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A nation state is a political unit where the state and
nation A nation is a community of people formed on the basis of a combination of shared features such as language, history, ethnicity, culture and/or society. A nation is thus the collective Identity (social science), identity of a group of people unde ...
are congruent. It is a more precise concept than "
country A country is a distinct part of the world, such as a state (polity), state, nation, or other polity, political entity. It may be a sovereign state or make up one part of a larger state. For example, the country of Japan is an independent, so ...
", since a country does not need to have a predominant
ethnic group An ethnic group or an ethnicity is a grouping of people who identity (social science), identify with each other on the basis of shared attributes that distinguish them from other groups. Those attributes can include common sets of traditions, an ...
. A
nation A nation is a community of people formed on the basis of a combination of shared features such as language, history, ethnicity, culture and/or society. A nation is thus the collective Identity (social science), identity of a group of people unde ...
, in the sense of a common
ethnicity An ethnic group or an ethnicity is a grouping of people who identity (social science), identify with each other on the basis of shared attributes that distinguish them from other groups. Those attributes can include common sets of traditions, an ...
, may include a
diaspora A diaspora ( ) is a population that is scattered across regions which are separate from its geographic place of origin. Historically, the word was used first in reference to the dispersion of Greek diaspora, Greeks in the Hellenic world, and ...
or
refugee A refugee, conventionally speaking, is a forced displacement, displaced person who has crossed national borders and who cannot or is unwilling to return home due to well-founded fear of persecution.
s who live outside the nation state; some nations of this sense do not have a state where that ethnicity predominates. In a more general sense, a nation state is simply a large, politically sovereign country or administrative territory. A nation state may be contrasted with: * A
multinational state A multinational state or a multinational union is a sovereign entity that comprises two or more nation A nation is a community of people formed on the basis of a combination of shared features such as language, history, ethnicity, culture an ...
, where no one ethnic group dominates (such a state may also be considered a
multicultural The term multiculturalism has a range of meanings within the contexts of sociology, political philosophy, and colloquial use. In sociology and in everyday usage, it is a synonym for "Pluralism (political theory), ethnic pluralism", with the tw ...
state depending on the degree of
cultural assimilation Cultural assimilation is the process in which a minority group or culture comes to resemble a society's Dominant culture, majority group or assume the values, behaviors, and beliefs of another group whether fully or partially. The different types ...
of various groups). * A
city-state A city-state is an independent sovereign city which serves as the center of political, economic, and cultural life over its contiguous territory. They have existed in many parts of the world since the dawn of history, including cities such as ...
, which is both smaller than a "nation" in the sense of "large sovereign country" and which may or may not be dominated by all or part of a single "nation" in the sense of a common ethnicity. * An
empire An empire is a "political unit" made up of several territories and peoples, "usually created by conquest, and divided between a dominant center and subordinate peripheries". The center of the empire (sometimes referred to as the metropole) ex ...
, which is composed of many countries (possibly non-sovereign states) and nations under a single
monarch A monarch is a head of stateWebster's II New College DictionarMonarch Houghton Mifflin. Boston. 2001. p. 707. Life tenure, for life or until abdication, and therefore the head of state of a monarchy. A monarch may exercise the highest authority ...
or ruling state
government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state. In the case of its broad associative definition, government normally consists of legislature, executive, and judiciary. Government ...
. * A
confederation A confederation (also known as a confederacy or league) is a union of sovereign groups or states united for purposes of common action. Usually created by a treaty A treaty is a formal, legally binding written agreement between actors in ...
, a league of sovereign states, which might or might not include nation-states. * A
federated state A federated state (which may also be referred to as a state, a province, a region, a canton (country subdivision), canton, a Länder, land, a governorate, an oblast, an emirate or a country) is a territorial and constitutional community formin ...
, which may or may not be a nation-state, and which is only partially self-governing within a larger
federation A federation (also known as a federal state) is a political entity characterized by a union of partially self-governing provinces, states, or other regions under a central federal government (federalism). In a federation, the self-govern ...
(for example, the state boundaries of
Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina ( sh, / , ), abbreviated BiH () or B&H, sometimes called Bosnia–Herzegovina and Pars pro toto#Geography, often known informally as Bosnia, is a country at the crossroads of Southern Europe, south and southeast Euro ...
are drawn along ethnic lines, but those of the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...
are not). This article mainly discusses the more specific definition of a nation-state as a typically sovereign country dominated by a particular ethnicity.


Complexity

The relationship between a nation (in the ethnic sense) and a state can be complex. The presence of a state can encourage
ethnogenesis Ethnogenesis (; ) is "the formation and development of an ethnic group". This can originate by group self-identification or by outside identification. The term ''ethnogenesis'' was originally a mid-19th century neologism that was later introdu ...
, and a group with a pre-existing ethnic identity can influence the drawing of territorial boundaries or argue for political legitimacy. This definition of a "nation-state" is not universally accepted. "All attempts to develop terminological consensus around "nation" resulted in failure", concludes academic Valery Tishkov. Walker Connor discusses the impressions surrounding the characters of "
nation A nation is a community of people formed on the basis of a combination of shared features such as language, history, ethnicity, culture and/or society. A nation is thus the collective Identity (social science), identity of a group of people unde ...
", " (sovereign) state", "nation state", and "
nationalism Nationalism is an idea and movement that holds that the nation should be congruent with the State (polity), state. As a movement, nationalism tends to promote the interests of a particular nation (as in a in-group and out-group, group of peo ...
". Connor, who gave the term "
ethnonationalism Ethnic nationalism, also known as ethnonationalism, is a form of nationalism Nationalism is an idea and movement that holds that the nation should be congruent with the State (polity), state. As a movement, nationalism tends to promote ...
" wide currency, also discusses the tendency to confuse nation and state and the treatment of all states as if nation states.


