Meaning of Canton

By | February 13, 2021

In order to establish the meaning of the term canton, it is necessary, first of all, to discover its etymological origin. In this case, we can indicate that it is a word that derives from Latin, specifically from “cantus” or “canthus”, which can be translated as “edge” or “metal rim of a wheel”.

Canton is a concept with multiple meanings. The DigoPaul mentions in the first meaning of its dictionary that the term can refer to an edge, projection or corner.

The most frequent use of the notion, however, is associated with an administrative division. Cantons are territorial entities that subdivide a municipality, a province, a department or another type of district.

Ecuador is one of the countries that have cantons. The twenty-four Ecuadorian provinces are divided into more than two hundred cantons, which in turn are subdivided into parishes.

The Guayaquil Canton, belonging to the province of Guayas, Ecuador’s most populous canton, with over two million residents. Other cantons are much smaller: the Pablo Sexto canton, in the province of Morona Santiago, does not reach 2,000 residents.

Costa Rica, France, Luxembourg and Switzerland are other countries that have cantons. Even states that ceased to exist, such as the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), had cantons.

Among the most important cantons we can highlight some such as the following:
-The Canton of Geneva, which is one of the most important in Switzerland. It is located in the western area, it became a canton in the 19th century and is subdivided into a total of 45 communes.
-The Canton of Bern, is also located in the Swiss country and stands out for being one of the only three in the same where two languages ​​are officially spoken. Its capital is Bern and its origin is in the fourteenth century.

On a historical level, it is relevant to know what was called Cantón de Cádiz. This was proclaimed in the second half of the 19th century, specifically on July 19, 1873, and it came to support the Spanish cantonal movement that had begun in the Murcian city of Cartagena. In this way, the Cadiz population took its own course in the face of the disillusionment that existed at that time with the Spanish monarchy. However, that Canton of Cádiz would only be operating until August 3 of the aforementioned 1873, until the troops of General Pavía entered the Andalusian city, who was responsible for putting an end to the First Spanish Republic.

In the field of heraldry, the cantons are the four corners that are part of a shield. A very narrow street that interrupts two other more important ones can also be called a canton.

A southern Chinese city, on the other hand, is known as Canton or Guangzhou. From its name, a cotton fabric that has characteristics similar to cashmere is called a canton.

The notion of Canton, finally, can refer to a quartering: a territory where there are military cantonments (distributed and housed in the area).