Provinces of France

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Map of the provinces of France in their final form in 1789, shortly before they were abolished the following year. Vidal-Lablache ndeg9 - Provinces en 1789.jpg
Map of the provinces of France in their final form in 1789, shortly before they were abolished the following year.

France was organized into provinces until March 4, 1790, when the establishment of the department (French: département) system superseded provinces. The provinces of France were roughly equivalent to the historic counties of England. They came into their final form over the course of many hundreds of years, as many dozens of semi-independent fiefs and former independent countries came to be incorporated into the French royal domain. Because of the haphazard manner in which the provinces evolved, each had its own sets of feudal traditions, laws, taxation systems, courts, etc., and the system represented an impediment to effective administration of the entire country from Paris. During the early years of the French Revolution, in an attempt to centralize the administration of the whole country, and to remove the influence of the French nobility over the country, the entirety of the province system was abolished and replaced by the system of departments in use today.

Contents

In some cases, several modern regions or departments share names with the historic provinces, and their borders may cover roughly the same territory.

List of former provinces of France

The list below shows the major provinces of France at the time of their dissolution during the French Revolution. Capital cities are shown in parentheses. Bold indicates a city that was also the seat of a judicial and quasi-legislative body called either a parlement (not to be confused with a parliament) or a conseil souverain (sovereign council). In some cases, this body met in a different city from the capital.

Provinces of France in 1789 relative to the modern borders of France
Note: The Comtat Venaissin (annexed 1791), Mulhouse (annexed 1798), Montbeliard (annexed 1816), Savoy and Nice (annexed 1860), and small portions of other provinces were not part of the Kingdom of France. Provinces of France.png
Provinces of France in 1789 relative to the modern borders of France
Note: The Comtat Venaissin (annexed 1791), Mulhouse (annexed 1798), Montbéliard (annexed 1816), Savoy and Nice (annexed 1860), and small portions of other provinces were not part of the Kingdom of France.
Map showing former provinces (in colours), with modern department boundaries in black Departements et provinces de France.svg
Map showing former provinces (in colours), with modern department boundaries in black
  1. Île-de-France ( Paris )
  2. Berry (Bourges)
  3. Orléanais (Orléans)
  4. Normandy ( Rouen )
  5. Languedoc ( Toulouse )
  6. Lyonnais (Lyon)
  7. Dauphiné ( Grenoble )
  8. Champagne (Troyes)
  9. Aunis (La Rochelle)
  10. Saintonge (Saintes)
  11. Poitou (Poitiers)
  12. Guyenne and Gascony ( Bordeaux )
  13. Burgundy ( Dijon )
  14. Picardy (Amiens)
  15. Anjou (Angers)
  16. Provence ( Aix-en-Provence )
  17. Angoumois (Angoulême)
  18. Bourbonnais (Moulins)
  19. Marche (Guéret)
  20. Brittany ( Rennes )
  21. Maine (Le Mans)
  22. Touraine (Tours)
  23. Limousin (Limoges)
  24. Foix (Foix)
  25. Auvergne (Clermont-Ferrand)
  26. Béarn ( Pau )
  27. Alsace (Strasbourg, conseils souverains in Colmar )
  28. Artois (Arras)
  29. Roussillon ( Perpignan )
  30. Flanders and Hainaut (Lille, conseils souverains in Douai )
  31. Franche-Comté ( Besançon )
  32. Lorraine and Barrois ( Nancy ); Trois-Évêchés (Three Bishoprics within Lorraine): Metz , Toul and Verdun
  33. Corsica (Ajaccio, conseils souverains in Bastia )
  34. Nivernais (Nevers)

Areas that were not part of the Kingdom of France, though they are currently parts of Metropolitan France:

  1. Comtat Venaissin, a Papal fief (Avignon)
  2. Imperial Free City of Mulhouse
  3. Savoy (Chambéry), a Sardinian fief
  4. Nice (Nice), a Sardinian fief
  5. Montbéliard (Montbéliard), a fief of Württemberg

Arms

Partial display of historical provincial arms:

Alençon 15. Anjou 28. Artois 2. Berry 13. Burgundy 20. Brittany 8.Champagne 7. Dauphiné 24. Foix
Blason comte fr Alencon.svg Blason comte fr Anjou.svg Blason province fr Artois.svg Blason duche fr Berry (moderne).svg Blason fr Bourgogne.svg Armoiries Bretagne - Arms of Brittany.svg Blason region fr Champagne-Ardenne.svg Arms of the Dauphin of France.svg Blason du comte de Foix.svg
12. Gascony Gévaudan 32. Lorraine 21. Maine 19. Marche 4. Normandy 37. Savoy 22. Touraine Valois
Blason province fr Gascogne.svg Blason province fr Gevaudan.svg Blason Lorraine.svg Blason du Maine.svg Blason Boubon-La Marche.svg Blason duche fr Normandie.svg Blason duche fr Savoie.svg Blason comte fr Touraine.svg Blason comte fr Valois.svg

See also

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