Governor
Overview
 
A governor is a governing official, usually the executive
Executive (government)
Executive branch of Government is the part of government that has sole authority and responsibility for the daily administration of the state bureaucracy. The division of power into separate branches of government is central to the idea of the separation of powers.In many countries, the term...

 (at least nominally, to different degrees also politically and administratively) of a non-sovereign level of government, ranking under the head of state
Head of State
A head of state is the individual that serves as the chief public representative of a monarchy, republic, federation, commonwealth or other kind of state. His or her role generally includes legitimizing the state and exercising the political powers, functions, and duties granted to the head of...

. In federation
Federation
A federation , also known as a federal state, is a type of sovereign state characterized by a union of partially self-governing states or regions united by a central government...

s, a governor may be the title of each appointed or elected politician
Politician
A politician, political leader, or political figure is an individual who is involved in influencing public policy and decision making...

 who governs a constituent state
Constituent state
A constituent state, constituent entity, or constituent part, is a territorial and constitutional entity forming part of a sovereign state...

.

In countries, the heads of the constitutive states, provinces, communities and regions may be titled Governor, although this is less common in parliamentary systems such as in some European nations and many of their former colonies, which use titles such as President of the Regional Council in France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 and Ministerpräsident in Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, where in some states there are governorates as sub-state administrative regions.
Timeline

1587    Virginia Dare, granddaughter of governor John White of the Colony of Roanoke, becomes the first English child born in the Americas.

1749    New Governor Charles de la Ralière Des Herbiers arrives at Isle Royale (Cape Breton Island).

1810    Venezuela achieves home rule: Vicente Emparan, Governor of the Captaincy General is removed by the people of Caracas and a Junta is installed.

1857    Louis Faidherbe, French governor of Senegal, arrives to relieve French forces at Kayes, effectively ending El Hajj Umar Tall's war against the French.

1893    Women's suffrage: in New Zealand, the Electoral Act of 1893 is consented to by the governor giving all women in New Zealand the right to vote.

1900    Hawaii becomes a territory of the United States, with Sanford B. Dole as governor.

1913    New York Governor William Sulzer approves the charter for the Rockefeller Foundation, which begins operations with a $100 million donation from John D. Rockefeller.

1940    Chad becomes the first French colony to join the Allies under the administration of Félix Éboué, France's first black colonial governor.

1961    American civil rights movement: Alabama Governor John Malcolm Patterson declares martial law in an attempt to restore order after race riots break out.

Encyclopedia
A governor is a governing official, usually the executive
Executive (government)
Executive branch of Government is the part of government that has sole authority and responsibility for the daily administration of the state bureaucracy. The division of power into separate branches of government is central to the idea of the separation of powers.In many countries, the term...

 (at least nominally, to different degrees also politically and administratively) of a non-sovereign level of government, ranking under the head of state
Head of State
A head of state is the individual that serves as the chief public representative of a monarchy, republic, federation, commonwealth or other kind of state. His or her role generally includes legitimizing the state and exercising the political powers, functions, and duties granted to the head of...

. In federation
Federation
A federation , also known as a federal state, is a type of sovereign state characterized by a union of partially self-governing states or regions united by a central government...

s, a governor may be the title of each appointed or elected politician
Politician
A politician, political leader, or political figure is an individual who is involved in influencing public policy and decision making...

 who governs a constituent state
Constituent state
A constituent state, constituent entity, or constituent part, is a territorial and constitutional entity forming part of a sovereign state...

.

In countries, the heads of the constitutive states, provinces, communities and regions may be titled Governor, although this is less common in parliamentary systems such as in some European nations and many of their former colonies, which use titles such as President of the Regional Council in France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 and Ministerpräsident in Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, where in some states there are governorates as sub-state administrative regions. Other countries using different titles for sub-national units include Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 and Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

.

The title also lies, historically, to executive officials acting as representatives of a chartered company
Chartered company
A chartered company is an association formed by investors or shareholders for the purpose of trade, exploration and colonization.- History :...

 which has been granted exercise of sovereignty in a colonial area, such as the British HEIC or the Dutch VOC
Dutch East India Company
The Dutch East India Company was a chartered company established in 1602, when the States-General of the Netherlands granted it a 21-year monopoly to carry out colonial activities in Asia...

. These companies operate as a major state within a state with its own armed forces.

There can also be non-political governors: high ranking officials in private or similar governance
Governance
Governance is the act of governing. It relates to decisions that define expectations, grant power, or verify performance. It consists of either a separate process or part of management or leadership processes...

 such as commercial and non-profit management, styled governor(s), who simply govern an institution, such as a corporation
Corporation
A corporation is created under the laws of a state as a separate legal entity that has privileges and liabilities that are distinct from those of its members. There are many different forms of corporations, most of which are used to conduct business. Early corporations were established by charter...

 or a bank
Bank
A bank is a financial institution that serves as a financial intermediary. The term "bank" may refer to one of several related types of entities:...

. For example, in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 and other Commonwealth
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

 countries there are prison
Prison
A prison is a place in which people are physically confined and, usually, deprived of a range of personal freedoms. Imprisonment or incarceration is a legal penalty that may be imposed by the state for the commission of a crime...

 governors ("wardens" in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

), school governors
School governors
In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, school governors are members of a school's Governing Body. In state schools they have responsibility for raising school standards through their three key roles of setting strategic direction, ensuring accountability and acting as a critical friend...

 and bank governors.

The adjective pertaining to a governor is gubernatorial, from the Latin root gubernare. The correct female form is governess, though especially in the US, female officials are often referred to by the male form of the noun to avoid confusion with other meanings
Governess
A governess is a girl or woman employed to teach and train children in a private household. In contrast to a nanny or a babysitter, she concentrates on teaching children, not on meeting their physical needs...

 of the word.

Pre-Roman empires

Though the legal and administrative framework of province
Province
A province is a territorial unit, almost always an administrative division, within a country or state.-Etymology:The English word "province" is attested since about 1330 and derives from the 13th-century Old French "province," which itself comes from the Latin word "provincia," which referred to...

s, each administrated by a governor, was created by the Romans
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

, the term governor has been a convenient term for historians to use in describing similar systems in antiquity
Ancient history
Ancient history is the study of the written past from the beginning of recorded human history to the Early Middle Ages. The span of recorded history is roughly 5,000 years, with Cuneiform script, the oldest discovered form of coherent writing, from the protoliterate period around the 30th century BC...

. Indeed, many regions of the pre-Roman antiquity were ultimately replaced by Roman 'standardized' provincial governments after their conquest by Rome.

Egypt

  • In Pharaonic times, the governors of each of dozens of provinces in the kingdoms of Upper and Lower Egypt (called "nomes"
    Nome (Egypt)
    A nome was a subnational administrative division of ancient Egypt. Today's use of the Greek nome rather than the Egyptian term sepat came about during the Ptolemaic period. Fascinated with Egypt, Greeks created many historical records about the country...

     by the Greeks, and whose names often alluded to local patterns of religious worship) are usually known by the Greek word Nomarch
    Nomarch
    Nomarchs were the semi-feudal rulers of Ancient Egyptian provinces. Serving as provincial governors, they each held authority over one of the 42 nomes into which the country was divided. Both nome and nomarch are terms derived from the Greek nomos, meaning a province or district...

