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A PROVINCE is almost always an administrative division , within a country or state . The term derives from the ancient Roman _provincia _, which was the major territorial and administrative unit of the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
's territorial possessions outside Italy. The term province has since been adopted by many countries, and in those with no actual provinces, it has come to mean "outside the capital city". While some provinces were produced artificially by colonial powers, others were formed around local groups with their own ethnic identities. Many have their own powers independent of federal authority, especially in Canada. In other countries, like China, provinces are the creation of central government, with very little autonomy.

CONTENTS

* 1 Etymology * 2 History and culture * 3 Legal aspects

* 4 Current provinces

* 4.1 Modern provinces * 4.2 Canada
Canada
* 4.3 Russia
Russia
* 4.4 Polities Translated

* 5 Historic provinces

* 5.1 Ancient, medieval and feudal * 5.2 Colonial and Early Modern

* 6 See also * 7 References * 8 External links

ETYMOLOGY

The English word "province" is attested since about 1330 and derives from the 13th-century Old French
Old French
"_province_", which itself comes from the Latin
Latin
word "_provincia_", which referred to the sphere of authority of a magistrate ; in particular, to a foreign territory.

A popular etymology is from Latin
Latin
"_pro-_" ("on behalf of") and "_vincere_" ("to triumph" or "to take control of"). Thus a "province" would be a territory or function that a Roman magistrate held control of on behalf of his government. In fact, the word Province
Province
is an ancient term from public law, which means: "office belonging to a magistrate". This agrees with the Latin
Latin
term's earlier usage as a generic term for a jurisdiction under Roman law.

HISTORY AND CULTURE

In France
France
, the expression "_en province_" still tends to mean "outside the Paris
Paris
region." Equivalent expressions are used in Peru ("_en provincias_", "outside the city of Lima
Lima
"), Mexico
Mexico
("_la provincia_", "lands outside Mexico
Mexico
City
City
"), Romania
Romania
("_în provincie_", "outside the Bucharest
Bucharest
region"), Poland ("_prowincjonalny_", "provincial"), Bulgaria
Bulgaria
("_в провинцията_", "_v provintsiyata_", "in the provinces"; "_провинциален_", "_provintsialen_", "provincial") and the Philippines
Philippines
(_taga-probinsiya_, "from outside Metro Manila
Metro Manila
", _sa probinsiya_, "in the provinces"). Similarly, in Australia
Australia
"provincial" refers to parts of a state outside of the state capital.

Before the French Revolution
French Revolution
, France
France
comprised a variety of jurisdictions (e.g., Île-de- France
France
, built around the early Capetian royal demesne ), some being considered "provinces", though the term was also used colloquially for territories as small as a manor (_châtellenie _). Most commonly referred to as "provinces", however, were the _Grands Gouvernements_, generally former medieval feudal principalities, or agglomerations of such. Today the expression "_province_" is sometimes replaced by "_en région_", "_région_" now being the term officially used for the secondary level of government.

In Italy
Italy
, "_in provincia_" generally means "outside the biggest regional capitals" (like Rome
Rome
, Milan
Milan
, Naples
Naples
, etc.).

The historic European provinces—built up of many small regions, called "_pays_" by the French and "cantons " by the Swiss, each with a local cultural identity and focused upon a market town —have been depicted by Fernand Braudelas the optimum-size political unit in pre-industrial Early Modern Europe. He asks, "Was the province not its inhabitants' true 'fatherland '?" Even centrally-organized France, an early nation-state , could collapse into autonomous provincial worlds under pressure, as during the sustained crisis of the French Wars of Religion
French Wars of Religion
(1562—98).

The British colonies in North America were often named provinces. Most (but not all) of the thirteen colonies that eventually formed the USA were called provinces. All declared themselves "states" when they became independent. The Connecticut Colony, the Delaware Colony, Rhode Island and the Colony of Virginianever used the title "province".

The constituent parts of Canada
Canada
are also known as provinces. At the time of confederation, only the United Province of Canadawas called a province, although the provinces of Lower Canadaand Upper Canada
Upper Canada
had previously existed. Other colonies only started to use the title "province" on becoming constituent provinces of the Canadian confederation.

To 19th- and 20th-century historians, in Europe, centralized government was a sign of modernity and political maturity. In the late 20th century, as the European Union
European Union
drew nation-states closer together, centripetal forces seemed simultaneously to move countries toward more flexible systems of more localized, provincial governing entities under the overall European Union
European Union
umbrella. Spain
Spain
after Francisco Franco
Francisco Franco
has been a "State of Autonomies", formally unitary but in fact functioning as a federation of Autonomous Communities , each exercising different powers. (See Politics of Spain
Spain
.)

