geographical or cultural terms...

 were based on the theory that all rulers of the world derived their authority from the Emperor. The degree to which this authority existed in fact changed from dynasty to dynasty. However, even during periods when political power was distributed evenly across several political entities, Chinese political theory recognized only one emperor and asserted that his authority was paramount throughout the world. Diplomatic relations with the Chinese emperor were made on the theory of tributary states, although in practice tributary relations would often result in a form of trade under the theory that the emperor in his kindness would reward the tributary state with gifts of equal or greater value.

This system broke down in the 18th and 19th centuries in two ways. First during the 17th century, China was ruled by the ethnically Manchu
Manchu
The Manchu people or Man are an ethnic minority of China who originated in Manchuria . During their rise in the 17th century, with the help of the Ming dynasty rebels , they came to power in China and founded the Qing Dynasty, which ruled China until the Xinhai Revolution of 1911, which...

 Qing dynasty
Qing Dynasty
The Qing Dynasty was the last dynasty of China, ruling from 1644 to 1912 with a brief, abortive restoration in 1917. It was preceded by the Ming Dynasty and followed by the Republic of China....

 which ruled a multi-ethnic empire and justified their rule through different theories of rulership. While not contradicting traditional Han Chinese
Han Chinese
Han Chinese are an ethnic group native to China and are the largest single ethnic group in the world.Han Chinese constitute about 92% of the population of the People's Republic of China , 98% of the population of the Republic of China , 78% of the population of Singapore, and about 20% of the...

 theories of the emperor as universal ruler, the Qing did begin to make a distinction between areas of the world which they ruled and areas which they did not. The system also broke down as China faced European powers whose theories of sovereignty were based on international law and relations between separate states.

One way European states attempted to describe the relations between the Qing Dynasty
Qing Dynasty
The Qing Dynasty was the last dynasty of China, ruling from 1644 to 1912 with a brief, abortive restoration in 1917. It was preceded by the Ming Dynasty and followed by the Republic of China....

 and its outlying regions was in terms of suzerainty, although this did not at all match the traditional Chinese diplomatic theory. Since the Great Game, the British Empire
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

 has regarded strategic Tibet
Tibet
Tibet is a plateau region in Asia, north-east of the Himalayas. It is the traditional homeland of the Tibetan people as well as some other ethnic groups such as Monpas, Qiang, and Lhobas, and is now also inhabited by considerable numbers of Han and Hui people...

 under Chinese "suzerainty". But in 2008 British Foreign Secretary David Miliband
David Miliband
David Wright Miliband is a British Labour Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament for South Shields since 2001, and was the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs from 2007 to 2010. He is the elder son of the late Marxist theorist Ralph Miliband...

 in a statement called that word an "anachronism", and joined the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 and the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 in recognizing Tibet as a part of China.

Ancient Near East, specifically Israel


Suzerainty treaties and similar covenants and agreements between near-eastern nations were quite prevalent in the pre-monarchic and monarchy periods of the Ancient Israelites. The Hittites
Hittites
The Hittites were a Bronze Age people of Anatolia.They established a kingdom centered at Hattusa in north-central Anatolia c. the 18th century BC. The Hittite empire reached its height c...

, Egyptians
Egyptians
Egyptians are nation an ethnic group made up of Mediterranean North Africans, the indigenous people of Egypt.Egyptian identity is closely tied to geography. The population of Egypt is concentrated in the lower Nile Valley, the small strip of cultivable land stretching from the First Cataract to...

, and Assyrians had been suzerains to the Israelites and other surrounding nation states of the Levant
Levant
The Levant or ) is the geographic region and culture zone of the "eastern Mediterranean littoral between Anatolia and Egypt" . The Levant includes most of modern Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel, the Palestinian territories, and sometimes parts of Turkey and Iraq, and corresponds roughly to the...

 during these periods (1200-600 BCE). The Ancient Israelites reflected the understanding of suzerain to their understanding of their covenant (law) with God. According to Michael Coogan, the structure of the covenant law was structured similarly to the Hittite form of suzerain. Each treaty would typically begin with an "Identification" of the Suzerain , followed by a historical prologue which catalogues the relationship between the two groups , "with emphasis on the benevolent actions of the suzerain towards the vassal." Following historical prologue comes the stipulations . This includes tributes, obligations, and other forms of subordination that will be imposed on the Israelites. According to the Hittite form, after the stipulations were offered to the vassal, it was necessary to include a request to have copies of the treaty that would be read throughout the kingdom periodically. This section is missing from the initial issuing of the Ten Commandments
Ten Commandments
The Ten Commandments, also known as the Decalogue , are a set of biblical principles relating to ethics and worship, which play a fundamental role in Judaism and most forms of Christianity. They include instructions to worship only God and to keep the Sabbath, and prohibitions against idolatry,...

