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A federal territory is an area under the direct and usually exclusive jurisdiction of a federation's central or national government. A federal territory is an area that is part of a federation but not part of any federated state. The federated states constitute the federation itself and share sovereignty with the federal government, while a territory does not have sovereign status.
Unlike a federal district, a territory may have some degree of self-rule, but the terms are used somewhat differently in different federations.
Federal territories include:
In Brazil, although mentioned in the Federal Constitution, currently there are no federal territories. Until, 1988 there were three territories: Fernando de Noronha (today a state-level district of Pernambuco), Amapá, and Roraima, now fully recognised states. From 1943 to 1982 Rondônia was also a federal territory (until 1956 under the name of Território do Guaporé).
The German Empire was a federation of monarchies and a few city-states. However, after the Franco-Prussian War, the newly created country annexed large parts of Alsace and Lorraine, two mostly German-speaking French territories which used to belong to the Holy Roman Empire. A large part of the local population was opposed to the transfer, meaning that granting statehood to the recently acquired territory would establish a state with a possible desire for secession which also was not used to German politics and German law. Incorporating the territory into Prussia, as happened to Schleswig-Holstein and other states during the German Unification Wars, was opposed by the South German states which already felt diminished by Prussia. Hence, an annexation to Bavaria and Baden was also discussed, yet met with opposition by the military which opined that the crucial border territory had to be governed from Berlin. As a compromise, Otto von Bismarck successfully proposed to incorporate Alsace-Lorraine as a territory directly governed by the Imperial (federal) government, leading to the creation of the Imperial Territory of Alsace-Lorraine (Reichsland Elsaß-Lothringen). The territorial status, common in the US, was unique within mainland Germany, as all constituent states were self-governing.
France annexed the complete area after World War I. Since then, the German national government never had direct control over a German territory, with the exception of the Nazi government; however, Nazi Germany was - like East Germany - a centralized state where state governments were de facto abolished. The Federal Republic of Germany's Basic Law does not currently provide a legal way to create a federal territory, including a capital district, and describes the German national territory as being composed solely of states.
In the United States, many of the states were territories or parts of territories before reaching statehood, e.g. Louisiana Territory, Mississippi Territory, Oregon Territory, Alaska Territory and Hawaii Territory. Before reaching statehood, these territories of the United States were formally usually of a kind which can be described as "organized incorporated territories", meaning that the government of the jurisdiction was formally organized in such a way as to comply with recognized federal standards for self-government, and that the jurisdiction was "organic" to the United States, that is, an irrevocably inseverable part of it rather than a protectorate, an area leased from and still pertaining formally to another nation, or a concession granted by another nation or group which conceivably could retain certain rights to it. "Incorporated" territories are a part of the United States, though not of any particular constituent state, and as are not readily saleable or cessionable to other powers in the way that "unincorporated" territories are.
A Regierungsbezirk means "governmental district" and is a type of administrative division in Germany. Four of sixteen Bundesländer are split into Regierungsbezirke. Beneath these are rural and urban districts.
An independent city or independent town is a city or town that does not form part of another general-purpose local government entity.
Devolution is the statutory delegation of powers from the central government of a sovereign state to govern at a subnational level, such as a regional or local level. It is a form of administrative decentralization. Devolved territories have the power to make legislation relevant to the area and thus granting them a higher level of autonomy.
A federation is a political entity characterized by a union of partially self-governing provinces, states, or other regions under a central federal government (federalism). In a federation, the self-governing status of the component states, as well as the division of power between them and the central government, is typically constitutionally entrenched and may not be altered by a unilateral decision of either party, the states or the federal political body. Alternatively, a federation is a form of government in which sovereign power is formally divided between a central authority and a number of constituent regions so that each region retains some degree of control over its internal affairs.
A federated state is a territorial and constitutional community forming part of a federation. Such states differ from fully sovereign states, in that they do not have full sovereign powers, as the sovereign powers have been divided between the federated states and the central or federal government. Importantly, federated states do not have standing as entities of international law. Instead, the federal union as a single entity is the sovereign state for purposes of international law. Depending on the constitutional structure of a particular federation, a federated state can hold various degrees of legislative, judicial and administrative jurisdiction over a defined geographic territory and is a form of regional government.
A federal district is a type of administrative division of a federation, usually under the direct control of a federal government and organized sometimes with a single municipal body. Federal districts often include capital districts, and they exist in various federations worldwide.
