Public bodies with the task of supervising the water level, dikes, roads, and waterways. These polder districts, which played an important role in Dutch constitutional law and state formation, were founded during the Middle Ages by the landowners, who were also the main parties concerned. They were responsible for the taxation of both landowners and tenants. Some of them were called heemraadschappen. In many water schappen, for example, in Holland, the boards also acted as judi cial authorities, until the 19th century. Since the constitution of 1848, the provincial authorities have had control over the func tioning of the waterschappen, which, at present, are also responsi ble for the care of water treatment.

Historical Dictionary of the Netherlands. . 2012.

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