While Serbia
Serbia
, the rump of former Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia
, fought the separatists in the province of Kosovo
Kosovo
, the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
, under the political principle of "devolution ", produced (1998) local parliaments in Scotland
Scotland
, Wales
Wales
and Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
. Strong local nationalisms have surfaced or developed in Britain's Cornwall
Cornwall
, France's Brittany
Brittany
, Languedoc
Languedoc
and Corsica
Corsica
, Spain's Catalonia
Catalonia
and the Basque Country
Country
, Italy's Lombardy
Lombardy
, Belgium's Flanders
Flanders
; and, east of Europe, in Abkhazia
Abkhazia
, Chechnya
Chechnya
and Kurdistan
Kurdistan
. In ancient India , unlike the Mauryas , the Gupta Empire
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 federations and confederations , the province or state is not clearly subordinate to the national or central government. Rather, it is considered to be sovereign in regard to its particular set of constitutional functions. The central- and provincial-government functions, or areas of jurisdiction, are identified in a constitution . Those that are not specifically identified are called "residual powers." In a decentralized federal system (such as the United States and Australia
Australia
) these residual powers lie at the provincial or state level, whereas in a centralized federal system (such as Canada
Canada
) they are retained at the federal level.

Some of the enumerated powers can be quite important. For example, Canadian provinces are sovereign in regard to such important matters as property , civil rights , education , social welfare and medical services . The growth of the modern welfare state 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
Confederation
originally intended.

Canada's status as a federation of provinces under the Dominion
Dominion
of the British Empire
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
Canada
to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in London
London
. As well, provinces could bypass the Supreme Court and go directly to London
London
from any Provincial Court. The Canadian Supreme Court tended to support the view that the Canadian Constitution
Constitution
was intended to create a powerful central government, but the Privy Council in London
London
held a distinctly opposite view that the Constitution
Constitution
provided for stronger provincial powers. This provided an opportunity for forum shopping for provinces who opposed federal laws. Until appeals from Canada
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 during World War I
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 also become a major revenue generator for provinces, so in 1991 the Canadian government introduced a Goods and Services Tax (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
British Columbia
after harmonizing it, and shortly thereafter de-harmonizing it after it was struck down by a referendum), while the province of Alberta
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' instead, the provinces were abolished in 1876. The old provincial boundaries continue to be used to determine the application of certain public holidays . 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 into which New Zealand
New Zealand
is divided, and also the 21 District
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
, Wellington
Wellington
, Christchurch
Christchurch
, Hamilton and Dunedin
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 central government.

In some nations, a province (or its equivalent) is a first-level administrative unit of sub-national government—as in the Netherlands —and a large constituent autonomous area, as in Argentina , Canada
Canada
, South Africa , and the Democratic Republic
Republic
of the Congo . It can also be a constituent element of a federation , confederation , or republic . For example, in the United States
United States
, no state may secede from the federal Union without the permission of the federal government .

In other nations—such as Belgium , Chile , Italy
Italy
, Peru
Peru
, the Philippines
Philippines
, and Spain
Spain
—a province is a second-level administrative sub-division of a region (which is the first-order administrative sub-division of the nation). Italian provinces are mainly named after their principal town and comprise several administrative sub-divisions called _comuni _ (communes). In Chile, they are referred to as _comunas _. Chile has 15 regions , subdivided into 53 provinces, of which each is run by a governor appointed by the president. Italy
Italy
has 20 regions , subdivided into 14 metropolitan cities and 96 provinces . Peru
Peru
has 25 regions , subdivided into 194 provinces. Spain
Spain
has 17 autonomous communities and 2 autonomous cities, subdivided into 50 provinces .

The island of Ireland is divided into four historic provinces (see Provinces of Ireland), each of which is sub-divided into counties . These provinces are Connacht(in the west), Leinster
Leinster
(in the east), Munster
Munster
(in the south) and, Ulster
Ulster
(in the north). Nowadays these provinces have little or no administrative function, though they do have sporting significance.

From the 19th century, the Portuguese colonies were considered overseas provinces of Portugal
Portugal
.

Similarly, some overseas parts of the British Empire
British Empire
bore the colonial title of "province" (in a more Roman sense), such as the Province
Province
of Canada
Canada
and the Province
Province
of South Australia
Australia
(the latter, to distinguish it from the penal "colonies" elsewhere in Australia
Australia
). Likewise, prior to the American Revolution
American Revolution
, most of the original Thirteen Coloniesin British Americawere provinces as well, such as the Province of Georgiaand the Province of New Hampshire.

