To install click the Add extension button. That's it.

The source code for the WIKI 2 extension is being checked by specialists of the Mozilla Foundation, Google, and Apple. You could also do it yourself at any point in time.

Kelly Slayton
Congratulations on this excellent venture… what a great idea!
Alexander Grigorievskiy
I use WIKI 2 every day and almost forgot how the original Wikipedia looks like.
What we do. Every page goes through several hundred of perfecting techniques; in live mode. Quite the same Wikipedia. Just better.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A city-state is an independent sovereign city which serves as the center of political, economic, and cultural life over its contiguous territory.[1] They have existed in many parts of the world since the dawn of history, including cities such as Rome, Carthage, Athens and Sparta and the Italian city-states during the Middle Ages and Renaissance, such as Florence, Venice, Genoa and Milan.

With the rise of nation states worldwide, there remains some disagreement on the number of modern city-states that still exist; Singapore, Monaco and Vatican City are the candidates most commonly discussed. Out of these, Singapore is the largest and most populous, and is generally considered to be the last real city-state left in the world, with full sovereignty, international borders, its own currency, a robust military, and substantial international influence in its own right.[2] The Economist refers to the nation as the "world's only fully functioning city-state".[3]

Several non-sovereign cities enjoy a high degree of autonomy and are often confused for city-states. Hong Kong, Macau,[4][5] and members of the United Arab Emirates—most notably Dubai and Abu Dhabi—are often cited as such.[6][7][8]

YouTube Encyclopedic

  • 1/5
    188 637
    29 588
    78 441
    1 012 750
    197 559
  • What is a City-State?
  • City-States
  • How Did Greek City-States Work?
  • Why are there so few city-states?
  • Rise of the City States in Italy 📜 Renaissance (Part 1)


Historical background

Ancient and medieval world

The Republic of Ragusa, a maritime city-state, was based in the walled city of Dubrovnik

Historical city-states included Sumerian cities such as Uruk and Ur; Ancient Egyptian city-states, such as Thebes and Memphis; the Phoenician cities (such as Tyre and Sidon); the five Philistine city-states; the Berber city-states of the Garamantes; the city-states of ancient Greece (the poleis such as Athens, Sparta, Thebes, and Corinth); the Roman Republic (which grew from a city-state into a vast empire); the Italian city-states from the Middle Ages to the early modern period, such as Florence, Siena, Ferrara, Milan (which as they grew in power began to dominate neighboring cities) and Genoa and Venice, which became powerful thalassocracies; the Mayan and other cultures of pre-Columbian Mesoamerica (including cities such as Chichen Itza, Tikal, Copán and Monte Albán); the central Asian cities along the Silk Road; the city-states of the Swahili coast; Ragusa; states of the medieval Russian lands such as Novgorod and Pskov;[9] and many others. Danish historian Poul Holm has classed the Viking colonial cities in medieval Ireland, most importantly the Kingdom of Dublin, as city-states.[10]

In Cyprus, the Phoenician settlement of Kition (in present-day Larnaca) was a city-state that existed from around 800 BC until the end of the 4th century BC.

Some of the most well-known examples of city-state culture in human history are the ancient Greek city-states and the merchant city-states of Renaissance Italy, which organised themselves as independent centers. The success of regional units coexisting as autonomous actors in loose geographical and cultural unity, as in Italy and Greece, often prevented their amalgamation into larger national units.[citation needed] However, such small political entities often survived only for short periods because they lacked the resources to defend themselves against incursions by larger states (such as Roman conquest of Greece). Thus they inevitably gave way to larger organisations of society, including the empire and the nation-state.[11][need quotation to verify]

Central Europe

The Free imperial cities as of 1792.

