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A province is almost always an
administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as well as many similar terms, are generic names for geographical areas into which a particular ...

administrative division
within a
country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some form of Institutionalisation, institutionalized social ...

country
or
state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, Un ...
. The term derives from the
ancient Roman In historiography Historiography is the study of the methods of historian ( 484– 425 BC) was a Greek historian who lived in the 5th century BC and one of the earliest historians whose work survives. A historian is a person who studi ...
''
provincia A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as well as many similar terms, are gen ...
'', which was the major territorial and administrative unit of the
Roman Empire's
Roman Empire's
territorial possessions outside
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of delimited by the and surrounding it, whose territory largely coincides with the . Italy is located in the centre of th ...

Italy
. The term ''province'' has since been adopted by many countries. In some countries with no actual provinces, "the provinces" is a metaphorical term meaning "outside the
capital city A capital or capital city is the holding primary status in a , , , , or other , usually as its seat of the government. A capital is typically a that physically encompasses the government's offices and meeting places; the status as capital is ...
". While some provinces were produced artificially by
colonial powers
colonial powers
, others were formed around local groups with their own ethnic identities. Many have their own powers independent of central or
federal Federal or foederal (archaic) may refer to: Politics General *Federal monarchy, a federation of monarchies *Federation, or ''Federal state'' (federal system), a type of government characterized by both a central (federal) government and states or ...

federal
authority, especially in Canada. In other countries, like
China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in . It is the world's , with a of more than 1.4 billion. China spans five geographical and 14 different countries, the in the world after . Covering an area of ap ...
or
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a spanning and in the and the , and s. Its extends from the to the and from the to the and the ; overseas territories include in , in the N ...
, provinces are the creation of central government, with very little autonomy.


Etymology

The
English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading lan ...

English
word ''province'' is attested since about 1330 and derives from the 13th-century
Old French Old French (, , ; Modern French French ( or ) is a Romance language of the Indo-European family. It descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire, as did all Romance languages. French evolved from Gallo-Romance, the Latin spok ...
, which itself comes from the
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became the dominant la ...

Latin
word , which referred to the sphere of authority of a
magistrate The term magistrate is used in a variety of systems of governments and laws to refer to a civilian officer who administers the law. In , a ' was one of the highest ranking government officers, and possessed both and powers. In other parts of t ...
, in particular, to a foreign territory. A
popular etymology A false etymology (fake etymology, popular etymology, etymythology, pseudo-etymology, or par(a)etymology) is a popular but false belief about the origin or derivation of a specific word. It is sometimes called a folk etymology Folk etymology – ...
is from
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became the dominant la ...

Latin
("on behalf of") and ("to triumph" or "to take control of"). Thus a "province" would be a territory or function that a
Roman magistrate The Roman magistrates were elected officials in Ancient Rome. During the Timeframe, period of the Roman Kingdom, the King of Rome was the principal executive magistrate.Abbott, 8 His power, in practice, was absolute. He was the chief priest, Legis ...
held control of on behalf of his government. In fact, the word ''province'' is an ancient term from public law, which means: "office belonging to a magistrate". This agrees with the Latin term's earlier usage as a generic term for a jurisdiction under
Roman law Roman law is the law, legal system of ancient Rome, including the legal developments spanning over a thousand years of jurisprudence, from the Twelve Tables (c. 449 BC), to the ''Corpus Juris Civilis'' (AD 529) ordered by Eastern Roman emperor Ju ...
.


History and culture

In
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a spanning and in the and the , and s. Its extends from the to the and from the to the and the ; overseas territories include in , in the N ...

France
, the expression still means "outside the
Paris Paris () is the Capital city, capital and List of communes in France with over 20,000 inhabitants, most populous city of France, with an estimated population of 2,175,601 residents , in an area of more than . Since the 17th century, Paris ha ...

Paris
region". Equivalent expressions are used in
Peru , , image_flag = Flag_of_Peru.svg , image_coat = Escudo_nacional_del_Perú.svg , other_symbol = Great Seal of the State , other_symbol_type = National seal , national_motto ...

Peru
(, "outside the city of
Lima Lima ( ; ) is the capital and the largest city of Peru , , image_flag = Flag_of_Peru.svg , image_coat = Escudo_nacional_del_Perú.svg , other_symbol = Great Seal of the State , other_symbol ...

Lima
"),
Mexico Mexico ( es, México ; Nahuan languages: ), officially the United Mexican States (; EUM ), is a List of sovereign states, country in the southern portion of North America. It is borders of Mexico, bordered to the north by the United States; ...

Mexico
(, "lands outside
Mexico City ) , blank1_name_sec1 = Human Development Index, HDI , blank1_info_sec1 = 0.897 Very High , blank_name_sec2 = GDP (Nominal) , blank_info_sec2 = USD, $266 billion , footnotes = b. Area of ...

Mexico City
"),
Romania Romania ( ; ro, România ) is a country at the crossroads of Central Central is an adjective usually referring to being in the center (disambiguation), center of some place or (mathematical) object. Central may also refer to: Directions ...

