Encyclopedia  |   World Factbook  |   World Flags  |   Reference Tables  |   List of Lists     
   Academic Disciplines  |   Historical Timeline  |   Themed Timelines  |   Biographies  |   How-Tos     
Sponsor by The Tattoo Collection
Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index


A congress is a gathering of people.

Congress is the name of the main legislative body in a state that operates under a congressional system of government.

A congress is different from a parliament in that legislative initiative is vested into it. In a congressional system the executive and legislative branches of government are clearly differentiated. The office as Head of State (president) and Head of Government (prime minister) are typically merged, and the members of cabinet are only rarely taken from the congress.

Countries with Congresses:

Congress is included in the name of several political parties:

Congress has also been used to describe certain historical gatherings of independence-minded nationalists or revolutionaries:

(Note, the politicial parties mentioned above also began as groups of this type)

Many parties also have a Party Congress which is held every few years to make decisions for the party and elected governing bodies. There are sometimes called political conventions.