In the Holy Roman Empire (962–1806) over 80 Free Imperial Cities came to enjoy considerable autonomy in the Middle Ages and in early modern times, buttressed legally by international law following the Peace of Westphalia of 1648. Some, like three of the earlier Hanseatic citiesBremen, Hamburg and Lübeck – pooled their economic relations with foreign powers and were able to wield considerable diplomatic clout. Individual cities often made protective alliances with other cities or with neighbouring regions, including the Hanseatic League (1358 – 17th century), the Swabian League of Cities (1331–1389), the Décapole (1354–1679) in the Alsace, or the Old Swiss Confederacy (c. 1300 – 1798). The Swiss cantons of Zürich, Bern, Lucerne, Fribourg, Solothurn, Basel, Schaffhausen, and Geneva originated as city-states.

After the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806, some cities – then members of different confederacies – officially became sovereign city-states, such as the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen (1806–11 and again 1813–71), the Free City of Frankfurt upon Main (1815–66), the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg (1806–11 and again 1814–71), the Free and Hanseatic City of Lübeck (1806–11 and again 1813–71), and the Free City of Kraków (1815–1846). Under Habsburg rule the city of Fiume had the status of a corpus separatum (1779–1919), which – while falling short of an independent sovereignty – had many attributes of a city-state.[citation needed]


Italy in 1494, after the Peace of Lodi

In Northern and Central Italy during the medieval and Renaissance periods, city-states — with various amounts of associated land — became the standard form of polity. Some of them, despite being de facto independent states, were formally part of the Holy Roman Empire. The era of the Italian states, in particular from the 11th to the 15th centuries, featured remarkable economic development, trade, manufacture, and mercantile capitalism, together with increasing urbanization, with remarkable influence throughout much of the Mediterranean world and Europe as a whole. During this time, most of the Italian city-states were ruled by one person, such as the Signoria or by a dynasty, such as the House of Gonzaga and the House of Sforza.[12]

Examples of Italian city-states during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance

Southeast Asia

In the history of Mainland Southeast Asia, aristocratic groups, Buddhist leaders, and others organized settlements into autonomous or semi-autonomous city-states. These were referred to as mueang, and were usually related in a tributary relationship now described as mandala or as over-lapping sovereignty, in which smaller city-states paid tribute to larger ones that paid tribute to still larger ones—until reaching the apex in cities like Ayutthaya, Bagan, Bangkok and others that served as centers of Southeast Asian royalty. The system existed until the 19th century, when colonization by European powers occurred. Siam, a regional power at the time, needed to define their territories for negotiation with the European powers so the Siamese government established a nation-state system, incorporated their tributary cities (Lan Xang, Cambodia and some Malay cities) into their territory and abolished the mueang and the tributary system.[14][need quotation to verify][15][16]

In early Philippine history, the barangay was a complex sociopolitical unit which scholars have historically[17] considered the dominant organizational pattern among the various peoples of the Philippine archipelago.[18] These sociopolitical units were sometimes also referred to as barangay states, but are more properly referred to using the technical term polity.[18][19] Evidence suggests a considerable degree of independence as city states ruled by Datus, Rajahs and Sultans.[20] Early chroniclers[21] record that the name evolved from the term balangay, which refers to a plank boat widely used by various cultures of the Philippine archipelago prior to the arrival of European colonizers.[18]

20th-century cities under international supervision


The Free City of Danzig was a semi-autonomous city-state that existed between 1920 and 1939, consisting of the Baltic Sea port of Danzig (now Gdańsk, Poland) and nearly 200 towns in the surrounding areas. It was created on 15 November 1920[22][23] under the terms of Article 100 (Section XI of Part III) of the 1919 Treaty of Versailles after the end of World War I.