Romania
(, "outside the
Bucharest Bucharest ( , ; ro, București ) is the capital and largest city of Romania, as well as its cultural, industrial, and financial centre. It is located in the southeast of the country, at , on the banks of the Dâmbovița River, less than north ...

Bucharest
region"),
Poland Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country located in . It is divided into 16 , covering an area of , and has a largely climate. Poland has a population of nearly 38.5 million people, and is the fifth-most populous . ...

Poland
(, "provincial"),
Bulgaria Bulgaria (; bg, България, Bǎlgariya), officially the Republic of Bulgaria,, ) is a country in Southeast Europe. It occupies the whole eastern part of the Balkans, and is bordered by Romania to the north, Serbia and North Macedonia ...

Bulgaria
(, , "in the provinces"; , , "provincial") and the
Philippines The Philippines (; fil, Pilipinas, links=no), officially the Republic of the Philippines ( fil, Republika ng Pilipinas, links=no), * bik, Republika kan Filipinas * ceb, Republika sa Pilipinas * cbk, República de Filipinas * hil, Republ ...

Philippines
(, "from outside
Metro Manila Metropolitan Manila (often shortened as Metro Manila; fil, Kalakhang Maynila), officially the National Capital Region (NCR; fil, Pambansang Punong Rehiyon), is the seat of government The seat of government is (as defined by ''Brewer's Poli ...

Metro Manila
", , "in the provinces", or "in the countryside"). Similarly, in Australia "provincial" refers to parts of a state outside of the state capital. Before the
French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) was a period of radical political and societal change in France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a country primarily located in Western Europe, consi ...

French Revolution
, France comprised a variety of jurisdictions (built around the early Capetian royal
demesne A demesne ( ) or domain was all the land retained and managed by a lord of the manor Lord of the manor is a title that, in Anglo-Saxon England, referred to the landholder of a rural estate. The lord enjoyed Manorialism, manorial rights (the ...
), some being considered "provinces", though the term was also used colloquially for territories as small as a
manor Manor may refer to: Land tenure *Manor, the land belonging to the Lord of the manor under manorialism in parts of medieval Europe, notably England *Manor house, the main residence of the lord of the manor *Lord of the manor, the landholder of a ma ...
(). Most commonly referred to as "provinces", however, were the , generally former medieval feudal principalities, or agglomerations of such. Today the expression is regularly replaced in the media by the more politically correct , now being the term officially used for the secondary level of government. In
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of delimited by the and surrounding it, whose territory largely coincides with the . Italy is located in the centre of th ...

Italy
, generally means "outside the biggest regional capitals" (like
Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus Romulus was the legendary founder and first king of Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , fo ...

Rome
,
Milan Milan (, , Milanese Milanese (endonym in traditional orthography ''Milanes'', ''Meneghin'') is the central variety of the Western dialect of the Lombard language spoken in Milan, the rest of its Metropolitan City of Milan, metropolitan cit ...

Milan
,
Naples Naples (; it, Napoli ; nap, Napule ), from grc, Νεάπολις, Neápolis, lit=new city. is the regional capital of Campania (man), it, Campana (woman) , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 ...

Naples
, etc.). For the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shorth ...

United Kingdom
use of the word is often pejorative, assuming a
stereotype Police officers buying doughnuts and coffee, an example of perceived stereotypical behavior in North America. Social psychology Social psychology is the Science, scientific study of how the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors of individu ...
of the denizens of the provinces to be less culturally aware than those in the capital. The historic European provinces—built up of many small regions, called by the French and "
cantons A canton is a type of administrative division of a country. In general, cantons are relatively small in terms of area and population when compared with other administrative divisions such as county, counties, Department (administrative division), ...
" by the Swiss, each with a local cultural identity and focused upon a
market town A market town is a European settlement that obtained by custom or royal charter, in the Middle Ages In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages or medieval period lasted approximately from the 5th to the late 15th centuries, similarl ...
—have been depicted by
Fernand Braudel Fernand Braudel (; 24 August 1902 – 27 November 1985) was a French historian and a leader of the Annales School. His scholarship focused on three main projects: ''The Mediterranean'' (1923–49, then 1949–66), ''Civilization and Capitalism' ...
as the optimum-size political unit in pre-industrial
Early Modern Europe Early modern Europe, also referred to as the post-medieval period, is the period of European history between the end of the Middle Ages and the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, roughly the late 15th century to the late 18th century. Historian ...
. He asks, "Was the province not its inhabitants' true '
fatherland A homeland is the concept of the place where a cultural, national, or racial identity had formed. The definition can also mean simply one's country of birth. When used as a proper noun A proper noun is a noun A noun (from Latin ''nōmen' ...

