Status quo
Statu quo, a commonly used form of the original Latin "statu quo" – literally "the state in which" – is a Latin term meaning the current or existing state of affairs. To maintain the status quo is to keep the things the way they presently are. The related phrase status quo ante
Status quo ante
Status quo ante is Latin for "the way things were before" and incorporates the term status quo. In law, it refers to the objective of a temporary restraining order or a rescission in which the situation is restored to "the state in which previously" it existed...

, literally "the state in which before", means "the state of affairs that existed previously".

Political usage

The original phrase from 14th-century diplomatic Latin was in stat quo res erant ante bellum, meaning "in the state in which things were before the war". This gave rise to the shorter form status quo ante bellum
Status quo ante bellum
The term status quo ante bellum is Latin, meaning literally "the state in which things were before the war".The term was originally used in treaties to refer to the withdrawal of enemy troops and the restoration of prewar leadership. When used as such, it means that no side gains or loses...

"the state in which (it was) before war" (indicating the withdrawal of enemy troops and restoration of power to prewar leadership), as well as other variations such as status quo itself.

Arguing to preserve the status quo is usually done in the context of opposing a large, often radical change. The social movement
Social movement
Social movements are a type of group action. They are large informal groupings of individuals or organizations focused on specific political or social issues, in other words, on carrying out, resisting or undoing a social change....

 is an example of the status quo being challenged. The term frequently refers to the status of a large issue, such as the current culture or social climate of an entire society
A society, or a human society, is a group of people related to each other through persistent relations, or a large social grouping sharing the same geographical or virtual territory, subject to the same political authority and dominant cultural expectations...

 or nation
A nation may refer to a community of people who share a common language, culture, ethnicity, descent, and/or history. In this definition, a nation has no physical borders. However, it can also refer to people who share a common territory and government irrespective of their ethnic make-up...


Politicians sometimes refer to a status quo. Often there is a policy of deliberate ambiguity, referring to the status quo rather than formalizing the status. Clark Kerr
Clark Kerr
Clark Kerr was an American professor of economics and academic administrator. He was the first chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley and twelfth president of the University of California.- Early years :...

 is reported to have said, "The status quo is the only solution
Problem solving
Problem solving is a mental process and is part of the larger problem process that includes problem finding and problem shaping. Consideredthe most complex of all intellectual functions, problem solving has been defined as higher-order cognitive process that requires the modulation and control of...

 that cannot be veto
A veto, Latin for "I forbid", is the power of an officer of the state to unilaterally stop an official action, especially enactment of a piece of legislation...

ed", meaning that the status quo cannot simply be decided against; action must be taken if it is to change.
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.