Kingdom | National Geographic Society


A Kingdom is a piece of land that is ruled by a King or one queen. A Kingdom is often called a the monarchymeaning that one person, usually inheriting their position by birth or marriage, is the head, or head of state.

Kingdoms are one of the earliest types of societies on Earth, dating back thousands of years. There have been hundreds, if not thousands, of different kingdoms throughout history. Kingdoms can be huge, like the United Kingdom. In the 19th century, the United Kingdom, governed from London, England, spanned five continents. Kingdoms can also be small, such as the Kingdom of Brunei, which is smaller than the US state of Delaware.

Kingdoms are rarely ruled by an absolute monarch, a single King Where queen who makes all the decisions for the whole state. Kingdoms are usually divided into smaller territories, such as city-states or provinces, which are governed by officials who report to the monarch. The most modern kings and queens does not control the government. Elected leaders and constitutions establish laws for the most part kingdoms today.

Early Kingdoms

oldest in the world kingdoms developed thousands of years ago when rulers began to conquer and control cities and settlements. The rulers of the beginning kingdoms provided protection to their residents, or topics. In return, topics paid taxes or services to the monarch. Kingdoms also had the power to make and enforce laws.

The first one kingdoms were established around 3000 BCE in Summer and Egypt. Summer was a Kingdom that existed between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in modern Iraq. The sumerians had their own written language and undertook complex construction projects, such as irrigation canals and tall temples called ziggurats. There is also evidence that the sumerian Kingdom exchanged and fought with neighboring peoples.

A few thousand years later, the Kingdom of Teotihuacan developed in North America. The Kingdom was centered in the city of Teotihuacan in modern Mexico City, Mexico. Teotihuacan probably had more than 100,000 inhabitants, myKing among the greatest elders kingdoms in the world at that time.

Many, but not all, old kingdoms were empires. Empires are geographically extended political units made up of many different cultural or ethnic groups. Empires were often ruled by monarchs, maKing their kingdoms. ancient egyptian Empire was a Kingdom ruled by a monarch called Pharaoh, for example. The Egyptian Empire reached its peak in the so-called “New Kingdom» period, under the leadership of the Pharaoh Amenophis III (1390-1352 BCE). Egypt in the New Kingdom stretched from modern Egypt, along the Mediterranean coast to modern Turkey to the north and to modern Eritrea to the south.

Many empires did not have monarchs, however, empire and kingdom are not always the same thing.

Medieval Kingdoms

The middle ages was a period of history that lasted approximately from 500 to approximately 1500. It is also called the medieval period. During the middle agescountless kingdoms trained and collapsed throughout Europe, Asia and Africa.

In Europe, many small kingdoms were formed and fought over by tribes as a result of the collapse of the Roman Empire in 476. Tribes like the Ostrogothsof modern Romania, and the Franksof modern Germany, were among those who formed small kingdoms at first middle ages.

Perhaps the most famous European Kingdom of the middle ages was that of the legendary British King Arthur. Arthur may not have existed at all. Accounts of its Kingdom were written hundreds of years after its supposed existence. If there was a King Arthur, he probably lived in the fifth century, after the Romans left Britain and before real British history emerged. kings in the eighth century. King Arthur would have been one of dozensor maybe hundreds, of kings in Britain at the time. Even though King Arthur did not exist, according to his legend kingdoms played a role in the middle ages.

Around the same time, tribes and small kingdoms fought over parts of Europe, the Africans kingdoms Ghana and Mali were among the strongest of the middle ages. The Ghana Empirealso known as Wagadou Empire, formed around 790. It enjoyed success as a major trading center. The Ghana Empirelocated in the modern countries of Mauritania and Mali, was a Kingdom at the southwestern end of the Sahara Desert. Caravans with hundreds of camels traveled through the Sahara like ships crossing a sea of ​​sand.

The Kingdom has become a commercial center for gold and salt. (Salta valuable preservative for food, was almost as valuable as gold.) Trade in ideas too prosperous in the Kingdomas the religion of Islam spread west from the Arabian Peninsula to the west coast from Africa. The Ghana Empire was weakened and finally collapsed due to rapid growth, Droughtand weakened trade.

Around 1200, the Mali Empire came out of what was once Ghana. Mali has become a strong country Kingdom under the direction of King Sundiata. Sundiata Kingdom stretched from the Atlantic coast from the modern countries of Senegal and Mauritania to interior southeastern region of Mali. Like Ghana, the mali Empire depended on trade routes across the Sahara. Unlike Ghana, this Kingdom actually had his own gold mines within its borders. A die Kingdombig cities was trade center of Timbuktu, in the modern nation of Mali. Timbuktu was the main commercial city bordering the Sahara for hundreds of years, trading gold, Ivory, saltand slaves.

Later kingdoms

After several centuries of war and turmoilstronger and more sophisticated kingdoms began to expand around the world. In Europe, the kingdoms of Portugal, France and England spread across vast territories after the discovery of the Americas at the end of the 15th century.

The kingdoms established stronger diplomatic relations with neighboring governments to reduce conflict. They relied on treaties and, often, marriages to create strong alliances. Many monarchs of Europe during this period were related to each other. Britain’s Queen Victoria had many grandchildren who were married to people across Europe, a fact that may have contributed to mostly peaceful times during her reign.

Kingdoms of this period increased exchanges with distant countries kingdoms and build strong fleets for overseas exploration. Portuguese Empirefor example, has established links with the Kingdom of Siam, in the modern country of Thailand. from Portugal fleet was able to travel across the African continent and along the coast from Asia to reach Siam. Portugal, who dominated trade routes in the Indian Ocean, traded for valuable spices.

The Kingdom of Siam was exposed to Europe Technology and Politics. While some Asians kingdoms, like Japan, rejected the influence of European powers, Siam used European ideas to modernize the country. Siam reached its peak under King Mongkut, who reigned from 1851 to 1868. King Mongkut helped establish the first journal of the Kingdom. King Mongkut too introduced the idea of free exchange. Topics in the Kingdom could manufacture their own goods, such as rice or tea, for trade with foreign companies.

Modern kingdoms

Some kingdoms are always ruled absolutely by a monarch. King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia, King Mswati III of Swaziland, and King Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei are absolute monarchs. All these kingdoms have legislatures and sets of laws. The monarch remains the supreme authority.

However, most of kingdoms that exist today are constitutional monarchies. The King Where queen acts like a ceremonial head of statewith public responsibilities such as the promotion tourism and interest in the nation’s history and culture, but no real political authority. Under a constitutional the monarchy, the nation is governed by a constitution, or set of laws, executed by a president or prime minister elected by the citizens of the country. In England, for example, Queen Elizabeth II is the official head of state— but the nation is governed by a prime minister and parliament.

The Kingdom of Thailand, formerly Kingdom of Siam, is an example of modernity Kingdom. The Kingdom completed his absolute the monarchy in 1932, and today it is a democracy with elected leaders and the courts. However, the King of Thailand, Maha Vajiralongkorn, reigns since 2016 after the death of his father Bhumibol Adulyadej, who was the oldest King in Thai history. King Adulyadej enjoyed considerable public support and was known for to intervene in Politics. Her son seems to be less popular and his role somewhat uncertain.

Other modern kingdoms ruled by a constitutional monarchy include Sweden, Belgium, Japan, and Morocco.


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