fatherland
'?" Even centrally-organized France, an early
nation-state A nation state is a political unit where the state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newsp ...
, could collapse into autonomous provincial worlds under pressure, as during the sustained crisis of the
French Wars of Religion The French Wars of Religion were a prolonged period of civil war, war and popular unrest between Catholic Church, Catholics and Huguenots (Calvinist, Reformed/Calvinist Protestants) in the Kingdom of France between 1562 and 1598. It is estimated ...
(1562–98). The British colonies in North America were often named provinces. Most (but not all) of the
thirteen colonies The Thirteen Colonies, also known as the Thirteen British Colonies or the Thirteen American Colonies, were a group of Kingdom of Great Britain, British colonies on the Atlantic coast of North America. Founded in the 17th and 18th centuries, th ...
that eventually formed the United States were called provinces. All declared themselves "states" when they became independent. The
Connecticut Colony The Connecticut Colony or Colony of Connecticut, originally known as the Connecticut River Colony or simply the River Colony, was an English colony in New England New England is a region comprising six states in the Northeastern United State ...
, the
Delaware Colony Delaware Colony in the North American Middle Colonies consisted of land on the west bank of the Delaware River The Delaware River is a major river on the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic coast of the United States. It drains an area of in four U.S. ...
,
Rhode Island Rhode Island (, like ''road''), officially the State of Rhode Island, is a state in the New England New England is a region comprising six states in the Northeastern United States: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode ...
and the
Colony of Virginia , legislature = House of Burgesses The House of Burgesses was the elected representative element of the Virginia General Assembly, the legislative body of the Colony of Virginia , legislature = House of Burgesses (1619–177 ...
never used the title "province". The British colonies further north, which remained loyal to Britain and later confederated to form the original
Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of . Its extend from the to the and northward into the , covering , making it the world's . Its southern and western , stretching , is the world's longest bi-national land border. Canada's capital ...

Canada
, retained the title of "province" and are still known as such to the present day. To 19th- and 20th-century historians, in Europe,
centralized government#REDIRECT Centralized government A centralized government (also united government) is one in which both executive and legislative power is concentrated centrally at the higher level as opposed to it being more distributed at various lower level g ...
was a sign of modernity and political maturity. In the late 20th century, as the
European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of that are located primarily in . The union has a total area of and an estimated total population of about 447million. has been established through a standardised that apply in ...

European Union
drew
nation-state A nation state is a political unit where the state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newsp ...
s closer together, centripetal forces seemed simultaneously to move countries toward more flexible systems of more localized, provincial governing entities under the overall European Union umbrella.
Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_map = , map_caption = , image_map2 ...

Spain
after
Francisco Franco Francisco Franco Bahamonde (; 4 December 1892 – 20 November 1975) was a Spanish general who led the Nationalist faction (Spanish Civil War), Nationalist forces in overthrowing the Second Spanish Republic during the Spanish Civil War and ...

Francisco Franco
has been a "State of Autonomies", formally unitary but in fact functioning as a federation of
Autonomous Communities In Spain, an autonomous community ( es, comunidad autónoma) is a first-level political divisions of Spain, political and administrative division, created in accordance with the Spanish Constitution of 1978, Spanish constitution of 1978, with the ...

Autonomous Communities
, each exercising different powers. (See
Politics of Spain The politics of Spain takes place under the framework established by the Spanish Constitution of 1978, Constitution of 1978. Spain is established as a social and democracy, democratic sovereign countryFirst article. wherein the Popular sovereign ...
.) While
Serbia Serbia (, ; Serbian Serbian may refer to: * someone or something related to Serbia, a country in Southeastern Europe * someone or something related to the Serbs, a South Slavic people * in both meanings, depending on the context, it may refe ...

Serbia
, the rump of former
Yugoslavia Yugoslavia (; sh, Jugoslavija / ; sl, Jugoslavija ; mk, Југославија ;; rup, Iugoslavia; hu, Jugoszlávia; Pannonian Rusyn Image:Novi Sad mayor office.jpg, 250px, Mayor office written in four official languages used in the ...

Yugoslavia
, fought the separatists in the province of
Kosovo Kosovo, or ; sr-Cyrl, Косово officially the Republic of Kosovo,; sr, / is a international recognition of Kosovo, partially recognised state in Southeast Europe. It lies at the centre of the Balkans, occupying an area of , with ...

Kosovo
, the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shorth ...

United Kingdom
, under the political principle of "
devolution Devolution is the statutoryA statute reffers to the body of law that are made by legislature of the nation with instrument which govern the state, country or any nation. it includes laws, rules and the reulation whichhas to be followed by e ...
", produced (1998) local
parliament In modern politics and history, a parliament is a legislative body of government. Generally, a modern parliament has three functions: Representation (politics), representing the Election#Suffrage, electorate, making laws and overseeing the ...

parliament
s in
Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba ) is a country that is part of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Tele ...

Scotland
,
Wales Wales ( cy, Cymru ) is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an individual's birth, residence or citizenship. A country may be an independent sovereign ...

Wales
and
Northern Ireland Northern Ireland ( ga, Tuaisceart Éireann ; sco, label= Ulster-Scots, Norlin Airlann) is a part of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usa ...

