A governor is a governing official, usually the executive (at least nominally, to different degrees also politically and administratively) of a non-sovereign level of government, ranking under the head of state. In federations, a governor may be the title of each appointed or elected politician who governs a constituent state.
In countries, the heads of the constitutive states, provinces, communities and regions may be titled Governor, although this is less common in parliamentary systems such as in some European nations and many of their former colonies, which use titles such as President of the Regional Council in France, President of the Regional Junta (commonly called Governatore in recent years) in Italy and Ministerpräsident in Germany, where in some states there are governorates (German: Regierungsbezirke) as sub-state administrative regions. Other countries using different titles for sub-national units include Mexico, United States and Switzerland.
The title also lies, historically, to executive officials acting as representatives of a chartered company which has been granted exercise of sovereignty in a colonial area, such as the British HEIC or the Dutch VOC. These companies operate as a major state within a state with its own armed forces.
There can also be non-political governors: high-ranking officials in private or similar governance such as commercial and non-profit management, styled governor(s), who simply govern an institution, such as a corporation or a bank. For example, in the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth countries there are prison governors ("wardens" in the United States), school governors and bank governors.
The adjective pertaining to a governor is gubernatorial, from the Latin root gubernare. The correct female form is governess, though especially in the US, female officials are often referred to by the male form of the noun to avoid confusion with other meanings of the term.
Read more about Governor: Pre-Roman Empires, Holy Roman/ Habsburg Empires and Successor States, Turkish Rule, British Empire and Commonwealth of Nations, Russia and Former Soviet Union, Other Colonial Empires, Other Modern Countries in South America, Modern Equivalents, Other Meanings of The Word
Famous quotes containing the word governor:
“There are times when even the most potent governor must wink at transgression, in order to preserve the laws inviolate for the future.”
—Herman Melville (18191891)
“I saw the man my friend ... wants pardoned, Thomas Flinton. He is a bright, good-looking fellow.... Of his innocence all are confident. The governor strikes me as a man seeking popularity, who lacks the independence and manhood to do right at the risk of losing popularity. Afraid of what will be said. He is prejudiced against the Irish and Democrats.”
—Rutherford Birchard Hayes (18221893)
“Three years ago, also, when the Sims tragedy was acted, I said to myself, There is such an officer, if not such a man, as the Governor of Massachusetts,what has he been about the last fortnight? Has he had as much as he could do to keep on the fence during this moral earthquake?... He could at least have resigned himself into fame.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)