A governor is originally an administrator for a particular region, which takes on behalf of a ( rather than one ) supervisor (eg, king, emperor, president, etc. ) Administration offices in his county. The compound word ( compound ) Instead holder is a loan translation from the Latin locum tenens "proxy " to locus " place, place, place " and "hold" tenere.

The function corresponds to the former governor of regents or governors.

  • 4.1 Habsburg Monarchy


Main reason for the establishment of governors was the need to manage widely spaced territories effectively and to to order people with wide-ranging government powers. Here, a governor be both closely tied to the instructions of his superiors, as well as gain relative or even complete independence ( with weak central authority ).

Often governors are also referred to as governors. The French Lieutenant term (lieu tenant ) corresponds exactly to the term governor (see Lieutenant ). As governor acting regent could also be referred to in the absence of the monarch, the final ruler.


The principle of the governor was already present in large antique surface states, what are the satraps of the Great examples in the Persian Empire and the empire of Alexander.

In the Roman Empire there were officials with governor functions already in the period of the Republic. In the imperial period, this system was complex. Designations for governor in the Roman Empire were proconsul at different times, among other things, Legatus Augusti pro praetore, Prefect, procurator, praeses and vicar (as administrator of a late Roman diocese ).

In the Bible, the tenures Roman governor ( Prefect ) are sometimes referred to as dating evidence. Jesus' birth year ( Quirinius was governor of Syria ) and year of death ( Pontius Pilate was governor of the province of Judea ) can be chronologically ordered in this way.



After the formation of the Empire State Alsace - Lorraine, in 1871, practiced there, the German Kaiser, the state violence. Passthrough Act of July 4, 1879 concerning the management of Alsace-Lorraine was the emperor transferred the sovereign powers to a governor, appoint and dismiss this. This is also done. The Imperial governor resided in Strasbourg.


The Landgrave of Hesse put in their two parts of the country each one a governor, for the Lower Hesse in Kassel, the country for the so-called Lahn in Marburg.


Schleswig -Holstein was since the Middle Ages a patchwork of so-called offices, which were governed in part by the Gottorfer Dukes, in part by the Danish royal house. The Danish monarchs placed a governor as the chief administrative officer for their shares.

Electorate of Saxony

Anton Egon of Fürstenberg - Heiligenberg was the only governor in the Electorate of Saxony under Elector Friedrich August I ( 1697-1716 ).

Third Reich

See: Reichsstatthalter


In Vorarlberg, the Deputy Governor is referred to as state governor; otherwise the function name in the Republic is not in use.

Habsburg Monarchy

The term governor of one representative of the monarch and his government was rarely used in the Habsburg monarchy long time. 1849, she replaced the title governor. 1861, Emperor Franz Joseph I. a state constitution, which was later referred to as patent in February in order to easily distinguish it from other constitutional texts can. In this Act, enclosed land orders for the individual crown lands, the governor is mentioned as existing state organ with its rights against the parliament, but not defined with all its powers.

In 1868 for Cisleithania, decided by the Imperial Council at the request of citizens Ministry said kk Government, a precise legal definition. It was determined that the representatives of the central imperial power, the country's chiefs, in the majority of crown lands called governor ( so that this title prevailed in public and literature for all crown lands ); the governor was chairman of the governor's office.

In the Crown Lands

  • Duchy of Salzburg,
  • Duchy of Carinthia,
  • Duchy of Carniola,
  • Duchy of Upper and Lower Silesia ( Austrian Silesia ) and
  • Duchy of Bukovina

Led the country appointed by the Emperor the title of Chief State President and did not conduct a Lieutenancy, but a state government. However, the functionality was the same as governors.

K.k. Governors were appointed by the emperor until 1918 for the Crown Lands

  • Kingdom of Bohemia,
  • Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria,
  • Archduchy Austria below the Enns,
  • Archduchy Austria above the Enns,
  • Margraviate of Moravia,
  • Gefürstete County of Tyrol,
  • Vorarlberg,
  • Duchy of Styria,
  • County of Gorizia and Gradisca Gefürstete,
  • Empire Direct Trieste with its territory,
  • Margraviate of Istria.

For the latter three crown lands was a common ( küstenländische ) Lieutenancy in Trieste.

The Emperor was free at all times is to appoint or dismiss a governor. The respective k.k. Prime Minister could advise the emperor there. The Reduced maintenance heir was subject only to the extent of parliamentary control, as the Prime Minister could be questioned in Imperial Council to do so. Say did not come to the Parliament, as the governor as the kk Government officiated on behalf of the Emperor.


In some cantons of Switzerland is called the representatives of the cantonal government in the districts government governor or the representative of the Government of President governor or state governor (eg, in the Canton of Obwalden, or earlier in the canton of Lucerne). In the canton of Basel-Land, the governorship is the lowest legal level in each district. In the canton of Basel-Stadt, the Vice President of the Grand Council, entitled governor.


In the Republic of the United Netherlands was governor ( stadtholder ) of the highest state officials. This designation was created under the Burgundian and Spanish rule, than the whole of the Netherlands were ruled by a supreme governor ( Governor ) and the individual provinces by governors. The exercise of violence was something different in each of the seven provinces.

After the end of Spanish rule, the governor was no longer representative of a monarch, but the Provinciale Staten. The governor appointed the most important officials, including the chairmen of the courts, had a limited right of pardon, members of the city council chose ( Vroedschappen ), most of the men he proposed these councils themselves. In extraordinary cases, he could use a new council. After the Union of Utrecht in 1579, the governor was also referee the disputes of the provinces among themselves. The troops and the fleet were under his command. In the collection of William III. 1672 Erbstatthalterschaft was introduced in the male line and expanded their powers considerably.