History and origins

The origins and early
history History (derived ) is the systematic study and the documentation of the human activity. The time period of event before the invention of writing systems is considered prehistory. "History" is an umbrella term comprising past events as we ...
of nation states are disputed. A major theoretical question is: "Which came first, the nation or the nation state?" Scholars such as
Steven Weber Steven Robert Weber (born March 4, 1961) is an American actor and comedian. He is best known for his role as Brian Hackett on the television series ''Wings (1990 TV series), Wings'' which aired from April 1990 to May 1997 on NBC, as Sam Blue in ' ...
, David Woodward,
Michel Foucault Paul-Michel Foucault (, ; ; 15 October 192625 June 1984) was a French philosopher, historian of ideas, writer, political activist, and literary critic. Foucault's theories primarily address the relationship between power and knowledge, and h ...
and Jeremy Black have advanced the hypothesis that the nation state did not arise out of political ingenuity or an unknown undetermined source, nor was it a political invention; but is an inadvertent byproduct of 15th-century intellectual discoveries in
political economy Political economy is the study of how Macroeconomics, economic systems (e.g. Marketplace, markets and Economy, national economies) and Politics, political systems (e.g. law, Institution, institutions, government) are linked. Widely studied ph ...
,
capitalism Capitalism is an economic system based on the private ownership of the means of production and their operation for profit. Central characteristics of capitalism include capital accumulation, competitive markets, price system, pr ...
,
mercantilism Mercantilism is an economic policy that is designed to maximize the exports and minimize the imports for an economy. It promotes imperialism, colonialism, tariffs and subsidies on traded goods to achieve that goal. The policy aims to redu ...
,
political geography Political geography is concerned with the study of both the spatially uneven outcomes of politics, political processes and the ways in which political processes are themselves affected by spatial structures. Conventionally, for the purposes of an ...
, and
geography Geography (from Ancient Greek, Greek: , ''geographia''. Combination of Greek words ‘Geo’ (The Earth) and ‘Graphien’ (to describe), literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, i ...
combined with
cartography Cartography (; from grc, χάρτης , "papyrus, sheet of paper, map"; and , "write") is the study and practice of making and using maps. Combining science, aesthetics and technique, cartography builds on the premise that reality (or an im ...
and advances in map-making technologies. It was with these intellectual discoveries and technological advances that the nation state arose. For others, the nation existed first, then nationalist movements arose for
sovereignty Sovereignty is the defining authority within individual consciousness, Social constructionism, social construct, or territory. Sovereignty entails hierarchy within the state, as well as external autonomy for states. In any state, sovereignty i ...
, and the nation state was created to meet that demand. Some " modernization theories" of nationalism see it as a product of government policies to unify and modernize an already existing state. Most theories see the nation state as a 19th-century European phenomenon, facilitated by developments such as state-mandated education, mass
literacy Literacy in its broadest sense describes "particular ways of thinking about and doing reading and writing" with the purpose of understanding or expressing thoughts or ideas in Writing, written form in some specific context of use. In other wo ...
and
mass media Mass media refers to a diverse array of media (communication), media technology, technologies that reach a large audience via mass communication. The technologies through which this communication takes place include a variety of outlets. Bro ...
. However, historians also note the early emergence of a relatively unified state and identity in
Portugal Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic ( pt, República Portuguesa, links=yes ), is a Sovereign state, country whose mainland is located on the Iberian Peninsula of Southern Europe, Southwestern Europe, and whose territory also includes ...
and the
Dutch Republic The United Provinces of the Netherlands, also known as the (Seven) United Provinces, officially as the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands (Dutch language, Dutch: ''Republiek der Zeven Verenigde Nederlanden''), and commonly referred to in ...
. In France,
Eric Hobsbawm Eric John Ernest Hobsbawm (; 9 June 1917 – 1 October 2012) was a British historian of the rise of industrial capitalism, socialism Socialism is a left-wing Economic ideology, economic philosophy and Political movement, movement enco ...
argues, the French state preceded the formation of the
French people The French people (french: Français) are an ethnic group and nation primarily located in Western Europe that share a common Culture of France, French culture, History of France, history, and French language, language, identified with the cou ...
. Hobsbawm considers that the state made the French nation, not
French nationalism French nationalism () usually manifests as cultural nationalism, promoting the cultural unity of France. History French nationalism emerged from its numerous wars with England, which involved the reconquest of the territories that made up Fra ...
, which emerged at the end of the 19th century, the time of the
Dreyfus Affair The Dreyfus affair (french: affaire Dreyfus, ) was a political scandal that divided the French Third Republic from 1894 until its resolution in 1906. "L'Affaire", as it is known in French, has come to symbolise modern injustice in the Francop ...
. At the time of the 1789
French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) was a period of radical political and societal change in France France (), officially the French Republic ( ), is a country primarily located in Western Europe. It also comprises of Overseas France, ...
, only half of the French people spoke some French, and 12–13% spoke the version of it that was to be found in literature and in educational facilities, according to Hobsbawm. During the
Italian unification The unification of Italy ( it, Unità d'Italia ), also known as the ''Risorgimento'' (, ; ), was the 19th-century Political movement, political and social movement that resulted in the Merger (politics), consolidation of List of historic stat ...
, the number of people speaking the
Italian language Italian (''italiano'' or ) is a Romance language of the Indo-European language family that evolved from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Romanum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαί ...
was even lower. The French state promoted the replacement of various regional dialects and languages by a centralised
French language French ( or ) is a Romance languages, Romance language of the Indo-European languages, Indo-European family. It descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire, as did all Romance languages. French evolved from Gallo-Romance, the Latin ...
, and so did, and still does, Italy. The introduction of
conscription Conscription (also called the draft in the United States) is the state-mandated enlistment of people in a national service, mainly a military service. Conscription dates back to Ancient history, antiquity and it continues in some countries to th ...
and the Third Republic's 1880s laws on public instruction facilitated the creation of a national identity under this theory. Some nation states, such as
Germany Germany,, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central Europe. It is the second most populous country in Europe after Russia, and the most populous member state of the European Union. Germany is situated between ...
and
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic, ) or the Republic of Italy, is a country in Southern Europe. It is located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, and its territory largely coincides with the Italy (geographical region) ...
, came into existence at least partly as a result of political campaigns by
nationalists Nationalism is an idea and movement that holds that the nation should be congruent with the State (polity), state. As a movement, nationalism tends to promote the interests of a particular nation (as in a in-group and out-group, group of peo ...
