The Info List - Protectorate

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A protectorate, in its inception adopted by modern international law, is a dependent territory that has been granted local autonomy and some independence while still retaining the suzerainty of a greater sovereign state. In exchange for this, the protectorate usually accepts specified obligations, which may vary greatly, depending on the real nature of their relationship. Therefore, a protectorate remains an autonomous part of a sovereign state. They are different from colonies as they have local rulers and people ruling over the territory and experience rare cases of immigration of settlers from the country it has suzerainty of. However, a state which remains under the protection of another state but still retains independence is known as a protected state and is different from protectorates.


1 Rationale

1.1 Amical protection 1.2 Colonial protection of the International Law 1.3 Foreign relations

2 Belgian protectorates 3 British protectorates 4 Chinese protectorates 5 Dutch protectorates 6 French protectorates

6.1 Asia 6.2 Arab world and Madagascar 6.3 Sub-Saharan Africa 6.4 Oceania

7 German protectorates 8 Italian protectorates 9 Japanese protectorates 10 Polish protectorates 11 Portuguese protectorates 12 Russian protectorates 13 Spanish protectorates 14 United States
United States

14.1 Contemporary usage by the United States

15 United Nations protectorates 16 Joint protectorates 17 See also 18 Notes 19 References

19.1 French

Rationale[edit] Amical protection[edit] In amical protection, the terms are often very favorable for the protectorate. The political interest of the protector is frequently moral (a matter of accepted moral obligation, prestige, ideology, internal popularity, dynastic, historical, or ethno-cultural ties) or countering a rival or enemy power (e.g., preventing the rival from obtaining or maintaining control of areas of strategic importance). This may involve a very weak protectorate surrendering control of its external relations; this, however, may not constitute any real sacrifice, as the protectorate may not have been able to have similar use of them without the protector's strength. Amical protection was frequently extended by the great powers to other Christian (generally European) states and to smaller states that had no significant importance[ambiguous]. In the post-1815 period, non-Christian states (such as China's Qing dynasty) also provided amical protection towards other much weaker states. In modern times, a form of amical protection can be seen as an important or defining feature of microstates. According to the definition proposed by Dumienski (2014): "microstates are modern protected states, i.e. sovereign states that have been able to unilaterally depute certain attributes of sovereignty to larger powers in exchange for benign protection of their political and economic viability against their geographic or demographic constraints".[1] Examples of microstates understood as modern protected states include Bhutan,[2] Liechtenstein, San Marino, Monaco, Niue, the Cook Islands, and Palau. Colonial protection of the International Law[edit] Conditions regarding protection are generally much less generous for areas of colonial protection. The protectorate was often reduced to a de facto condition similar to a colony, but using the pre-existing native state as an agent of indirect rule. Occasionally, a protectorate was established by or exercised by the other form of indirect rule: a chartered company, which becomes a de facto state in its European home state (but geographically overseas), allowed to be an independent country which has its own foreign policy and generally its own armed forces. In fact, protectorates were declared despite not being duly entered into by the traditional states supposedly being protected, or only by a party of dubious authority in those states. Colonial protectors frequently decided to reshuffle several protectorates into a new, artificial unit without consulting the protectorates, a logic disrespectful of the theoretical duty of a protector to help maintain its protectorates' status and integrity. The Berlin agreement of February 26, 1885 allowed the colonial powers to establish protectorates in Black Africa (the last region to be divided among them) by diplomatic notification, even without actual possession on the ground. A similar case is the formal use of such terms as colony and protectorate for an amalgamation, convenient only for the colonizer or protector, of adjacent territories over which it held (de facto) sway by protective or "raw" colonial logic. Foreign relations[edit] In practice, a protectorate often has direct foreign relations only with the protecting power, so other states must deal with it by approaching the protector. Similarly, the protectorate rarely takes military action on its own, but relies on the protector for its defence. This is distinct from annexation, in that the protector has no formal power to control the internal affairs of the protectorate. Protectorates differ from League of Nations mandates and their successors, United Nations Trust Territories, whose administration is supervised, in varying degrees, by the international community. A protectorate formally enters into the protection through a bilateral agreement with the protector, while international mandates are stewarded by the world community-representing body, with or without a de facto administering power. Belgian protectorates[edit] See also: Ruanda-Urundi During the East African Campaign of World War I, the north-west part of German East Africa, Ruanda-Urundi, was invaded by Belgian and Congolese troops in 1916 and was still occupied by them at the end of the war in 1918. As part of the Treaty of Versailles
Treaty of Versailles
the major part of German East Africa
German East Africa
was handed over to British control but Ruanda-Urundi, twice the size of Belgium
but only about 2% of the size of the Congo, was confirmed as a Belgian protectorate by a League of Nations mandate in 1924, later renewed as a United Nations Trust Territory. The territory was granted independence in 1962 as the separate countries of Rwanda
and Burundi, bringing the Belgian colonial empire to an end. British protectorates[edit] Main article: British Protectorate Chinese protectorates[edit] Han dynasty:

Protectorate of the Western Regions

Tang dynasty:

Protectorate General to Pacify the West Protectorate General to Pacify the North Protectorate General to Pacify the East

Yuan dynasty:


Qing dynasty:

Choseon (1636–1895; relations with Chinese Empire
were handled through Libu)[4]。 Ryukyu Kingdom
Ryukyu Kingdom

Dutch protectorates[edit]

Aruba, Curaçao, Sint Maarten
Sint Maarten
(all are presently separate constituent countries, formerly part of the Netherlands
Antilles) Various sultanates in the Dutch East Indies
Dutch East Indies
(present Indonesia)

Trumon Sultanate
(1770?), Langkat Sultanate
(26 October 1869), Deli Sultanate
(22 August 1862), Asahan Sultanate
(27 September 1865), Siak Sultanate
(1 February 1858) and Indragiri Sultanate
(1838?) in Sumatra Jogjakarta Sultanate
(13 February 1755), Mataram Empire
and Surakarta Sunanate (26 February 1677), Duchy of Mangkunegara (24 February 1757) and Duchy of Paku Alaman (22 June 1812) in Java. Sumbawa Sultanate
(?) and Bima Sultanate
(8 December 1669) in Lesser Sunda Islands. Pontianak Sultanate
(16 August 1819), Sambas Sultanate
(1819), Kubu Sultanate
(4 June 1823), Landak Sultanate
(?), Mempawah Sultanate
(?), Matan Sultanate
(?), Sanggau Sultanate
(?), Sekadau Sultanate
(?), Simpang Sultanate
(?), Sintang Sultanate
(1822), Sukadana Sultanate (?), Kota Waringin Sultanate
(?), Kutai Kertanegara Sultanate
(8 August 1825), Gunung Tabur Sultanate
(?) and Bulungan Sultanate
(?) in Borneo. Gowa Sultanate
(1669), Bone Sultanate
(?), Sidenreng Sultanate
(?), Soppeng Sultanate
(?), Butung Sultanate
(?), Muna Sultanate
(?) and Banggai Sultanate
(?) in Celebes. Ternate (12 October 1676) and Batjan Sultanate
(?) in The Moluccas. Kaimana Sultanate
(?) in Dutch New Guinea.

French protectorates[edit]

Saar Protectorate
Saar Protectorate
(1947–1956), not colonial or amical, but a former part of Germany that would by referendum return to it, in fact a re-edition of a former League of Nations mandate. Most French protectorates were colonial.