    .
  • The whole (or most) of Egypt was repeatedly reduced to the status of province of a larger empire under foreign conquerors, notably under an Achaemenid satrap
    Satrap
    Satrap was the name given to the governors of the provinces of the ancient Median and Achaemenid Empires and in several of their successors, such as the Sassanid Empire and the Hellenistic empires....

     (see below).

Pre- and Hellenistic satraps

  • Media
    Medes
    The MedesThe Medes...

     and Achaemenid Persia introduced the satrapy, probably inspired by the Assyrian / Babylonian examples
  • Alexander the Great and equally Hellenistic diadoch kingdoms, mainly Seleucids (greater Syria) and Lagids ('Ptolemies' in Hellenistic Egypt)
  • in later Persia, again under Iranian dynasties:
    • Parthia
      Parthia
      Parthia is a region of north-eastern Iran, best known for having been the political and cultural base of the Arsacid dynasty, rulers of the Parthian Empire....

    • the Sassanid dynasty dispensed with the office after Shapur I (who had still 7 of them), replacing them with petty vassal rulers, known as shahdars

In ancient Rome

From the creation of the earliest Roman subject provinces a governor was appointed each year to administer each of them. The core function of a Roman governor was as a magistrate
Magistrate
A magistrate is an officer of the state; in modern usage the term usually refers to a judge or prosecutor. This was not always the case; in ancient Rome, a magistratus was one of the highest government officers and possessed both judicial and executive powers. Today, in common law systems, a...

 or judge, and the management of taxation and public spending in their area.

Under the Republic and the early Empire, however, a governor also commanded military forces in his province. Republican governors were all men who had served in senior magistracies (the consul
Consul
Consul was the highest elected office of the Roman Republic and an appointive office under the Empire. The title was also used in other city states and also revived in modern states, notably in the First French Republic...

ate or praetor
Praetor
Praetor was a title granted by the government of Ancient Rome to men acting in one of two official capacities: the commander of an army, usually in the field, or the named commander before mustering the army; and an elected magistratus assigned varied duties...

ship) in Rome in the previous year, and carried related titles as governor (proconsul or propraetor). The first Emperor, Octavianus Augustus (who acquired or settled a number of new territories; officially his style was republican: Princeps civitatis), divided the provinces into two categories; the traditionally prestigious governorships remained as before (in what have become known as "senatorial" provinces), while in a range of others he retained the formal governorships himself, delegating the actual task of administration to appointees (usually with the title legatus Augusti). The legatus sometimes would appoint a prefect
Prefect
Prefect is a magisterial title of varying definition....

 (later procurator
Procurator (Roman)
A procurator was the title of various officials of the Roman Empire, posts mostly filled by equites . A procurator Augusti was the governor of the smaller imperial provinces...

), usually a man of equestrian
Equestrian (Roman)
The Roman equestrian order constituted the lower of the two aristocratic classes of ancient Rome, ranking below the patricians , a hereditary caste that monopolised political power during the regal era and during the early Republic . A member of the equestrian order was known as an eques...

 rank, to act as his deputy in a subregion of the larger province: the infamous character of Pontius Pilate
Pontius Pilate
Pontius Pilatus , known in the English-speaking world as Pontius Pilate , was the fifth Prefect of the Roman province of Judaea, from AD 26–36. He is best known as the judge at Jesus' trial and the man who authorized the crucifixion of Jesus...

 in the Christian Gospel
Gospel
A gospel is an account, often written, that describes the life of Jesus of Nazareth. In a more general sense the term "gospel" may refer to the good news message of the New Testament. It is primarily used in reference to the four canonical gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John...

s was a governor of this sort.

A special case was Egypt, a rich 'private' domain and vital granary, where the Emperor almost inherited the theocratic status of a Pharaoh. The Emperor was represented there by a governor sui generis styled praefectus augustalis, a title evoking the religious cult of the Emperor
Imperial cult (ancient Rome)
The Imperial cult of ancient Rome identified emperors and some members of their families with the divinely sanctioned authority of the Roman State...

.

Emperors Diocletian (see Tetrarchy
Tetrarchy
The term Tetrarchy describes any system of government where power is divided among four individuals, but usually refers to the tetrarchy instituted by Roman Emperor Diocletian in 293, marking the end of the Crisis of the Third Century and the recovery of the Roman Empire...

) and Constantine in the third and fourth centuries AD carried out a root and branch reorganisation of the administration with two main features:
  • Provinces were divided up and became much more numerous (Italy itself, before the 'colonizing homeland', was brought into the system for the first time); they were then grouped into dioceses
    Roman diocese
    A Roman or civil diocese was one of the administrative divisions of the later Roman Empire, starting with the Tetrarchy. It formed the intermediate level of government, grouping several provinces and being in turn subordinated to a praetorian prefecture....

    , and the dioceses in turn into four praetorian prefecture
    Praetorian prefecture
    The praetorian prefecture was the largest administrative division of the late Roman Empire, above the mid-level dioceses and the low-level provinces. Praetorian prefectures originated in the reign of Constantine I The praetorian prefecture was the largest administrative division of the late Roman...

    s (originally each under a residing co-emperor);
  • Military responsibilities were removed from governors and given to new officials called comes
    Comes
    Comes , plural comites , is the Latin word for companion, either individually or as a member of a collective known as comitatus, especially the suite of a magnate, in some cases large and/or formal enough to have a specific name, such as a cohors amicorum. The word comes derives from com- "with" +...

     rei militaris
    (the comital title was also granted to many court and civilian administrative positions) or dux
    Dux
    Dux is Latin for leader and later for Duke and its variant forms ....

    , later also magister militum
    Magister militum
    Magister militum was a top-level military command used in the later Roman Empire, dating from the reign of Constantine. Used alone, the term referred to the senior military officer of the Empire...

    .


The prestige governorships of Africa and Asia remained with the title proconsul, and the special right to refer matters directly to the Emperor; the praefectus augustalis in Alexandria and the comes Orientis in Antioch also retained special titles. Otherwise the governors of provinces had various titles without obvious logic, some known as consularis
Consularis
Consularis is a Latin word, derived from consulo, "take counsel".-Roman history:Originally it was simple and adjective meaning "consular", but more interestingly it has also become a substantive, used in technical meanings.* Any former consul...

, some as corrector
Corrector
A corrector is a person who or object that practices correction, usually by removing or rectifying errors.The word is originally a Roman title corrector, derived from the Latin verb corrigēre, meaning "an action to rectify, to make right a wrong."Apart from the general sense of anyone who corrects...

, some as praeses
Praeses
Praeses , is a Latin word meaning "Seated in front of, i.e. at the head ", has both ancient and modern uses.-Roman imperial use:...

