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in ancient Greece, Italy, and Medieval Europe, an independent political unit consisting of a city and surrounding countryside. The first city-states were in Sumer, but they reached their peak in Greece. From the beginning of Greek history to its climax in the 5th and 4th cent. B.C., the Greeks were organized into city-states, of which there were several hundred. The first Italian city-states were Greek colonies. Later Etruscan and native city-states emerged, including Rome. After the fall of the Roman Empire, many Italian cities (e.g., Florence, Genoa, Venice) were city-states until the 19th cent., as were such N German cities as Bremen and Hamburg. The Greek word polis meant both city and city-state. Since the city-state was independent, different states—and the same state at different times—had a variety of governments, ranging from absolute monarchy to pure democracy. Only citizenscitizen,
member of a state, native or naturalized, who owes allegiance to the government of the state and is entitled to certain rights. Citizens may be said to enjoy the most privileged form of nationality; they are at the furthest extreme from nonnational residents of a state
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 participated in the government of the city-state, and citizenship was limited to those born of citizen parents. In the classical era, a large proportion of the city-state's population consisted of slaves. Participation by citizens in government was often limited by class distinctions. The government usually consisted of an assembly and council; the former predominated in democracies, the latter in oligarchies. Although the various city-states combined into religious or military federations, most did not endure for long in Greece, leaving it open to foreign attack by large centralized states to which it eventually submitted.


See G. Glotz, The Greek City and Its Institutions (ed. by N. Mallinson, 1930, repr. 1969); V. Ehrenberg, The Greek State (2d rev. ed. 1969, repr. 1972).


a state consisting of a sovereign city and its dependencies. Among the most famous are the great independent cities of the ancient world, such as Athens, Sparta, Carthage, and Rome
References in periodicals archive ?
Yet if any place on earth could steel itself against such threats, create security in the midst of chaos, it's this citistate.
William Stafford of the Seattle Chamber and Trade Development Alliance led a study mission of 85 top Seattle business and government leaders to Singapore this spring, following up on visits to such citistates as Rotterdam, Hong Kong and London.
Although the paradigm prescribes substantial devolution, most citistate demands are closer to the "regionalized state" notion; this would require shifting of authority downward by current government leaders and sharing of some policy capacity with horizontal networks of nongovernmental actors.
But by promoting a policy paradigm emphasizing regional and transnational arrangements as the appropriate solution to global competition, the Cascadia free marketeers effectively "de-mobilized" the collective action possible around alternative paradigms advocating bioregionalism and citistate politics at smaller scales (e.
Louis would not appreciate a big regional government to tackle its problems, it must also acknowledge the role public representation from the neighborhood to federal level will play in actualizing their citistate model.
The mission of the regional government would be to create a more cohesive and efficient citistate, define a new model for public decision making, and also recommend a qualified organization to keep on measuring and assisting the region's governments.
The authors warn that "the right kind of citistate governance must be developed in a consultative, 'bottoms-up' process involving a wide range of civic players, neighborhood leaders up to the top level of corporate leadership.
The entire citistate ought to be pressing the state legislature for substantial, targeted aid for the fiscally distraught inner city.
With the exception of Chicago, Minneapolis and a few other metro areas, Austin finds the Great Lakes' citistate regions "economically stagnant, old and beaten up, plagued by severe racial divisions" and continuing "to bleed mobile, educated workers.
Across the country, pioneering citistate regions--Portland, Seattle, Chicago, Salt Lake City, Minneapolis and others--have begun to define directions we all need to take.
But with the agency's 200-million-plus trips a year--saving tens of millions of personal auto trips, many millions of gallons of gasoline--it has in fact succeeded in creating a more single and accessible citistate of Washington, D.
36) Although Neal Peirce "sees public participation as vital to the development of regional citistates," his version of regionalism would actually hinder such personal lobbying--"among the most participatory features of the American polity.