State (administrative division)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Many sovereign independent nations are made up of a number of subnational entities also called states (or related terms). In some cases, such as the United States, the national government arose from a union of sovereign entities, which transferred some of their powers to the national government, while retaining the remainder of their sovereignty. These are sometimes called federal states. In some countries, English terms such as province or canton refers to a comparable entity, while in others, the local name is commonly translated into English as states. In other cases, states are simply creations of the national government, or other administrative divisions.
In countries with federal constitutions, sovereignty is shared between a national federal government and regional states whose rights and/or powers cannot be over-ruled or vetoed by the national government. Although once a federal constitution is formed, the rules governing the relationship between national and regional powers become part of the country's municipal law and not international law.
Countries made up of states
Countries using the English term state
- Australia consists of six states (and 10 territories - two major and 8 minor); see States and territories of Australia.
- The Federated States of Micronesia, a federal republic in free association with the United States, consists of four states.
- India consists of 28 states (and seven union territories); see States and territories of India.
- Malaysia consists of 13 states (and three federal territories); see States of Malaysia.
- Myanmar consists of seven states (and seven administrative divisions); see Administrative divisions of Burma.
- Nigeria consists of 36 states (and one territory); see States of Nigeria.
- Palau consists of 16 states; see States of Palau.
- The United States consists of 50 states (as well as the District of Columbia and 14 territories and overseas possessions).
Countries using the Portuguese/Spanish term estado
- Brazil consists of 26 states (as well as the Federal District); see States of Brazil.
- Mexico consists of 31 states (as well as the Federal District); see States of Mexico.
- Venezuela consists of 23 states (as well as the Capital District and the Federal Dependencies); see Subdivisions of Venezuela.
Countries using the German term Land
- Austria consists of 9 Bundesländer (or Länder)(eight states and the city-state Vienna), i.e."federal states" or "states". The rights of the Austrian Länder are regulated by the constitution and by state treaties. The second chamber of parliament ("Bundesrat"), which represents the member states, has an absolute veto in matters that would infringe the rights and powers of the member states. The Constitutional Court ("Verfassungsgerichtshof") decides in disputes between a state and the federation.
- Germany consists of 16 Länder, also commonly referred to as Bundesländer and commonly translated into English as "federal states". Unlike Austria, Germany has a strong federal constitution, including some sovereignty for the Länder.
Other equivalent terms used in various countries
- Argentina has a federal system which consists of 23 provincias and 1 federal district; see Provinces of Argentina
- Belgium consists of 3 geographical regions and 3 cultural/linguistic communities. It has been argued that these have de facto sovereignty
- Canada has a federal system which consists of 10 provinces and three territories; see Provinces and territories of Canada
- India uses "pradesh" for "sub-national state", and the suffix "sthan" for "land".
- Spain's 17 comunidades autónomas (literally, "autonomous communities") and two autonomous cities of now have varying degrees of autonomy. In some cases it is held that, although the Spanish Constitution does not explicitly declare Spain a federation, the powers of the autonomous communities and the political near-impossibility of changing them combine to make Spain's overall structure federal.
- Switzerland has 26 cantons, and has arguably the most decentralized constitution in the world, with the most power devolved to the cantonal governments.
- ^ The Constitution of the United States of America: Tenth Amendment, Reserved Powers, from www.gpoaccess.gov