. Apart from Egypt and the East (Oriens - viz greater Syria), each diocese was directed by a governor known as a vicarius
Vicarius
Vicarius is a Latin word, meaning substitute or deputy. It is the root and origin of the English word "vicar" and cognate to the Persian word most familiar in the variant vizier....

. The prefectures were directed by praefecti praetorio
Praetorian prefect
Praetorian prefect was the title of a high office in the Roman Empire. Originating as the commander of the Praetorian Guard, the office gradually acquired extensive legal and administrative functions, with its holders becoming the Emperor's chief aides...

(greatly transformed in their functions from their role in the early Empire
Principate
The Principate is the first period of the Roman Empire, extending from the beginning of the reign of Caesar Augustus to the Crisis of the Third Century, after which it was replaced with the Dominate. The Principate is characterized by a concerted effort on the part of the Emperors to preserve the...

).

Byzantium

This system survived with few significant changes until the collapse of the empire in the West, and in the East the breakdown of order with the Persian and Arab invasions of the seventh century. At that stage a new kind of governor emerged, the Strategos
Strategos
Strategos, plural strategoi, is used in Greek to mean "general". In the Hellenistic and Byzantine Empires the term was also used to describe a military governor...

 a role leading the themes which replaced provinces at this point, and involving a return to the amalgamation of civil and military office which had been the practice under the Republic and the early Empire.

Legacy

While the Roman administration in the West was largely destroyed in the barbarian invasions, its model was remembered, and would again be very influential through two particular vehicles: Roman law and the Christian Church.

Turkish rule

In the Ottoman empire, all Pasha
Pasha
Pasha or pascha, formerly bashaw, was a high rank in the Ottoman Empire political system, typically granted to governors, generals and dignitaries. As an honorary title, Pasha, in one of its various ranks, is equivalent to the British title of Lord, and was also one of the highest titles in...

s (generals) administered a province of the Great Sultan's vast empire, with specific titles (such as Mutessaryf; Vali = Wāli
Wali
Walī , is an Arabic word meaning "custodian", "protector", "sponsor", or authority as denoted by its definition "crown". "Wali" is someone who has "Walayah" over somebody else. For example, in Fiqh the father is wali of his children. In Islam, the phrase ولي الله walīyu 'llāh...

 was often maintained or even revived in oriental successor states; cfr. Beilerbei (rendered as Governor-general, as he is appointed above several provinces under individual governors) and Dey
Dey
Dey was the title given to the rulers of the Regency of Algiers and Tripoli under the Ottoman Empire from 1671 onwards...

)

British Empire and Commonwealth of Nations

In the British Empire
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

 a governor was originally an official appointed by the British monarch
Monarch
A monarch is the person who heads a monarchy. This is a form of government in which a state or polity is ruled or controlled by an individual who typically inherits the throne by birth and occasionally rules for life or until abdication...

 (or in fact the cabinet) to oversee one of his colonies
Crown colony
A Crown colony, also known in the 17th century as royal colony, was a type of colonial administration of the English and later British Empire....

 and was the (sometimes notional) head of the colonial administration. A governor's power could diminish as the colony gained more responsible government vested in such institutions as an Executive Council
Executive Council (Commonwealth countries)
An Executive Council in Commonwealth constitutional practice based on the Westminster system is a constitutional organ which exercises executive power and advises the governor or governor-general. Executive Councils often make decisions via Orders in Council.Executive Councillors are informally...

 to help with the colony's administration, and in a further stage of self-government, Legislative Council
Legislative Council
A Legislative Council is the name given to the legislatures, or one of the chambers of the legislature of many nations and colonies.A Member of the Legislative Council is commonly referred to as an MLC.- Unicameral legislatures :...

s and/or Assemblies
Legislative Assembly
Legislative Assembly is the name given in some countries to either a legislature, or to one of its branch.The name is used by a number of member-states of the Commonwealth of Nations, as well as a number of Latin American countries....

, in which the Governor often had a role.

Today crown colonies of the United Kingdom continue to be administered by a governor, who holds varying degrees of power. Because of the different constitution
Constitution
A constitution is a set of fundamental principles or established precedents according to which a state or other organization is governed. These rules together make up, i.e. constitute, what the entity is...

al histories of the former colonies of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, the term "Governor" now refers to officials with differing amounts of power.

Administrator
Administrator of the Government
An Administrator in the constitutional practice of some countries in the Commonwealth is a person who fulfils a role similar to that of a Governor or a Governor-General...

s, Commissioner
Commissioner
Commissioner is in principle the title given to a member of a commission or to an individual who has been given a commission ....

s and High Commissioner
High Commissioner
High Commissioner is the title of various high-ranking, special executive positions held by a commission of appointment.The English term is also used to render various equivalent titles in other languages.-Bilateral diplomacy:...

s exercise similar powers to Governors. (Note: such High Commissioners are not to be confused with the High Commissioners who are the equivalent of Ambassador
Ambassador
An ambassador is the highest ranking diplomat who represents a nation and is usually accredited to a foreign sovereign or government, or to an international organization....

s between Commonwealth states).

Frequently the name 'Government House
Government House
Government House is the name of many of the residences of Governors-General, Governors and Lieutenant-Governors in the Commonwealth and the remaining colonies of the British Empire. It serves as the venue for the Governor's official business, as well as the many receptions and functions hosted by...

' is given to Governors' residences.
The term can also be used in a more generic sense, especially for compound titles which include it: Governor-General
Governor-General
A Governor-General, is a vice-regal person of a monarch in an independent realm or a major colonial circonscription. Depending on the political arrangement of the territory, a Governor General can be a governor of high rank, or a principal governor ranking above "ordinary" governors.- Current uses...

 and Lieutenant-Governor.

United Kingdom overseas territories

In the United Kingdom's remaining overseas territories
Crown colony
A Crown colony, also known in the 17th century as royal colony, was a type of colonial administration of the English and later British Empire....

 the governor is normally a direct appointee of the British Government and plays an active role in governing and lawmaking (though usually with the advice of elected local representatives). The Governor's chief responsibility is for the Defence and External Affairs of the colony.

In some minor overseas territories, instead of a Governor, there is an Administrator
Administrator of the Government
An Administrator in the constitutional practice of some countries in the Commonwealth is a person who fulfils a role similar to that of a Governor or a Governor-General...

 or Commissioner
Commissioner
Commissioner is in principle the title given to a member of a commission or to an individual who has been given a commission ....

, or the job is ex officio done by a High Commissioner
High Commissioner
High Commissioner is the title of various high-ranking, special executive positions held by a commission of appointment.The English term is also used to render various equivalent titles in other languages.-Bilateral diplomacy:...

.