Northern Ireland
. In
ancient India According to consensus in modern genetics, anatomically modern humans first arrived on the Indian subcontinent from Africa between 73,000 and 55,000 years ago. Quote: "Y-Chromosome and Mt-DNA data support the colonization of South Asia by mode ...

ancient India
, unlike the
Mauryas The Maurya Empire was a geographically extensive Iron Age The Iron Age is the final epoch of the three-age system, three-age division of the prehistory and protohistory of Homo sapiens, humanity. It was preceded by the Bronze Age and the ...
, the
Gupta Empire The Gupta Empire was an empire which existed from the early 4th century CE to late 6th century CE. At its zenith, from approximately 319 to 467 CE, it covered much of the . This period is considered as the by historians. The ruling dynasty of ...

Gupta Empire
gave local areas a great deal of independence and divided the empire into 26 large provinces, styled as Bhukti, Pradesha and Bhoga.


Legal aspects

In many
federation A federation (also known as a federal state) is a political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some form of Institutionalisation, institutionalized ...

federation
s and
confederation A confederation (also known as a confederacy or league) is a union of sovereign groups or states united for purposes of common action. Usually created by a treaty A treaty is a formal legally binding written agreement between actors in i ...
s, the province or state is not clearly subordinate to the national or central government. Rather, it is considered to be
sovereign Sovereign is a title which can be applied to the highest leader in various categories. The word is borrowed from Old French ''souverain'', which is ultimately derived from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the It ...
in regard to its particular set of constitutional functions. The central- and provincial-government functions, or areas of jurisdiction, are identified in a
constitution A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles A principle is a proposition or value that is a guide for behavior or evaluation. In law, it is a rule Rule or ruling may refer to: Human activity * The exercise of political ...

constitution
. Those that are not specifically identified are called "residual powers." In a decentralized federal system (such as the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country in . It consists of 50 , a , five major , 326 , and some . At , it is the world's . The United States shares significan ...

United States
and
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous List of islands of Australia, sma ...

Australia
) these residual powers lie at the provincial or state level, whereas in a centralized federal system (such as
Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of . Its extend from the to the and northward into the , covering , making it the world's . Its southern and western , stretching , is the world's longest bi-national land border. Canada's capital ...

Canada
) they are retained at the federal level. Some of the
enumerated powerThe enumerated powers (also called expressed powers, explicit powers or delegated powers) of the United States Congress The United States Congress or U.S. Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States ...
s can be quite important. For example,
Canadian provinces The provinces and territories of Canada are sub-national divisions within the geographical areas of Canada under the jurisdiction of the Constitution of Canada, Canadian Constitution. In the 1867 Canadian Confederation, three provinces of Britis ...
are sovereign in regard to such important matters as
property Property is a system of rights that gives people legal control of valuable things, and also refers to the valuable things themselves. Depending on the nature of the property, an owner of property may have the right to , alter, , , , , , , , or ...
,
civil rights Civil and political rights are a class of rights Rights are law, legal, social, or ethics, ethical principles of Liberty, freedom or entitlement; that is, rights are the fundamental normative rules about what is allowed of people or owed to ...
,
education Education is the process of facilitating , or the acquisition of , s, , morals, s, s, and personal development. Educational methods include , , , and directed . Education frequently takes place under the guidance of educators; however, lea ...

education
,
social welfare Welfare (or commonly, social welfare) is a type of government support intended to ensure that members of a society can meet basic human needs Maslow's hierarchy of needs is an idea in psychology Psychology is the science of mind and b ...
and
medical services Health care, health-care, or healthcare is the maintenance or improvement of health via the preventive healthcare, prevention, diagnosis, therapy, treatment, recovery, or cure of disease, illness, injury, and other disability, physical and mental ...
. The growth of the modern
welfare state The welfare state is a form of government in which the state (or a well-established network of social institutions) protects and promotes the economic and social well-being of its citizens, based upon the principles of equal opportunity Equal o ...
has resulted in these functions, assigned to the provinces, becoming more important compared to those assigned to the federal government and thus provincial governments have become more important than the
Fathers of Confederation The Fathers of Confederation are the 36 people who attended at least one of the Charlottetown Conference of 1864 (23 attendees), the Quebec Conference, 1864, Quebec Conference of 1864 (33 attendees), and the London Conference of 1866 (16 attende ...
originally intended. Canada's status as a federation of provinces under the
Dominion The word Dominion was used from 1907 to 1948 to refer to one of several self-governing colonies of the British Empire. "Dominion status" was formally accorded to Canada, Australia, Dominion of New Zealand, New Zealand, Dominion of Newfoundland ...

Dominion
of the British Empire rather than an independent country also had certain legal implications. Provinces could appeal court rulings over the heads of the
Supreme Court of Canada Supreme may refer to: * Supreme (brand), a clothing brand based in New York * Supreme (comics), a comic book superhero * Supreme (cookery), a term used in cookery * Supreme (film), ''Supreme'' (film), a 2016 Telugu film * Supreme (producer), hip-h ...