Present India: Arkat (Arcot/Carnatic) was 1692–1750 a French protectorate until 1763 independence recognized under British protectorate French Indochina
French Indochina
until 1953/54:

11 August 1863 Annam and Tonkin
6 June 1884 Laos
3 October 1893

Arab world and Madagascar[edit]

21 April 1886 French protectorate (Anjouan) until 25 July 1912 when annexed. Present Djibouti
was originally, since 24 June 1884, the Territory
of Obock and Protectorate of Tadjoura (Territoires Français d'Obock, Tadjoura, Dankils et Somalis), a French protectorate recognized by Britain on 9 February 1888, renamed on 20 May 1896 as French Somaliland (Côte Française des Somalis). Mauritania
on 12 May 1903 French protectorate; within Mauritanian several traditional states:

Adrar emirate since 9 January 1909 French protectorate (before Spanish) The Taganit confederation's emirate (founded by Idaw `Ish dynasty), since 1905 under French protectorate. Brakna
confederation's emirate Emirate
of Trarza: 15 December 1902 placed under French protectorate status.

– most of the sultanate was under French protectorate (30 March 1912 – 7 April 1956) although, in theory, it remained a sovereign state under the Treaty of Fez;[6] this fact was confirmed by the International Court of Justice
International Court of Justice
in 1952.[7]

The northern part of Morocco
was under Spanish protectorate in the same period.

Traditional Madagascar

Kingdom of Imerina
under French protectorate, 6 August 1896. French Madagascar
colony, 28 February 1897.

(12 May 1881 – 20 March 1956): became a French protectorate by treaty

Sub-Saharan Africa[edit] The legal regime of "protection" was the formal legal structure under which French colonial forces expanded in Africa between the 1830s and 1900. Almost every pre-existing state in the area later covered by French West Africa
French West Africa
was placed under protectorate status at some point, although direct rule gradually replaced protectorate agreements. Formal ruling structures, or fictive recreations of them, were largely retained as the lowest level authority figure in the French Cercles, with leaders appointed and removed by French officials.[8]

traditional states

Independent of Danhome, under French protectorate, from 1889 Porto-Novo
a French protectorate, 23 February 1863 – 2 January 1865. Cotonou
a French Protectorate, 19 May 1868. Porto-Novo
French protectorate, 14 April 1882.

Central African Republic
Central African Republic
traditional states:

French protectorate over Dar al-Kuti (1912 Sultanate
suppressed by the French), 12 December 1897 French protectorate over the Sultanate
of Bangassou, 1894

Burkina Faso
Burkina Faso
was since 20 February 1895 a French protectorate named Upper Volta (Haute-Volta) Chad: Baghirmi state 20 September 1897 a French protectorate Côte d'Ivoire: 10 January 1889 French protectorate of Ivory Coast Guinea: 5 August 1849 French protectorate over coastal region; (Riviéres du Sud). Niger, Sultanate of Damagaram
Sultanate of Damagaram
(Zinder), 30 July 1899 under French protectorate over the native rulers, titled Sarkin Damagaram or Sultan Senegal: 4 February 1850 First of several French protectorate treaties with local rulers


French Polynesia, mainly the Society Islands
Society Islands
(several other were immediately annexed)[9] All eventually were annexed by 1889.

(native king styled Ari`i rahi) becomes a French protectorate known as Tahiti, 1842–1880 Raiatea
and Tahaa
(after temporary annexation by Otaheiti; (title Ari`i) a French protectorate, 1880) Mangareva
(one of the Gambier Islands; ruler title `Akariki) a French protectorate, 16 February 1844 (unratified) and 30 November 1871[10]

Wallis and Futuna:

Wallis declared to be a French protectorate by King of Uvea and Captain Mallet, 4 November 1842. Officially in a treaty becomes a French protectorate, 5 April 1887 until 1917 when it was annexed. Sigave
and Alo on the islands of Futuna and Alofi signed a treaty establishing a French protectorate on 16 February 1888 until annexed in 1917.