After a prolonged period where the city of Fiume enjoyed considerable autonomy under Habsburg rule (see Corpus separatum (Fiume)), The Free State of Fiume was proclaimed as a fully independent free state which existed between 1920 and 1924. Its territory of 28 km2 (11 sq mi) comprised the city of Fiume (now in Croatia and, since the end of World War II, known as Rijeka) and rural areas to its north, with a corridor to its west connecting it to Italy.[citation needed]


Under the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine of 1947, Mandatory Palestine was to be partitioned into three states: a Jewish state of Israel, an Arab state of Palestine, and a corpus separatum (Latin for "separated body") consisting of a Jerusalem city-state under the control of United Nations Trusteeship Council. Although the plan had some international support and the UN accepted this proposal (and still officially holds the stance that Jerusalem should be held under this regime), implementation of the plan failed as the 1948 Palestine war broke out with the 1947–48 Civil War in Mandatory Palestine, ultimately resulting in Jerusalem being split into West Jerusalem and East Jerusalem. Israel would eventually gain control of East Jerusalem in the Six-Day War in 1967.[citation needed]


The Klaipėda Region or Memel Territory was defined by the Treaty of Versailles in 1920 when it was put under the administration of the Council of Ambassadors. The Memel Territory was to remain under the control of the League of Nations until a future day when the people of the region would be allowed to vote on whether the land would return to Germany or not. The then predominantly ethnic German Memel Territory (Prussian Lithuanians and Memellanders constituted the other ethnic groups), situated between the river and the town of that name, was occupied by Lithuania in the Klaipėda Revolt of 1923.[citation needed]


Some proposals for the partition of the Ottoman Empire envisaged international zones at Istanbul/Constantinople or the wider Turkish straits,[24] and possibly also at Izmir/Smyrna.[25] Although the allies of World War I occupied both after the 1918 Armistice of Mudros, the British-led occupation of Istanbul recognised Turkey as de jure sovereign, while the Greek occupation of Smyrna was an attempted annexation. The 1923 Treaty of Lausanne re-established Turkish control of both areas.[citation needed]


The Shanghai International Settlement (1845–1943) was an international zone with its own legal system, postal service, and currency.



The international zone within the city of Tangier, in North Africa was approximately 373 km2 (144 sq mi). It was at first under the joint administration of France, Spain, and the United Kingdom, plus later Portugal, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, Sweden, and the United States. The international zone was initially attached to Morocco. It then became a French-Spanish protectorate from 1923 until 29 October 1956, when it was reintegrated into the state of Morocco.[citation needed]


The Free Territory of Trieste was an independent territory situated in Central Europe between northern Italy and Yugoslavia, facing the north part of the Adriatic Sea, under direct responsibility of the United Nations Security Council in the aftermath of World War II, from 1947 to 1954. The UN attempted to make the Free Territory of Trieste into a city state, but it never gained real independence and in 1954 its territory was divided between Italy and Yugoslavia.[citation needed]

West Berlin

In the 20th century West Berlin, though lacking sovereignty, functioned from 1948 until 1990 as a state legally not belonging to any other state, but ruled by the Western Allies. They allowed – notwithstanding their overlordship as occupant powers – its internal organisation as one state simultaneously being a city, officially called Berlin (West). Though West Berlin maintained close ties to the West German Federal Republic, it never legally formed a part of it.[citation needed]

Modern city-states

Vatican City

Vatican City, a city-state well known for being the smallest country in the world

Until September 1870, the city of Rome had been controlled by the pope as part of his Papal States. When King Victor Emmanuel II seized the city in 1870, Pope Pius IX refused to recognize the newly formed Kingdom of Italy.

Because he could not travel without effectively acknowledging the authority of the king, Pius IX and his successors each claimed to be a "Prisoner in the Vatican", unable to leave the 0.44 km2 (0.17 sq mi) papal enclave once they had ascended the papal throne.

The impasse was resolved in 1929 by the Lateran Treaties negotiated by the Italian dictator Benito Mussolini between King Victor Emmanuel III and Pope Pius XI. Under this treaty, Vatican City was recognized as an independent state, with the Pope as its head. The Vatican City State has its own citizenship, diplomatic corps, flag, and postage stamps. With a population of less than 1,000 (mostly clergymen), it is by far the smallest sovereign country in the world.