Supreme Court of Canada
to the
Judicial Committee of the Privy Council The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (JCPC) is the highest court of appeal for certain British territories, some Commonwealth countries and a few UK bodies. Established on 13 August 1833 to hear appeals formerly heard by the King-in-Cou ...
in
London London is the and of and the . It stands on the in south-east England at the head of a down to the , and has been a major settlement for two millennia. The , its ancient core and financial centre, was founded by the as ' and retains b ...

London
. As well, provinces could bypass the Supreme Court and go directly to London from any
Provincial Court The provincial and territorial courts in Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its Provinces and territories of Canada, ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic to the Pacific O ...
. The Canadian Supreme Court tended to support the view that the
Canadian Constitution The Constitution of Canada (french: Constitution du Canada) is the supreme law in Canada. It outlines Canada's system of government and the civil and human rights of those who are citizens of Canada and non-citizens in Canada. Its contents ar ...
was intended to create a powerful central government, but the Privy Council in London held a distinctly opposite view that the Constitution provided for stronger provincial powers. This provided an opportunity for
forum shopping Forum shopping is a colloquial Colloquialism or colloquial language is the style (sociolinguistics), linguistic style used for casual (informal) communication. It is the most common functional style of speech, the idiom normally employed in conv ...
for provinces who opposed federal laws. Until appeals from Canada to the Privy Council were abolished in 1949, in legal disputes the provincial governments tended to win powers at the expense of the federal government. In addition, while the Canadian federal government has unlimited taxing power while province governments are restricted to imposing direct taxes, the Canadian government introduced an
income tax An income tax is a imposed on individuals or entities (taxpayers) in respect of the income or profits earned by them (commonly called ). Income tax generally is computed as the product of a tax rate times the taxable income. Taxation rates may v ...
during
World War I World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...

World War I
, and since it is a direct tax it also became a major revenue generator for provinces. In most provinces, the federal government now collects income tax for both levels of government and transfers to the provincial governments whatever surcharge they ask for. The
sales tax A sales tax is a tax A tax is a compulsory financial charge or some other type of levy imposed on a taxpayer (an individual or legal entity In law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelate ...
also become a major revenue generator for provinces, so in 1991 the Canadian government introduced a
Goods and Services TaxGST may refer to: Taxes * Sales tax, General sales tax * Generation-skipping transfer tax, in the United States * Goods and Services Tax, the name for the value-added tax in several jurisdictions: ** Goods and Services Tax (Australia) ** Goods and ...
(GST) to share the revenues, which proved unpopular both with provincial governments and taxpayers. The Canadian government has tried to harmonize the two levels of sales taxes, but three provinces continue to impose a separate sales tax (British Columbia after harmonizing it, and shortly thereafter de-harmonizing it after it was struck down by a referendum), while the province of Alberta still does not impose a provincial sales tax. The evolution of federations has created an inevitable tug-of-war between concepts of federal supremacy versus states' and provinces' rights. The historic division of responsibility in federal constitutions is inevitably subject to multiple overlaps. For example, when central governments, responsible for
foreign policy ''Foreign Policy'' is an American news publication, founded in 1970 and focused on global affairs, current events, and domestic and international policy. It produces content daily on its website, and in six print issues annually. ''Foreign Polic ...
, enter into international agreements in areas where the state or province is sovereign, such as the environment or health standards, agreements made at the national level can create jurisdictional overlap and conflicting laws. This overlap creates the potential for internal disputes that lead to
constitutional amendment A constitutional amendment is a modification of the of a , or other type of . Amendments are often interwoven into the relevant sections of an existing constitution, directly altering the text. Conversely, they can be appended to the constitut ...
s and judicial decisions that alter the balance of powers. Though foreign affairs do not usually fall under a province's or a federal state's competency, some states allow them to legally conduct international relations on their own in matters of their constitutional prerogative and essential interest. Sub-national authorities have a growing interest in paradiplomacy, be it performed under a legal framework or as a trend informally admitted as legitimate by the central authorities. In
unitary state A unitary state is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper i ...
s such as
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a spanning and in the and the , and s. Its extends from the to the and from the to the and the ; overseas territories include in , in the N ...

France
and
China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in . It is the world's , with a of more than 1.4 billion. China spans five geographical and 14 different countries, the in the world after . Covering an area of ap ...

China
, provinces are subordinate to the national, central government. In theory, the central government can create or abolish provinces within its jurisdiction. On the other hand, although Canada is now considered a
federal state A federation (also known as a federal state) is a political entity characterized by a union of partially self-governing provinces, states, or other regions under a central federal government (federalism Federalism is a mixed or compou ...

federal state
and not a
confederation A confederation (also known as a confederacy or league) is a union of sovereign groups or states united for purposes of common action. Usually created by a treaty A treaty is a formal legally binding written agreement between actors in i ...
, in practice it is among the world's more
decentralized Decentralization or decentralisation is the process by which the activities of an organization, particularly those regarding planning and decision making, are distributed or delegated away from a central, authoritative location or group. Concep ...

