Martial law

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Martial law is military-enforced suppression invoked by a government to subjugate the citizens after civilian law enforcement fails to maintain order. Basic freedoms, such as free speech, are suspended and democracy is often ended also.

Unless caused by a natural disaster or invasion by an enemy, the imposition of martial law is typically a step towards a totalitarian state.[1]

References

  1. http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/martial%20law