Australia

In Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

, each state has the governor as its formal representative of the Queen as head of the state government. It is not a political office but a ceremonial office. Each state governor is appointed by the Queen of Australia on the advice of the Premier
Premier
Premier is a title for the head of government in some countries and states.-Examples by country:In many nations, "premier" is used interchangeably with "prime minister"...

 who is the political chief executive of the state government (until 1986, they were appointed by the Queen of the United Kingdom on the advice of the British Government). State Governors have emergency reserve powers but these are rarely used. The Territories
States and territories of Australia
The Commonwealth of Australia is a union of six states and various territories. The Australian mainland is made up of five states and three territories, with the sixth state of Tasmania being made up of islands. In addition there are six island territories, known as external territories, and a...

 of Australia other than the ACT have Administrators
Administrator (Australia)
The title Administrator of the Government has several uses in Australia.-Administrator of the Commonwealth:At the Commonwealth level, Section 4 of the Australian Constitution provides that:...

 instead of governors, who are appointed formally by the Governor-General
Governor-General
A Governor-General, is a vice-regal person of a monarch in an independent realm or a major colonial circonscription. Depending on the political arrangement of the territory, a Governor General can be a governor of high rank, or a principal governor ranking above "ordinary" governors.- Current uses...

. The Governor-General is the representative of and appointed by the Queen of Australia at a federal level on the advice of the Prime Minister of Australia
Prime Minister of Australia
The Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Australia is the highest minister of the Crown, leader of the Cabinet and Head of Her Majesty's Australian Government, holding office on commission from the Governor-General of Australia. The office of Prime Minister is, in practice, the most powerful...

.

As with the Governors-General of Australia
Governor-General of Australia
The Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia is the representative in Australia at federal/national level of the Australian monarch . He or she exercises the supreme executive power of the Commonwealth...

 and other Commonwealth Realms, State Governors usually exercise their power only on the advice of a government minister.

Canada

In Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, there are governors at the federal and provincial levels of government who, within their jurisdictions, act as viceroys to the Queen of Canada, who is Canada's Head of State. The federal governor is the Governor General of Canada
Governor General of Canada
The Governor General of Canada is the federal viceregal representative of the Canadian monarch, Queen Elizabeth II...

, and the governor of each province is the Lieutenant Governor
Lieutenant Governor (Canada)
In Canada, a lieutenant governor is the viceregal representative in a provincial jurisdiction of the Canadian monarch and head of state, Queen Elizabeth II, who resides predominantly in her oldest realm, the United Kingdom...

. The Governor General is appointed by the Queen on the advice of the Prime Minister of Canada
Prime Minister of Canada
The Prime Minister of Canada is the primary minister of the Crown, chairman of the Cabinet, and thus head of government for Canada, charged with advising the Canadian monarch or viceroy on the exercise of the executive powers vested in them by the constitution...

, whereas the lieutenant governors are appointed by the Governor General on the advice of the Prime Minister. The role of a governor in Canada is largely ceremonial, although they do retain the authority to exercise reserve powers in exceptional circumstances.

Each of the three territories is headed by a commissioner appointed by the Prime Minister. Unlike provincial lieutenant governors, they are not viceroys, but rather representatives of the federal government.

New Zealand

The Governor-General of New Zealand
Governor-General of New Zealand
The Governor-General of New Zealand is the representative of the monarch of New Zealand . The Governor-General acts as the Queen's vice-regal representative in New Zealand and is often viewed as the de facto head of state....

 is always Governor of the Ross Dependency
Ross Dependency
The Ross Dependency is a region of Antarctica defined by a sector originating at the South Pole, passing along longitudes 160° east to 150° west, and terminating at latitude 60° south...

, an Antarctic sector which is claimed by the Realm of New Zealand
Realm of New Zealand
The Realm of New Zealand is the entire area in which the Queen in right of New Zealand is head of state. The Realm comprises New Zealand, the Cook Islands, Niue, Tokelau and the Ross Dependency in Antarctica, and is defined by a 1983 Letters Patent constituting the office of Governor-General of New...

.

Within the United Kingdom

Within the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 itself, there was a position of Governor of Northern Ireland
Governor of Northern Ireland
The Governor of Northern Ireland was the principal officer and representative in Northern Ireland of the British monarch. The office was established on 9 December 1922 and abolished on 18 July 1973.-Overview:...

 from 1922 until the suspension of the devolved Parliament of Northern Ireland
Parliament of Northern Ireland
The Parliament of Northern Ireland was the home rule legislature of Northern Ireland, created under the Government of Ireland Act 1920, which sat from 7 June 1921 to 30 March 1972, when it was suspended...

 in 1973.

From the 16th century until 1995 there was a Governor of the Isle of Wight, part of England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

.

India

In India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 each state has a ceremonial Governor appointed by the President of India. These Governors are different from the Governors who controlled the British-controlled portions of the Indian Empire (as opposed to the princely states) prior to 1947.

Governor is the head of the state. Generally, a Governor is appointed for each state, but after the 7th Constitutional Amendment, 1956, a Governor can be appointed for more than one state.

Malaysia

In Malaysia the four non-monarchical states -Penang
Penang
Penang is a state in Malaysia and the name of its constituent island, located on the northwest coast of Peninsular Malaysia by the Strait of Malacca. It is bordered by Kedah in the north and east, and Perak in the south. Penang is the second smallest Malaysian state in area after Perlis, and the...

, Malacca
Malacca
Malacca , dubbed The Historic State or Negeri Bersejarah among locals) is the third smallest Malaysian state, after Perlis and Penang. It is located in the southern region of the Malay Peninsula, on the Straits of Malacca. It borders Negeri Sembilan to the north and the state of Johor to the south...

, and the two on Borneo: Sabah
Sabah
Sabah is one of 13 member states of Malaysia. It is located on the northern portion of the island of Borneo. It is the second largest state in the country after Sarawak, which it borders on its southwest. It also shares a border with the province of East Kalimantan of Indonesia in the south...

 and Sarawak
Sarawak
Sarawak is one of two Malaysian states on the island of Borneo. Known as Bumi Kenyalang , Sarawak is situated on the north-west of the island. It is the largest state in Malaysia followed by Sabah, the second largest state located to the North- East.The administrative capital is Kuching, which...

- each have a ceremonial Governor styled Yang di-Pertua Negeri
Yang di-Pertua Negeri
The Yang di-Pertua Negeri is the official title of the ceremonial heads of state of the Malaysian states without hereditary rulers, namely Penang, Malacca, Sabah and Sarawak...

, appointed by the federal King Yang di-Pertuan Agong
Yang di-Pertuan Agong
The Yang di-Pertuan Agong is the head of state of Malaysia. The office was established in 1957 when the Federation of Malaya gained independence....

 of Malaysia, with a seat but no vote in the federal majlis Raja-raja (council of rulers). These states have a separate head of government who is the Chief Minister
Chief Minister
A Chief Minister is the elected head of government of a sub-national state, provinces of Sri Lanka, Pakistan, notably a state of India, a territory of Australia or a British Overseas Territory that has attained self-government...

 or Ketua Menteri.

