- Traditionally one of the two or three levels of political decision making. During the period of the Republic, until the end of the 18th century, the magistrates of towns and landed districts possessed a considerable degree of autonomy. After the constitutionof 1798, which founded the unitary state, central government became stronger. It delegated some executive power to provincial and local au thorities. Since the liberal constitution of 1848, provincial and local councils have been elected every four years by the inhabitants.
Historical Dictionary of the Netherlands. EdwART. 2012.
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