German protectorates[edit] The German Empire
used the word Schutzgebiet, literally protectorate, for all of its colonial possessions until they were lost during World War I, regardless of the actual level of government control. Cases involving indirect rule included:

German New Guinea Marshall Islands Nauru, various officials posted with the Head Chiefs Northern Solomon islands Samoa, formerly Western Samoa Sultanate
of Witu, called Wituland, in present-day Kenya German South-West Africa
German South-West Africa
(later Namibia) Togoland Rwanda, a Resident with the native Mwami (king) Urundi, a Resident with the native Mwami (king; 1908 Sultan)

During World War II, Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
designated the rump of occupied Czechoslovakia
as a protectorate:

Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, 1939–1945

Italian protectorates[edit] In Europe:

(1917–1920 and 1939–1940) Independent State of Croatia
Independent State of Croatia
(1941–1943) Monaco
under amical Protectorate of the Kingdom of Sardinia 20 November 1815 to 1860.

In the colonial empire:

Ethiopia: 2 May 1889 Treaty of Wuchale, in the Italian language version, stated that Ethiopia
was to become an Italian protectorate, while the Ethiopian Amharic language
Amharic language
version merely stated that the Emperor could, if he so chose, go through Italy to conduct foreign affairs. When the differences in the versions came to light, Emperor Menelik II abrogated first the article in question (XVII), and later the whole treaty. The event culminated in the First Italo-Ethiopian War, in which Ethiopia
was victorious and defended her sovereignty in 1896. Libya: on 15 October 1912 Italian protectorate declared over Cirenaica (Cyrenaica) until 17 May 1919. Somalia: 3 August 1889 Benadir Coast Italian protectorate (in the northeast; unoccupied until May 1893), until 16 March 1905 when it changed to Italian Somaliland.

Majeerteen Sultanate
since 7 April 1889 under Italian protectorate (renewed 7 April 1895), then in 1927 incorporated into the Italian colony. Sultanate of Hobyo
Sultanate of Hobyo
since December 1888 under Italian protectorate (renewed 11 April 1895), then in October 1925 incorporated into the Italian colony (known as Obbia).

Japanese protectorates[edit]

Korean Empire

Polish protectorates[edit]

Kaffa (1462–1475)

Portuguese protectorates[edit]

Kingdom of Kongo
Kingdom of Kongo
(1390–1914) Cabinda (Portuguese Congo) (1885–1974) – Portugal
first claimed sovereignty over Cabinda in the February 1885 Treaty of Simulambuco, which gave Cabinda the status of a protectorate of the Portuguese Crown under the request of "the princes and governors of Cabinda". Gaza Empire
(1824–1895) Angoche Sultanate
Angoche Sultanate

Russian protectorates[edit]

Kingdom of Kartli-Kakheti
Kingdom of Kartli-Kakheti
(1783–1801) Kingdom of Imereti
Kingdom of Imereti
(1804–1810) Revolutionary Serbia
Revolutionary Serbia
(1807–12) and Principality
of Serbia (1826–56) Emirate of Bukhara
Emirate of Bukhara
(1873–1920) Khanate of Khiva
Khanate of Khiva

Spanish protectorates[edit]

Mauritania: Adrar emirate since 1886 under Spanish protectorate till 9 January 1909, then a French protectorate. Spanish Morocco
protectorate from 27 November 1912 until 2 April 1958 (Northern zone until 7 April 1956, Southern zone (Cape Juby) until 2 April 1958).

United States
United States

(1822–1847) Cuba (1898–1904) Haiti
(1915–1935) Honduras
(1903–1925) Nicaragua
(1912–1933) Panama Canal Zone
Panama Canal Zone
(1903–1979) Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic
(1914–1924) Sultanate of Sulu
Sultanate of Sulu
(1903–1915) Germany (1945–1949) South Korea (1945–1948) Ryukyu Islands (1945–1972) Commonwealth of the Philippines
Commonwealth of the Philippines
(1934–1946): Under the provisions of the Tydings–McDuffie Act, the territory would become self-governing although its military and foreign affairs would be under the United States. Hawaii (1850s–1894/1898) Compact of Free Association

The Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, and Palau have a similar status (associated state) since their independence.