Monaco, known for its casino, royalty and scenic harbour
Singapore, modern city-state and island country


The Principality of Monaco is a very small independent city-state bordering France. Monaco-Ville (the ancient fortified city) and Monaco's well-known area Monte Carlo are districts of a continuous urban zone, not distinct cities, though they were three separate municipalities (communes) until 1917. The Principality of Monaco and the city of Monaco (each having specific powers) govern the same territory. Though they maintain a small military, largely for ceremonial purposes, they would still have to rely on France for defence in the face of an aggressive power.[citation needed]


Singapore is an island city-state in Southeast Asia bordering Malaysia to the north and Indonesia to the south. About 5.6 million people live and work within 728.3 square kilometres (281.2 sq mi),[26] making Singapore the 2nd-most-densely populated country in the world after Monaco. Singapore was part of the Federation of Malaysia for two years before it was expelled from the federation in 1965, becoming an independent republic, a city and a sovereign country. The Economist refers to the nation as the "world's only fully functioning city-state".[3] In particular, it has its own currency, a large commercial airport, one of the busiest trans-shipment maritime ports in the world, and fully fledged armed forces to safeguard the nation's sovereignty against potential regional aggressors.[3][27][28]

States with similar characteristics

A number of other small states share many of these characteristics, and are sometimes cited as modern city-states. Luxembourg, Djibouti,[29] Qatar,[30][31] Brunei,[6] Kuwait,[6][30][32] Bahrain,[6][30] and Malta[33][34][35] are each politically and economically centered on a single city; in the cases of Luxembourg, Djibouti and Kuwait, this primate city is so dominant as to give its name to the country. These countries are distinct from true city-states such as Singapore in that they comprise both their primate city (such as Luxembourg City) and a number of peripheral cities and towns (such as Esch-sur-Alzette and ten other towns in Luxembourg) with autonomous municipal authorities, and may also include substantial rural areas (such as the sparsely-populated Éislek forest of northern Luxembourg).[citation needed]

Occasionally, microstates with high population densities such as San Marino are cited as city-states, despite lacking a large urban centre.[6][7][36]

Non-sovereign city-states

The city of Hong Kong enjoys a high degree of autonomy, and is sometimes considered a city-state.

Some cities or urban areas, while not sovereign states, may nevertheless be constituent states of a federation, or enjoy a high degree of autonomy. As such, they function as "city-states" within the context of the sovereign state to which they belong. Historian Mogens Herman Hansen describes this aspect of self-government as: "The city-state is a self-governing, but not necessarily independent political unit."[6] A city with more limited self-government may be referred to as an independent city.[citation needed]

Some non-sovereign cities which have a high degree of autonomy, and have been described as city-states, include:

The city of Basel, located on the Rhine, is a historic city-state and a Swiss canton.

Some cities that are constituent states in a federation, and as such can be accurately described as non-sovereign city-states with a high degree of autonomy, include:

Proposed city-states


The London independence movement seeks a city-state separate from the United Kingdom.[44]

