A provisional government is a system of authority and control that is set up to maintain order and a sense of status quo when either no government has yet been established or when the established government has collapsed. Many provisional governments have been set up throughout history as empires have collapsed and colonies have sought to gain their independence but have had no definitive way to rule themselves in an established and accepted manner. There is no standard for the way provisional governments must be run or established, and their existence generally is accepted to be a temporary solution until a more permanent governmental structure can be established.
Established with Help
This type of government often is set up with assistance from a sponsor nation that is tasked with the responsibility of helping to stabilize a fledgling nation and aid its growth until it can stand on its own. Duties of sponsor nations often include aiding in the creation of a formal constitution, facilitating the election of national officials, helping to create a stable economy and ensuring a balanced military presence. A provisional government sometimes is set up when a government is overthrown as a result of warfare or terrorist hostilities or when an economy has been destabilized to the point at which it no longer can effectively be managed under its current governmental setup.
Historically, provisional governments have happened as long as people have organized themselves into national groups. The term "provisional government," however, was not used in any formal capacity until 1814, when Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord led the French Senate in the establishment of a provisional government shortly before the overthrow the Napoléon Bonaparte. Since then, there have been many formally recognized provisional governments that have been established and have grown into stable economic powers.
The United States, Great Britain and the United Nations all have been involved in the establishment and facilitation of provisional governments, and all have played a major part in the development of many nations around the world. One particularly popular provisional government that quickly became a world power in a short period of time is the nation of Israel, which gained its independence in 1949. Among the other provisional governments that have been set up include ones in Russia, Korea, India, Lithuania and many of the German-occupied countries after the fall of the Nazi regime in the mid-20th century. Even the United States, at one time, utilized a provisional government before its political system was developed enough to enforce its rule.