, during the 19th century. In both cases, the territory was previously divided among other states, some of them very small. The sense of common identity was at first a cultural movement, such as in the '' Völkisch movement'' in German-speaking states, which rapidly acquired a political significance. In these cases, the nationalist sentiment and the nationalist movement clearly precede the unification of the German and Italian nation states. Historians Hans Kohn, Liah Greenfeld, Philip White and others have classified nations such as Germany or Italy, where cultural unification preceded state unification, as ''ethnic nations'' or ''ethnic nationalities''. However, "state-driven" national unifications, such as in France, England or China, are more likely to flourish in multiethnic societies, producing a traditional national heritage of ''civic nations'', or ''territory-based nationalities''. The idea of a nation state was and is associated with the rise of the modern system of states, often called the " Westphalian system" in reference to the
Treaty of Westphalia The Peace of Westphalia (german: Westfälischer Friede, ) is the collective name for two peace treaties signed in October 1648 in the Westphalian cities of Osnabrück Osnabrück (; wep, Ossenbrügge; archaic ''Osnaburg'') is a city in th ...
(1648). The balance of power, which characterized that system, depended on its effectiveness upon clearly defined, centrally controlled, independent entities, whether
empire An empire is a "political unit" made up of several territories and peoples, "usually created by conquest, and divided between a dominant center and subordinate peripheries". The center of the empire (sometimes referred to as the metropole) ex ...
s or nation states, which recognize each other's sovereignty and territory. The Westphalian system did not create the nation state, but the nation state meets the criteria for its component states (by assuming that there is no disputed territory). Before the Westphalian system, the closest geopolitical system was the "Chanyuan system" established in East Asia in 1005 through the Treaty of Chanyuan, which, like the Westphalian peace treaties, designated national borders between the independent regimes of China's
Song dynasty The Song dynasty (; ; 960–1279) was an Dynasties in Chinese history, imperial dynasty of China that began in 960 and lasted until 1279. The dynasty was founded by Emperor Taizu of Song following his usurpation of the throne of the Later Zhou. ...
and the nomadic
Liao dynasty The Liao dynasty (; Khitan language, Khitan: ''Mos Jælud''; ), also known as the Khitan Empire (Khitan: ''Mos diau-d kitai huldʒi gur''), officially the Great Liao (), was an Dynasties in Chinese history, imperial dynasty of China that exi ...
. This system was copied and developed in East Asia in the following centuries until the establishment of the pan-Eurasian
Mongol Empire The Mongol Empire of the 13th and 14th centuries was the List of largest empires, largest contiguous land empire in human history, history. Originating in present-day Mongolia in East Asia, the Mongol Empire at its height stretched from the S ...
in the 13th century. The nation state received a philosophical underpinning in the era of
Romanticism Romanticism (also known as the Romantic movement or Romantic era) was an artistic, literary, musical, and intellectual movement that originated in Europe towards the end of the 18th century, and in most areas was at its peak in the approximate ...
, at first as the "natural" expression of the individual peoples (
romantic nationalism Romantic nationalism (also national romanticism, organic nationalism, identity nationalism) is the form of nationalism in which the state claims its political legitimacy as an organic consequence of the unity of those it governs. This includes ...
: see
Johann Gottlieb Fichte Johann Gottlieb Fichte (; ; 19 May 1762 – 29 January 1814) was a German philosopher who became a founding figure of the philosophical movement known as German idealism, which developed from the theoretical and ethical writings of Immanuel Kan ...
's conception of the ''
Volk The German noun ''Volk'' () translates to :wikt:people, people, both uncountable in the sense of ''people'' as in a crowd, and countable (plural ''Völker'') in the sense of ''People, a people'' as in an ethnic group or nation (compare the E ...
'', later opposed by
Ernest Renan Joseph Ernest Renan (; 27 February 18232 October 1892) was a French Oriental studies, Orientalist and Semitic studies, Semitic scholar, expert of Semitic languages and Ancient Semitic-speaking peoples, civilizations, historian of religion, philo ...
). The increasing emphasis during the 19th century on the ethnic and racial origins of the nation, led to a redefinition of the nation state in these terms.
Racism Racism is the belief that groups of humans possess different behavioral traits corresponding to inherited attributes and can be divided based on the superiority of one Race (human categorization), race over another. It may also mean prejudice, d ...
, which in Boulainvilliers's theories was inherently anti patriotic and antinationalist, joined itself with
colonialist Colonialism is a practice or policy of control by one people or power over other people or areas, often by establishing colony, colonies and generally with the aim of economic dominance. In the process of colonisation, colonisers may impose the ...
imperialism Imperialism is the state policy, practice, or advocacy of extending power and dominion, especially by direct territorial acquisition or by gaining political and economic control of other areas, often through employing hard power (economic powe ...
and "continental imperialism", most notably in pan-Germanic and pan-Slavic movements. The relation between racism and ethnic nationalism reached its height in the 20th century
fascism Fascism is a far-right, Authoritarianism, authoritarian, ultranationalism, ultra-nationalist political Political ideology, ideology and Political movement, movement,: "extreme militaristic nationalism, contempt for electoral democracy and pol ...
and
Nazism Nazism ( ; german: Nazismus), the common name in English for National Socialism (german: Nationalsozialismus, ), is the far-right politics, far-right Totalitarianism, totalitarian political ideology and practices associated with Adolf Hit ...
. The specific combination of "nation" ("people") and "state" expressed in such terms as the ''Völkische Staat'' and implemented in laws such as the 1935
Nuremberg laws The Nuremberg Laws (german: link=no, Nürnberger Gesetze, ) were antisemitic and Racism, racist laws that were enacted in Nazi Germany on 15 September 1935, at a special meeting of the Reichstag (Nazi Germany), Reichstag convened during ...
made fascist states such as early
Nazi Germany Nazi Germany (lit. "National Socialist State"), ' (lit. "Nazi State") for short; also ' (lit. "National Socialist Germany") (officially known as the German Reich from 1933 until 1943, and the Greater German Reich from 1943 to 1945) was ...
qualitatively different from non-fascist nation states. Minorities were not considered part of the people (''Volk''), and were consequently denied to have an authentic or legitimate role in such a state. In Germany, neither
Jews Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים, , ) or Jewish people are an ethnoreligious group and nation originating from the Israelites Israelite origins and kingdom: "The first act in the long drama of Jewish history is the age of the Israelites""The ...
nor the Roma were considered part of the people and both were specifically targeted for persecution. German
nationality law Nationality law is the law of a sovereign state, and of each of its jurisdiction, jurisdictions, that defines the legal manner in which a national identity is acquired and how it may be lost. In international law, the legal means to acquire natio ...
defined "German" on the basis of German ancestry, excluding ''all'' non-Germans from the people. In recent years, a nation state's claim to absolute
sovereignty Sovereignty is the defining authority within individual consciousness, Social constructionism, social construct, or territory. Sovereignty entails hierarchy within the state, as well as external autonomy for states. In any state, sovereignty i ...
within its borders has been criticized. A global political system based on international agreements and supra-national blocs characterized the post-war era. Non-state actors, such as international
corporation A corporation is an organization—usually a group of people or a company—authorized by the State (polity), state to act as a single entity (a legal entity recognized by private and public law "born out of statute"; a legal person in legal ...
s and
non-governmental organizations A non-governmental organization (NGO) or non-governmental organisation (see American and British English spelling differences#-ise, -ize (-isation, -ization), spelling differences) is an organization that generally is formed independent from g ...
, are widely seen as eroding the economic and political power of nation states. According to Andreas Wimmer and Yuval Feinstein, nation-states tended to emerge when power shifts allowed nationalists to overthrow existing regimes or absorb existing administrative units. Xue Li and Alexander Hicks links the frequency of nation-state creation to processes of diffusion that emanate from international organizations.


