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Real union

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Title: Real union  
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Real union

Real union is a union of two or more states, which share some state institutions as in contrast to personal unions; however they are not as unified as states in a political union. It is a development from personal union and usually was limited to monarchies.

Unlike the personal union, the real one almost exclusively brought about a downfall of sovereignty of the politically weaker constituent. That was the case with Lithuania and Scotland which came under the influence of much bigger and stronger neighbors, Poland and England respectively, with whom each of them had shared a personal union previously. Sometimes, however, a real union came after a period of a political one. The most notable example of such a move is the Kingdom of Hungary which achieved the status of an equal partner to Austria in the Habsburg Empire following 1867.

Historical examples:

Russian emperors never completely recognized the Polish constitution.
The Russian Empire never recognized Finland as a state in its own right. However, Finland was, for the most part, governed in accordance with February Revolution in March 1917, the Russian Provisional Government repealed all of the restrictions imposed on Finnish autonomy from February 1899. During the year 1917, Finnish politicians from right to left sought to have the new Russia recognize Finland as a separate state with its own constitution. The Social Democrats passed the "Power Act" in July 1917, which in effect meant real union, but the Provisional Government, after having survived a Bolshevik coup attempt the same month, dissolved the parliament. In the autumn of 1917, a committee was set up in Finland to draw up a proposal for a new constitution. By this time the weakened provisional government already recognized Finland as a state in its own right, but wanted to preserve the union along with some prerogatives. After the October Revolution, the dominant bourgeois parties decided to cut all ties with the new Bolshevik Council of People's Commissars and the Finnish parliament passed the Power Act again in November, effectively declaring Finland sovereign. The Social Democrats also sought independence, but wanted to have the Bolsheviks recognize it first. Finland was declared an independent republic officially on December 6, 1917.
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