Head of state  

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Pyramid of Capitalist System, anonymous American cartoon (1911)
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Pyramid of Capitalist System, anonymous American cartoon (1911)
Napoleon was a Emperor of the French Illustration: Napoléon Bonaparte abdicated in Fontainebleau (1845) by Paul Delaroche
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Napoleon was a Emperor of the French
Illustration: Napoléon Bonaparte abdicated in Fontainebleau (1845) by Paul Delaroche

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Head of state is the generic term for the individual or collective office that serves as the chief public representative of a monarchy, republic, federation, commonwealth or other kind of state. His or her role generally includes personifying the continuity and legitimacy of the state and exercising the political powers, functions and duties granted to the head of state in the country's constitution and laws. In nation states the head of state is often thought of as the official "leader" of the nation.

Charles de Gaulle described the role he envisaged for the French president when he wrote the modern French constitution, stating the head of state should embody "the spirit of the nation" for the nation itself and the world: une certaine idée de la France (a certain idea about France). Today many countries expect their head of state to embody national values in a similar fashion.


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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Head of state" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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