CANADA

The constituent entities of Canada
Canada
are known as provinces. At the time of confederation, only the United Province of Canada, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia
were called provinces, although the provinces of Lower Canadaand Upper Canada
Upper Canada
had previously existed. Other colonies and territories only started to use the title "province" on becoming constituent entities of the Canadian confederation.

Because Canada
Canada
is the second largest country in the world by area , most Canadian provinces are very large – six of its ten provinces are larger than any country in Europe except Russia
Russia
, and its largest province Quebec
Quebec
– 1,542,056 km2 (595,391 sq mi) – is almost two and a half times as large as France
France
– 640,679 km2 (247,368 sq mi). Five of the older Canadian provinces – Ontario
Ontario
, Quebec
Quebec
, New Brunswick , Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia
and Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island
– have "counties" as administrative sub-divisions. The actual local government form can vary widely. Since the Canadian Constitution
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 provinceshave more varied types of administrative sub-divisions than the Eastern provinces and invent new types at will. The province of British Columbia has "regional districts" which function as equivalents of counties. Manitoba
Manitoba
and Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan
have "urban municipalities", rural municipalities, and "special municipalities" or "northern municipalities". Most of Alberta
Alberta
's rural municipalities brand themselves "counties", although in Alberta
Alberta
the word has no legal significance and does not describe the government type.

The province of Alberta
Alberta
has some unusually creative solutions formed in response to local conditions. For instance, Sherwood Park
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
Municipality
(R.M.) of Wood Buffalo , which has several multibillion-dollar oil sands plants; and Lloydminster
Lloydminster
, a city of 31,483 which sits directly astride the provincial border between Alberta
Alberta
and Saskatchewan. Unlike most such cases, Lloydminster
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.

RUSSIA

The term "province" is sometimes used to refer to the historic governorates (_guberniyas _) of Russia
Russia
. This terms also refers to the _provinces_ (провинции), 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

COUNTRY LOCAL NAME(S) LANGUAGE NUMBER OF ENTITIES

Provinces of Afghanistan _wilayat _ Pashto, Dari 34

Provinces of Algeria
Provinces of Algeria
_wilaya _ Arabic
Arabic
48

Provinces of Angola _província_ Portuguese 18

Provinces of Argentina
Provinces of Argentina
_provincia_ Spanish 23

Provinces of Armenia _marz_ Armenian 11

Provinces of Belarus _voblast _ Belarusian 7

Provinces of Belgium
Provinces of Belgium
(Flemish Region
Region
) _provincie_ Dutch 5

Provinces of Belgium
Provinces of Belgium
(Walloon Region
Region
) _province_ French 5

Provinces of Bolivia _provincia_ Spanish 100

Provinces of Bulgaria
Bulgaria
_oblast _ Bulgarian 28

Provinces of Burkina Faso _province_ French 45

Provinces of Burundi _province_ French 17

Provinces of Cambodia _khaet_ (ខេត្ត) Khmer 20

Provinces of Canada
Canada
_province_ English , French 10

Provinces of Chile _provincia_ Spanish 54

Provinces of China
China
_shěng _ (省) Standard Chinese
Standard Chinese
22 + 1

Provinces of Costa Rica _provincia_ Spanish 7

Provinces of Colombia _provincia_ Spanish

Provinces of Cuba _provincia_ Spanish 15

Provinces of the Democratic Republic
Republic
of the Congo _province_ French 26

Provinces of the Dominican Republic
Republic
_provincia_ Spanish 33

Provinces of Equatorial Guinea _provincia_ Spanish 7

Provinces of Fiji _yasana_ Fijian 14

Provinces of Finland _läänit_ or _län_ Finnish , Swedish 6

Provinces of Gabon _province_ French 9

Provinces of Greece _επαρχία_ (eparchia) Greek 73

Provinces of Indonesia _provinsi_ or _propinsi_ Indonesian 34

Provinces of Iran
Provinces of Iran
_ostan_ Persian 31

Provinces of Ireland _cúige_ Irish 4

Provinces of Italy
Italy
_provincia_ Italian 110

Provinces of Kazakhstan _oblasy_ Kazakh 14

Provinces of Kenya _province_ English 8

Provinces of Kyrgyzstan _oblasty_ Kyrgyzian 7

Provinces of Laos _khoueng_ (ແຂວງ) Lao 16

Provinces of Madagascar
Provinces of Madagascar
_faritany_ Malagasy 6

Provinces of Mongolia _aimag _ or _aymag_ (Аймаг) Mongolian 21

Provinces of Mozambique _província_ Portuguese 10

Provinces of the Netherlands _provincie_ Dutch 12

Provinces of North Korea _do_ or _to_ (도) Korean 10

Provinces of Oman _wilaya _ Arabic
Arabic
62

Provinces of Pakistan _sûba_(صوبہ); plural: _sûbé_ (صوبے) Urdu 5

Provinces of Panama _provincia_ Spanish 9

Provinces of Papua New Guinea province English 19

Provinces of Peru
Peru
_provincia_ Spanish 195

Provinces of the Philippines
Philippines
_lalawigan_ or _probinsya_, _provincia_, _province_ Tagalog , Spanish , English 81

