Politics is a set of activities associated with the governance of a country or an area. It involves making decisions that apply to group of members.
It refers to achieving and exercising positions of governance—organized control over a human community, particularly a state. The academic study focusing on just politics, which is therefore more targeted than general political science, is sometimes referred to as politology (not to be confused with politicology, a synonym for political science).
In modern nation-states, people often form political parties to represent their ideas. Members of a party agree to take the same position on many issues and agree to support the same changes to law and the same leaders.
An election is usually a competition between different parties. Some examples of political parties worldwide are: the African National Congress (ANC) in South Africa, the Democratic Party (D) in the United States, the Conservative Party in the United Kingdom, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in Germany and the Indian National Congress in India.
Politics is a multifaceted word. It has a set of fairly specific meanings that are descriptive and nonjudgmental (such as "the art or science of government" and "political principles"), but does often colloquially carry a negative connotation. The word has been used negatively for many years: the British national anthem as published in 1745 calls on God to "Confound their politics", and the phrase "play politics", for example, has been in use since at least 1853, when abolitionist Wendell Phillips declared: "We do not play politics; anti-slavery is no half-jest with us."
A variety of methods are deployed in politics, which include promoting one's own political views among people, negotiation with other political subjects, making laws, and exercising force, including warfare against adversaries. Politics is exercised on a wide range of social levels, from clans and tribes of traditional societies, through modern local governments, companies and institutions up to sovereign states, to the international level.
A political system is a framework which defines acceptable political methods within a given society. The history of political thought can be traced back to early antiquity, with seminal works such as Plato's Republic, Aristotle's Politics and the works of Confucius.
News and Current Events
Józef Piłsudski (1867–1935) was Chief of State (1918–22), "First Marshal", and authoritarian leader of the Second Polish Republic. From mid-World War I he was a major influence in Poland's politics, and an important figure on the European political scene. He is considered largely responsible for Poland regaining independence in 1918, after 123 years of partitions. Early in his political career, Piłsudski became a leader of the Polish Socialist Party. Concluding, however, that Poland's independence would have to be won by force of arms, he created the Polish Legions. In 1914 he anticipated the outbreak of a European war, the Russian Empire's defeat by the Central Powers, and the Central Powers' defeat by the western powers. When World War I broke out, he and his Legions fought alongside the Austro-Hungarian and German Empires to ensure Russia's defeat. In 1917, with Russia faring badly in the war, he withdrew his support from the Central Powers. From November 1918, when Poland regained independence, until 1922, Piłsudski was Poland's Chief of State. In 1919–21 he commanded Poland's forces in the Polish–Soviet War. In 1923, with the Polish government dominated by his opponents, particularly the National Democrats, he withdrew from active politics. Three years later he returned to power with the May 1926 coup d'état, and became the de facto dictator of Poland. From then until his death in 1935, he concerned himself primarily with military and foreign policy.
Did you know...
In this month
- November 4, 1980 – Ronald Reagan defeats Jimmy Carter in the presidential election and becomes the 40th President of the United States.
- November 4, 2008 – Barack Obama was elected as the 44th President of the United States, becoming the first African American elected to the office. Congressional elections for the House of Representatives and one third of the Senators (second class) were also held.
- November 7, 2000 – Hillary Rodham Clinton is elected to the United States Senate, becoming the first First Lady of the United States to win public office.
- November 7, 1917 – The workers of the Petrograd Soviet in Russia, led by the Bolshevik Party and leader Vladimir Lenin, storm the Winter Palace and successfully destroy the Kerensky Provisional Government, resulting in the first overthrow of capitalism in history.
- November 11, 2004 – Former Palestinian President Yasser Arafat dies from a mysterious illness, aged 75.
- November 21, 2004 – Ukrainian presidential election, 2004: Viktor Yanukovych is declared the winner in the final round. International election observers express severe criticism, and large crowds gather in a protest rally in Kiev; 12 days later, the Supreme Court annuls the result, and a new poll is scheduled.
- November 22, – In Dallas, Texas, United States President John F. Kennedy is assassinated, Texas Governor John B. Connally is seriously wounded, and Vice President Lyndon Baines Johnson becomes the 36th President. All television coverage for the next four days is devoted to the assassination, its aftermath, the procession of the horsedrawn casket to the Capitol Rotunda, and the funeral of President Kennedy. Stores and businesses shut down for the entire weekend and Monday, in tribute.