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A triumvirate (Latin: triumvirātus) or a triarchy is a political institution ruled or dominated by three individuals, known as triumvirs (Latin: triumviri). The arrangement can be formal or informal. Though the three leaders in a triumvirate are notionally equal, the actual distribution of power may vary. The term can also be used to describe a state with three different military leaders who all claim to be the sole leader.
In the Bible triumvirates occurred at some notable events in both the Old Testament and New Testament. In the Book of Exodus Moses, his brother Aaron and, according to some views their nephew or brother-in-law, Hur acted this way during the Battle of Rephidim against the Amalekites.[Exodus 17:10] Later, when Moses was away on Mount Sinai Aron and Hur were left in charge of all the Israelites.[Exodus 24:14] In the Gospels as a leading trio among the Twelve Apostles at three particular occasions during public ministry of Jesus acted Peter, James, son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were the only apostles present at the Raising of Jairus' daughter[Mark 5:37], Transfiguration of Jesus [Matthew 17:1] and Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane[Matthew 26:37]. Later, at the time of the Early Christian Church this triumvirate of the leading apostles changed slightly after the former James's death, as it became composed of Peter, John and James, brother of Jesus, known also as the Pillars of the Church.[Galatians 2:9]
During the Han Dynasty (202 BCE – 220 CE), statesmen Huo Guang (d. 68 BCE), Jin Midi (d. 86 BCE), and Shangguan Jie 上官桀 (d. 80 BCE) formed a triumvirate following the death of Emperor Wu of Han (r. 141–87 BCE) and the installation of the child emperor Zhao.
Despite the Three Excellencies—including the Chancellor, Imperial Secretary, and irregularly the Grand Commandant—representing the most senior ministerial positions of state, this triumvirate was supported by the economic technocrat and Imperial Secretary Sang Hongyang (d. 80 BCE), their political lackey. The acting Chancellor Tian Qianqiu was also easily swayed by the decisions of the triumvirate.
The Three Excellencies existed in Western Han (202 BCE – 9 CE) as the Chancellor, Imperial Secretary, and Grand Commandant, but the Chancellor was viewed as senior to the Imperial Secretary while the post of Grand Commandant was vacant for most of the dynasty. After Emperor Guangwu established the Eastern Han (25–220 CE), the Grand Commandant was made a permanent official while the Minister over the Masses replaced the Chancellor and the Minister of Works replaced the Imperial Secretary. Unlike the three high officials in Western Han when the Chancellor was senior to all, these new three senior officials had equal censorial and advisory powers. When a young or weak-minded emperor ascended to the throne, these Three Excellencies could dominate the affairs of state. There were also other types of triumvirates during the Eastern Han; for example, at the onset of the reign of Emperor Ling of Han (r. 168–189), the General-in-Chief Dou Wu (d. 168), the Grand Tutor Chen Fan (d. 168), and another prominent statesman Hu Guang (91–172) formed a triumvirate nominally in charge of the Privy Secretariat, when in fact it was a regent triumvirate that was overseeing the affairs of state and Emperor Ling.
In Hinduism, the gods Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva form the triumvirate Trimurti, where they each represent the balancing forces of creation, preservation, and destruction, respectively. Their female counterparts and consorts, the goddesses Saraswati, Lakshmi and Parvati, make up the parallel Tridevi.
Triumvirates during the Pagaruyuang era in the Minangkabau Highlands were known as Rajo Tigo Selo, or "the three reigning kings." The Rajo Tigo Selo was descended from the same line in the same dynasty and ruled at the same reigning time. It consisted of three kings, the Rajo Alam who ruled the government and diplomatic affairs, the Rajo Adaik who ruled the customs and the Rajo Ibadaik who acted as a Grand Mufti.
During the Roman Republic, triumviri (or tresviri) were special commissions of three men appointed for specific administrative tasks apart from the regular duties of Roman magistrates.
The term triumvirate is most commonly used by historians to refer to two political alliances which occurred in the period of the crisis of the Roman Republic:
Tamil Triumvirate refers to the triumvirate of Chola, Chera, and Pandya who dominated the politics of the ancient Tamil country. Sivaperuman, Murugan and Agathiyar are considered triumvirate of Tamil Language and Sangam Literature.
The title was revived a few times for (short-lived) three-headed political 'magistratures' in post-feudal times.
The Three Pashas also known as Ottoman Triumvirate effectively ruled the Ottoman Empire during World War I: Mehmed Talaat Pasha (1874–1921), the Grand Vizier (prime minister) and Minister of the Interior; Ismail Enver Pasha (1881–1922), the Minister of War; and Ahmed Djemal Pasha (1872–1922), the Minister of the Navy.
While French Huguenots had derisively bestowed the name Triumvirate on the alliance formed in 1561 between Catholic Francis, Duke of Guise, Anne de Montmorency, and Jacques Dalbon, Seigneur de Saint Andre during the French Wars of Religion, in later years the term would be used to describe other arrangements within France.
At the end of the 1700s, when the French revolutionaries turned to several Roman Magistrature names for their new institutions, the three-headed collective Head of State was named Consulat, a term in use for two-headed magistratures since Antiquity; furthermore it included a "First Consul" who was not an equal, but the de facto solo head of state and government – a position Napoleon Bonaparte chose to convert openly into the First French Empire.
Prior to Napoleon and during the Terror from 1793 to 1794 Robespierre, Louis de Saint-Just, and Couthon, as members of the governing Committee of Public Safety, were accused by their political opponents of forming an unofficial triumvirate, pointing out the first triumvirate of Julius Caesar, Pompey, and Crassus which led to the end of the Roman Republic. Although officially all members of the committee shared equal power the three men's friendship and close ideological base led their detractors to declaim them as triumvirs which was used against them in the coup of 9 Thermidor (27 July 1794).
In the early days of the national struggle and before Gandhi, the Indian National Congress was known to be under Lal-Bal-Pal i.e. Lala Lajpat Rai, Bipin Chandra Pal and the leader of the three Balgangadhar Tilak often dubbed Lokmanya Tilak.
According to the Article 8 paragraph (3) from the Constitution of Indonesia, there are three head of government institutions that can act as "temporary" triumvirate only if there are vacancies in the position of president and vice president at the same time (e.g. both president and vice president were assassinated, sick, not doing their duties, passed away, or resigned). They are Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Home Affairs, and Minister of Defense. Those three ministers can act for president and vice president together for maximum 30 days.
After that, during the term of the triumvirate, the House of Representatives through the political parties or the coalition of political parties will elect a new President and Vice President and propose it to the People's Consultative Assembly. The newly elected President and Vice President which holds first and second of the most votes in the parliament will continue the remaining office position of former President and Vice President that were elected from previous general election, not five years.
Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai, and Liu Shaoqi are regarded as the three most influential members of the first generation of the Chinese communist leaders. Mao and Zhou managed to remain at the highest levels of power until their deaths in 1976. Unlike them Liu, who served as the Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (1954-1959) and later as the President of the People's Republic of China, nominal de jure head of state (1959-1968), was purged in the cultural revolution in 1968. He died in prison in 1969.
Instead of Liu Shaoqi, Zhu De is sometimes regarded as a member of the triumvirate of the leading Chinese politicians alongside Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai. The three had the biggest contribution to the victory in the Chinese Civil War and the foundation of the People's Republic of China in 1949 and are now collectively venerated as the three founding heroes. Mao, Zhou and Zhu were the only three original members of the Politburo Standing Committee of the Chinese Communist Party who remained in the Politburo from 1945 until their deaths in 1976 (though Zhu temporarily lost his membership between 1969-1973) and died while holding the highest party and state offices Chairman of the Chinese Communist Party (Mao), Premier of the State Council (Zhou) and Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, the nominal head of state (Zhu).
Main article: Presidential Council (Benin)
In the context of the Soviet Union, the term troika (Russian: for "group of three") is used for "triumvirate".
In the Roman Republic (1849), the title of two sets of three joint chiefs of state in the year 1849:
Almost immediately following the Roman Republic, the Red Triumvirate governed the restored Papal States from 1849 to 1850:
The word has been used as a term of convenience, though not an official title, for other groups of three in a similar position:
((cite web)): CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)