Kingdom vs. Empire

Difference between Kingdom and Empire

It may not be very evident that there may be a difference in both the terms of a Kingdom and an Empire and are normally used in the same context, yet there is a huge difference in between these terms. One of the fundamental differences is that a Kingdom is governed by a King and an Empire is ruled by an Emperor or an Empress. The term Empire is a derivation from the Latin word, “Imperium” which stands for supremacy or an influence. In an empire, diverse ethnic groups and states comprises an empire. A country that has a King or a Queen as the head of state is known as a Kingdom. The Holy Roman Empire, the Spanish Empire and the famous British Empire are some of the most well known and finest examples of an Empire.

An empire consists of several colonies and provinces and it is the British Empire which could be quoted as one of the best illustrations of an empire which constituted of colonies, minute kingdoms and provinces like the kingdoms of Wales, Scotland and England. The United Kingdom is composed of Scotland, Wales and England and are directly controlled by a monarch who may be either a King or a Queen, yet when it comes to the term Empire, the group of countries which are better known as the Commonwealth Countries and were earlier colonies under the British all across the globe, were not a component of the British Kingdom. On the other hand, a Kingdom is a province which is governed by a King or a Queen. Monarchy is known where a kingdom is governed by only one king; a kingdom that is ruled by two kings is known as a Diarchy and where there are several kings ruling a kingdom, it is known as Oligarchy.

In India, the Chola, Pandya and the Chera kingdoms in the Southern part of the country are the finest varieties of kingdoms. Whereas, as far as empires are concerned, the Mauryan Empire was one of the most powerful empires during the ancient period in India, being ruled over by the dynastic rule of the Mauryas between 321 BC and 185 BC. In the Western hemisphere, however, the Roman Empire was one of the most powerful empires ever known. However, it is more interesting to observe that before the Roman Empire came into existence, the Kingdom of Macedonia emerged as a huge empire under the command of Alexander, the Great.

 

  • JJ Johnson

    An interesting and informative explanation. However, the statement “One of the fundamental differences is that a Kingdom is governed by a King and an Empire is ruled by an Emperor or an Empress.” However this statement would be more meaningful if the differences between a king and emperor were clearly outlined.

    Overall, it seems that a king rules over one domain while an emperor rules over numerous domains; thus an emperor can be a king, while a king may not be an emperor.

    Thanks again for the explanation!!