. What followed that was an addition of authority and further security of the treaty being carried out. The treaty would have divine and earthly witnesses purporting the treaty's validity, trustworthiness, and efficacy. This also tied into the blessings that would come from following the treaty and the curses from breaching it. This section is also missing from the initial issuing of the Ten Commandments. For disobedience, curses would be given to those who had remained steadfast in carrying out the stipulations of the treaty. Coogan offers two verses for the curses and blessings,

Hittite suzerainty treaty form


Below is a form of a Hittite Suzerainty Treaty.
  • Preamble
    Preamble
    A preamble is an introductory and expressionary statement in a document that explains the document's purpose and underlying philosophy. When applied to the opening paragraphs of a statute, it may recite historical facts pertinent to the subject of the statute...

    : Identifies the parties involved in the treaty
  • Prologue
    Prologue
    A prologue is an opening to a story that establishes the setting and gives background details, often some earlier story that ties into the main one, and other miscellaneous information. The Greek prologos included the modern meaning of prologue, but was of wider significance...

    : Lists the deeds already performed by the Suzerain on behalf of the vassal
    Vassal
    A vassal or feudatory is a person who has entered into a mutual obligation to a lord or monarch in the context of the feudal system in medieval Europe. The obligations often included military support and mutual protection, in exchange for certain privileges, usually including the grant of land held...

  • Stipulations: Terms to be upheld by the vassal for the life of the treaty
  • Provision for annual public reading: A copy of the treaty was to be read aloud annually in the vassal state for the purpose of renewal
  • Divine witness to the treaty: These usually include the deities of both the Suzerain and the vassal
  • Blessings if the stipulations of the treaty are upheld and curses if the stipulations are not upheld
  • Sacrificial Meal: Both parties would share a meal to show their participation in the treaty

Sikkim


Following India's independence
Indian independence movement
The term Indian independence movement encompasses a wide area of political organisations, philosophies, and movements which had the common aim of ending first British East India Company rule, and then British imperial authority, in parts of South Asia...

 in 1947, a treaty signed between the Chogyal
Chogyal
The Chogyal were the monarchs of the former kingdoms of Sikkim and Ladakh, which were ruled by separate branches of the Namgyal family. The Chogyal, or divine ruler, was the absolute potentate of Sikkim from 1642 to 1975, when its monarchy was abrogated and its people voted to make Sikkim India's...

 and the then Indian Prime Minister
Prime Minister of India
The Prime Minister of India , as addressed to in the Constitution of India — Prime Minister for the Union, is the chief of government, head of the Council of Ministers and the leader of the majority party in parliament...

 Jawaharlal Nehru
Jawaharlal Nehru
Jawaharlal Nehru , often referred to with the epithet of Panditji, was an Indian statesman who became the first Prime Minister of independent India and became noted for his “neutralist” policies in foreign affairs. He was also one of the principal leaders of India’s independence movement in the...

 gave India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 suzerainty over Sikkim
Sikkim
Sikkim is a landlocked Indian state nestled in the Himalayan mountains...

 in exchange for it retaining its independence. This continued until 1975, when the Sikkimese monarchy was abolished in favour of a merger into India. Sikkim is now one of the states of India.

Bhutan


India no longer looks after the external, defence, communications, and foreign affairs of Bhutan
Bhutan
Bhutan , officially the Kingdom of Bhutan, is a landlocked state in South Asia, located at the eastern end of the Himalayas and bordered to the south, east and west by the Republic of India and to the north by the People's Republic of China...

. However India provides substantial support to the Royal Bhutan Army
Royal Bhutan Army
The Royal Bhutan Army , or RBA, is a branch of the armed forces of the Kingdom of Bhutan responsible for maintaining the country's territorial integrity and sovereignty against security threats. The King of Bhutan is the Supreme Commander in Chief of the RBA...

 and guarantees its support against external aggression.

Lakshadweep


Located in the Arabian Sea
Arabian Sea
The Arabian Sea is a region of the Indian Ocean bounded on the east by India, on the north by Pakistan and Iran, on the west by the Arabian Peninsula, on the south, approximately, by a line between Cape Guardafui in northeastern Somalia and Kanyakumari in India...

, Lakshadweep
Lakshadweep
Lakshadweep , formerly known as the Laccadive, Minicoy, and Amindivi Islands, is a group of islands in the Laccadive Sea, 200 to 440 km off the coast of the South West Indian state of Kerala...

 is a Union Territory
Union Territory
A Union Territory is a sub-national administrative division of India, in the federal framework of governance. Unlike the states of India, which have their own elected governments, union territories are ruled directly by the federal government; the President of India appoints an Administrator or...

 of India off the coast of the southwestern state of Kerala
Kerala
or Keralam is an Indian state located on the Malabar coast of south-west India. It was created on 1 November 1956 by the States Reorganisation Act by combining various Malayalam speaking regions....

