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A state government is the government of a country subdivision in a federal form of government, which shares political power with the federal or national government. A state government may have some level of political autonomy, or be subject to the direct control of the federal government. This relationship may be defined by a constitution.
The reference to "state" denotes country subdivisions that are officially or widely known as "states", and should not be confused with a "sovereign state". Most federations designate their federal units "state" or the equivalent term in the local language; however, in some federations, other designations are used such as Oblast or Republic. Some federations are asymmetric, designating greater powers to some federal units than others.
Provinces are usually divisions of unitary states but occasionally the designation is also given to the federal units such as the Provinces of Argentina or Canada. Their governments, which are also provincial governments, are not the subject of this article. Many people confuse the state with city governments, and while a small ticket or small crime will be overlooked by the federal government and handled by the state or city government, that are not the same.

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