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Meeting in the Hall of Knights in The Hague during the Congress of Europe, 1948

A congress is a formal meeting of the representatives of different countries, constituent states, organizations, trade unions, political parties or other groups.[1] The term originated in Late Middle English to denote an encounter (meeting of adversaries) during battle, from the Latin congressus.[2]

In the mid-1770s, the term was chosen by the 13 British colonies for the Continental Congress to emphasize the status of each colony represented there as a self-governing entity. Subsequent to the use of congress as the name for the legislature of the U.S. federal government (beginning in 1789), the term has been adopted by many nations to refer to their national legislatures.

Political congress[edit]

Congresses of nations[edit]

The following congresses were formal meetings of representatives of different nations:

Congresses within nations[edit]

Countries with Congresses and presidential systems:

"Indian National Congress"[edit]

Historic congresses[edit]

Other countries with Congresses[edit]

Political parties and organizations[edit]

Congress is included in the name of several political parties, especially those in former British colonies:

Party congresses[edit]

Many political parties also have a party congress every few years to make decisions for the party and elect governing bodies. This is sometimes called a political convention.

Miscellaneous political congresses[edit]

Labor congresses[edit]

Non-political congresses[edit]

Scientific congress[edit]

Congress is an alternative name for a large national or international academic conference.

For instance, the World Congress on Men's Health [1] is an annual meeting on men's medical issues.

Athletic sports congress[edit]

Organizations in some athletic sports, such as bowling, have historically been named "congresses". The predecessors to the United States Bowling Congress, formed in 1995, were the male-only American Bowling Congress founded in 1895, and the female-only Women's International Bowling Congress founded in 1927, which combined in 1995 to form the USBC.

Chess congress[edit]

Chess congress

A Chess congress is a chess tournament, in one city, where a large number of contestants gather to play competitive chess over a limited period of time; typically one day to one week.


  1. ^ "congress". Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English Online. London, England, UK: Longman. Retrieved June 12, 2013.
  2. ^ "congress". Oxford English Dictionry Online. Oxford, England, UK: Oxford University Press. Retrieved March 9, 2018.

External links[edit]