The City-state reference article from the English Wikipedia on 24-Jul-2004
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A city-state is a region controlled exclusively by a city. City-states were common in the ancient period. A city state was sovereign, although many cities were joined in formal or informal leagues under a high king. Many historical empires or leagues were formed by the right of conquest, (see: Mycenae; Rome,) but many were formed under peaceful alliances or mutual protection (see: Hanseatic League; Peloponnesian League.)

Contemporary usage

Today the term can refer to the independent states of Monaco, Singapore and the Vatican City, as well as subnational units such as the German states of Berlin, Bremen and Hamburg. In China, the term is sometimes used for the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau.

See also: independent city

Historic usage

The many poleis of ancient Greece are classical examples. Other examples of city-states in history include:

See also: polis, nation-state