All other states have royalty as head of state, no governor: a raja
Raja
Raja is an Indian term for a monarch, or princely ruler of the Kshatriya varna...

 in Perlis, a Yang di-pertuan besar
Yang di-Pertuan Besar
In Malay, Yang di-Pertuan Besar, literally "He Who Is Made Great" or "Great Ruler", is a royal title.-In Malaysia:# Also known as Yamtuan Besar, it is the title of the elected monarch of the state of Negeri Sembilan in Malaysia...

 (elected from local rulers) in Negeri Sembilan, or a Sultan
Sultan
Sultan is a title with several historical meanings. Originally, it was an Arabic language abstract noun meaning "strength", "authority", "rulership", and "dictatorship", derived from the masdar سلطة , meaning "authority" or "power". Later, it came to be used as the title of certain rulers who...

 in the states of Selangor, Pahang, Johore, Perak, Kelantan, Terengganu and Kedah. These states have a separate head of government who is the Chief Executive or Menteri Besar, literally in Malay "Big Minister".

Nigeria

In Nigeria
Nigeria
Nigeria , officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a federal constitutional republic comprising 36 states and its Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The country is located in West Africa and shares land borders with the Republic of Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, and Niger in...

 (once a colony governed by a single British Governor before independence), the leaders of the regions, which in 1967 were divided into states, have been known as governors since 1954. Following a military coup in November 1993, President Sani Abacha
Sani Abacha
General Sani Abacha was a Nigerian military leader and politician. A Kanuri from Borno by tribe, he was born and brought up in Kano, Nigeria. He was the de facto President of Nigeria from 1993 to 1998....

 suspended all the governors, and appointed administrators. When democracy was restored in 1999, the office of governor was revived and new governors were elected.
The president of Nigeria can suspend state governors in a state of emergency and replace them with administrators. They are elected by popular vote.

Pakistan

In Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

, each of the four provinces has a Governor who is appointed by the President
President of Pakistan
The President of Pakistan is the head of state, as well as figurehead, of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Recently passed an XVIII Amendment , Pakistan has a parliamentary democratic system of government. According to the Constitution, the President is chosen by the Electoral College to serve a...

.The governor is the representative of the president in their province and is
the ceremonial head of the province whereas the chief minister
Chief Minister
A Chief Minister is the elected head of government of a sub-national state, provinces of Sri Lanka, Pakistan, notably a state of India, a territory of Australia or a British Overseas Territory that has attained self-government...

 is the head of the provincial government.The governor exercises powers similar to the president's, in their province respectively.

Papua New Guinea

In Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea , officially the Independent State of Papua New Guinea, is a country in Oceania, occupying the eastern half of the island of New Guinea and numerous offshore islands...

, the leaders of the provinces have been known as governors since August 1995. Previously they had been known as premiers.

Sri Lanka

The provincial councils of the 9 provinces of Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is a country off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent. Known until 1972 as Ceylon , Sri Lanka is an island surrounded by the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait, and lies in the vicinity of India and the...

 are headed by a governor, as representatives of the President
President of Sri Lanka
The President of Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is the elected head of state and the head of government. The President is a dominant political figure in Sri Lanka. The office was created in 1978 but has grown so powerful there have been calls to restrict or even eliminate its power...

. Prior to 1948, when Ceylon as Sri Lanka was known back then, the Governor of Ceylon
Governor of Ceylon
The British Governor of Ceylon was an official who ruled Ceylon during the British colonial period between 1798 and 1948....

 was head of the British Colony
British Ceylon
British Ceylon refers to British rule prior to 1948 of the island territory now known as Sri Lanka.-From the Dutch to the British:Before the beginning of the Dutch governance, the island of Ceylon was divided between the Portuguese Empire and the Kingdom of Kandy, who were in the midst of a war for...


Russia and former Soviet Union

In the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

, Governorate (Guberniya
Guberniya
A guberniya was a major administrative subdivision of the Russian Empire usually translated as government, governorate, or province. Such administrative division was preserved for sometime upon the collapse of the empire in 1917. A guberniya was ruled by a governor , a word borrowed from Latin ,...

) and Governorate-General were the main units of territorial and administrative subdivision since the reforms of Peter the Great. These were governed by a Governor and Governor-General
Governor-General
A Governor-General, is a vice-regal person of a monarch in an independent realm or a major colonial circonscription. Depending on the political arrangement of the territory, a Governor General can be a governor of high rank, or a principal governor ranking above "ordinary" governors.- Current uses...

 respectively.

A special case was the Chinese Eastern Railroad Zone, which was governed as a concession
Concession (territory)
In international law, a concession is a territory within a country that is administered by an entity other than the state which holds sovereignty over it. This is usually a colonizing power, or at least mandated by one, as in the case of colonial chartered companies.Usually, it is conceded, that...

 granted by Imperial China
Late Imperial China
Late Imperial China refers to the period between the end of Mongol rule in 1368 and the establishment of the Republic of China in 1912 and includes the Ming and Qing Dynasties...

 to the Russian 'Chinese Eastern Railroad Society' (in Russian Obshchestvo Kitayskoy Vostochnoy Zheleznoy Dorogi; established in 17 December 1896 in St. Petersburg, later moved to Vladivostok
Vladivostok
The city is located in the southern extremity of Muravyov-Amursky Peninsula, which is about 30 km long and approximately 12 km wide.The highest point is Mount Kholodilnik, the height of which is 257 m...

), which built 1,481 km of tracks (Tarskaya - Hilar - Harbin - Nikolsk-Ussuriski; 3 November 1901 traffic opened) and established on 16 May 1898 the new capital city, Harbin
Harbin
Harbin ; Manchu language: , Harbin; Russian: Харби́н Kharbin ), is the capital and largest city of Heilongjiang Province in Northeast China, lying on the southern bank of the Songhua River...

; in August 1898, the defense for Chinese Eastern Railroad (CER) across Manchuria
Manchuria
Manchuria is a historical name given to a large geographic region in northeast Asia. Depending on the definition of its extent, Manchuria usually falls entirely within the People's Republic of China, or is sometimes divided between China and Russia. The region is commonly referred to as Northeast...

 was assumed by Russia (first under Priamur governor).

On 1 July 1903, the Chinese Eastern Railroad was opened and given authority of its own CER Administration (Russian: Upravleniye KVZhD), vested in the Directors of the Chinese Eastern Railroad, with the additional quality of Governors of the Chinese Eastern Railroad Zone (in Harbin; as such being 12 August 1903 - 1 July 1905 subordinated to the imperial Viceroyalty of the Far East, see Lüshunkou
Lüshunkou
Lüshunkou is a district in the municipality of Dalian, Liaoning province, China. Also called Lüshun City or Lüshun Port, it was formerly known as both Port Arthur and Ryojun....

). The post continued to function despite various political changes until after World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

.

Currently, some of the administrative divisions of Russia
Subdivisions of Russia
Russia is divided into several types and levels of subdivisions.-Federal subjects:Russia is a federation which since March 1, 2008 consists of 83 federal subjects . These federal subjects are of equal federal rights in the sense that they have equal representation—two delegates each—in the...

 are headed by governors, while others are headed by Presidents or heads of administration. From 1991 to 2005 they were elected by popular vote, but since 2005 they have been appointed by the federal president and confirmed by the province's legislature.