Provinces of Rwanda _intara_ French 5

Provinces of São Tomé and Príncipe _província_ Portuguese 2

Provinces of Saudi Arabia _mintaqah _ Arabic
Arabic
13

Provinces of Sierra Leone province English 3

Provinces of the Solomon Islands

9

Provinces of South Africa
Provinces of South Africa
province English 9

Provinces of South Korea _do_ or _to_ (도/道) Korean 10

Provinces of Spain
Spain
_provincia_ Spanish 50

Provinces of Sri Lanka පළාත/palaatha,மாகாணம்/maahaanam this is where the term originated * Caliphate
Caliphate
and subsequent sultanates : see Emirate
Emirate
* Khanate
Khanate
can also mean a province as well as an independent state, as either can be headed by a Khan * Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
: see exarchate , thema * Pharaonic Egypt
Egypt
: see nome (Egypt) * Frankish (Carolingian) 're-founded' Holy Roman Empire
Roman Empire
: see gau and county * In the Habsburg
Habsburg
territories, the traditional provinces are partly expressed in the _Länder_ of 19th-century Austria-Hungary
Austria-Hungary
. * Mughal Empire
Mughal Empire
: subah * The provinces of the Ottoman Empire had various types of governors (generally a pasha ), but mostly styled vali , hence the predominant term _vilayet _, generally subdivided (often in beyliks or sanjaks ), sometimes grouped under a governor-general (styled beylerbey ). * Achaemenid Persia
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
Khanate
of Kazan : the five daruğa ('direction')

COLONIAL AND EARLY MODERN

* Spanish empire
Spanish empire
, at several echelons:

* viceroyalty above * intendencia

* The former Republic
Republic
of the Seven United Provinces (The Netherlands )

* British colonies :

* American Southern Colonies

* Province of Virginia(1607–1776) * 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
Middle Colonies

* Province of New Jersey(1664–1776) * Province of New York
Province of New York
(1664–1783) * Province of Pennsylvania
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
Canada
(New France)

* Province
Province
of Quebec
Quebec
(1763–1791) * Province
Province
of Lower Canada(1791–1841) * Province
Province
of Upper Canada
Upper Canada
(1791–1841) * United Province of Canada(1841-1867)

* Provinces of India * Provinces of New Zealand
New Zealand
(1841-1876) * Provinces of Nigeria * Province
Province
of South Australia
Australia
(now an Australian state )

* The former provinces of Brazil * The former provinces of France
France
* The former provinces of Ireland * The former provinces of Japan * The provinces of Prussia , a former German kingdom /republic * The provinces of the Republic
Republic
of New Granada * The former provinces of Sweden * The former United Provinces of Central America * The former United Provinces of the Río de la Plata

SEE ALSO

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

REFERENCES

* ^ _The Perspective of the World_, 1984, p. 284. * ^ "How Canadians Govern Themselves,. 7th ed". .parl.gc.ca. Retrieved May 8, 2012. * ^ "Collaborative Federalism in an era of globalization". Pco-bcp.gc.ca. April 22, 1999. Retrieved May 8, 2012. * ^ Check url= value (help ). * ^ Also spelled "voivodship," "voi_E_vodship," "voi_E_vod_E_ship". * ^ The People\'s Republic
Republic
of China
China
(PRC) claims it has 23 provinces, one of them being Taiwan
Taiwan
, which the PRC does not have control. The Republic
Republic
of China
China
(frequently referred to as Taiwan
Taiwan
or ROC) controls all of Taiwan
Taiwan
Province
Province
and several small islands of Fujian
Fujian
and Hainan
Hainan
Province. * ^ 76 provinces + 1 special governed district (Bangkok). However, Thai people usually presume Bangkok as another province for convenience. * ^ 24 oblasts, one autonomous republic, and two "cities with special status".

EXTERNAL LINKS

* Etymology OnLine * WorldStatesmen

* v * t * e

Designations for types of administrative territorial entities

ENGLISH TERMS