Kingdom vs. Empire

Difference Between A Kingdom and An Empire

Kingdoms and empires both refer to lands that are ruled by a higher authority. Although used in the same sense, there are still some differences between the two.

What is a Kingdom?

A kingdom is a country that is ruled by a king or queen, or a number of kings and queens. If a kingdom is ruled by only one king or queen, it is called a monarchy; by two, diarchy; by more than two, oligarchy. Examples of kingdoms are the United Kingdom, the Chera kingdom in India, the Chola kingdom in India, and the Pandya kingdom, also in India.

What is an Empire?

An empire is comprised of a set of regions, provinces, and colonies that are ruled separately by an emperor through governors and viceroys or vassal kings. It came from the Latin word ‘imperium’, which means power or authority. The best example of an empire is the British Empire, which is comprised of provinces, colonies, and small kingdoms such as the Kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Wales.

A brief summary:

  • Kingdoms and empires both refer to lands that are ruled by a higher authority
  • A kingdom is a country while an empire is composed of regions, provinces, colonies, and even small kingdoms
  • The word empire came from the Latin word ‘imperium’, which means power or authority
  • Kingdoms are ruled by kings or queens, or a number of kings or queens, while empires are ruled by emperors through governors and viceroys or vassal kings

 

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