In history, a colony is a territory under the immediate complete political control and occupied by settlers of a state, distinct from the home territory of the sovereign. For colonies in antiquity, city-states would often found their own colonies. Some colonies were historically countries, while others were territories without definite statehood from their inception. The metropolitan state is the state that rules the colony. In Ancient Greece, the city that founded a colony was known as the metropolis. "Mother country" is a reference to the metropolitan state from the point of view of citizens who live in its colony. There is a United Nations list of Non-Self-Governing Territories. Unlike a puppet state or satellite state, a colony has no independent international representation, and its top-level administration is under direct control of the metropolitan state. The term informal colony is used by some historians to refer to a country under the de facto control of another state, although this term is often contentious.
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