Indonesia

In Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

, the title gubernur refers to the highest ranking executive of a Provincial
Provinces of Indonesia
The province is the highest tier of local government subnational entity in Indonesia. Each province has its own local government, headed by a governor, and has its own legislative body...

 Government. The Governor and the Vice Governor are elected by a direct vote from the people as a couple, so the Governor is responsible to the provincial residents. The governor had a term of five years to work in office and can be re-elected for another single period. In case of death, disability, or resignation, a government official known as Vice Governor would stand in as Governor or acting Governor.

The elected Governor will be inaugurated by the President
President of Indonesia
The President of the Republic of Indonesia is the head of state and the head of government of the Republic of Indonesia.The first president was Sukarno and the current president is Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.- Sukarno era :...

, or by the Indonesian minister of home affairs in the name of the President. In addition, the Governor is representative of central government in such province, so the Governor is responsible to the President. The Governor authority is regulated within Indonesian Act Number 32 Year 2004 and Governmental Ordinance Number 19 Year 2010.

Principally, the Governor has the tasks and the authorities to leads governmental services in the province based upon the policies that have been made together with the Provincial Parliament.

The Governor is not the superordinat of regent
Regent
A regent, from the Latin regens "one who reigns", is a person selected to act as head of state because the ruler is a minor, not present, or debilitated. Currently there are only two ruling Regencies in the world, sovereign Liechtenstein and the Malaysian constitutive state of Terengganu...

s or mayor
Mayor
In many countries, a Mayor is the highest ranking officer in the municipal government of a town or a large urban city....

s, but he/she is only to guide, to supervise, and to coordinate city/municipal and regencial governments. In other part, municipal and regencial governments have rights to manage each governance affairs based on autonomy principle and assistantship duties.

Japan

In Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

, the title refers to the highest ranking executive of a Prefectural Government. The Governor is elected by a direct vote from the people and had a fixed term of four years. He / she can be subjected to a recall referendum. In case of death, disability, or resignation, a government official known as Vice Governor would stand in as Governor or acting Governor.

See List of governors of Japan for a list of the current governors.

People's Republic of China

In the People's Republic of China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

, the title "Governor" refers to the highest ranking executive of a provincial government. The Governor is usually placed second in the provincial power hierarchy, below the Secretary
Party secretary
In politics, a party secretary is a senior official within a political party with responsibility for the organizational and daily political work. In most parties, the party secretary is second in rank to the party leader ....

 of the provincial Communist Party of China
Communist Party of China
The Communist Party of China , also known as the Chinese Communist Party , is the founding and ruling political party of the People's Republic of China...

 (CPC) committee (省委书记), who serves as the highest ranking Party official in the province. Governors are elected by the provincial congresses and approved by the provincial party chief. All governors are not locals in the provinces which they govern.

A Governor can be also used when referring to a County Governor (县长).

Philippines

In the Republic of the Philippines, the title "Governor" (Punong Lalawigan in Filipino), refers to the highest ranking executive of a Provincial Government. The Governor is elected by a direct vote from the people and had a fixed term of three years. An incumbent Governor can only serve only up to three consecutive terms. He may however be suspended by either the Ombudsman or President (through the Secretary of Interior and Local Government). He may be removed by the President if found guilty of an administrative case or a criminal act during his incumbency. He may be subjected to a recall vote, but unlike a referendum, the voters elect the governor of their choice. In case of death, disability, resignation, forced removal or suspension, a government official known as Vice Governor (elected separately in the same election for governor), succeeds as Governor, or acting Governor, as the case may be.

In the Autonomous Region on Muslim Mindanao, a Regional Governor and Regional Vice Governor is elected by a block vote similar to the United States President.

Other Colonial empires

  • Other European naval powers than the UK with colonies in Asia, Africa and other areas, which sometimes chartered companies to rule the colonies instead, gave or still give some, but not always all, of the top representatives of (or rather in) their colonies the title of governor.


See:
  • Danish overseas colonies
  • Dutch Empire
    Dutch Empire
    The Dutch Empire consisted of the overseas territories controlled by the Dutch Republic and later, the modern Netherlands from the 17th to the 20th century. The Dutch followed Portugal and Spain in establishing an overseas colonial empire, but based on military conquest of already-existing...

  • Empire of Japan
    Empire of Japan
    The Empire of Japan is the name of the state of Japan that existed from the Meiji Restoration on 3 January 1868 to the enactment of the post-World War II Constitution of...

  • French colonial empire
    French colonial empire
    The French colonial empire was the set of territories outside Europe that were under French rule primarily from the 17th century to the late 1960s. In the 19th and 20th centuries, the colonial empire of France was the second-largest in the world behind the British Empire. The French colonial empire...

  • German colonial empire
    German colonial empire
    The German colonial empire was an overseas domain formed in the late 19th century as part of the German Empire. Short-lived colonial efforts by individual German states had occurred in preceding centuries, but Imperial Germany's colonial efforts began in 1884...

  • Italian empire
    Italian Empire
    The Italian Empire was created after the Kingdom of Italy joined other European powers in establishing colonies overseas during the "scramble for Africa". Modern Italy as a unified state only existed from 1861. By this time France, Spain, Portugal, Britain, and the Netherlands, had already carved...

  • Overseas expansion of the United States
  • Portuguese Empire
    Portuguese Empire
    The Portuguese Empire , also known as the Portuguese Overseas Empire or the Portuguese Colonial Empire , was the first global empire in history...

  • Spanish Empire
    Spanish Empire
    The Spanish Empire comprised territories and colonies administered directly by Spain in Europe, in America, Africa, Asia and Oceania. It originated during the Age of Exploration and was therefore one of the first global empires. At the time of Habsburgs, Spain reached the peak of its world power....

  • Swedish overseas colonies

United States


In the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, the title governor refers to the chief executive of each state
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

 or insular territory; retaining sovereign police power, and not subordinate to the federal authorities except by laws provided by the enumerated powers
Enumerated powers
The enumerated powers are a list of items found in Article I, section 8 of the US Constitution that set forth the authoritative capacity of the United States Congress. In summary, Congress may exercise the powers that the Constitution grants it, subject to explicit restrictions in the Bill of...

 section of the federal constitution, but the political and ceremonial head of the state. Nearly 3/4 of the states (36) hold gubernatorial elections in the same years as midterm elections (2 years off set from presidential elections). 11 states hold them in the same years as presidential elections (Vermont
Vermont
Vermont is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. The state ranks 43rd in land area, , and 45th in total area. Its population according to the 2010 census, 630,337, is the second smallest in the country, larger only than Wyoming. It is the only New England...

  and New Hampshire
New Hampshire
New Hampshire is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. The state was named after the southern English county of Hampshire. It is bordered by Massachusetts to the south, Vermont to the west, Maine and the Atlantic Ocean to the east, and the Canadian...

 hold elections every two years in every even numbered year), while the remaining 5 hold them in odd numbered years (2 in the year after a presidential election three in the year before).