decentralized
federations. Canadian Confederation and the
Constitution Act, 1867 The ''Constitution Act, 1867'The Constitution Act, 1867'', 30 & 31 Victoria (U.K.), c. 3, http://canlii.ca/t/ldsw retrieved on 2019-03-14. (french: Loi constitutionnelle de 1867, originally enacted as ''The British North America Act, 1867' ...
conferred considerable power on the provincial governments which they often use to pursue their own goals independently of the federal government. In Canada, local governments have been called "creatures of the province" because the authority of a local government derives solely from the provincial government. Provinces can create, merge, and dissolve local governments without the consent of the federal government or the people in the affected locality. Alberta in particular dissolved and merged hundreds of local governments during the 1940s and 1950s as a consequence of the
Great Depression The Great Depression was a severe worldwide that took place mostly during the 1930s, beginning . The timing of the Great Depression varied around the world; in most countries, it started in 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s. It was the l ...
. Other provinces have arbitrarily merged and annexed independent suburbs to major Canadian cities such as
Toronto Toronto (, ) is the capital city of the Canadian province of Ontario. With a recorded population of 2,731,571 in 2016 in 2016, it is the most populous city in Canada and the fourth most populous city in North America. The city is the anch ...

Toronto
or
Montreal Montreal ( ; officially Montréal, ) is the List of the largest municipalities in Canada by population, second-most populous city in Canada and List of towns in Quebec, most populous city in the Provinces and territories of Canada, Canadian pro ...

Montreal
without the approval of local voters.


Current provinces

Not all first-level political entities are termed "provinces." In
Arab The Arabs (singular Arab ; singular ar, عَرَبِيٌّ, ISO 233 The international standard are technical standards developed by international organizations (intergovernmental organizations), such as Codex Alimentarius in food, the World Hea ...

Arab
countries, the first administrative level of government—called a ''muhafazah''—is usually translated as a "
governorate A governorate is an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as well as many similar terms, are generic names fo ...
." In
Poland Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country located in . It is divided into 16 , covering an area of , and has a largely climate. Poland has a population of nearly 38.5 million people, and is the fifth-most populous . ...

Poland
, the equivalent of "province" is "''
województwo
województwo
''," sometimes rendered in English as "
voivodeship A voivodeship is the area administered by a voivode (Governor) in several countries of central and eastern Europe. Voivodeships have existed since medieval times and the area of extent of voivodeship resembles that of a duchy in western medieva ...
."Also spelled "voivodship," "voi''e''vodship," "voi''e''vod''e''ship". Historically,
New Zealand New Zealand ( mi, Aotearoa ) is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. It consists of two main landmasses—the North Island () and the South Island ()—and more than 700 List of islands of New Zealand, smaller islands, coveri ...

New Zealand
was divided into
provinces A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as well as many similar terms, are gene ...
, each with its own Superintendent and Provincial Council, and with considerable responsibilities conferred on them. However, the colony (as it then was) never developed into a federation; instead, the provinces were abolished in 1876. The old provincial boundaries continue to be used to determine the application of certain
public holiday A public holiday, national holiday or legal holiday is a holiday A holiday is a day set aside by Norm (social), custom or by law on which normal activities, especially business or work including school, are suspended or reduced. Generally, holid ...
s. Over the years, when the central Government has created special-purpose agencies at a sub-national level, these have often tended to follow or approximate the old provincial boundaries. Current examples include the 16
Regions In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of the Earth and planets. The first person to use the wor ...

Regions
into which New Zealand is divided, and also the 21 District Health Boards. Sometimes the term ''the provinces'' is used to refer collectively to rural and regional parts of New Zealand, that is, those parts of the country lying outside some or all of the "main centres"—
Auckland Auckland ( mi, Tāmaki Makaurau) is a large metropolitan city in the of . The in the country, Auckland has an urban population of about It is located in the —the area governed by —which includes outlying rural areas and the islands of the ...

Auckland
,
Wellington Wellington ( mi, Te Whanganui-a-TaraTe Whanganui-a-Tara is the Māori name for Wellington Harbour. The term is also used to refer to the city of Wellington Wellington ( mi, Te Whanganui-a-Tara ) is the capital city of New Zealand. It i ...

Wellington
,
Christchurch Christchurch ( ; mi, Ōtautahi) is the largest city in the South Island of New Zealand and the seat of the Canterbury, New Zealand, Canterbury Region. Christchurch lies on the South Island's east coast, just north of Banks Peninsula on Pegasu ...

Christchurch
,
HamiltonHamilton may refer to: * Alexander Hamilton (1755–1804), first American Secretary of the Treasury and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States **Hamilton (musical), ''Hamilton'' (musical), a 2015 Broadway musical written by Lin-Manuel Mira ...
and
Dunedin Dunedin ( ; mi, Ōtepoti) is the second-largest city in the South Island of New Zealand New Zealand ( mi, Aotearoa ) is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. It consists of two main landmasses—the North Island () and t ...

Dunedin
.


