The Province of Hanover (German: Provinz Hannover) was a province of the Kingdom of Prussia and the Free State of Prussia from 1868 to 1946.
During the Austro-Prussian War, the Kingdom of Hanover had attempted to maintain a neutral position, along with some other member states of the German Confederation. After Hanover voted in favour of mobilising confederation troops against Prussia on 14 June 1866, Prussia saw this as a just cause for declaring war; the Kingdom of Hanover was soon dissolved and annexed by Prussia. The private wealth of the dethroned House of Hanover was then used by Otto von Bismarck to finance his continuing efforts against Ludwig II of Bavaria.
In 1946, the British military administration recreated the State of Hanover based on the former Kingdom of Hanover; but within the year, at the instigation of the German leadership, it was merged into the new state (Bundesland) of Lower Saxony—along with the states of Oldenburg, Brunswick, and Schaumburg-Lippe—with the city of Hanover as the capital of this new state.
The six Hanoveran regions.
Hannover, Oldenburg, Brunswick (1905)
Hannover, Schleswig-Holstein and small Northern German States (1890)
Hanover was subdivided into six regions first called Landdrostei[en] (High-Bailiwick[s]), which were reorganised into Prussian standard Regierungsbezirke (governorates) on 1 April 1885.
- Lüneburg (Lunenburg)
Administrative divisions from 1885
On 1 April 1885 the six Landdrosteien were turned into regional administrative districts called Regierungsbezirke:
The Regierungsbezirke were subdivided into new urban and rural counties (Stadtkreise and Landkreise), the old Amt structure being disbanded. Where the name of the county town differs from that of the county, it is shown in brackets:
Counties in the Province of Hanover (1905)
Presidents of the Province of Hanover
The heads of the provinces, appointed by the central Prussian government, were called Oberpräsident (Upper President). The provincial executive, the Landesdirektor (provincial director), was elected by the provincial parliament (Provinziallandtag).