Empire versus Kingdom

Differences Defined


What are some of the differences or even similarities between an empire and a kingdom? The Oxford dictionary definition of a kingdom is “a country, state, or territory ruled by a king or queen.” This differs from the definition of an empire. An empire is described as “an extensive group of states or countries under a single supreme authority, formerly especially an emperor or empress.” Major differences include the size of territory, number of people and can also include what the leaders choose to call themselves, among other things.

The Empire is typically considered more powerful because it includes more and different people and covers more territory than the kingdom. An example of this being the Roman Empire. However, this can eventually become an issue for anyone to take care of.

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Kingdoms usually have one ruler, though not always, a king or queen or another name. These are single territories or regions that are united under the monarch and often have the same traditions, culture and religious values throughout the kingdom.

So, really the two systems don’t have too much in common. Empires aspire to keep everything together but really they usually have too much territory to cover especially if they expand beyond their means. Although, in a modern society this may not be as much of an issue. Kingdoms generally have laws and beliefs that unite the people across their territory. However, finding ways to unite people behind one cause is sometimes difficult.


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