In colonial America, when the governor was the representative of the monarch who exercised executive power, many colonies originally indirectly elected their governors (that is, through assemblies and legislatures), but in the years leading up to the American Revolutionary War
American Revolutionary War
The American Revolutionary War , the American War of Independence, or simply the Revolutionary War, began as a war between the Kingdom of Great Britain and thirteen British colonies in North America, and ended in a global war between several European great powers.The war was the result of the...

, the Crown
The Crown
The Crown is a corporation sole that in the Commonwealth realms and any provincial or state sub-divisions thereof represents the legal embodiment of governance, whether executive, legislative, or judicial...

 began to appoint them directly. During the American Revolution, all royal governors were expelled (except one; see Jonathan Trumbull
Jonathan Trumbull
Jonathan Trumbull, Sr. was one of the few Americans who served as governor in both a pre-Revolutionary colony and a post-Revolutionary state...

) but the name was retained to denote the new elected official.

Before achieving statehood, many of the fifty states were territories. Administered by the federal government, they had governors who were appointed by the President
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 and confirmed by the Senate
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

 rather than elected by the resident population.

Mexico

In the United Mexican States, governor refers to the elected chief and head of each of the nation's
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

 thirty one Free and Sovereign States
States of Mexico
The United Mexican States is a federal republic formed by 32 federal entities .According to the Constitution of 1917, the states of the federation are free and sovereign. Each state has their own congress and constitution, while the Federal District has only limited autonomy with a local Congress...

, and their official title in Spanish
Spanish language
Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

 is Gobernador. Mexican governors are directly elected by the citizens of each state for six-year terms and cannot be re-elected.

Other modern countries in South America

Many of the South America
South America
South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...

n republics (such as Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

 and Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

) have provinces or states run by elected governors, with offices similar in nature to U.S. state governors.

Brazil

Until the 1930 Revolution, the heads of the Brazilian Provinces then States were styled Presidents (presidentes), later governors (governadores) and intervators (interventores, appointed by the federal government) and finally in 1945 only governors.

Austria

A Landeshauptmann
Landeshauptmann
Landeshauptmann is a former German gubernatorial title equivalent to that of a governor of a province or a state....

 (German
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

 for "state captain", literally 'country headman'; plural Landeshauptleute or Landeshauptmänner as in Styria till 1861; Landeshauptfrau is the female form) is an official title in German for certain political offices equivalent to a Governor. It has historical uses, both administrative and colonial, and is presently used in federal Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

 and a majority German-speaking province of Italy.

Benelux monarchies

  • In the Netherlands
    Netherlands
    The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

    , the government-appointed heads of the provinces were known as Gouverneur from 1814 until 1850, when their title was changed to King's (or Queen's) Commissioner. In the southern province of Limburg
    Limburg (Netherlands)
    Limburg is the southernmost of the twelve provinces of the Netherlands. It is located in the southeastern part of the country and bordered by the province of Gelderland to the north, Germany to the east, Belgium to the south and part of the west, andthe Dutch province of North Brabant partly to...

    , however, the commissioner is still informally called Governor.
  • In the Dutch crown's Caribbean Overseas territories, the style Governor is still used (alongside the political head of government) in the Netherlands Antilles
    Netherlands Antilles
    The Netherlands Antilles , also referred to informally as the Dutch Antilles, was an autonomous Caribbean country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, consisting of two groups of islands in the Lesser Antilles: Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao , in Leeward Antilles just off the Venezuelan coast; and Sint...

     as well as since 1986 on the neighbouring island of Aruba
    Aruba
    Aruba is a 33 km-long island of the Lesser Antilles in the southern Caribbean Sea, located 27 km north of the coast of Venezuela and 130 km east of Guajira Peninsula...

     (separated from the former)
  • In Belgium
    Belgium
    Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

    , each of the ten provinces has a Governor, appointed by the regional government. He represents not only the regional but also the federal government in the province. He controls the local governments and is responsible for law and order, security and emergency action. The national capital of Brussels
    Brussels
    Brussels , officially the Brussels Region or Brussels-Capital Region , is the capital of Belgium and the de facto capital of the European Union...

    , which is not part of a province, also has a governor with nearly the same competences.

France

During the Ancien Régime in France
Ancien Régime in France
The Ancien Régime refers primarily to the aristocratic, social and political system established in France from the 15th century to the 18th century under the late Valois and Bourbon dynasties...

, the representative of the king in his provinces
Provinces of France
The Kingdom of France was organised into provinces until March 4, 1790, when the establishment of the département system superseded provinces. The provinces of France were roughly equivalent to the historic counties of England...

 and cities was the "gouverneur". Royal officers chosen from the highest nobility
French nobility
The French nobility was the privileged order of France in the Middle Ages and the Early Modern periods.In the political system of the Estates General, the nobility made up the Second Estate...

, provincial and city governors (oversight of provinces and cities was frequently combined) were predominantly military positions in charge of defense and policing. Provincial governors also called "lieutenants généraux" also had the ability of convoking provincial parlement
Parlement
Parlements were regional legislative bodies in Ancien Régime France.The political institutions of the Parlement in Ancien Régime France developed out of the previous council of the king, the Conseil du roi or curia regis, and consequently had ancient and customary rights of consultation and...

s, provincial estates and municipal bodies. The title "gouverneur" first appeared under Charles VI
Charles VI of France
Charles VI , called the Beloved and the Mad , was the King of France from 1380 to 1422, as a member of the House of Valois. His bouts with madness, which seem to have begun in 1392, led to quarrels among the French royal family, which were exploited by the neighbouring powers of England and Burgundy...

. The ordinance of Blois of 1579 reduced their number to 12, but an ordinance of 1779 increased their number to 39 (18 first-class governors, 21 second-class governors). Although in principle they were the king's representatives and their charges could be revoked at the king's will, some governors had installed themselves and their heirs as a provincial dynasty. The governors were at the height of their power from the middle of the 16th to the middle of the 17th century, but their role in provincial unrest during the civil wars led Cardinal Richelieu to create the more tractable positions of intendant
Intendant
The title of intendant has been used in several countries through history. Traditionally, it refers to the holder of a public administrative office...

s of finance, policing and justice, and in the 18th century the role of provincial governors was greatly curtailed.

Germany

In today's German states
States of Germany
Germany is made up of sixteen which are partly sovereign constituent states of the Federal Republic of Germany. Land literally translates as "country", and constitutionally speaking, they are constituent countries...

 of Baden-Württemberg
Baden-Württemberg
Baden-Württemberg is one of the 16 states of Germany. Baden-Württemberg is in the southwestern part of the country to the east of the Upper Rhine, and is the third largest in both area and population of Germany's sixteen states, with an area of and 10.7 million inhabitants...