.
The Amindivi group of islands (Amini, Kadmat, Kiltan, Chetlat and Bitra) came under the rule of Tipu Sultan
Tipu Sultan
Tipu Sultan , also known as the Tiger of Mysore, was the de facto ruler of the Kingdom of Mysore. He was the son of Hyder Ali, at that time an officer in the Mysorean army, and his second wife, Fatima or Fakhr-un-Nissa...

 in 1787. They passed on to British control after the Third Anglo-Mysore War
Third Anglo-Mysore War
The Third Anglo-Mysore War was a war in South India between the Sultanate of Mysore and the British East India Company and its allies, including the Mahratta Empire and the Nizam of Hyderabad...

 and were attached to the South Canara district. The rest of the islands became a suzerainty of the Arakkal family of Cannanore in return for a payment of annual tribute. After a while, the British
British Raj
British Raj was the British rule in the Indian subcontinent between 1858 and 1947; The term can also refer to the period of dominion...

 took over the administration of those islands for non-payment of arrears. These islands were attached to the Malabar
Malabar District
Malabar District was an administrative district of Madras Presidency in British India and independent India's Madras State. The British district included the present-day districts of Kannur, Kozhikode, Wayanad, Malappuram, Palakkad , and Chavakad Taluk of Thrissur District in the northern part of...

 district of the Madras Presidency
Madras Presidency
The Madras Presidency , officially the Presidency of Fort St. George and also known as Madras Province, was an administrative subdivision of British India...

. In 1956, the States Reorganisation Act
States Reorganisation Act
The States Reorganisation Act of 1956 was a major reform of the boundaries and governance of India's states and territories. The act reorganised the boundaries of India's states along linguistic lines, and amended the Indian Constitution to replace the three types of states, known as Parts A, B,...

 separated these islands from the mainland administrative units, forming a new union territory by combining all the islands.

Pakistan


The Princely States of the British Raj
British Raj
British Raj was the British rule in the Indian subcontinent between 1858 and 1947; The term can also refer to the period of dominion...

 which acceded to Pakistan maintained their sovereignty with the Government of Pakistan acting as the Suzerain until 1956 for Bahawalpur, Khairpur, and the Baluchistan States, 1969 for Chitral
Chitral
Chitral or Chetrar , translated as field in the native language Khowar, is the capital of the Chitral District, situated on the western bank of the Kunar River , in Pakistan. The town is at the foot of Tirich Mir, the highest peak of the Hindu Kush, high...

 and the Frontier States, and 1974 for Hunza and Nagyr.

South African Republic


After the First Boer War
First Boer War
The First Boer War also known as the First Anglo-Boer War or the Transvaal War, was fought from 16 December 1880 until 23 March 1881-1877 annexation:...

 (1880–81), the South African Republic
South African Republic
The South African Republic , often informally known as the Transvaal Republic, was an independent Boer-ruled country in Southern Africa during the second half of the 19th century. Not to be confused with the present-day Republic of South Africa, it occupied the area later known as the South African...

 was granted its independence, albeit under British suzerainty. During the Second Boer War
Second Boer War
The Second Boer War was fought from 11 October 1899 until 31 May 1902 between the British Empire and the Afrikaans-speaking Dutch settlers of two independent Boer republics, the South African Republic and the Orange Free State...

 (1899–1902), the South African Republic
South African Republic
The South African Republic , often informally known as the Transvaal Republic, was an independent Boer-ruled country in Southern Africa during the second half of the 19th century. Not to be confused with the present-day Republic of South Africa, it occupied the area later known as the South African...

 was annexed as the Colony of the Transvaal, which existed until 1910, when it became the Province of Transvaal in the Union of South Africa
Union of South Africa
The Union of South Africa is the historic predecessor to the present-day Republic of South Africa. It came into being on 31 May 1910 with the unification of the previously separate colonies of the Cape, Natal, Transvaal and the Orange Free State...

.

Historical suzerainties



To the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

:
  • Moldova
    Moldova
    Moldova , officially the Republic of Moldova is a landlocked state in Eastern Europe, located between Romania to the West and Ukraine to the North, East and South. It declared itself an independent state with the same boundaries as the preceding Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1991, as part...

  • Principality of Serbia
  • Wallachia
    Wallachia
    Wallachia or Walachia is a historical and geographical region of Romania. It is situated north of the Danube and south of the Southern Carpathians...



To the Republic of China
Republic of China
The Republic of China , commonly known as Taiwan , is a unitary sovereign state located in East Asia. Originally based in mainland China, the Republic of China currently governs the island of Taiwan , which forms over 99% of its current territory, as well as Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu and other minor...

:
  • Mongolia
    Mongolia
    Mongolia is a landlocked country in East and Central Asia. It is bordered by Russia to the north and China to the south, east and west. Although Mongolia does not share a border with Kazakhstan, its western-most point is only from Kazakhstan's eastern tip. Ulan Bator, the capital and largest...