In politics, a political convention may refer to a meeting of a political party, typically to select party candidates. The term may also refer to international bilateral or multilateral meetings on state-level, like the convention of the Anglo-Russian Entente (1907).
In the United States, a political convention usually refers to a presidential nominating convention, but it can also refer to state, county, or congressional district nominating conventions. In Canada, a political convention held to choose a party leader is often known as a leadership convention. The new leader of a party may then become prime minister.
Article V of the United States Constitution also makes provisions for electing national conventions to propose constitutional amendments, and/or state conventions to ratify them. (The latter method has been used just once in American history; the former, never.)
Outside the United States and Canada, national meetings of political parties are often called party congresses, or party conferences, as in the United Kingdom, or the "Parteitag" in Germany.
The first political convention held in America took place in Hartford, Connecticut in March 1766. The meeting was organized by the Sons of Liberty, who, in challenging incumbent governor Thomas Fitch, nominated William Pitkin for governor and Jonathan Trumbull for deputy governor.