Before the nation state

In
Europe Europe is a large peninsula conventionally considered a continent in its own right because of its great physical size and the weight of its history and traditions. Europe is also considered a Continent#Subcontinents, subcontinent of Eurasia ...
, during the 18th century, the classic non-national states were the ''multiethnic''
empire An empire is a "political unit" made up of several territories and peoples, "usually created by conquest, and divided between a dominant center and subordinate peripheries". The center of the empire (sometimes referred to as the metropole) ex ...
s, the
Austrian Empire The Austrian Empire (german: link=no, Kaiserthum Oesterreich, modern spelling , ) was a Central Europe, Central-Eastern Europe, Eastern European multinational state, multinational great power from 1804 to 1867, created by proclamation out of ...
, the
Kingdom of France The Kingdom of France ( fro, Reaume de France; frm, Royaulme de France; french: link=yes, Royaume de France) is the historiographical name or umbrella term given to various political entities of France France (), officially the Fr ...
(and its
empire An empire is a "political unit" made up of several territories and peoples, "usually created by conquest, and divided between a dominant center and subordinate peripheries". The center of the empire (sometimes referred to as the metropole) ex ...
), the
Kingdom of Hungary The Kingdom of Hungary was a monarchy in Central Europe that existed for nearly a millennium, from the Middle Ages into the 20th century. The Principality of Hungary emerged as a Christian kingdom upon the Coronation of the Hungarian monarch, c ...
, the
Russian Empire The Russian Empire was an empire and the final period of the List of Russian monarchs, Russian monarchy from 1721 to 1917, ruling across large parts of Eurasia. It succeeded the Tsardom of Russia following the Treaty of Nystad, which ended th ...
, the
Portuguese Empire The Portuguese Empire ( pt, Império Português), also known as the Portuguese Overseas (''Ultramar Português'') or the Portuguese Colonial Empire (''Império Colonial Português''), was composed of the overseas Colonialism, colonies, Factory ...
, the
Spanish Empire The Spanish Empire ( es, link=no, Imperio español), also known as the Hispanic Monarchy ( es, link=no, Monarquía Hispánica) or the Catholic Monarchy ( es, link=no, Monarquía Católica) was a colonial empire governed by Spain and its History ...
, the
Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire, * ; is an archaic version. The definite article forms and were synonymous * and el, Оθωμανική Αυτοκρατορία, Othōmanikē Avtokratoria, label=none * info page on book at Martin Luther University) ...
, the
British Empire The British Empire was composed of the dominions, Crown colony, colonies, protectorates, League of Nations mandate, mandates, and other Dependent territory, territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom and its predecessor states. I ...
, the Dutch Empire and smaller nations at what would now be called sub-state level. The multi-ethnic empire was an
absolute monarchy Absolute monarchy (or Absolutism as a doctrine) is a form of monarchy in which the monarch rules in their own right or power. In an absolute monarchy, the king or queen is by no means limited and has absolute power, though a limited constitut ...
ruled by a king,
emperor An emperor (from la, imperator, via fro, empereor) is a monarch, and usually the sovereignty, sovereign ruler of an empire or another type of imperial realm. Empress, the female equivalent, may indicate an emperor's wife (empress consort), ...
or
sultan Sultan (; ar, سلطان ', ) is a Royal and noble ranks, position with several historical meanings. Originally, it was an Arabic abstract noun meaning "strength", "authority", "rulership", derived from the verbal noun ', meaning "authority" ...
. The population belonged to many ethnic groups, and they spoke many languages. The empire was dominated by one ethnic group, and their language was usually the language of public administration. The ruling
dynasty A dynasty is a sequence of rulers from the same family,''Oxford English Dictionary'', "dynasty, ''n''." Oxford University Press (Oxford), 1897. usually in the context of a monarchical system, but sometimes also appearing in republic ...
was usually, but not always, from that group. This type of state is not specifically European: such empires existed in Asia, Africa and the Americas. Chinese dynasties, such as the
Tang dynasty The Tang dynasty (, ; zh, t= ), or Tang Empire, was an Dynasties in Chinese history, imperial dynasty of China that ruled from 618 to 907 AD, with an Zhou dynasty (690–705), interregnum between 690 and 705. It was preceded by the Sui dyn ...
, the
Ming dynasty The Ming dynasty (), officially the Great Ming, was an Dynasties in Chinese history, imperial dynasty of China, ruling from 1368 to 1644 following the collapse of the Mongol Empire, Mongol-led Yuan dynasty. The Ming dynasty was the last ort ...
, and the
Qing dynasty The Qing dynasty ( ), officially the Great Qing,, was a Manchu people, Manchu-led Dynasties in Chinese history, imperial dynasty of China and the last orthodox dynasty in Chinese history. It emerged from the Later Jin (1616–1636), La ...
, were all multiethnic regimes governed by a ruling ethnic group. In the three examples, their ruling ethnic groups were the Han-Chinese, and the
Manchus The Manchus (; ) are a Tungusic peoples, Tungusic East Asian people, East Asian ethnic group native to Manchuria in Northeast Asia. They are an officially recognized Ethnic minorities in China, ethnic minority in China and the people from who ...
. In the
Muslim world The terms Muslim world and Islamic world commonly refer to the Islamic community, which is also known as the Ummah. This consists of all those who adhere to the religious beliefs and laws of Islam or to societies in which Islam is practiced. In ...
, immediately after Muhammad's death in 632,
Caliphate A caliphate or khilāfah ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an institution or public office under the leadership of an Islamic steward with the title of caliph (; ar, خَلِيفَة , ), a person considered a political-religious successor to th ...
s were established. Caliphates were
Islamic state An Islamic state is a State (polity), state that has a form of government based on sharia, Islamic law (sharia). As a term, it has been used to describe various historical Polity, polities and theories of governance in the Islamic world. As a t ...
s under the leadership of a political-religious successor to the Islamic prophet
Muhammad Muhammad ( ar, مُحَمَّد;  570 – 8 June 632 Common Era, CE) was an Arab religious, social, and political leader and the founder of Islam. According to Muhammad in Islam, Islamic doctrine, he was a prophet Divine inspiration, di ...
. These
polities A polity is an identifiable Politics, political entity – a group of people with a collective identity, who are organized by some form of Institutionalisation, institutionalized social relation, social relations, and have a capacity to mobilize ...
developed into multi-ethnic trans-national empires. The Ottoman sultan,
Selim I Selim I ( ota, سليم الأول; tr, I. Selim; 10 October 1470 – 22 September 1520), known as Selim the Grim or Selim the Resolute ( tr, links=no, Yavuz Sultan Selim), was the List of sultans of the Ottoman Empire, Sultan of the Ottoman ...
(1512–1520) reclaimed the title of caliph, which had been in dispute and asserted by a diversity of rulers and "shadow caliphs" in the centuries of the
Abbasid The Abbasid Caliphate ( or ; ar, الْخِلَافَةُ الْعَبَّاسِيَّة, ') was the third caliphate to succeed the Islamic prophet Muhammad. It was founded by a dynasty descended from Muhammad's uncle, Abbas ibn Abdul-Muttalib ...
-
Mamluk Mamluk ( ar, مملوك, mamlūk (singular), , ''mamālīk'' (plural), translated as "one who is owned", meaning "History of slavery in the Muslim world, slave", also Arabic transliteration, transliterated as ''Mameluke'', ''mamluq'', ''mamluke ...
