Self`-gov"ern*ment (?), n.
The act of governing one's self, or the state of being governed by one's self; self-control; self-command.
Hence, government of a community, state, or nation by the joint action of the mass of people constituting such a civil body; also, the state of being so governed; democratic government; democracy.
It is to self-government, the great principle of popular representation and administration, -- the system that lets in all to participate in the councels that are to assign the good or evil to all, -- that we may owe what we are and what we hope to be.
© Webster 1913.