Contemporary usage by the United States[edit] Some agencies of the United States
United States
government, such as the United States Environmental Protection Agency, still use the term protectorate to refer to insular areas of the United States
United States
such as Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
and the U.S. Virgin Islands. This was also the case with the Philippines
and (it can be argued via the Platt Amendment) Cuba at the end of Spanish colonial rule. Liberia
was the only African nation that was a colony for the United States
United States
but the government had no control over the land as it was controlled by the privately owned American Colonization Society. It was, however, a protectorate from January 7, 1822 until the Liberian Declaration of Independence from the American Colonization Society
American Colonization Society
in July 26, 1847. Liberia
was founded and established as a homeland for freed African-Americans
and ex-Caribbean slaves who left the United States
United States
and the Caribbean islands with help and support from the American Colonization Society. However, the agency responsible for the administration of those areas, the Office of Insular Affairs
Office of Insular Affairs
(OIA) within the United States Department of Interior, uses only the term "insular area" rather than protectorate. United Nations protectorates[edit]

West Papua (then known as West New Guinea
or West Irian): United Nations Temporary Executive Authority (1962–1963) Cambodia: United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (1992–1993) Eastern Croatia: United Nations Transitional Administration for Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Sirmium (1996–1998) East Timor: United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (1999–2002) Kosovo: United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo
(since 1999)

Joint protectorates[edit] Further information: Condominium (international law)

The Adriatic Republic of Ragusa
Republic of Ragusa
(present-day Dubrovnik in Croatian Dalmatia) was a joint Habsburg Austrian–Ottoman Turkish protectorate from 20 August 1684 to 24 August 1798 (exceptionally both a Catholic and a Muslim protector). The United States
United States
of the Ionian Islands were a federal Septinsular Republic of seven formerly Venetian (see Provveditore) Ionian islands (Corfu, Cephalonia, Zante, Santa Maura, Ithaca, Cerigo, and Paxos), officially under joint protectorate of the Allied Christian Powers, de facto a UK amical protectorate from 1815 to 1864. Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina
were a joint Austrian and Hungarian protectorate since 1878 which formally still belonged to the Ottoman Empire
until 1908 when it was annexed by Austria-Hungary
(see Bosnian crisis). Since the 1995 Dayton Agreement, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina
is again sometimes described as a de facto international protectorate.

See also[edit]

Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina
(Peace Implementation Council, High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, European Union Police Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina, EUFOR Althea) British Protected Person Chinese Protectorate Dominion Protector (titles for Heads of State and other individual persons) Puerto Rico Suzerainty Tributary (political) Tribute Vassal state


^ Dumieński, Zbigniew (2014). "Microstates as Modern Protected States: Towards a New Definition of Micro-Statehood" (PDF). Occasional Paper. Centre for Small State Studies. Retrieved 20 August 2014.  ^ Bedjaoui, Mohammed (1991), International Law: Achievements and Prospects, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, pp. 51–, ISBN 92-3-102716-6  ^ "A History of Korea: From Antiquity to the Present, by Michael J. Seth", p112 ^ 『韓国 堕落の2000年史』 崔基鎬 ^ Sakamaki, Shunzō (1964). "Ryukyu and Southeast Asia". Journal of Asian Studies. 23 (3): 382–4. doi:10.2307/2050757.  ^ Bedjaoui, Mohammed (1 January 1991). "International Law: Achievements and Prospects". Martinus Nijhoff Publishers – via Google Books.  ^ Capaldo, Giuliana Ziccardi (1 January 1995). "Repertory of Decisions of the International Court of Justice
International Court of Justice
(1947–1992)". Martinus Nijhoff Publishers – via Google Books.  ^ See the classic account on this in Robert Delavignette. Freedom and Authority in French West Africa. London: Oxford University Press, (1950). The more recent statndard studies on French expansion include: Robert Aldrich. Greater France: A History of French Overseas Expansion. Palgrave MacMillan (1996) ISBN 0-312-16000-3. Alice L. Conklin. A Mission to Civilize: The Republican Idea of Empire in France
and West Africa 1895–1930. Stanford: Stanford University Press (1998), ISBN 978-0-8047-2999-4. Patrick Manning. Francophone Sub-Saharan Africa, 1880–1995. Cambridge University Press (1998) ISBN 0-521-64255-8. Jean Suret-Canale. Afrique Noire: l'Ere Coloniale (Editions Sociales, Paris, 1971); Eng. translation, French Colonialism
in Tropical Africa, 1900 1945. (New York, 1971). ^ C. W. Newbury. Aspects of French Policy in the Pacific, 1853–1906. The Pacific Historical Review, Vol. 27, No. 1 (Feb., 1958), pp. 45–56 ^ Gonschor, Lorenz Rudolf (August 2008). Law as a Tool of Oppression and Liberation: Institutional Histories and Perspectives on Political Independence in Hawaiʻi, Tahiti Nui/ French Polynesia
French Polynesia
and Rapa Nui. Honolulu: University of Hawaii at Manoa. pp. 56–59. hdl:10125/20375. 