Modern provinces

In many countries, a province is a relatively small non-constituent level of sub-national government, such as a county in the United Kingdom. In China, a province is a sub-national region within a unitary state; this means that a province can be created or abolished by the national people's congress. In some nations, a province (or its equivalent) is a first-level administrative unit of sub-national government—as in the
Netherlands ) , national_anthem = ( en, "William of Nassau") , image_map = EU-Netherlands.svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = BES islands location map.svg , map_caption2 = , image_map3 ...
—and a large constituent autonomous area, as in
Argentina Argentina (), officially the Argentine Republic ( es, link=no, República Argentina), is a country located mostly in the southern half of . Sharing the bulk of the with to the west, the country is also bordered by and to the north, to the ...
,
Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of . Its extend from the to the and northward into the , covering , making it the world's . Its southern and western , stretching , is the world's longest bi-national land border. Canada's capital ...
,
South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With over 60 million people, it is the world's 23rd-most populous nation and covers an area of . South Africa has three capital cities ...
, and the
Democratic Republic of the Congo The Democratic Republic of the Congo ( french: République démocratique du Congo (RDC) ), also known as Congo-Kinshasa, DR Congo, the DRC, the DROC, or the Congo, and formerly Zaire Zaire (), officially the Republic of Zaire (french: ...
. It can also be a constituent element of a
federation A federation (also known as a federal state) is a political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some form of Institutionalisation, institutionalized ...

federation
,
confederation A confederation (also known as a confederacy or league) is a union of sovereign groups or states united for purposes of common action. Usually created by a treaty A treaty is a formal legally binding written agreement between actors in i ...
, or
republic A republic () is a form of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a month ...

republic
. For example, in the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country in . It consists of 50 , a , five major , 326 , and some . At , it is the world's . The United States shares significan ...
, no U.S. state, state may United States#Civil War and Reconstruction Era, secede from the federal union, federal Union without the permission of the federal government of the United States, federal government. In other nations—such as Belgium#Communities and regions, Belgium, Chile#Administrative divisions, Chile, Italy#Administrative divisions, Italy,
Peru , , image_flag = Flag_of_Peru.svg , image_coat = Escudo_nacional_del_Perú.svg , other_symbol = Great Seal of the State , other_symbol_type = National seal , national_motto ...

Peru
, the Philippines#Administrative divisions, Philippines, and Spain#Administrative divisions, Spain—a province is a second-level administrative sub-division of a region#Political regions, region (which is the first-order administrative sub-division of the nation). Italy, Italian provinces are mainly named after their principal town and comprise several administrative sub-divisions called ''comune, comuni'' (communes). In Chile, they are referred to as ''comunas''. Chile has regions of Chile, 15 regions, subdivided into 53 provinces, of which each is run by a governor appointed by the president. Italy has regions of Italy, 20 regions, subdivided into metropolitan cities of Italy, 14 metropolitan cities and provinces of Italy, 96 provinces. Peru has regions of Peru, 25 regions, subdivided into 194 provinces. Spain has autonomous communities of Spain, 17 autonomous communities and 2 autonomous cities, subdivided into provinces of Spain, 50 provinces. The island of Ireland#Politics, Ireland is divided into four historic provinces (see Provinces of Ireland), each of which is sub-divided into Counties of Ireland, counties. These provinces are Connacht (in the west), Leinster (in the east), Munster (in the south) and, Ulster (in the north). Nowadays these provinces have little or no administrative function, though they do have sport in Ireland, sporting significance. From the 19th century, the Portuguese Empire, Portuguese colonies were considered overseas provinces of Portugal. Similarly, some overseas parts of the British Empire bore the colonial title of "province" (in a more Roman sense), such as the Province of Canada and the South Australia, Province of South Australia (the latter, to distinguish it from the penal "colonies" elsewhere in
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous List of islands of Australia, sma ...

Australia
). Likewise, prior to the American Revolution, most of the original Thirteen Colonies in British America were provinces as well, such as the Province of Georgia and the Province of New Hampshire.


Canada

The constituent entities of
Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of . Its extend from the to the and northward into the , covering , making it the world's . Its southern and western , stretching , is the world's longest bi-national land border. Canada's capital ...

Canada
are known as provinces. Prior to confederation, the term province was used in reference to several British colonies situated in Canada; such as the colonial Province of Quebec (1763–1791), Province of Quebec. In 1791, Quebec split into two separate colonies, the provinces of Lower Canada, and Upper Canada. The two colonies were later merged in 1841 to form the Province of Canada. From its separation from Nova Scotia in the 18th century, New Brunswick was known as His/Her Majesty's Province of New Brunswick. After Canadian confederation in 1867, the term ''provinces'' continued to be used, in reference to the Provinces and territories of Canada, sub-national governments of Canada. Because Canada is the List of countries and dependencies by area, second-largest country in the world by area, but has only 10 provinces, most Canadian provinces are very large—List of Canadian provinces and territories by area, six of its ten provinces are List of European countries by area, larger than any country in Europe except Russia, and its largest province Quebec——is almost two and a half times as large as
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a spanning and in the and the , and s. Its extends from the to the and from the to the and the ; overseas territories include in , in the N ...