See also


  1. ^ "city-state | Definition, History, & Facts". Encyclopedia Britannica. Archived from the original on 23 November 2018. Retrieved 19 April 2020.
  2. ^ Brimelow, Ben. "How a tiny city-state became a military powerhouse with the best air force and navy in Southeast Asia". Business Insider. Archived from the original on 8 April 2018. Retrieved 15 October 2020.
  3. ^ a b c Long, Simon (18 July 2015). "The Singapore exception" (PDF). The Economist. Archived (PDF) from the original on 25 November 2023.
  4. ^ "City-states never disappeared: Hamburg, Hong Kong, Singapore". Tomorrow.Mag. 6 September 2019. Archived from the original on 24 September 2020. Retrieved 15 October 2020.
  5. ^ "Capital Facts for Hong Kong". World's Capital Cities. 16 September 2020. Archived from the original on 23 April 2021. Retrieved 15 October 2020.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i Hansen, Mogens. 2000. "Introduction: The Concepts of City-States and City-State Culture." In A Comparative Study of Thirty City-State Cultures, Copenhagen: Copenhagen Polis Centre. Pg. 19
  7. ^ a b c Parker, Geoffrey. 2005. Sovereign City: The City-state Through History Archived 15 December 2022 at the Wayback Machine Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 9781861892195, 1861892195. doi:10.2747/0272-3638.28.4.398.
  8. ^ a b Kotkin, Joel. 2010. "A New Era for the City-State?" In Forbes.
  9. ^ Alcock, Antony Evelyn (1998). A short history of Europe: from the Greeks and Romans to the present day. Houndmills: MacMillan. p. 84. ISBN 978-0-333-64830-8.
  10. ^ Holm, Poul, "Viking Dublin and the City-State Concept: Parameters and Significance of the Hiberno-Norse Settlement" (Respondent: Donnchadh Ó Corráin), in Mogens Herman Hansen (ed.), A Comparative Study of Thirty City-State Cultures Archived 21 June 2013 at the Wayback Machine. Denmark: Special-Trykkeriet Viborg. (University of Copenhagen, Polis Center). 2000. pp. 251–62.
  11. ^ Sri Aurobindo, "Ideal of Human Unity" included in Social and Political Thought, 1970.
  12. ^ "Italy - Italy in the 14th and 15th centuries". Encyclopedia Britannica. Archived from the original on 25 February 2008. Retrieved 12 May 2021.
  13. ^ Haney, John (1987). Cesare Borgia. World leaders past & present. New York: Chelsea House. p. 74. ISBN 9780877545958. Retrieved 4 October 2020. [...] the duchy of Ferrara — a small but strategically important city-state situated between Venice and the Romagna.
  14. ^ Scott, James C. (2009). The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia. Yale agrarian studies. Yale University Press. ISBN 9780300156522. Retrieved 8 October 2017.
  15. ^ Winichakul, Thongchai. 1997. Siam Mapped: A History of the Geo-Body of a Nation. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press
  16. ^ Baker, Chris and Pasuk Phongpaichit. 2009. A History of Thailand: 2nd ed. Sydney: Cambridge University Press
  17. ^ Quezon, Manolo (2 October 2017). "The Explainer: Bamboozled by the barangay". ABS-CBN News. Archived from the original on 2 October 2017. Retrieved 4 October 2017.
  18. ^ a b c Junker, Laura Lee (2000). Raiding, Trading, and Feasting: The Political Economy of Philippine Chiefdoms. Ateneo de Manila University Press. pp. 74, 130. ISBN 9789715503471. ISBN 971-550-347-0, ISBN 978-971-550-347-1.
  19. ^ Junker, Laura Lee (1990). "The Organization of Intra-Regional and Long-Distance Trade in Pre-Hispanic Philippine Complex Societies". Asian Perspectives. 29 (2): 167–209.
  20. ^ Carley, Michael; Smith, Harry (5 November 2013). Urban Development and Civil Society: The Role of Communities in Sustainable Cities. Routledge. ISBN 9781134200504. Archived from the original on 4 February 2018. Retrieved 7 May 2018 – via Google Books.
  21. ^ Plasencia, Fray Juan de (1589). "Customs of the Tagalogs". Nagcarlan, Laguna. Archived from the original on 23 January 2009.
  22. ^ Loew, Peter Oliver (February 2011). Danzig – Biographie einer Stadt (in German). C.H. Beck. p. 189. ISBN 978-3-406-60587-1. Archived from the original on 30 March 2023. Retrieved 24 May 2020.
  23. ^ Samerski, Stefan (2003). Das Bistum Danzig in Lebensbildern (in German). LIT Verlag. p. 8. ISBN 3-8258-6284-4. Archived from the original on 30 March 2023. Retrieved 24 May 2020.
  24. ^
