Politics (from Greek: πολιτικά, translit. Politiká, meaning "affairs of the cities") is the process of making decisions that apply to members of a group.
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 all Political science, is sometimes referred to as Politology (not to be confused with Politicology).
In modern nation-states, people have formed political parties to represent their ideas. They 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 Conservatives 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 often does carry a connotation of dishonest malpractice. 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.
It is very often said that politics is about power. 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.
The College Republican National Committee is a national organization for college and university students who support the Republican Party of the United States. The organization is known as an active recruiting tool for the Republican Party and has produced many prominent Republican and conservative activists and introduced more party members to the Republican party than any other organization in the nation. The College Republicans were founded as the American Republican College League on May 17, 1892, at the University of Michigan. The organization was spear-headed by law student James Francis Burke, who would later serve as a Congressman from Pennsylvania. The inaugural meeting was attended by over 1,000 students from across the county, from Stanford University in the west to Harvard University in the east. Contemporary politicians also attended the meeting, including Judge John M. Thurston, Senator Russell A. Alger, Congressman J. Sloat Fassett, Congressman W. E. Mason, John M. Langston, and Abraham Lincoln's successor in the Illinois State Legislature, A. J. Lester. Then-Governor of Ohio William McKinley gave a rousing keynote speech.
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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.
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In this month
- December 7, 2003 – the Conservative Party of Canada is formed.
- December 13, 2000 – The U.S. Supreme Court stops the Florida presidential recount, effectively giving the state, and the Presidency, to George W. Bush.
- December 6, 2005 – David Cameron becomes the 26th Leader of the British Conservative Party
- December 15, 2005 – Parliamentary elections are held in Iraq.
- December 17, 2005 – Evo Morales wins the presidential elections in Bolivia, ousting incumbent Eduardo Rodriguez and becoming the country's first indigenous leader.
- December 18, 1834 – Sir Robert Peel publishes the Tamworth Manifesto which lays the foundation for the modern British Conservative Party.
- December 30, 2006 – Former Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein is hanged.