France
—. Six provinces, including five of the oldest Canadian provinces—Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island—have "counties" as administrative sub-divisions. The actual local government form can vary widely. In New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and in 9 of the 18 counties of Nova Scotia, county government has been abolished and has been superseded by another form of local government. New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island also have parishes within counties. Since the Constitution Act, 1867, Canadian Constitution assigns local government to provincial jurisdiction, the various provinces can create, dissolve, and reorganize local governments freely and they have been described as "creatures of the province". The Western provinces have more varied types of administrative sub-divisions than the Eastern Canada, Eastern provinces. The province of British Columbia has "regional districts" which function as county-equivalents. Manitoba and Saskatchewan are divided into rural municipalities. Alberta is also divided into counties, albeit they are officially classified as "municipal districts" by the province, though in regular everyday parlance these entities are referred to as a "county". The province of Alberta has some unique local governance schemes formed in response to local conditions. For instance, Sherwood Park is an unincorporated "urban service area" of 65,465 within Strathcona County, which has most of the oil refining capacity in Western Canada; Fort McMurray was once a city but dissolved itself and became an "urban service area" of 70,964 people within the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, Regional Municipality (R.M.) of Wood Buffalo, which has several multibillion-dollar oil sands plants; and Lloydminster, a city of 31,483 which sits directly astride the provincial border between Alberta and Saskatchewan. Unlike most such cases, Lloydminster is not a pair of twin cities on opposite sides of a border, but is actually incorporated by both provinces as a single city with a single municipal administration. The residents objected to the federal government splitting the city in two when it created the two provinces, so the two provinces reunified it by declaring it to be a single city in two provinces, thereby bypassing the limitations of federal boundaries.


Pakistan

Pakistan is administratively divided into four provinces, which are: *Pakistani Punjab, Punjab *Sindh *Khyber Pakhtunkhwa *Balochistan It also has two autonomous territories: *Azad Jammu and Kashmir *Gilgit Baltistan


Russia

The term "province" is sometimes used to refer to the historic governorates (''guberniyas'') of Russia. This terms also refers to the ''provinces'' (), which were introduced as the subdivisions of the governorates in 1719 and existed until 1775. In modern parlance, the term is commonly used to refer to the oblasts and krais of Russia.


Polities translated


Historic provinces


Ancient, medieval and feudal

* The Roman Empire was divided into provinces (''Roman province, provinciae''); this is from which the term originated. Byzantine Empire, Later Eastern Half: see Exarchate, Theme (Byzantine district), thema * Caliphate and subsequent sultanates: see Emirate * Khanate can also mean a province as well as an independent state, as either can be headed by a Khan * Pharaonic Egypt: see nome (Egypt) * Frankish (Carolingian) 're-founded' Holy Roman Empire: see Gau (country subdivision), gau and county * In the Habsburg territories, the traditional provinces are partly expressed in the ''Länder'' of 19th-century Austria-Hungary. * Mughal Empire: Subah (province), subah * The subdivisions of the Ottoman Empire, provinces of the Ottoman Empire had various types of governors (generally a pasha), but mostly styled Wali (administrative title), vali, hence the predominant term ''vilayet'', generally subdivided (often in beyliks or sanjaks), sometimes grouped under a governor-general (styled beylerbey). * Achaemenid Persia (and probably before in Media, again after conquest and further extension by Alexander the Great, and in the larger Hellenistic successor states: see satrapy * In the Tartar Khanate of Kazan: the five daruğa ('direction')


Colonial and early modern

* Spanish empire, at several echelons: ** viceroyalty above ** intendencia * The former Republic of the Seven United Provinces (The Netherlands) * British Empire, British colonies: ** American Southern Colonies *** Province of Carolina (1629–1712) *** Province of North Carolina (1712–1776) *** Province of South Carolina (1712–1776) *** Province of Maryland (1632–1776) *** Province of Georgia (1732–1777) ** American Middle Colonies *** Province of New Jersey (1664–1776) *** Province of New York (1664–1783) *** Province of Pennsylvania (1681–1783) ** American New England Colonies *** Province of New Hampshire (1680–1686, 1692–1783) *** Province of Massachusetts Bay (1692–1776) *** Province of Maine (various dates) ** Canada (New France) *** Province of Quebec (1763–1791) *** Province of Lower Canada (1791–1841) *** Province of Upper Canada (1791–1841) *** United Province of Canada (1841–1867) ** Provinces of India ** Provinces of the Philippines ** Provinces of New Zealand (1841–1876) ** Provinces of Nigeria ** South Australia, Province of South Australia (now an States and territories of Australia, Australian state) * The former provinces of Brazil * The former provinces of France * The former provinces of Ireland * The former provinces of Japan * The provinces of Prussia, a former Germany, German monarchy, kingdom/
republic A republic () is a form of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a month ...

republic
* The provinces of the Republic of New Granada * The former provinces of Sweden * The former United Provinces of Central America * The former United Provinces of South America, United Provinces of the Río de la Plata


See also

* Governor * Region * Provincialism * Regionalism (politics) * Rise: The Vieneo Province


References


External links


Etymology Online
* {{Authority control Provinces, Types of administrative division