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1822 territorial division of Spain

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1822 territorial division of Spain

The 1822 territorial division of Spain was a rearrangement of the territory of Spain into various provinces, enacted briefly during the Trienio Liberal of 1820–1823. It is remembered today largely as a precursor to the similar 1833 territorial division of Spain; the provinces established in the latter remain, by and large, the basis for the present-day division of Spain into provinces.



After the uprising led by liberal general Rafael del Riego of 1820 led to the Trienio Liberal (three years of government by the Spanish liberals), that government proposed a new division of Spain in its entirety, for administrative, governmental, judicial and economic purposes, according to criteria of legal equality, unity and efficiency.

The provinces

On 27 January 1822 the government approved a provisional division of Spain into 52 provinces. The 1833 statute would follow this pattern closely, although it eliminated three of the provinces and renamed five others.

The following table groups provinces by the "historic regions" that were introduced in 1833.

Some of these provinces were entities created for the first time, such as Almería and Málaga (carved out of the traditional Kingdom of Granada), Huelva (Kingdom of Seville), Calatayud, and Logroño; others were given new names, such as Murcia or the Basque provinces (Spanish: provincias Vascongadas).

This proposal made few concessions to history, sticking closely to criteria of population, geographical area, and geographic coherence. Historic regional names were generally ignored, with provinces named after their respective capitals. Nor were traditional provincial borders respected by the new map. Most enclaves of one province within another were eliminated. The precise number of provinces and their capitals was the subject of intense debate.

1822 saw the restoration of the institution of provincial intendants as delegates of the Ministry of the Treasury (Hacienda), but the fall of the liberal government and restoration of absolutism in 1823 brought an end to the project. The old provincial arrangement of Spain was restored, as was the division into kingdoms; these would remain in effect until 1833.


1822 territorial division of Spain Wikipedia

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