Caliphate since the Mongols' sacking of Baghdad and the killing of the last Abbasid Caliph in Baghdad, Iraq 1258. The
Ottoman Caliphate The Caliphate of the Ottoman Empire ( ota, خلافت مقامى, hilâfet makamı, office of the caliphate) was the claim of the heads of the Turkish Ottoman dynasty to be the caliphs of Islam Islam (; ar, ۘالِإسلَام, ...
as an office of the
Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire, * ; is an archaic version. The definite article forms and were synonymous * and el, Оθωμανική Αυτοκρατορία, Othōmanikē Avtokratoria, label=none * info page on book at Martin Luther University) ...
was abolished under Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in 1924 as part of
Atatürk's Reforms Atatürk's Reforms ( tr, ) were a series of political, legal, religious, cultural, social, and economic policy changes, designed to convert the new Turkey, Republic of Turkey into a secularism in Turkey, secular, modern nation-state, implemented ...
. Some of the smaller European states were not so ethnically diverse, but were also dynastic states, ruled by a
royal house A dynasty is a sequence of rulers from the same family,''Oxford English Dictionary'', "dynasty, ''n''." Oxford University Press (Oxford), 1897. usually in the context of a monarchy, monarchical system, but sometimes also appearing in repu ...
. Their territory could expand by
royal intermarriage Royal intermarriage is the practice of members of ruling dynasty, dynasties marrying into other reigning families. It was more commonly done in the past as part of strategic diplomacy for national interest. Although sometimes enforced by legal r ...
or merge with another state when the dynasty merged. In some parts of Europe, notably
Germany Germany,, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central Europe. It is the second most populous country in Europe after Russia, and the most populous member state of the European Union. Germany is situated between ...
, very small territorial units existed. They were recognized by their neighbors as independent, and had their own government and laws. Some were ruled by
prince A prince is a Monarch, male ruler (ranked below a king, grand prince, and grand duke) or a male member of a monarch's or former monarch's family. ''Prince'' is also a title of nobility (often highest), often hereditary title, hereditary, in s ...
s or other hereditary rulers, some were governed by
bishop A bishop is an ordained clergy member who is entrusted with a position of Episcopal polity, authority and oversight in a religious institution. In Christianity, bishops are normally responsible for the governance of dioceses. The role or offic ...
s or
abbot ''Abbot'' is an ecclesiastical title given to the male head of a monastery in various Western religious traditions, including Christianity. The office may also be given as an honorary title to a clergyman who is not the head of a monastery. The ...
s. Because they were so small, however, they had no separate language or culture: the inhabitants shared the language of the surrounding region. In some cases, these states were simply overthrown by nationalist uprisings in the 19th century. Liberal ideas of
free trade Free trade is a trade policy that does not restrict imports or exports. It can also be understood as the free market idea applied to international trade. In government, free trade is predominantly advocated by political parties that hold Econo ...
played a role in German unification, which was preceded by a
customs union A customs union is generally defined as a type of trade bloc which is composed of a free trade area with a common external tariff.GATTArticle 24 s. 8 (a) Customs unions are established through trade pacts where the participant countries set up c ...
, the
Zollverein The (), or German Customs Union, was a coalition of States of the German Confederation, German states formed to manage tariffs and economic policies within their territories. Organized by the 1833 treaties, it formally started on 1 January 1 ...
. However, the
Austro-Prussian War The Austro-Prussian War, also by many variant names such as Seven Weeks' War, German Civil War, Brothers War or Fraternal War, known in Germany as ("German War"), (; "German war of brothers") and by a variety of other names, was fought in 186 ...
, and the German alliances in the Franco-Prussian War, were decisive in the unification. The
Austro-Hungarian Empire Austria-Hungary, often referred to as the Austro-Hungarian Empire,, the Dual Monarchy, or Austria, was a constitutional monarchy and great power in Central Europe between 1867 and 1918. It was formed with the Austro-Hungarian Compromise ...
and the
Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire, * ; is an archaic version. The definite article forms and were synonymous * and el, Оθωμανική Αυτοκρατορία, Othōmanikē Avtokratoria, label=none * info page on book at Martin Luther University) ...
broke up after the
First World War World War I (28 July 1914 11 November 1918), often abbreviated as WWI, was List of wars and anthropogenic disasters by death toll, one of the deadliest global conflicts in history. Belligerents included much of Europe, the Russian Empire, ...
, and the
Russian Empire The Russian Empire was an empire and the final period of the List of Russian monarchs, Russian monarchy from 1721 to 1917, ruling across large parts of Eurasia. It succeeded the Tsardom of Russia following the Treaty of Nystad, which ended th ...
became the
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a List of former transcontinental countries#Since 1700, transcontinental country that spanned much of Eurasia from 1922 to 1991. A flagship communist state, ...
after the
Russian Civil War , date = October Revolution, 7 November 1917 – Yakut revolt, 16 June 1923{{Efn, The main phase ended on 25 October 1922. Revolt against the Bolsheviks continued Basmachi movement, in Central Asia and Tungus Republic, the Far East th ...
. A few of the smaller states survived: the independent principalities of
Liechtenstein Liechtenstein (), officially the Principality of Liechtenstein (german: link=no, Fürstentum Liechtenstein), is a German language, German-speaking microstate located in the Alps between Austria and Switzerland. Liechtenstein is a semi-constit ...
,
Andorra , image_flag = Flag of Andorra.svg , image_coat = Coat of arms of Andorra.svg , symbol_type = Coat of arms , national_motto = la, Virtus Unita Fortior, label=none (Latin)"United virtue is stro ...
,
Monaco Monaco (; ), officially the Principality of Monaco (french: Principauté de Monaco; Monégasque dialect, Ligurian: ; oc, Principat de Mónegue), is a Sovereign state, sovereign city-state and European microstates, microstate on the French Riv ...
, and the republic of
San Marino San Marino (, ), officially the Republic of San Marino ( it, Repubblica di San Marino; ), also known as the Most Serene Republic of San Marino ( it, Serenissima Repubblica di San Marino, links=no), is the List of countries and dependencies by a ...
. (
Vatican City Vatican City (), officially the Vatican City State ( it, Stato della Città del Vaticano; la, Status Civitatis Vaticanae),—' * german: Vatikanstadt, cf. '—' (in Austria: ') * pl, Miasto Watykańskie, cf. '—' * pt, Cidade do Vati ...
is a special case. All of the larger Papal States save the Vatican itself were occupied and absorbed by Italy by 1870. The resulting Roman Question was resolved with the rise of the modern state under the 1929 Lateran treaties between
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic, ) or the Republic of Italy, is a country in Southern Europe. It is located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, and its territory largely coincides with the Italy (geographical region) ...
and the
Holy See The Holy See ( lat, Sancta Sedes, ; it, Santa Sede ), also called the See of Rome, Petrine See or Apostolic See, is the jurisdiction of the Pope in his role as the bishop of Rome. It includes the apostolic see, apostolic episcopal see of the ...
.)


