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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).

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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
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Peirce writes in Citistates "(t)he 1990s may represent the last chance to avert an almost complete suburban-inner city standoff in America, with good jobs flying to the periphery, while entire cities sink ever deeper in disinvestment, underclass life, crime, and despair." Despite their remarks on the high level of government fragmentation and declining downtown area, Peirce and Johnson did not recommend a home rule charter for St.
He has not written a scholarly book, but the reader will find Citistates clear, lively, and free of academic jargon.
He is the author, with Curtis Johnson and John Stuart Hall, of Citistates: How Urban America Can Prosper in a Competitive World.
If America's citistates are to succeed, they must "undergird governance with a strong civic organization." The purpose of this region-wide organization would be to work "for the shared and common good over pressure from special interests and the parochial positions of fragmented local governments." These organizations would provide the forums for addressing the governance issues of regions, fostering the partnerships necessary for success and engaging regional citizens in the collective concerns of citistates.
The Spring Meeting of the National Academy of Public Administration, held June 4-5, 1993 in Indianapolis, focused on "citistates." This article presents some concluding observations on the proceedings.
citistates must vault to be competitive in the international economy: the "deep socioeconomic gulf between poor cities and affluent suburbs," physical sprawl and the inability to create "effective systems of coordinated governance." Central to the book are the in-depth analyses the authors prepared from 1987 to 1991 for the leading metropolitan newspapers in six regions of the country: Phoenix, Arizona; Seattle, Washington; Baltimore, Maryland; Owensboro-Daviess County, Kentucky; Dallas, Texas; and St.
this many publications include the influential "Citistates" (1993), which helped stimulate "regionalism" awareness.
Metros--the increasingly urbanized regions that make up the "citistates" of our time--are the center of action in today's America.
Louis Post-Dispatch, my Citistates Group co-author Curt Johnson and I arbitrarily picked 2010 as the year foreigners might come poking through the ruins of Washington Avenue.
But we lack any organization really focused on the big citistates whose economy and environment will determine so much of our future.
A webzine, the Cascadia Times, disseminates sustainable development, bioregionalist, and citistate views.
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.C., and its Virginia and Maryland suburbs.