Jump to content


From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Suzerainty (American accent: soo-zer-en-tee) happens when a country X has its own government but cannot act independently because of a more powerful country Y.[1][2] This more powerful country Y is called the suzerain and can usually control the foreign relations of X (how X interacts with other countries).

It differs from sovereignty in that the tributary still has limited control of its own stuff and internal country affairs.

A suzerain can also mean a feudal lord.[2] Vassals must pay tribute to the feudal lord.

Some examples

[change | change source]

The term suzerainty originally described the relationship between the Ottoman Empire and its surrounding regions including:

China historically had suzerainty over Mongolia,[3] Korea.

[change | change source]


[change | change source]
  1. "Definition of SUZERAINTY". www.merriam-webster.com. Retrieved 2019-07-22.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Home : Oxford English Dictionary". www.oed.com. Retrieved 2019-07-22.
  3. Dickinson, Edwin De Witt (1972-01-01). The Equality of States in International Law. Arno Press. p. 239. ISBN 9780405045660.