Characteristics

"Legitimate states that govern effectively and dynamic industrial economies are widely regarded today as the defining characteristics of a modern nation-state." Nation states have their own characteristics, differing from those of the pre-national states. For a start, they have a different attitude to their territory when compared with dynastic monarchies: it is semisacred and nontransferable. No nation would swap territory with other states simply, for example, because the king's daughter married. They have a different type of
border Borders are usually defined as geographical boundaries, imposed either by features such as ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) is the body of Saline water, salt water that covers approximately 70.8% of the surface of Earth ...
, in principle defined only by the area of settlement of the national group, although many nation states also sought natural borders (rivers, mountain ranges). They are constantly changing in population size and power because of the limited restrictions of their borders. The most noticeable characteristic is the degree to which nation states use the state as an instrument of national unity, in economic, social and cultural life. The nation state promoted economic unity, by abolishing internal
customs Customs is an authority In the fields of sociology Sociology is a social science that focuses on society, human social behavior, patterns of Interpersonal ties, social relationships, social interaction, and aspects of culture associa ...
and tolls. In Germany, that process, the creation of the
Zollverein The (), or German Customs Union, was a coalition of States of the German Confederation, German states formed to manage tariffs and economic policies within their territories. Organized by the 1833 treaties, it formally started on 1 January 1 ...
, preceded formal national unity. Nation states typically have a policy to create and maintain a national transportation infrastructure, facilitating trade and travel. In 19th-century Europe, the expansion of the
rail transport Rail transport (also known as train transport) is a means of transport that transfers passengers and goods on wheeled vehicles running on rails, which are incorporated in tracks. In contrast to road transport, where the vehicles run on a pre ...
networks was at first largely a matter for
private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" is a song by British singer Dusty Springfield, released as a single on 20 November 1989. It was Springfield's third single in a row to be a chart success, after an absence of ...
railway companies, but gradually came under control of the national governments. The French rail network, with its main lines radiating from Paris to all corners of France, is often seen as a reflection of the centralised French nation state, which directed its construction. Nation states continue to build, for instance, specifically national
motorway A controlled-access highway is a type of highway that has been designed for high-speed vehicular traffic, with all traffic flow—ingress and egress—regulated. Common English terms are freeway, motorway and expressway. Other similar terms i ...
networks. Specifically transnational infrastructure programmes, such as the Trans-European Networks, are a recent innovation. The nation states typically had a more centralised and uniform
public administration Public Administration (a form of governance) or Public Policy and Administration (an academic discipline) is the implementation of public policy, administration Administration may refer to: Management of organizations * Management, the a ...
than its imperial predecessors: they were smaller, and the population less diverse. (The internal diversity of the
Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire, * ; is an archaic version. The definite article forms and were synonymous * and el, Оθωμανική Αυτοκρατορία, Othōmanikē Avtokratoria, label=none * info page on book at Martin Luther University) ...
, for instance, was very great.) After the 19th-century triumph of the nation state in Europe, regional identity was subordinate to national identity, in regions such as Alsace-Lorraine,
Catalonia Catalonia (; ca, Catalunya ; Aranese Occitan: ''Catalonha'' ; es, Cataluña ) is an autonomous community of Spain, designated as a ''nationalities and regions of Spain, nationality'' by its Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia of 2006, Statute ...
,
Brittany Brittany (; french: link=no, Bretagne ; br, Breizh, or ; Gallo: ''Bertaèyn'' ) is a peninsula, historical country and cultural area in the west of modern France France (), officially the French Republic ( ), is a country pri ...
and
Corsica Corsica ( , Upper , Southern ; it, Corsica; ; french: Corse ; lij, Còrsega; sc, Còssiga) is an island in the Mediterranean Sea and one of the Regions of France, 18 regions of France. It is the fourth-largest island in the Mediterranean and ...
. In many cases, the regional administration was also subordinated to central (national) government. This process was partially reversed from the 1970s onward, with the introduction of various forms of regional autonomy, in formerly centralised states such as
Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = ''Plus ultra'' (Latin)(English: "Further Beyond") , national_anthem = (English: "Royal March") , i ...
or
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic, ) or the Republic of Italy, is a country in Southern Europe. It is located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, and its territory largely coincides with the Italy (geographical region) ...
. The most obvious impact of the nation state, as compared to its non-national predecessors, is the creation of a uniform national
culture Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior, institutions, and Social norm, norms found in human Society, societies, as well as the knowledge, beliefs, arts, laws, Social norm, customs, capabilities, and habits of the ...
, through state policy. The model of the nation state implies that its population constitutes a
nation A nation is a community of people formed on the basis of a combination of shared features such as language, history, ethnicity, culture and/or society. A nation is thus the collective Identity (social science), identity of a group of people unde ...
, united by a common descent, a common language and many forms of shared culture. When the implied unity was absent, the nation state often tried to create it. It promoted a uniform national language, through
language policy Language policy is an interdisciplinary academic field. Some scholars such as Joshua Fishman and Ofelia García consider it as part of sociolinguistics Sociolinguistics is the descriptive study of the effect of any or all aspects of society, ...
. The creation of national systems of compulsory
primary education Primary education or elementary education is typically the first stage of Education, formal education, coming after preschool/kindergarten and before secondary school. Primary education takes place in ''primary schools'', ''elementary schools' ...
and a relatively uniform
curriculum In education, a curriculum (; plural, : curricula or curriculums) is broadly defined as the totality of student experiences that occur in the educational process. The term often refers specifically to a planned sequence of instruction, or to ...
in secondary schools, was the most effective instrument in the spread of the
national language A national language is a language (or variety (linguistics), language variant, e.g. dialect) that has some connection—de facto or de jure—with a nation. There is little consistency in the use of this term. One or more languages spoken as fir ...
s. The schools also taught the national history, often in a propagandistic and mythologised version, and (especially during conflicts) some nation states still teach this kind of history. Language and cultural policy was sometimes negative, aimed at the suppression of non-national elements. Language
prohibition Prohibition is the act or practice of forbidding something by law; more particularly the term refers to the banning of the manufacturing, manufacture, storage (whether in barrels or in bottles), transportation, sale, possession, and consumption ...
s were sometimes used to accelerate the adoption of national languages and the decline of
minority language A minority language is a language spoken by a minority group, minority of the population of a territory. Such people are termed linguistic minorities or language minorities. With a total number of 196 sovereign states recognized internationally ( ...
s (see examples:
Anglicisation Anglicisation is a form of cultural assimilation whereby something non-English becomes assimilated into, influenced by or dominated by Culture of England, Englishness or Culture of the United Kingdom, Britishness. It can be socio-cultural, wher ...
, Bulgarization, Croatization,
Czechization Czechization or Czechisation ( cs, čechizace, počeštění; german: Tschechisierung) is a cultural change in which something ethnically non-Czech people, Czech is made to become Czech. This concept is especially relevant in relation to the Germ ...
, Dutchification, Francisation,
Germanisation Germanisation, or Germanization, is the spread of the German language German ( ) is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language mainly spoken in Central Europe. It is the most widely spoken and Official language, official or co-offici ...
,
Hellenization Hellenization (other British spelling Hellenisation) or Hellenism is the adoption of Greek Greek culture, culture, Religion in Greece, religion, Greek language, language and Ethnic identity, identity by non-Greeks. In the Ancient Greece, ancient ...
,
Hispanicization Hispanicization ( es, hispanización) refers to the process by which a place or person becomes influenced by Hispanic culture The term ''Hispanic'' ( es, hispano) refers to people, cultures Culture () is an umbrella term which encompass ...
,
Italianization Italianization ( it, italianizzazione; hr, talijanizacija; french: italianisation; sl, poitaljančevanje; german: Italianisierung; el, Ιταλοποίηση) is the spread of Italian culture, Italian language, language and Italian identity, i ...
, Lithuanization, Magyarisation, Polonisation,
Russification Russification (russian: русификация, rusifikatsiya), or Russianization, is a form of cultural assimilation Cultural assimilation is the process in which a minority group or culture comes to resemble a society's Dominant culture, ma ...
, Serbization, Slovakisation, Swedification,
Turkification Turkification, Turkization, or Turkicization ( tr, Türkleştirme) describes a shift whereby populations or places received or adopted Turkic people, Turkic attributes such as culture, language, history, or ethnicity. However, often this term is ...
). In some cases, these policies triggered bitter conflicts and further ethnic
separatism Separatism is the advocacy of cultural, ethnic, tribal, religious, racial, governmental or gender separation from the larger group. As with secession, separatism conventionally refers to full political separation. Groups simply seeking greate ...
. But where it worked, the cultural uniformity and homogeneity of the population increased. Conversely, the cultural divergence at the border became sharper: in theory, a uniform French identity extends from the Atlantic coast to the
Rhine The Rhine ; french: Rhin ; nl, Rijn ; wa, Rén ; li, Rien; rm, label=Sursilvan, Rein, rm, label=Sutsilvan and Surmiran, Ragn, rm, label=Rumantsch Grischun, Vallader and Puter, Rain; it, Reno ; gsw, Rhi(n), including in Alsatian dialect, Al ...
, and on the other bank of the Rhine, a uniform German identity begins. To enforce that model, both sides have divergent
language policy Language policy is an interdisciplinary academic field. Some scholars such as Joshua Fishman and Ofelia García consider it as part of sociolinguistics Sociolinguistics is the descriptive study of the effect of any or all aspects of society, ...
and educational systems.