  25. ^ Tusan, Michelle (15 June 2023). The Last Treaty: Lausanne and the End of the First World War in the Middle East. Cambridge University Press. p. 155. ISBN 978-1-009-37108-7.
  26. ^ "Environment". Base. Archived from the original on 19 July 2019. Retrieved 21 February 2021.
  27. ^ Oliver, Robert T. (1989). Leadership in Asia : persuasive communication in the making of nations. Newark: University of Delaware Press. p. 200. ISBN 087413353X.
  28. ^ Quah, Euston (30 July 2015). Singapore 2065 : leading insights on economy and environment from 50 Singapore icons and beyond. Singapore: World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd. ISBN 978-9814663397.
  29. ^ "Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs, Volume 2." Archived 9 April 2023 at the Wayback Machine United States Congress House Committee on Appropriations. Subcommittee on Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs. April 15, 1992. Page 239: "The Republic of Djibouti is in effect a city - state, with few natural resources, few trained workers, no permanent streams and very little arable land. Some 75% of the population live in the capital city, the economy of which is focused on the port, airport, railway, the French garrison, and the re-export of consumer goods."
  30. ^ a b c Parker, Geoffrey. 2005. Sovereign City: The City-state Through History Chicago: University of Chicago Press. p. 219
  31. ^ Roberts, David. 2014. Qatar: Securing the Global Ambitions of a City-state. London: C Hurst & Co Publishers Ltd.
  32. ^ El-Katiri, Laura, Bassam Fattouh and Paul Segal. 2011 Anatomy of an oil-based welfare state: rent distribution in Kuwait. Kuwait City: Kuwait Programme on Development, Governance and Globalisation in the Gulf States
  33. ^ "The emblem of Malta, Department of Information, Official Website of President of Malta". Archived from the original on 22 October 2013. Retrieved 20 October 2013.
  34. ^ "Draft National Strategy for the Cultural and Creative Industries – Creative Malta". Archived from the original on 28 July 2013. Retrieved 20 October 2013.
  35. ^ "Malta". European Central Bank. Archived from the original on 7 April 2014. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
  36. ^ Mogens, Hansen. 2002. A Comparative Study of Six City-State Cultures: An Investigation p. 91
  37. ^ Lulat, Y. G.-M. (2015). A History of African Higher Education from Antiquity to the Present. Greenwood Publishing. p. 197. ISBN 9780313320613. Archived from the original on 2 November 2017.
  38. ^ Europe Since 1945: An Encyclopedia, Bernard A. Cook p.506, ISBN 0815313365 [1] Archived 9 April 2023 at the Wayback Machine
  39. ^ "Qué dice la Ley Cafiero" (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 28 March 2012. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
  40. ^ City of Vienna, "From the Capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire to the Capital of the Republic - History of Vienna". Archived 14 April 2023 at the Wayback Machine, retrieved 17 May 2010.
  41. ^ "Constitution of Mexico City" (PDF) (in Spanish). Gobierno de la Ciudad de México. Archived (PDF) from the original on 15 July 2022. Retrieved 8 February 2021.
  42. ^ Договор между Российской Федерацией и Республикой Крым о принятии в Российскую Федерацию Республики Крым и образовании в составе Российской Федерации новых субъектов Archived 19 March 2015 at the Wayback Machine (Treaty Between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Crimea on Ascension to the Russian Federation of the Republic of Crimea and on Establishment of New Subjects Within the Russian Federation) (in Russian)
  43. ^ Canton of Basel-Stadt Archived 23 January 2020 at the Wayback Machine Welcome
  44. ^ "'Londependence' May Be a Dream, but More Autonomy for the City Is Not". The New York Times. 28 June 2016. Archived from the original on 21 March 2017. Retrieved 2 March 2017.

Further reading

External links

This page was last edited on 7 June 2024, at 06:32
Basis of this page is in Wikipedia. Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported License. Non-text media are available under their specified licenses. Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. WIKI 2 is an independent company and has no affiliation with Wikimedia Foundation.