A department (French : département, Spanish : departamento ) is an administrative or political division in many countries. Departments are the first-level divisions of 11 countries, nine in the Americas and two in Africa. An additional 10 countries use departments as second-level divisions, eight in Africa, and one each in the Americas and Europe.
As a territorial entity, "department" was first used by the French Revolutionary governments, apparently to emphasize that each territory was simply an administrative sub-division of the united sovereign nation. (The term "department", in other contexts, means an administrative sub-division of a larger organization.) This attempt to de-emphasize local political identity contrasts strongly with countries divided into "states" (implying local sovereignty).
The division of France into departments was a project particularly identified with the French revolutionary leader the Abbé Sieyès, although it had already been frequently discussed and written about by many politicians and thinkers. The earliest known suggestion of it is from 1764 in the writings of d'Argenson.
Today, departments may exist either with or without a representative assembly and executive head depending upon the countries' constitutional and administrative structure.
*All provinces except Buenos Aires province.
**Replaced by regions in 2002.
***Before Alaska became a U.S. state, it was designated as the "Department of Alaska".
A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an individual's birth, residence or citizenship.
Administrative division, administrative unit, 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, independent sovereign state (country) is divided. Such a unit usually has an administrative authority with the power to take administrative or policy decisions for its area.
A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposes in certain modern nations. The term is derived from the Old French conté or cunté denoting a jurisdiction under the sovereignty of a count (earl) or a viscount. Literal equivalents in other languages, derived from the equivalent of "count", are now seldom used officially, including comté, contea, contado, comtat, condado, Grafschaft, graafschap, and zhupa in Slavic languages; terms equivalent to English language administrative terms such as municipality, district, circuit and commune/community are now often instead used.
In the administrative divisions of France, the department is one of the three levels of government under the national level, between the administrative regions and the communes. Ninety-six departments are in metropolitan France, and five are overseas departments, which are also classified as overseas regions. Departments are further subdivided into 334 arrondissements, themselves divided into cantons; the last two have no autonomy, and are used for the organisation of police, fire departments, and sometimes, elections.
The Congress of Vienna of 1814–1815 was one of the most important international diplomatic conferences in European history, reconstituting the European political order after the downfall of the French Emperor Napoleon I. It was a meeting of ambassadors of European states chaired by Austrian statesman Klemens von Metternich, and held in Vienna from November 1814 to June 1815.
Frederick Augustus I was a member of the House of Wettin who reigned as the last Elector of Saxony from 1763 to 1806 and as King of Saxony from 1806 to 1827. He was also Duke of Warsaw from 1807 to 1815.
The Rhineland is the name used for a loosely defined area of Western Germany along the Rhine, chiefly its middle section.
A grand duchy is a country or territory whose official head of state or ruler is a monarch bearing the title of grand duke or grand duchess.
The Duchy of Warsaw, also known as Napoleonic Poland, was a Polish client state of the French Empire established by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1807, during the Napoleonic Wars. It comprised the ethnically Polish lands ceded to France by Prussia under the terms of the Treaties of Tilsit. It was the first attempt to re-establish Poland as a sovereign state after the 18th-century partitions and covered the central and southeastern parts of present-day Poland.
In Swiss history, the Helvetic Republic (1798–1803) represented an early attempt to impose a central authority over Switzerland, which until then had consisted of self-governing cantons united by a loose military alliance.
Forêts[fɔ.ʁɛ] was a department of the French First Republic, and later the First French Empire, in present-day Belgium, Luxembourg, and Germany. Its name, meaning 'forests', comes from the Ardennes forests. It was formed on 24 October 1795, after the Southern Netherlands had been annexed by France on 1 October. Before annexation, the territory was part of the Duchy of Luxembourg and the Duchy of Bouillon. Its capital was Luxembourg City.
The Kingdom of Italy was a kingdom in Northern Italy in personal union with France under Napoleon I. It was fully influenced by revolutionary France and ended with Napoleon's defeat and fall. Its governance was conducted by Napoleon and his step-son and viceroy Eugène de Beauharnais. It covered the modern provinces of Lombardy, Veneto, Emilia-Romagna, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Trentino, South Tyrol, and Marche. Napoleon I also ruled the rest of northern and central Italy in the form of Aosta, Piedmont, Liguria, Tuscany, Umbria, and Lazio, but directly as part of the French Empire, rather than as part of a client state.
The Kingdom of Westphalia was a kingdom in Germany, with a population of 2.6 million, that existed from 1807 to 1813. It included territory in Hesse and other parts of present-day Germany. While formally independent, it was a vassal state of the First French Empire and was ruled by Napoleon's brother Jérôme Bonaparte. It was named after Westphalia, but this was a misnomer since the kingdom had little territory in common with that area; rather the kingdom mostly covered territory formerly known as Eastphalia.
The Duchy of Massa was the duchy that controlled the towns of Massa and Carrara; the area is now part of unified Italy, but retains its local identity as the province of Massa-Carrara.
An administrative centre is a seat of regional administration or local government, or a county town, or the place where the central administration of a commune is located.
Gran Colombia is the historiographical designation for the state, then known simply as Colombia, that encompassed much of northern South America and part of southern Central America from 1819 to 1831. The state included the territories of present-day Colombia, Ecuador, Panama and Venezuela, and parts of northern Peru and northwestern Brazil. The term Gran Colombia is used historiographically to distinguish it from the current Republic of Colombia, which is also the official name of the former state.
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's territorial possessions outside 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".
The First French Empire, officially the French Republic then the French Empire, was the empire ruled by Napoleon Bonaparte, who established French hegemony over much of continental Europe at the beginning of the 19th century. Although France had already established a colonial empire overseas since the early 17th century, the French state had remained a kingdom under the Bourbons and a republic after the French Revolution. Historians refer to Napoleon's regime as the First Empire to distinguish it from the restorationist Second Empire (1852–1870) ruled by his nephew Napoleon III.