In practice

The notion of a unifying "national identity" also extends to countries that host multiple ethnic or language groups, such as
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, seventh-largest country by area, the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous ...
. For example,
Switzerland ). Swiss law does not designate a ''capital'' as such, but the federal parliament and government are in Bern, while other federal institutions, such as the federal courts, are in other cities (Bellinzona, Lausanne, Luzern, Neuchâtel, St. Gall ...
is constitutionally a confederation of cantons, and has four official languages, but it has also a "Swiss" national identity, a national history and a classic national hero,
Wilhelm Tell William Tell (german: Wilhelm Tell, ; french: Guillaume Tell; it, Guglielmo Tell; rm, Guglielm Tell) is a folk hero of Switzerland. According to the legend, Tell was an expert mountain climber and marksman with a crossbow who assassinated Albr ...
. Innumerable conflicts have arisen where political boundaries did not correspond with ethnic or cultural boundaries. After World War II in the
Josip Broz Tito Josip Broz ( sh-Cyrl, Јосип Броз, ; 7 May 1892 – 4 May 1980), commonly known as Tito (; sh-Cyrl, Тито, links=no, ), was a Yugoslav Communism, communist revolutionary and statesman, serving in various positions from 1943 until ...
era, nationalism was appealed to for uniting South Slav peoples. Later in the 20th century, after the break-up of the Soviet Union, leaders appealed to ancient ethnic feuds or tensions that ignited conflict between the
Serbs The Serbs ( sr-Cyr, Срби, Srbi, ) are the most numerous South Slavs, South Slavic ethnic group native to the Balkans in Southeastern Europe, who share a common Serbian Cultural heritage, ancestry, Culture of Serbia, culture, History of ...
,
Croats The Croats (; hr, Hrvati ) are a South Slavs, South Slavic ethnic group who share a common Croatian Cultural heritage, ancestry, Culture of Croatia, culture, History of Croatia, history and Croatian language, language. They are also a recogn ...
and
Slovenes The Slovenes, also known as Slovenians ( sl, Slovenci ), are a South Slavs, South Slavic ethnic group native to Slovenia, and adjacent regions in Italy, Austria and Hungary. Slovenes share a common ancestry, Slovenian culture, culture, History ...
, as well as
Bosniaks The Bosniaks ( bs, Bošnjaci, Cyrillic script, Cyrillic: Бошњаци, ; , ) are a South Slavs, South Slavic ethnic group native to the Southeast European historical region of Bosnia (region), Bosnia, which is today part of Bosnia and Herzeg ...
,
Montenegrins Montenegrins ( cnr, Црногорци, Crnogorci, or ; literal translation, lit. "Black Mountain People") are a South Slavs, South Slavic ethnic group that share a common Culture of Montenegro, Montenegrin culture, History of Montenegro, histor ...
and Macedonians, eventually breaking up the long collaboration of peoples. Ethnic cleansing was carried out in the Balkans, resulting in the destruction of the formerly
socialist republic Socialism is a left-wing Economic ideology, economic philosophy and Political movement, movement encompassing a range of economic systems characterized by the dominance of social ownership of the means of production as opposed to Private prop ...
and producing the civil wars in
Croatia , image_flag = Flag of Croatia.svg , image_coat = Coat of arms of Croatia.svg , anthem = " Lijepa naša domovino"("Our Beautiful Homeland") , image_map = , map_caption = , capi ...
and
Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina ( sh, / , ), abbreviated BiH () or B&H, sometimes called Bosnia–Herzegovina and Pars pro toto#Geography, often known informally as Bosnia, is a country at the crossroads of Southern Europe, south and southeast Euro ...
in 1992–95, resulting in mass population displacements and segregation that radically altered what was once a highly diverse and intermixed ethnic makeup of the region. These conflicts were largely about creating a new political framework of states, each of which would be ethnically and politically homogeneous. Serbs, Croats and Bosniaks insisted they were ethnically distinct although many communities had a long history of intermarriage. Presently Croatia (90,42%), Slovenia (83,1-88%) and
Serbia Serbia (, ; Serbian language, Serbian: , , ), officially the Republic of Serbia (Serbian language, Serbian: , , ), is a landlocked country in Southeast Europe, Southeastern and Central Europe, situated at the crossroads of the Pannonian Bas ...
(83,3% Serb) could be classified as monoethnic states, whereas
North Macedonia North Macedonia, ; sq, Maqedonia e Veriut, (Macedonia before February 2019), officially the Republic of North Macedonia,, is a country in Southeast Europe. It gained independence in 1991 as one of the successor states of Socialist Feder ...
(66% Macedonian),
Montenegro ) , image_map = Europe-Montenegro.svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = , capital = Podgorica , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , official_languages = Mo ...
(42% Montenegrin) and
Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina ( sh, / , ), abbreviated BiH () or B&H, sometimes called Bosnia–Herzegovina and Pars pro toto#Geography, often known informally as Bosnia, is a country at the crossroads of Southern Europe, south and southeast Euro ...
(50.1% Bosniak) are multiethnic states.
Belgium Belgium, ; french: Belgique ; german: Belgien officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Northwestern Europe. The country is bordered by the Netherlands to the north, Germany to the east, Luxembourg to the southeast, France to the ...
is a classic example of a state that is not a nation state. The state was formed by
secession Secession is the withdrawal of a group from a larger entity, especially a polity, political entity, but also from any organization, union or military alliance. Some of the most famous and significant secessions have been: the former republics of ...
from the
United Kingdom of the Netherlands The United Kingdom of the Netherlands ( nl, Verenigd Koninkrijk der Nederlanden; french: Royaume uni des Pays-Bas) is the unofficial name given to the Kingdom of the Netherlands as it existed between 1815 and 1839. The United Netherlands was cr ...
in 1830, whose neutrality and integrity was protected by the Treaty of London 1839; thus it served as a
buffer state A buffer state is a country A country is a distinct part of the world, such as a state (polity), state, nation, or other polity, political entity. It may be a sovereign state or make up one part of a larger state. For example, the country o ...
after the Napoleonic Wars between the European powers
France France (), officially the French Republic ( ), is a country primarily located in Western Europe. It also comprises of Overseas France, overseas regions and territories in the Americas and the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic, Pacific Ocean, Pac ...
,
Prussia Prussia, , Old Prussian: ''Prūsa'' or ''Prūsija'' was a Germans, German state on the southeast coast of the Baltic Sea. It formed the German Empire under Prussian rule when it united the German states in 1871. It was ''de facto'' dissolved ...
(after 1871 the
German Empire The German Empire (),Herbert Tuttle wrote in September 1881 that the term "Reich" does not literally connote an empire as has been commonly assumed by English-speaking people. The term literally denotes an empire – particularly a hereditary ...
) and the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain, is a country in Europe, off the north-western coast of the European mainland, continental mainland. It comprises England, Scotlan ...
until
World War I World War I (28 July 1914 11 November 1918), often abbreviated as WWI, was List of wars and anthropogenic disasters by death toll, one of the deadliest global conflicts in history. Belligerents included much of Europe, the Russian Empire, ...
, when its neutrality was breached by the Germans. Currently, Belgium is divided between the
Flemings The Flemish or Flemings ( nl, Vlamingen ) are a Germanic ethnic group An ethnic group or an ethnicity is a grouping of people who identity (social science), identify with each other on the basis of shared attributes that distinguish them fr ...
in the north, the French-speaking population in the south, and the German-speaking population in the east. The
Flemish Flemish (''Vlaams'') is a Low Franconian dialect cluster of the Dutch language. It is sometimes referred to as Flemish Dutch (), Belgian Dutch ( ), or Southern Dutch (). Flemish is native to Flanders, a historical region in northern Belgium; i ...
population in the north speaks Dutch, the Walloon population in the south speaks either French or, in the east of Liège Province, German. The Brussels population speaks French or Dutch. The Flemish identity is also cultural, and there is a strong separatist movement espoused by the political parties, the right-wing
Vlaams Belang Vlaams Belang (, , VB) is a Flemish nationalist, Opposition to immigration, anti immigration, right-wing populist List of political parties in Belgium, political party in the Flemish Region and Brussels, Brussels Capital Region of Belgium. Vlaams ...
and the Nieuw-Vlaamse Alliantie. The Francophone Walloon identity of Belgium is linguistically distinct and regionalist. There is also unitary Belgian nationalism, several versions of a Greater Netherlands ideal, and a
German-speaking community of Belgium The German-speaking Community (german: links=no, Deutschsprachige Gemeinschaft, or DG; french: links=no, Communauté germanophone; nl, links=no, Duitstalige Gemeenschap), since 2017 also known as East Belgium (german: links=no, Ostbelgien), is ...
annexed from
Germany Germany,, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central Europe. It is the second most populous country in Europe after Russia, and the most populous member state of the European Union. Germany is situated between ...
in 1920, and re-annexed by Germany in 1940–1944. However, these ideologies are all very marginal and politically insignificant during elections.
China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, most populous country, with a Population of China, population exceeding 1.4 billion, slig ...
covers a large geographic area and uses the concept of "
Zhonghua minzu ''Zhonghua minzu'' (, ) is a political term in modern Chinese nationalism related to the concepts of nation-building, ethnicity, and race in the Chinese nationality. ''Zhonghua minzu'' was established during the early Beiyang (19 ...
" or Chinese nationality, in the sense of
ethnic group An ethnic group or an ethnicity is a grouping of people who identity (social science), identify with each other on the basis of shared attributes that distinguish them from other groups. Those attributes can include common sets of traditions, an ...
s, but it also officially recognizes the majority Han ethnic group which accounts for over 90% of the population, and no fewer than 55 ethnic national minorities. According to Philip G. Roeder,
Moldova Moldova ( , ; ), officially the Republic of Moldova ( ro, Republica Moldova), is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe. It is bordered by Romania Romania ( ; ro, România ) is a country located at the crossroads of Central Europe ...
is an example of a Soviet era "segment-state" (
Moldavian SSR The Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic ( ro, Republica Sovietică Socialistă Moldovenească, Moldovan Cyrillic: ) was one of the 15  republics of the Soviet Union which existed from 1940 to 1991. The republic was formed on 2 August 194 ...
), where the "nation-state project of the segment-state trumped the nation-state project of prior statehood. In Moldova, despite strong agitation from university faculty and students for reunification with
Romania Romania ( ; ro, România ) is a country located at the crossroads of Central Europe, Central, Eastern Europe, Eastern, and Southeast Europe, Southeastern Europe. It borders Bulgaria to the south, Ukraine to the north, Hungary to the west, S ...
, the nation-state project forged within the Moldavian SSR trumped the project for a return to the interwar nation-state project of Greater Romania." See Controversy over linguistic and ethnic identity in Moldova for further details.


