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Head of state

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George Washington was the head of state of the United States between 1789 and 1797.

A head of state or chief of state is a person who officially represents a country. It is depending on the form of government, how a head of state is called. In republics, the head of state is mostly called a president, while in monarchies the head of state is called a monarch (or with his/her title).

A head of state can have much power or less to no power at all. For example, the president of the United States and the president of France have political influence. On the other hand, the queen of the United Kingdom and the president of Germany have no power at all. In the last countries, the head of state is a ceremonial role. In republics, the head of state is often chosen in elections for a period of time, while in most monarchies the function of head of state is a family matter and often takes to the persons death of abdication. In a republic as well as a monarchy, the head of state personifies the state as a unity within the country and outside the country.