FACTOID # 7: The top five best educated states are all in the Northeast.
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Encyclopedia > Circuit (subnational entity)


Circuits in the common law

In law, a circuit is an appellate judicial district commonly seen in the court systems of many nations. The term (as traditionally used among English-speaking lawyers) comes from an era in which judges would ride around the countryside each year on preset paths to hear cases. Law (a loanword from Old Norse lag), in politics and jurisprudence, is a set of rules or norms of conduct which mandate, proscribe or permit specified relationships among people and organizations, provide methods for ensuring the impartial treatment of such people, and provide punishments for those who do not follow... A court is an official, public forum which a public power establishes by lawful authority to adjudicate disputes, and to dispense civil, labour, administrative and criminal justice under the law. ... A lawyer is a person licensed by the state to advise clients in legal matters and represent them in courts of law (and in other forms of dispute resolution). ...


For much of the history of Western civilization, most people were illiterate and competent lawyers and judges were always in short supply relative to the demands for their services.

As England emerged from the Dark Ages, the king gradually hit upon the solution of making the judges ride around the countryside or "ride circuit" each year to hear appeals, rather than forcing everyone to bring their appeals to London. For more information, see the article on assizes. Royal motto: Dieu et mon droit (French: God and my right) Englands location within the UK Official language English de facto Capital London de facto Largest city London Area  - Total Ranked 1st UK 130,395 km² Population  - Total (2001)  - Density Ranked 1st UK 49,138,831 377/km² Religion... The Dark Ages (or Dark Age) is a metaphor with multiple meanings and connotations. ... The Clock Tower of the Palace of Westminster which contains Big Ben Tower Bridge at night A red double-decker bus crosses Piccadilly Circus. ... The Courts of Assize, or Assizes, were periodic criminal courts held around England and Wales until 1972, when together with the Quarter Sessions they were abolished by the Courts Act 1971 and replaced by a single permanent Crown Court. ...

United States

Since most of the original 13 colonies were largely settled by the English, it was natural that they would bring their idea of judicial circuits with them.

Under the original Judiciary Act of 1790 and subsequent acts, the U.S. Supreme Court justices themselves had the responsibility of "riding circuit" and personally hearing intermediate appeals (in addition to their caseload back in Washington). This onerous duty was not abolished by Congress until the late 19th century. The Supreme Court Building, Washington, D.C. The Supreme Court Building, Washington, D.C., (large image) The Supreme Court of the United States, located in Washington, D.C., is the highest court (see supreme court) in the United States; that is, it has ultimate judicial authority within the United States...

Today, there is a federal Court of Appeals that sits permanently in each appellate circuit. The U.S. Supreme Court justices still retain vestiges of their old powers from the days of riding circuit; each justice is designated to hear certain interlocutory appeals from specific circuits and can unilaterally decide them or refer them to the entire Court. Also, the Court's customary summer recess originated as the time during which the justices would leave Washington and ride circuit (since dirt roads were more passable in the summer).

Circuits in East Asia

Circuit (道 ; Chinese: dào; Japanese: ) was a historical political division of China, and is still a Japanese one. In Korea, the same word 道 (도; do) is translated as "Province." This article talks about the history of the political divisions of China. ... Korea (한국) is a formerly unified country, situated on the Korean Peninsula in northern East Asia, bordering on China to the west and Russia to the north. ... This article is about political regions. ...

There is another Chinese political division, the (路), which is translated as "circuits" as well, because the dao and lu never coexisted. Both lu and dao literally mean "road/path".


Circuits originated in China in 627, when Emperor Taizong subdivided China into ten circuits. These were originally meant to be purely geographic and not administrative. Emperor Xuanzong further added 5. Slowly the circuits strengthened their own power, until they became powerful regional forces that tore the country apart during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period. During the Jinn and Song, circuits were renamed lu. Dao were revived during the Yuan Dynasty. Events April 11 - Paulinus, a Roman missionary, baptizes King Edwin of Deira December 12 - Battle of Nineveh: Byzantine Emperor Heraclius defeats the Persians Births Deaths November 10 - Justus, Archbishop of Canterbury Categories: 627 ... Emperor Taizong of Tang China (January 23, 599–July 10, 649), born Li Shimin (李世民), was the second emperor of the Tang Dynasty of China from 626 to 649. ... Emperor Tang Xuanzong (唐玄宗) (685 - 762), born Li Longji (李隆基), was the sixth emperor of the Tang dynasty of China reigining from 712 to 756. ... Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms (Traditional Chinese: 五代十國 Simplified Chinese: 五代十国 Hanyu pinyin: Wǔdàishíguó) (907-960) was a period of political upheaval in China, between the Tang Dynasty and Song Dynasty. ... The Jin Dynasty (金 pinyin: Jīn 1115-1234; Anchu in Jurchen), also known as the Jurchen dynasty, was founded by the Wanyan (完顏 Wányán) clan of the Jurchen, the ancestors of the Manchus who established the Qing Dynasty some 500 years later. ... The Song Dynasty (Chinese: 宋朝) was a ruling dynasty in China from 960-1279. ... The Yuan Dynasty (Mongolian: Dai Ön Yeke Mongghul Ulus; Chinese: 大元大蒙古帝国) lasting officially from 1271 to 1368, also called the Mongol Dynasty, was the name given to the significant ruling family of Borjigin in Asia. ...