, Bavaria, Hesse
Hesse
Hesse or Hessia is both a cultural region of Germany and the name of an individual German state.* The cultural region of Hesse includes both the State of Hesse and the area known as Rhenish Hesse in the neighbouring Rhineland-Palatinate state...

, and North Rhine-Westphalia
North Rhine-Westphalia
North Rhine-Westphalia is the most populous state of Germany, with four of the country's ten largest cities. The state was formed in 1946 as a merger of the northern Rhineland and Westphalia, both formerly part of Prussia. Its capital is Düsseldorf. The state is currently run by a coalition of the...

 there are - and earlier in more German states there were - sub-state administrative regions called in , which is sometimes translated into English as governorate. Thus its respective head, in , is also translated as governor. Since in analogy to the US terminology the heads of the German states are - besides the translation of their German appellation as Minister-President
Minister-President
A minister-president is the head of government in a number of European countries or subnational governments, in which a parliamentary or semi-presidential system of government prevails, who presides over the council of ministers...

  - also translated as governors, using the term governor in both cases is ambiguous and somewhat confusing.

Italy

  • The essentially maritime empire of the Venetian republic, comprising Terra Firma, other Adriatic (mainly Istria and Dalmatia) and further Mediterranean (mainly Greek) possessions, used different styles, such as (castelleno e) provveditore
    Provveditore
    The Italian title provveditore or proveditore , "he who sees to things", was the style of various local district governors in the extensive, mainly maritime empire of the Venetian dogal republic...

     (generale)
    or baile.
  • In today's Italy, the official name of a head of a Regione (the Italian subnational entity) is Presidente della Giunta regionale (President of the regional executive council), but since 2000, when a constitutional reform decided the direct election of the president by the people, it has been usual to call him governatore (governor).

Papal and Vatican particularity

  • In the various Italian provinces (former principalities and city-states) that became amalgamated as the Papal States, the Holy See exerted temporal power via its Legate
    Papal legate
    A papal legate – from the Latin, authentic Roman title Legatus – is a personal representative of the pope to foreign nations, or to some part of the Catholic Church. He is empowered on matters of Catholic Faith and for the settlement of ecclesiastical matters....

    s and Delegate
    Delegate
    A delegate is a person who speaks or acts on behalf of an organization at a meeting or conference between organizations of the same level A delegate is a person who speaks or acts on behalf of an organization (e.g., a government, a charity, an NGO, or a trade union) at a meeting or conference...

    s, including some Cardinals
  • Also in Avignon
    Avignon
    Avignon is a French commune in southeastern France in the départment of the Vaucluse bordered by the left bank of the Rhône river. Of the 94,787 inhabitants of the city on 1 January 2010, 12 000 live in the ancient town centre surrounded by its medieval ramparts.Often referred to as the...

     and the surrounding southern French Comtat Venaissin
    Comtat Venaissin
    The Comtat Venaissin, often called the Comtat for short , is the former name of the region around the city of Avignon in what is now the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region of France. It comprised roughly the area between the Rhône, the Durance and Mont Ventoux, with a small exclave located to the...

    , the home of the Popes during their 'Babylonian exile', and retained centuries after, but never incorporated into the Papal States
    Papal States
    The Papal State, State of the Church, or Pontifical States were among the major historical states of Italy from roughly the 6th century until the Italian peninsula was unified in 1861 by the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia .The Papal States comprised territories under...

    , Legates
    Papal legate
    A papal legate – from the Latin, authentic Roman title Legatus – is a personal representative of the pope to foreign nations, or to some part of the Catholic Church. He is empowered on matters of Catholic Faith and for the settlement of ecclesiastical matters....

     and Vice-legates were appointed.
  • The sovereign modern remnant of the formerly large Papal States, the tiny Vatican City State, is now a mere enclave in Rome, the capital of Italian Republic. As it is too small to have further administrative territorial divisions, it is the equivalent of a Prime Minister, Governor and Mayor all roled in to one post, styled the Governor of Vatican City
    Governor of Vatican City
    The post of Governor of Vatican City was held by Marchese Camillo Serafini from the foundation of the state in 1929 until his death in 1952...

    .

Modern equivalents

As a generic term, Governor is used for various 'equivalent' officers governing part of a state or empire, rendering other official titles such as:
  • colonial High Commissioner
    High Commissioner
    High Commissioner is the title of various high-ranking, special executive positions held by a commission of appointment.The English term is also used to render various equivalent titles in other languages.-Bilateral diplomacy:...

     (not the Ambassadors exchanged within the Commonwealth)


And this also applies to non-western and/or antique culture

Other meanings of the word

The word governor can also refer to an administrator and/or supervisor (individually or collectively, see Board of Governors
Board of governors
Board of governors is a term sometimes applied to the board of directors of a public entity or non-profit organization.Many public institutions, such as public universities, are government-owned corporations. The British Broadcasting Corporation was managed by a board of governors, though this role...

); the Governor of a national bank often holds ministerial rank.
  • Federal Reserve Board of Governors
    Federal Reserve System
    The Federal Reserve System is the central banking system of the United States. It was created on December 23, 1913 with the enactment of the Federal Reserve Act, largely in response to a series of financial panics, particularly a severe panic in 1907...

  • Governor of the Bank of Canada
    Governor of the Bank of Canada
    The Governor of the Bank of Canada is chief executive officer and the chairman of the board of directors of the Bank of Canada; the incumbent governor is Mark Carney, who has served since 1 February 2008. The governor is appointed by the Minister of Finance, with the advice of the bank's board of...

  • Governor
    Governor of the National Bank of Romania
    The Governor of the National Bank of Romania is the head if the National Bank of Romania, being also the president of the Council of Administration of the Bank...

     of the National Bank of Romania
  • List of governors of national banks of Serbia and Yugoslavia

See also

  • Bey
    Bey
    Bey is a title for chieftain, traditionally applied to the leaders of small tribal groups. Accoding to some sources, the word "Bey" is of Turkish language In historical accounts, many Turkish, other Turkic and Persian leaders are titled Bey, Beg, Bek, Bay, Baig or Beigh. They are all the same word...

  • Governor-General of Finland
    Governor-General of Finland
    Governor-General of Finland ; was the military commander and the highest administrator of Finland sporadically under Swedish rule in the 17th and 18th centuries and continuously in the autonomous Grand Duchy of Finland between 1808 and 1917.-Swedish rule:...

  • Lieutenant governor
    Lieutenant governor
    A lieutenant governor or lieutenant-governor is a high officer of state, whose precise role and rank vary by jurisdiction, but is often the deputy or lieutenant to or ranking under a governor — a "second-in-command"...

  • Minister-president
    Minister-President
    A minister-president is the head of government in a number of European countries or subnational governments, in which a parliamentary or semi-presidential system of government prevails, who presides over the council of ministers...

  • Viceroy
    Viceroy
    A viceroy is a royal official who runs a country, colony, or province in the name of and as representative of the monarch. The term derives from the Latin prefix vice-, meaning "in the place of" and the French word roi, meaning king. A viceroy's province or larger territory is called a viceroyalty...

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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