"Index of Colonies and Possessions". World Statesmen.org. Retrieved 2008-08-06. 


Larousse, Pierre; Paul Augé; Claude Augé (1925). Nouveau Petit Larousse Illustré: Dictionnaire Encyclopédique. Larousse. 

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Colonial empires

 American ·  Austro-Hungarian ·  Belgian ·  British ·  Couronian ·  Danish ·  Dutch ·  English ·  French ·  German ·  Italian

 Japanese ·   Sovereign Military Order of Malta
Sovereign Military Order of Malta
·  Ottoman ·  Portuguese ·  Russian ·  Spanish ·  Swedish

Colonies in antiquity

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Designations for types of administrative territorial entities

English terms

Common English terms1


Insular area Local government
Local government
area Protected area Special
area Statistical area

Combined statistical area Metropolitan statistical area Micropolitan statistical area

Urban area




borough Metropolitan borough


Federal capital Imperial capital


state Autonomous city Charter city Independent city Incorporated city Imperial city Free imperial city Royal free city


Autonomous community Residential community


Administrative county Autonomous county Consolidated city-county Metropolitan county




Overseas country


Overseas department


Capital district City
district Congressional district Electoral district Federal district Indian government district Land district Metropolitan district

Non-metropolitan district

Military district Municipal district Police district Regional district Rural district Sanitary district Subdistrict Urban district Special


Census division Police division Subdivision


municipality County

Norway Nova Scotia Regional county municipality

Direct-controlled municipality District
municipality Mountain resort municipality Neutral municipality Regional municipality Resort municipality Rural municipality Specialized municipality


Autonomous prefecture Subprefecture Super-prefecture Praetorian prefecture


Autonomous province Overseas province Roman province


Administrative region Autonomous region Capital region Development region Economic region Mesoregion Microregion Overseas region Planning region Special
administrative region Statistical region Subregion


Biosphere reserve Ecological reserve Game reserve Indian reserve Nature reserve


Federal state Free state Sovereign state


Capital territory

Federal capital territory

Dependent territory Federal territory Military territory Organized incorporated territory Overseas territory Union territory Unorganized territory


Census town Market town


Charter township Civil township Paper township Survey township Urban township


Autonomous territorial unit Local administrative unit Municipal unit Regional unit


Economic zone

Exclusive economic zone Free economic zone Special
economic zone

Free-trade zone Neutral zone Self-administered zone

Other English terms


Alpine resort Bailiwick Banner


Block Cadastre Circle Circuit Colony Commune Condominium Constituency Duchy Eldership Emirate Federal dependency Governorate Hamlet Ilkhanate Indian reservation Manor


Muftiate Neighbourhood Parish Periphery Precinct Principality Protectorate Quarter Regency Autonomous republic Riding Sector


Shire Sultanate Suzerainty Townland Village

Administrative Summer



Agency Barony Burgh Exarchate Hide Hundred Imperial Circle March Monthon Presidency Residency Roman diocese Seat Tenth Tithing