At first, circuits were the highest of the three-tier administrative system of China; the next two were prefectures or zhou (州) and counties (縣, also translated as "districts"). They are simultaneously inspection areas (監察區 jian1 cha2 qu1). Circuits were demoted to the second-level after the Yuan Dynasty established provinces at the very top, and remained there for the next several centuries. The zhōu (州) was a historical political division of China. ... In the context of Political divisions of China, county is the standard English translation of 县 (xiàn). ... The Yuan Dynasty (Mongolian: Dai Ön Yeke Mongghul Ulus; Chinese: 大元大蒙古帝国) lasting officially from 1271 to 1368, also called the Mongol Dynasty, was the name given to the significant ruling family of Borjigin in Asia. ...

Circuits still existed as high-level, though not top-level, divisions of the Republic of China, such as Qiongya Circuit (now Hainan Province). In 1928, all circuits were replaced with committees or just completely abandoned. National motto: None Official name (Traditional Chinese: 中華民國; Simplified Chinese: 中华民国; Wade-Giles: Chung-hua Min-kuo, Tongyong Pinyin: JhongHuá MínGuó, Hanyu Pinyin: Zhōnghuá Mínguó, Taiwanese: Tiong-hoâ Bîn-kok) Official language Mandarin Chinese Capital and largest city Taipei President Chen Shui-bian Premier Frank Hsieh Area  - Total... Not to be confused with the unrelated provinces of Henan and Hunan Hainan (海南; pinyin: Hǎinán) is a province of the Peoples Republic of China, located at the southern end of the country. ... 1928 was a leap year starting on Sunday (link will take you to calendar). ...


During the pre-modern era, Japan was divided into seven routes encompassing the islands of Honshu, Shikoku, Kyushu. The seven defunct routes spread all over the three islands: todo mal de [ [ Shikoku ] ] a través del [ [ mar interior ] ], y noreste de [ [ Kyushu ] ] a través del [ [ estrecho de Kanmon ] ]. Es la séptima isla más grande, y la segunda isla populosa en el mundo después de [ [ Java (isla)|Java ] ] (véase [ [ lista de las islas de la población ] ]). < style=float del div... Shikoku (四国, four lands, often incorrectly translated as provinces) is the smallest and least populous of the four main islands of Japan. ... Kyushu region, Japan Kyūshū (九州) is the third largest island of Japan and most southerly and westerly of the four main islands. ...

  • Tōkaidō (東海道) "East Sea Route": 15 provinces (kuni)
  • Nankaidō (南海道) "South Sea Route": 6 provinces
  • Saikaidō (西海道) "West Sea Route": 8 provinces
  • Hokurikudō (北陸道) "North Mainland Route": 7 provinces
  • San'indō (山陰道) "Mountain-north Route": 8 provinces
  • San'yōdō (山陽道) "Mountain-south Route": 8 provinces
  • Tōsandō (東山道) "East Mountain Route": 13 provinces

(For the mountain south-north reference with in and yo, see Yin Yang.) Kuni (国) were archaic provinces in Japan, ruled by daimyos. ... Taoists Taijitu The concept of Yin Yang originates in ancient Chinese philosophy, most likely from the observations of day turning into night and night into day. ...

In the mid-1800's, the northern island of Ezo was settled, and renamed Hokkaido ("North Sea Route"). However, Hokkaido was never a "route" in the classical sense. It is essentially a prefecture with a different name from the other prefectures. For Ainu in J.R.R. Tolkiens fictional universe of Arda, see Ainur. ... Hokkaidō (Japanese: 北海道, literal meaning: North Sea Route, Ainu: Mosir), formerly known as Ezo, is the second largest island of Japan. ... The term prefecture has been used to denote a self-governing body or area since the time of Constantine I, who divided the Roman Empire into 4 districts (each divided into dioceses). ...

See also: Prefectures of Japan, Old provinces of Japan Map of the prefectures of Japan in ISO 3166-2:JP order. ... Before the modern prefecture system was established, the land of Japan was divided into tens of Kuni (国, Countries). ...


Since the late 10th century, the Do ("Province") has been the primary administrative division in Korea. See Provinces of Korea for details. Do can refer to: In English, do is a verb whose use as an auxiliary verb is often grammatically required for negation and for interrogative sentences. ... Korea (한국) is a formerly unified country, situated on the Korean Peninsula in northern East Asia, bordering on China to the west and Russia to the north. ... This article describes the historical evolution of Koreas provinces (Do ; Hangul: 도; Hanja: 道). ...

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