A state is a political organization with a centralized government that maintains a monopoly by use of force within a certain geographical territory. Some states are sovereign, other states are subject to external sovereignty or hegemony, where supreme authority lies in another state; the term "state" applies to federated states that are members of a federation, in which sovereignty is shared between member states and a federal body. Speakers of American English use the terms "state" and "government" as synonyms, with both words referring to an organized political group that exercises authority over a particular territory. In British and Commonwealth English, "state" is the only term that has that meaning, while "the government" instead refers to the ministers and officials who set the political policy for the territory. Many human societies have been governed by states for millennia; the first states arose about 5,500 years ago in conjunction with rapid growth of cities, invention of writing, codification of new forms of religion.
Over time, a variety of different forms developed, employing a variety of justifications for their existence. Today, the modern nation-state is the predominant form of state; the word state and its cognates in some other European languages derive from the Latin word status, meaning "condition, circumstances". The English noun state in the generic sense "condition, circumstances" predates the political sense, it is introduced to Middle English c. 1200 both directly from Latin. With the revival of the Roman law in 14th-century Europe, the term came to refer to the legal standing of persons, in particular the special status of the king; the highest estates those with the most wealth and social rank, were those that held power. The word had associations with Roman ideas about the "status rei publicae", the "condition of public matters". In time, the word lost its reference to particular social groups and became associated with the legal order of the entire society and the apparatus of its enforcement.
The early 16th-century works of Machiavelli played a central role in popularizing the use of the word "state" in something similar to its modern sense. The contrasting of church and state still dates to the 16th century; the North American colonies were called "states" as early as the 1630s. The expression L'Etat, c'est moi attributed to Louis XIV of France is apocryphal, recorded in the late 18th century. There is no academic consensus on the most appropriate definition of the state; the term "state" refers to a set of different, but interrelated and overlapping, theories about a certain range of political phenomena. The act of defining the term can be seen as part of an ideological conflict, because different definitions lead to different theories of state function, as a result validate different political strategies. According to Jeffrey and Painter, "if we define the'essence' of the state in one place or era, we are liable to find that in another time or space something, understood to be a state has different'essential' characteristics".
Different definitions of the state place an emphasis either on the ‘means’ or the ‘ends’ of states. Means-related definitions include those by Max Weber and Charles Tilly, both of whom define the state according to its violent means. For Weber, the state "is a human community that claims the monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force within a given territory”, while Tilly characterises them as "coercion-wielding organisations". Ends-related definitions emphasis instead the teleological aims and purposes of the state. Marxist thought regards the ends of the state as being the perpetuation of class domination in favour of the ruling class which, under the capitalist mode of production, is the bourgeoisie; the state exists to defend the ruling class's claims to private property and its capturing of surplus profits at the expense of the proletariat. Indeed, Marx claimed that "the executive of the modern state is nothing but a committee for managing the common affairs of the whole bourgeoisie".
Liberal thought provides another possible teleology of the state. According to John Locke, the goal of the state/commonwealth was "the preservation of property", with'property' in Locke's work referring not only to personal possessions but to one's life and liberty. On this account, the state provides the basis for social cohesion and productivity, creating incentives for wealth creation by providing guarantees of protection for one's life and personal property. Jinnah favoured a state with the least functions, he was of the opinion that until society becomes self-regulative and self-evolving and until the individual becomes perfect, the state, so long, would be necessary. The most used definition is Max Weber's, which describes the state as a compulsory political organization with a centralized government that maintains a monopoly of the legitimate use of force within a certain territory. General categories of state institutions include administrative bureaucracies, legal systems, military or religious organizations.
Another accepted definition of the state is the one given at the Montevideo Convention on Rights and Duties of States in 1933. It provides that "he state as a person of i
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the Federal Government of the United States. The legislature consists of two chambers: the House of the Senate; the Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D. C.. Both senators and representatives are chosen through direct election, though vacancies in the Senate may be filled by a gubernatorial appointment. Congress has 535 voting members: 100 senators; the House of Representatives has six non-voting members representing Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, the U. S. Virgin Islands, the District of Columbia in addition to its 435 voting members. Although they cannot vote in the full house, these members can address the house and vote in congressional committees, introduce legislation; the members of the House of Representatives serve two-year terms representing the people of a single constituency, known as a "district". Congressional districts are apportioned to states by population using the United States Census results, provided that each state has at least one congressional representative.
Each state, regardless of population or size, has two senators. There are 100 senators representing the 50 states; each senator is elected at-large in their state for a six-year term, with terms staggered, so every two years one-third of the Senate is up for election. To be eligible for election, a candidate must be aged at least 25 or 30, have been a citizen of the United States for seven or nine years, be an inhabitant of the state which they represent; the Congress was created by the Constitution of the United States and first met in 1789, replacing in its legislative function the Congress of the Confederation. Although not mandated, in practice since the 19th century, Congress members are affiliated with the Republican Party or with the Democratic Party and only with a third party or independents. Article One of the United States Constitution states, "All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives."
The House and Senate are equal partners in the legislative process—legislation cannot be enacted without the consent of both chambers. However, the Constitution grants each chamber some unique powers; the Senate ratifies treaties and approves presidential appointments while the House initiates revenue-raising bills. The House initiates impeachment cases. A two-thirds vote of the Senate is required before an impeached person can be forcibly removed from office; the term Congress can refer to a particular meeting of the legislature. A Congress covers two years; the Congress ends on the third day of January of every odd-numbered year. Members of the Senate are referred to as senators. Scholar and representative Lee H. Hamilton asserted that the "historic mission of Congress has been to maintain freedom" and insisted it was a "driving force in American government" and a "remarkably resilient institution". Congress is the "heart and soul of our democracy", according to this view though legislators achieve the prestige or name recognition of presidents or Supreme Court justices.
One analyst argues that it is not a reactive institution but has played an active role in shaping government policy and is extraordinarily sensitive to public pressure. Several academics described Congress: Congress reflects us in all our strengths and all our weaknesses, it reflects our regional idiosyncrasies, our ethnic and racial diversity, our multitude of professions, our shadings of opinion on everything from the value of war to the war over values. Congress is the government's most representative body... Congress is charged with reconciling our many points of view on the great public policy issues of the day. Congress is changing and is in flux. In recent times, the American south and west have gained House seats according to demographic changes recorded by the census and includes more minorities and women although both groups are still underrepresented. While power balances among the different parts of government continue to change, the internal structure of Congress is important to understand along with its interactions with so-called intermediary institutions such as political parties, civic associations, interest groups, the mass media.
The Congress of the United States serves two distinct purposes that overlap: local representation to the federal government of a congressional district by representatives and a state's at-large representation to the federal government by senators. Most incumbents seek re-election, their historical likelihood of winning subsequent elections exceeds 90 percent; the historical records of the House of Representatives and the Senate are maintained by the Center for Legislative Archives, a part of the National Archives and Records Administration. Congress is directly responsible for the governing of the District of Columbia, the current seat of the federal government; the First Continental Congress was a gathering of representatives from twelve of the thirteen British Colonies in North America. On July 4, 1776, the Second Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence, referring to the new nation as the "United States of America"; the Articles of Confederation in 1781 created the Congress of the Confederation, a