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 branch of social science that studies 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...)
The Saint-Sylvestre coup d'état was a coup d'état staged by Jean-Bédel Bokassa, leader of the Central African Republic army, and his military officers against the government of President David Dacko on 31 December 1965 and 1 January 1966. Dacko was aware that Bokassa had made plans to take over his government, and countered by forming the gendarmerie headed by Jean Izamo. Bokassa and his men started the coup on New Year's Eve in 1965 by first capturing Izamo and locking him in a cellar at Camp de Roux. They then occupied the capital, Bangui, and overpowered the gendarmerie and other resistance. After midnight, Dacko was arrested and forced to resign from office and then imprisoned at Camp Kassaï. According to official reports, eight people died while resisting the coup. Izamo was tortured to death within a month, but Dacko's life was spared due to foreign intervention. Soon after the coup, Bokassa dissolved the National Assembly, abolished the Constitution and issued a number of decrees, banning begging, female circumcision, and polygamy, among other things. Bokassa initially struggled to obtain international recognition for his regime, but the new government eventually obtained recognition from other African nations.
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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
- April 1, 1979 – Iran's government becomes an Islamic Republic by a 98% vote, overthrowing the Shah officially.
- April 9, 1948 – the period known as La Violencia begins with the assassination of Colombian Liberal Party leader Jorge Eliécer Gaitán. For the next ten years Liberals, Communists and Conservatives would fight each other in the conflict.
- April 9, 2003 – Government of Saddam Hussein overthrown by American forces in Iraq.
- April 19, 2006 – Han Myung-sook becomes South Korea's first female Prime Minister.
- April 24, 2005 – Presidential elections in Togo return Faure Gnassingbe to power two months after he was installed by the military following the death of his father, Gnassingbé Eyadéma.
- April 28, 1937 – Saddam Hussein, the President of Iraq was born.
- April 30, 1945 – Adolf Hitler and his wife Eva Braun, commit suicide as the Red Army approached the Führerbunker in Berlin. Karl Dönitz succeeds Hitler as President of Germany; Joseph Goebbels succeeds Hitler as Chancellor of Germany.