Political subdivision of Switzerland, France, and some other European countries. Each of Switzerland's 26 cantons and half-cantons has its own constitution, legislature, executive, and judiciary. Five preserve the ancient democratic assembly, in which all citizens meet; the remaining 21 have a cantonal legislature with elective representatives and usually proportional representation. In France, the canton is a territorial and administrative subdivision of an arrondissement but not an actual unit of local government.
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City (pop., 2003 est.: 4,653,131), capital of Guangdong province, China. Located on the Zhu (Pearl) River about 90 mi (145 km) from the sea, it is southern China's chief port. Incorporated into China's Qin empire (221–207 BC), it later became an important city under the Ming dynasty. The first Chinese seaport opened to foreigners, it was regularly visited by Arab and Hindu traders and, in the 16th century, by the Portuguese. The English arrived in the 17th century, followed by the French and Dutch. Guangzhou's resistance to the English opium trade led to war (1839–42), and it was occupied by the British and French in 1856–61. In the late 19th century it was the seat of revolutionary political ideas promoted by the Nationalist Party. It was bombed and then occupied by the Japanese in 1938–45. Its industrial growth subsequently expanded, and, with China's renewed ties to the West from the late 1970s, it became one of several economic investment areas for foreigners. One of China's largest cities, its expanding economy added to the region's growth.
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Canton may refer to: