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in the United States. In the New England states the town is the basic unit of local governmentlocal government,
political administration of the smallest subdivisions of a country's territory and population. Characteristics and Types

Although there are special-purpose local government bodies (e.g.
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. The New England town government's unique feature is the town meeting, much praised as a nearly pure form of democracy. At the annual meeting of voters, town officers are elected and local issues such as town tax rates are decided. Elsewhere in the United States the term town has little political use, signifying only a place incorporated as a town or simply a population center. However, township has legal meaning—a geographical division of the countycounty
[Fr., comté,=domain of a count], division of local government in the United States, Great Britain, and many Commonwealth countries. The county developed in England from the shire, a unit of local government that originated in the Saxon settlements of the 5th
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, established in land surveys and usually made up of 36 sections, each with roughly an area of 1 sq mi (2.6 sq km). Except in the Middle Atlantic states, townships are seldom units of local government.


A concentration of residential and related buildings surrounded by countryside; typically smaller than a city and larger than a village.


a. a densely populated urban area, typically smaller than a city and larger than a village, having some local powers of government and a fixed boundary
b. (as modifier): town life
2. a city, borough, or other urban area
3. (in the US) a territorial unit of local government that is smaller than a county; township
4. the nearest town or commercial district
5. London or the chief city of an area
6. the inhabitants of a town
References in periodicals archive ?
Though now serving a medium-sized Oregon city of 17,000 residents, Messina started his career as city administrator in a community of 2,500 and said state lawmakers clearly don't understand the dynamics of small-town life.
The study indicates that 1% of paediatricians, 3% of obstetricians and gynaecologists, 2% of emergency medicine specialists and 3% of psychiatrists are located in small-town or rural areas.
I went to so many towns looking for that wonderful, small-town feeling with great city services, great schools - a place that was urban and yet still was a neighborhood where people threw block parties.
Most of the delegates on the convention floor were conservative small-town folks who, though perhaps open to the logic of a Willkie candidacy, were not exactly enthusiastic about the liberal New York transplant, however hoosier his roots.
We needed to find a way to bring a level of sophistication to the project that some might not normally associate with a small-town co-op--especially considering the global nature of the business.
First, small-town Jews were distinguished by the way they earned their livings: virtually all were merchants.
One often wonders if small-town Ontario at the end of the last century was not a one-class society after reading Holman.
Even the juxtaposition of liberal urban centers and conservative small-town America turns out to be much too simplistic.
His handling of youth-oriented material (Pump Up the Volume and Empire Records) is well suited to Fish's small-town, coming-of-age story.
Black or Latino inmates from the ghettos of some of the largest cities are extremely alien to small-town white prison guards.
Furthermore, the combined sales of these small-town entrepreneurs also dwarf their much larger counterparts.