Province vs State
Ever wondered why some countries have provinces as smaller geographical units, while others have states? Is it just difference in nomenclature or provinces have different structures of administration than states? Are states in US the same as provinces in Canada? What is the actual difference between a province and state? This article looks at the features of the two geographical units to find out differences.
If one looks up a dictionary, province is defined as a unit of a country that is created with administrative point of view. On the other hand, a state is also defined as a smaller territory that adds up to make a federation, such as US. However, this definition does not clear up the situation.
In the case of United States, the circumstances were unique, in the sense, that states were formed first and they were actually independent in nature and agreed to exist as united in the form of a federation. Thus, we have United States of America, and the states here are more autonomous than states in any other country. Talking about Canada, it was the national government that was formed earlier. It was the constitutional act of 1867 that established smaller geographical units as provinces that were meant to be sub divisions of the country with separate administrative setups that worked under the national government.
It is not just Canada that has provinces. There is another mammoth example of China as a country having huge provinces and not states. Even India before independence used to have provinces but they were changed into states through an act of constitution.
Talking about Canada in particular, some of the provinces like Quebec and Montreal owe allegiance (or at least slight leaning) towards France, whereas there are other provinces that are loyal to the sovereignty of the Queen. There is no such political leaning in case of states in US. Another difference pertaining to level of autonomy we find here is that the level of autonomy is more in case of states in the US than provinces in Canada. However, rights of states are better defined in the case of states in the US than for provinces in Canada. There are undefined areas in both US and Canada that create problems when it comes to describing the division of powers between the central government and the provinces or the states.