Non-English or loanwords


Amt Bakhsh Barangay Bezirk Regierungsbezirk Comune Frazione Fu Gemeinde Județ Kunta / kommun

Finland Sweden

Län Località Megye Muban Oblast


Okrug Ostān Poblacion Purok Shahrestān Sum Sýsla Tehsil Vingtaine


Commote Gau Heerlijkheid Köping Maalaiskunta Nome

Egypt Greece

Pagus Pargana Plasă Satrapy Socken Subah Syssel Zhou

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terms for country subdivisions


Muhafazah (محافظة governorate) Wilayah (ولاية province) Mintaqah (منطقة region) Mudiriyah (مديرية directorate) Imarah (إمارة emirate) Baladiyah (بلدية municipality) Shabiyah (شعبية "popularate")

Second / third-level

Mintaqah (منطقة region) Qadaa (قضاء district) Nahiyah (ناحية subdistrict) Markaz (مركز district) Mutamadiyah (معتمدية "delegation") Daerah/Daïra (دائرة circle) Liwa (لواء banner / sanjak)

City / township-level

Amanah (أمانة municipality) Baladiyah (بلدية municipality) Ḥai (حي neighborhood / quarter) Mahallah (محلة) Qarya (قرية) Sheyakhah (شياخة "neighborhood subdivision")

English translations given are those most commonly used.

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French terms for country subdivisions

arrondissement département préfecture subprefectures

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Greek terms for country subdivisions


apokentromenes dioikiseis / geniki dioikisis§ / diamerisma§ / periphereia nomos§ / periphereiaki enotita demos / eparchia§ / koinotita§


archontia/archontaton bandon demos despotaton dioikesis doukaton droungos eparchia exarchaton katepanikion kephalatikion kleisoura meris naukrareia satrapeia strategis thema toparchia tourma

§ signifies a defunct institution

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Portuguese terms for country subdivisions

Regional subdivisions

Estado Distrito federal Província Região Distrito Comarca Capitania

Local subdivisions

Município Concelho Freguesia Comuna Circunscrição


Cidade Vila Aldeia Bairro Lugar

Historical subdivisions in italics.

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Slavic terms for country subdivisions


dzielnica gmina krai kraj krajina / pokrajina městys obec oblast / oblast' / oblasti / oblys / obwód / voblast' okręg okres okrug opština / općina / občina / obshtina osiedle powiat / povit raion selsoviet / silrada sołectwo voivodeship / vojvodina županija


darugha gromada guberniya / gubernia jurydyka khutor obshchina okolia opole pogost prowincja sorok srez starostwo / starostva uyezd volost ziemia župa

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Spanish terms for country subdivisions

National, Federal

Comunidad autónoma Departamento Distrito federal Estado Provincia Región

Regional, Metropolitan

Cantón Comarca Comuna Corregimiento Delegación Distrito Mancomunidad Merindad Municipalidad Municipio Parroquia

Ecuador Spain

Urban, Rural

Aldea Alquería Anteiglesia Asentamiento

Asentamiento informal Pueblos jóvenes

Barrio Campamento Caserío Ciudad

Ciudad autónoma

Colonia Lugar Masía Pedanía Población Ranchería Sitio Vereda Villa Village

Historical subdivisions in italics.

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Turkish terms for country subdivisions


il (province) ilçe (district) şehir (city) kasaba (town) belediye (municipality) belde (community) köy (village) mahalle (neighbourhood/quarter)


ağalık (feudal district) bucak (subdistrict) beylerbeylik (province) kadılık (subprovince) kaza (sub-province) hidivlik (viceroyalty) mutasarrıflık (subprovince) nahiye (nahiyah) paşalık (province) reya (Romanian principalities) sancak (prefecture) vilayet (province) voyvodalık (Romanian provinces)

1 Used by ten or more countries or having derived terms. Historical derivations in italics. See also: Census division, Electoral district, Political division, and List of administrative di