E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
France is divided into departments, as Great Britain and Ireland are divided into counties or shires. From 1768 it was divided into governments, of which thirty-two were grand and eight petit. In 1790, by a decree of the Constituent Assembly, it was mapped out de nevo into eighty-three departments. In 1804 the number of departments was increased to 107, and in 1812 to 130. In 1815 the territory was reduced to eighty-six departments, and continued so till 1860, when Savoy and Nice were added. The present number is eighty-seven.