Department (country subdivision)

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Map showing countries in the world that have departments as administrative subdivisions .
As first level
As second level Map of country subdivisions (departments).svg
Map showing countries in the world that have departments as administrative subdivisions .
  As first level
  As second level

A department (French : département, Spanish : departamento ) is an administrative or political subdivision in many countries. Departments are the first-level subdivisions of eleven countries, nine in the Americas and two in Africa. An additional ten countries use departments as second-level subdivisions, eight in Africa, one in the Americas, and one in Europe.

French language Romance language

French 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 spoken Latin in Gaul, and more specifically in Northern Gaul. Its closest relatives are the other langues d'oïl—languages historically spoken in northern France and in southern Belgium, which French (Francien) has largely supplanted. French was also influenced by native Celtic languages of Northern Roman Gaul like Gallia Belgica and by the (Germanic) Frankish language of the post-Roman Frankish invaders. Today, owing to France's past overseas expansion, there are numerous French-based creole languages, most notably Haitian Creole. A French-speaking person or nation may be referred to as Francophone in both English and French.

Spanish language Romance language

Spanish or Castilian is a Western Romance language that originated in the Castile region of Spain and today has hundreds of millions of native speakers in the Americas and Spain. It is a global language and the world's second-most spoken native language, after Mandarin Chinese.

A departamento is a country subdivision in several Latin American countries, mostly as top-level subnational divisions. It is usually simply translated as "department".

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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).

A territorial entity is an entity that covers a part of the surface of the Earth with specified borders.

French Revolution social and political revolution in France and its colonies occurring from 1789 to 1798

The French Revolution was a period of far-reaching social and political upheaval in France and its colonies beginning in 1789. The Revolution overthrew the monarchy, established a republic, catalyzed violent periods of political turmoil, and finally culminated in a dictatorship under Napoleon who brought many of its principles to areas he conquered in Western Europe and beyond. Inspired by liberal and radical ideas, the Revolution profoundly altered the course of modern history, triggering the global decline of absolute monarchies while replacing them with republics and liberal democracies. Through the Revolutionary Wars, it unleashed a wave of global conflicts that extended from the Caribbean to the Middle East. Historians widely regard the Revolution as one of the most important events in human history.

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.

René Louis de Voyer de Paulmy dArgenson French statesman

René-Louis de Voyer de Paulmy, Marquis d'Argenson was a French statesman.

Today, departments may exist either with or without a representative assembly and executive head depending upon the countries' constitutional and administrative structure.

A representative assembly is a political institution in which a number of persons representing the population or privileged orders within the population of a state come together to debate, negotiate with the executive and legislate. Examples in English-speaking countries are the United States Congress and the Parliament of the United Kingdom.

Senior management, executive management, upper management, or a management team is generally a team of individuals at the highest level of management of an organization who have the day-to-day tasks of managing that organization — sometimes a company or a corporation.

Constitution Set of fundamental principles or established precedents according to which a state or other organization is governed

A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles or established precedents that constitute the legal basis of a polity, organisation or other type of entity, and commonly determine how that entity is to be governed.

The United States used this designation for the "Department of Alaska" during the early period of US rule in Alaska. However, Alaska is now a state of the US.

United States federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.

Department of Alaska department of the USA between 1884-1912

The Department of Alaska was the designation for the government of Alaska from its purchase by the United States of America in 1867 until its organization as the District of Alaska in 1884. During the department era, Alaska was variously under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Army, the U.S. Dept. of the Treasury and the U.S. Navy. The area later became the District of Alaska, then the Territory of Alaska, then the State of Alaska.

Countries using departments

Departments of Argentina

Departments form the second level of administrative division, and are subdivided in municipalities. They are extended in all of Argentina except for the Province of Buenos Aires and the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires, the national capital, each of which has different administrative arrangements.

Departments of Benin

Benin is divided into 12 departments, and subdivided into 77 communes. In 1999, the previous six departments were each split into two halves, forming the current 12. Each of the six new departments was assigned a capital in 2008.

Departments of Bolivia Wikimedia list article

Bolivia is a unitary state consisting of nine departments. Departments are the primary subdivisions of Bolivia, and possess certain rights under the Constitution of Bolivia. Each department is represented in the federal Plurinational Legislative Assembly—a bicameral legislature consisting of the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies. Each department is represented by four Senators, while Deputies are awarded to each state in proportion to their total population.

*All provinces except Buenos Aires province
**replaced by regions in 2002

Former countries using departments

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County Geographical and administrative region in some countries

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In the administrative divisions of France, the department is one of the three levels of government below the national level, between the administrative regions and the commune. Ninety-six departments are in metropolitan France, and five are overseas departments, which are also classified as 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.

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Duchy of Warsaw client Napoleonic state from 1807 to 1815

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Departments of Colombia department, group of municipalities, in Colombia

Colombia is a unitary republic made up of thirty-two departments and a Capital District. Each department has a Governor (gobernador) and a Department Assembly, elected by popular vote for a four-year period. The governor cannot be re-elected in consecutive periods. Departments are country subdivisions and are granted a certain degree of autonomy.

Autonomous administrative division region with some freedom from its central government

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Kingdom of Italy (Napoleonic) kingdom on the Apennine Peninsula between 1805 and 1814

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Kingdom of Westphalia former country

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Duchy of Massa and Carrara

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The administrative divisions of India are subnational administrative units of India; they compose a nested hierarchy of country subdivisions. Indian states and territories frequently use different local titles for the same level of subdivision.

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".

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