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Politics, Law & Government

The world today is divided territorially into more than 190 countries, each of which possesses a national government that claims to exercise sovereignty and seeks to compel obedience to its will by its citizens. Governments can be classified in any number of ways. For example, they might be classified by the number of rulers, thus distinguishing government by one (as in a monarchy or a tyranny) from government by the few (in an aristocracy or oligarchy) and from government by the many (as in a democracy). Governments can also be classified by mode of succession; for example, ascension to governmental leadership may follow the rules of hereditary succession, or it may be determined through elections or by force. Governments also vary in terms of the laws and rules of conduct that each political entity follows. Browse Subcategories Banking & Business Businesspeople & Entrepreneurs Economics & Economic Systems International Relations Law, Crime & Punishment Military Politics & Political Systems World Leaders

Featured content, July 07, 2020

What’s the Difference Between Libel and Slander? When you make a defamatory statement, you should know whether you’re committing libel or slander. Demystified / Politics, Law & Government Written By Don Vaughan Slavery Slavery, condition in which one human being was owned by another. A slave was considered by law as property, or chattel,... Encyclopedia / Politics, Law & Government Written By Richard Hellie Tactics Tactics, in warfare, the art and science of fighting battles on land, on sea, and in the air. It is concerned with the approach... Encyclopedia / Politics, Law & Government Written By Martin van Creveld Political philosophy Political philosophy, branch of philosophy that is concerned, at the most abstract level, with the concepts and arguments... Encyclopedia / Politics, Law & Government Written By John Edward Bowle | See all

Politics, Law & Government Quizzes

Structures of Government: Fact or Fiction? Parliamentary democracy. Monarchies. Feudalism. All are types of government, but do you know the differences? Sort out the... Quiz / Politics, Law & Government Amendments to the U.S. Constitution Which amendment is which? Match the amendment number to its purpose. Quiz / Politics, Law & Government Australian Government and Political System Australia is a federation, and the duties of the federal government and the division of powers between the Commonwealth and... Quiz / Politics, Law & Government U.S. Constitutional History Quiz Who is considered the father of the U.S. Constitution? Which English philosopher greatly influenced the Constitution? Find... Quiz / Politics, Law & Government Global Governance Quiz Intergovernmental cooperation is essential to resolve issues of global importance. That cooperation is often made possible... Quiz / Politics, Law & Government U.S. Presidential History Quiz The phrase “New Frontier” is associated with which U.S. president? Who was “first in war, first in peace, and first in the... Quiz / Politics, Law & Government

Politics, Law & Government Videos

United Kingdom: House of Lords Video / Politics, Law & Government See how Andrew Johnson fought with Congress over Reconstruction and became the first president to be impeached Video / Politics, Law & Government See how Bill Clinton passed the North American Free Trade Agreement and faced impeachment Video / Politics, Law & Government Hitler, Adolf: rise to power Video / Politics, Law & Government Study how Gerald Ford stewarded a post-Watergate United States amid economic inflation and high unemployment Video / Politics, Law & Government Learn how President Obama passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and ended the Iraq War Video / Politics, Law & Government financial crisis of 2007–08 Video / Politics, Law & Government Study how Teddy Roosevelt leveraged federal power over mine owners to earn a victory for labourers Video / Politics, Law & Government market “bubble” Video / Politics, Law & Government Meet the New Deal president who piloted the United States through the Great Depression and World War II Video / Politics, Law & Government Never Miss a Day in History Sign up for daily fun facts about this day in history, updates, and special offers delivered right to your inbox. Thank you for subscribing! Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox.

Politics, Law & Government Subcategories

Banking & Business This general category includes a selection of more specific topics. Articles Businesspeople & Entrepreneurs This general category includes a selection of more specific topics. Articles Economics & Economic Systems Economic system, any of the ways in which humankind has arranged for its material provisioning. One would think that there would be a great variety of such systems, corresponding to the many cultural arrangements that have characterized human society. Articles International Relations International relations, the study of the relations of states with each other and with international organizations and certain subnational entities (e.g., bureaucracies, political parties, and interest groups). It is related to a number of other academic disciplines, including political science, geography, history, economics, law, sociology, psychology, and philosophy. Articles Law, Crime & Punishment This general category includes a selection of more specific topics. Articles Military This general category includes a selection of more specific topics. Articles Politics & Political Systems This general category includes a selection of more specific topics. Articles World Leaders This general category includes a selection of more specific topics. Articles Britannica Premium Subscription Did you know you’re not getting the full Britannica experience? Sign up for Premium to get access to all of our trusted content and exclusive originals for only $5.99/month. Check out Britannica's new site for parents!