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Portal:Politics

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Politics (from Greek: Πολιτικά, politiká, 'affairs of the cities') is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions in groups, or other forms of power relations between individuals, such as the distribution of resources or status. The academic study of politics is referred to as political science.

It may be used positively in the context of a "political solution" which is compromising and non-violent, or descriptively as "the art or science of government", but also often carries a negative connotation. For example, abolitionist Wendell Phillips declared that "we do not play politics; anti-slavery is no half-jest with us." The concept has been defined in various ways, and different approaches have fundamentally differing views on whether it should be used extensively or limitedly, empirically or normatively, and on whether conflict or co-operation is more essential to it.

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. In modern nation states, people often form political parties to represent their ideas. Members of a party often 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.

A political system is a framework which defines acceptable political methods within a society. The history of political thought can be traced back to early antiquity, with seminal works such as Plato's Republic, Aristotle's Politics, Chanakya's Arthashastra and Chanakya Niti (3rd century BCE), as well as the works of Confucius. (Full article...)

Selected article

Edward II of England

The Ordinances of 1311 were a series of regulations imposed upon King Edward II by the peerage and clergy of the Kingdom of England to restrict the power of the king. The twenty-one signatories of the Ordinances are referred to as the Lords Ordainers. English setbacks in the Scottish war, combined with perceived extortionate royal fiscal policies, set the background for the writing of the Ordinances in which the administrative prerogatives of the king were largely appropriated by a baronial council. The Ordinances reflect the Provisions of Oxford and the Provisions of Westminster from the late 1250s, but unlike the Provisions, the Ordinances featured a new concern with fiscal reform, specifically redirecting revenues from the king's household to the exchequer. Just as instrumental to their conception were other issues, particularly discontent with the king's favourite, Piers Gaveston, whom the barons subsequently banished from the realm. Edward II accepted the Ordinances only under coercion, and a long struggle for their repeal ensued that did not end until Thomas of Lancaster – the leader of the Ordainers – was executed in 1322.

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Capitol Building Full View.jpg
Credit: Noclip

The western (front) side of the United States Capitol. The U.S. Capitol serves as the location for Congress, the legislative branch of the U.S. federal government. It is located in Washington, D.C., on top of Capitol Hill at the east end of the National Mall. The building is marked by its central dome above a rotunda and two wings. It is an exemplar of the Neoclassical architecture style.

Selected quote

Edmund Burke
Last of all he exercised his interest and his patience for eight years together at the court of Ferdinand and Isabella. There is a fort of enthusiasm in all projectors, absolutely necessary for their affairs, which makes them, proof against the moil: fatiguing delays, the moil mortifying disappointments, the moll mocking insults; and, what is severer than all, the presumptuous judgments of the ignorant upon their designs. Columbus had a sufficient share of this quality[disambiguation needed]. He had every day, during this long space, to combat with every objection that want of knowledge, or that a false knowledge, could propose. Some held that the known world, which they thought was all that could be known, floated like a vast scum upon the ocean; that the ocean itself was infinite. Others, who entertained more just notions, and believed that the whole of the earth and waters composed one vast globe, drew a consequence from it as absurd as the former opinion. For they argued, that if Columbus should fail beyond a certain point, the convexity of this globe would prevent his return. As is usual in such cafes, every one abounded with objections. His whole time was spent in fruitless endeavors to enlighten ignorance, to remove prejudice, and to vanquish that obstinate incredulity, which is of all others the greatest enemy to improvement, rejecting every thing as false and absurd, which is ever little out of the track of common experience ; and it is of the more dangerous consequence, as it carries a delusive air of coolness, of temper and wisdom. With all this, he had yet greater difficulties from the interests of mankind, than from their malignity and ignorance. The expence of the undertaking, inconsiderable as this expense was, was at the bottom the chief support of the other objections, and had more weight than all the rest together. However, with an assiduity and firmness of mind, never enough to be admired and applauded, he at length overcame all difficulties; and, to his inexpreflible joy, with a fleet of three {hips, and the title and command of an admiral, set fail on the third of August, 1492, on a voyage the most daring and grand in the design, and in the event of which the world was the most concerned, of any that ever yet was undertaken.
Edmund Burke, An account of the European Settlements in America, 1757

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Selected biography

Barack Obama

Barack Obama (born August 4, 1961) is the 44th President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, Obama is a graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School, where he was president of the Harvard Law Review. He served three terms representing the 13th District in the Illinois Senate from 1997 to 2004, running unsuccessfully for the United States House of Representatives in 2000. He began his presidential campaign in 2007, and in 2008, after a close primary campaign against Hillary Clinton, he won sufficient delegates in the Democratic party primaries to receive the presidential nomination. He then defeated Republican nominee John McCain in the general election, and was inaugurated as president on January 20, 2009. Nine months later, Obama was named the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize laureate. In foreign policy, Obama ended U.S. military involvement in the Iraq War, increased troop levels in Afghanistan, signed the New START arms control treaty with Russia, ordered U.S. military involvement in Libya, and ordered the military operation that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden.

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