The Imperial Territory of Alsace-Lorraine was a territory created by the German Empire in 1871 after it annexed most of Alsace and the Moselle department of Lorraine following its victory in the Franco-Prussian War. The Alsatian part lay in the Rhine Valley on the west bank of the Rhine River and east of the Vosges Mountains. The Lorraine section was in the upper Moselle valley to the north of the Vosges.
The Federal Republic of Germany, as a federal state, consists of sixteen partly sovereign federated states. Since the German nation state was formed from an earlier collection of several states, it has a federal constitution, and the constituent states retain a measure of sovereignty.
The Provinces of Prussia were the main administrative divisions of Prussia from 1815 to 1946. Prussia's province system was introduced in the Stein-Hardenberg Reforms in 1815, and were mostly organized from duchies and historical regions. Provinces were divided into several Regierungsbezirke, sub-divided into Kreise (districts), and then into Gemeinden (townships) at the lowest-level. Provinces constituted the highest level of administration in the Kingdom of Prussia and Free State of Prussia until 1933, when Nazi Germany established de facto direct rule over provincial politics, and were formally abolished in 1946 following World War II. The Prussian provinces became the basis for many federal states of Germany, and the states of Brandenburg, Lower Saxony, and Schleswig-Holstein are direct successors of provinces.
Gau is a Germanic term for a region within a country, often a former or actual province. It was used in the Middle Ages, when it can be seen as roughly corresponding to an English shire. The administrative use of the term was revived as a subdivision during the period of Nazi Germany in 1933–1945. It still appears today in regional names, such as the Rheingau or Allgäu.
Reichspost was the name of the postal service of Germany from 1866 to 1945.
The Reichsstatthalter was a title used in the German Empire and later in Nazi Germany.
The States and Territories of Australia are the second level of government division in Australia, between the federal government and local governments. States and territories are self-administered regions with a local legislature, police force and certain civil authorities, and are represented in the Parliament of Australia. Territories though, unlike states, rely on federal legislation and additional financial contributions to operate, and have less representation in the Senate.
The Free State of Prussia was a state of Germany from 1918 to 1947. It was established in 1918 following the German Revolution, abolishing the German Empire and founding the Weimar Republic in the aftermath of the First World War. The new state was a direct successor to the Kingdom of Prussia, but featured a democratic, republican government and smaller area based on territorial changes after the war. Despite bearing the brunt of Germany's territorial losses in Europe, Prussia remained the dominant state of Germany, comprising almost 5⁄8 (62.5%) of the country's territory and population, and home to the federal capital, Berlin. Prussia changed from the authoritarian state it had been under previous rulers to a democratic bastion within the Weimar Republic where, unlike in other states, democratic parties always ruled in majority.
The territorial changes of Germany include all changes in the borders and territory of Germany from its formation in 1871 to the present. Modern Germany was formed in 1871 when Otto von Bismarck unified most of the German states, with the notable exception of Austria, into the German Empire. After the First World War, Germany lost about 10% of its territory to its neighbours and the Weimar Republic was formed. This republic included territories to the east of today's German borders.
The States of the Weimar Republic were the first-level administrative divisions and constituent states of the German Reich during the Weimar Republic era. The states were established in 1918 following the German Revolution upon the conclusion of World War I, and based on the 22 constituent states of the German Empire that abolished their local monarchies. The new states continued as republics alongside the three pre-existing city-states within the new Weimar Republic, adopting the titles Freistaat or Volksstaat.
The German Empire consisted of 25 constituent states and an Imperial Territory, the largest of which was Prussia. These states, or Staaten each had votes in the Bundesrat, which gave them representation at a federal level.
Detachment under international law is the formal, permanent separation of and loss of sovereignty over some territory to another geopolitical entity. Detachment can be considered the opposite or reverse of annexation.
A territory is an administrative division, usually an area that is under the jurisdiction of a sovereign state. In most countries, a territory is an organized division of an area that is controlled by a country but is not formally developed into, or incorporated into, a political unit of the country that is of equal status to other political units that may often be referred to by words such as "provinces" or "regions" or "states". In international politics, a territory is usually either the total area from which a state may extract power resources or any non-sovereign geographic area which has come under the authority of another government; which has not been granted the powers of self-government normally devolved to secondary territorial divisions; or both.
The Protestant Church of the Augsburg Confession of Alsace and Lorraine is a Lutheran church of public-law corporation status in France. The ambit of the EPCAAL comprises congregations in Alsace and the Lorrain Moselle department.