The Dutch Republic of the Seven United Provinces consisted after 1581 of the traditional domains of (in voting order of the States General) Gelderland,Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Fries land (see FRISA [FRIESLAND]; Frisian FRYSLAN), Overijssel, and Groningen (or Stad en Lande). The landschap Drenthe, and the regions conquered after 1600 in the south (the Generaliteitslanden) were not accepted as partners in the States General. During the 19th century, the number of provinces was extended to include Noord Brabant (Northern Brabant), Drenthe, and Limburg, and in 1840 the old province of Holland was divided into a northern and a south ern part: Noord-Holland and Zuid-Holland. In 1986, a 12th province, Flevoland, was created. The present provinces are the administrative layer between the central government and the local municipalities. They have a great variety of tasks, including environmental plan ning, recreation, and culture. Elections for the provincial States take place every four years. Afterward, the elected members constitute an executive committee, the Gedeputeerde Staten, which is presided over by an official of the Crown, the royal governor or commissaris van de koning(in).

Historical Dictionary of the Netherlands. . 2012.

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