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Provisional government is an emergency or interim government set up when a political void has been created by the collapse of a very large government. The early provisional governments were created to prepare for the return of royal rule. Irregularly convened assemblies during the English Revolution, such as Confederate Ireland (1641–49), were described as "provisional." The practice of using "provisional government" as part of a formal name can be traced to Talleyrand's government in France in 1814. The numerous provisional governments during the Revolutions of 1848 gave the word its modern meaning: A liberal government established to prepare for elections. The most notable provisional government was the Russian Provisional Government in 1917
Provisional governments are generally unelected and tend to arise in association with or in the aftermath of civil or foreign wars. In a time of crisis a collapsed government may reform with provisional status under a coalition. Examples of provisional governments active in the 20th and 21st centuries are:
- 1901 caretaker government of Australia, established pending the first election to the newly established Commonwealth of Australia.
- Provisional Government of the Republic of China (1912), established after the success of the Wuchang uprising.
- Provisional Government of Western Thrace (1913), established in modern Greece in opposition to annexation by Bulgaria during the Second Balkan War.
- Provisional Government of Northern Epirus (1914), established against annexation to Albania.
- Provisional Government of India (1915), established in Kabul.
- Provisional Government of the Irish Republic (1916), a title adopted by the leadership of the short-lived Easter Rising.
- Provisional Government of National Defense (northern Greece), 1916
- Russian Provisional Government (1917), established as a result of the February Revolution which led to abdication of Tsar Nicholas II.
- Estonian Provisional Government (1918-1919)
- Ukrainian Provisional Government (1918).
- Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea (1919), established in exile based in Shanghai, China and later in Chongqing, during the Japanese occupation of Korea.
- Provisional Government of Southern Ireland (1922), established by agreement between the British government and Irish revolutionaries, in order to pave the way for the establishment of the Irish Free State in the same year.
- Provisional Government of Lithuania (1941), established when Lithuanians overthrew the Soviet occupation during the Lithuanian 1941 independence. It functioned briefly until Nazi Germany annexed the country.
- Provisional Government of Free India (1943-1945), established by Indian nationalists in southeast Asia, had nominal sovereignty over Axis controlled Indian territories, and had diplomatic relationships with nine countries.
- Provisional Government of Italy (1944)
- Provisional Government of Hungary (1944-1945)
- Provisional Government of the French Republic (1944–46)
- Provisional government of Israel (1948–49), established after Israel's declaration of independence and in place until after the first Knesset elections.
- Provisional Government of the Syrian Arab Republic (1949), established by national consensus to draft a new constitution and reintroduce civilian rule after a series of military governments.
- Provisional Government of the Algerian Republic (1958–62) (guerrilla movement)
- Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam (1969-1976) (established during the Vietnam War against America and Republic of Vietnam
- Provisional Government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh (1970-1972), established after the declaration of freedom of Bengalis exiled to Calcutta.
- Government of National Understanding, established in Czechoslovakia after the Velvet Revolution of 1983.
- Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (1988-), after it was entrusted with the powers and responsibilities of the Provisional Government of the State of Palestine.
- Palestinian National Authority (1994-), the administrative organization, established to govern parts of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, following the Oslo Accords.
- Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq (2003-2004), established to act as a caretaker administration in Iraq following the 2003 invasion of Iraq pending the adoption of a permanent constitution and until the creation of a democratically elected civilian government.
- National Transitional Council of Libya formed during the 2011 civil war in Libya against the Gaddafi-led government.
- Sayigh, Yezid (1999). Armed Struggle and the Search for State: The Palestinian National Movement, 1949–1993 (illustrated ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 624. ISBN 0-19-829643-6, 9780198296430 Check
|isbn=value (help). "The Palestinian National Council also empowered the central council to form a government-in-exile when appropriate, and the executive committee to perform the functions of government until such time as a government-in-exile was established."
- United Nations General Assembly Resolution 19 session 67 (retrieved 2013-01-07)
- "The Palestinian Authority".
See also 
- Flensburg Government (1945), established following the suicides of Adolf Hitler and Joseph Goebbels during the closing days of the Third Reich.
- Administration for Western Armenia (1915), established in Van Province.
- South West Caucasian Republic (1919), established in Kars.
- Articles of Confederation (1777-1787), the supreme law in America established during the American Revolution until the ratification of the United States Constitution in 1788.
- National Council of Government (1986-1988), interim ruling body of Haiti, after the departure of Jean-Claude Duvalier
- National Salvation Front (1989), after the overthrow of Nicolae Ceauşescu's regime in the Romanian Revolution of 1989.
- Eritrea has had a transitional government.(1993)
- Coalition Provisional Authority, the Iraqi Interim Governing Council, the Iraqi Interim Government and the Iraqi Transitional Government were all provisional authorities established following the 2003 invasion of Iraq to govern pending the adoption of a permanent constitution.
- Government in exile
- Provisional Revolutionary Government
- Provisional Government of Oregon
- Caretaker government