Exceptional cases


Israel

Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל, ; ar, إِسْرَائِيل, ), officially the State of Israel ( he, מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל, label=none, translit=Medīnat Yīsrāʾēl; ), is a country in Western Asia. It is situated ...
was founded as a
Jewish state In world politics, Jewish state is a characterization of Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל, ; ar, إِسْرَائِيل, ), officially the State of Israel ( he, מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל, label=none, translit=M ...
in 1948. Its " Basic Laws" describe it as both a Jewish and a democratic state. The Basic Law: Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish People (2018) explicitly specifies the nature of the
State of Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל, ; ar, إِسْرَائِيل, ), officially the State of Israel ( he, מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל, label=none, translit=Medīnat Yīsrāʾēl; ), is a country in Western Asia. It is situated ...
as the
nation-state A nation state is a political unit where the state and nation A nation is a community of people formed on the basis of a combination of shared features such as language, history, ethnicity, culture and/or society. A nation is thus the co ...
of the
Jewish people Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים, , ) or Jewish people are an ethnoreligious group and nation originating from the Israelites Israelite origins and kingdom: "The first act in the long drama of Jewish history is the age of the Israelites""The ...
. According to the
Israel Central Bureau of Statistics The Israel Central Bureau of Statistics ( he, הלשכה המרכזית לסטטיסטיקה, ''HaLishka HaMerkazit LiStatistika''; ar, دائرة الإحصاء المركزية الإسرائيلية), abbreviated CBS, is an Israeli government ...
, 75.7% of Israel's population are Jews.
Arabs The Arabs (singular: Arab; singular ar, عَرَبِيٌّ, DIN 31635: , , plural ar, عَرَب, DIN 31635: , Arabic pronunciation: ), also known as the Arab people, are an ethnic group An ethnic group or an ethnicity is a grouping o ...
, who make up 20.4% of the population, are the largest ethnic minority in Israel. Israel also has very small communities of
Armenians Armenians ( hy, հայեր, ''Romanization of Armenian, hayer'' ) are an ethnic group native to the Armenian highlands of Western Asia. Armenians constitute the main population of Armenia and the ''de facto'' independent Republic of Artsakh ...
,
Circassians The Circassians (also referred to as Cherkess or Adyghe; Adyghe language, Adyghe and Kabardian language, Kabardian: Адыгэхэр, romanized: ''Adıgəxər'') are an Indigenous peoples, indigenous Northwest Caucasian languages, Northwest Cau ...
, Assyrians,
Samaritans Samaritans (; ; he, שומרונים, translit=Šōmrōnīm, lit=; ar, السامريون, translit=as-Sāmiriyyūn) are an ethnoreligious group who originate from the ancient Israelites. They are native to the Levant and adhere to Samarit ...
. There are also some non-Jewish spouses of Israeli Jews. However, these communities are very small, and usually number only in the hundreds or thousands.


Kingdom of the Netherlands

The
Kingdom of the Netherlands , national_anthem = ) , image_map = Kingdom of the Netherlands (orthographic projection).svg , map_width = 250px , image_map2 = File:KonDerNed-10-10-10.png , map_caption2 = Map of the four constituent countries shown to scale , capital = ...
presents an unusual example in which one kingdom represents four distinct countries. The four countries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands are: *
Netherlands ) , anthem = ( en, "William of Nassau") , image_map = , map_caption = , subdivision_type = Sovereign state , subdivision_name = Kingdom of the Netherlands , established_title = Before independence , established_date = Spanish Neth ...
(including the provinces in continental Europe and the special municipalities of
Bonaire Bonaire (; , ; pap, Boneiru, , almost pronounced ) is a Dutch island in the Leeward Antilles in the Caribbean Sea. Its capital is the port of Kralendijk, on the west ( leeward) coast of the island. Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao form the ABC ...
,
Sint Eustatius Sint Eustatius (, ), also known locally as Statia (), is an island in the Caribbean. It is a Caribbean Netherlands, special municipality (officially "Public body (Netherlands), public body") of the Netherlands. The island lies in the northern ...
and Saba) *
Aruba Aruba ( , , ), officially the Country of Aruba ( nl, Land Aruba; pap, Pais Aruba) is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands , national_anthem = ) , image_map = Kingdom of the Netherlands (orthographic projection).svg , ...
*
Curaçao Curaçao ( ; ; pap, Kòrsou, ), officially the Country of Curaçao ( nl, Land Curaçao; pap, Pais Kòrsou), is a Lesser Antilles The Lesser Antilles ( es, link=no, Antillas Menores; french: link=no, Petites Antilles; pap, Antias Menor ...
*
Sint Maarten Sint Maarten () is a Countries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the Caribbean. With a population of 41,486 as of January 2019 on an area of , it encompasses the southern 44% of the divid ...
Each is expressly designated as a ''land'' in Dutch law by the Charter for the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Unlike the German and the Austrian , is consistently translated as "countries" by the Dutch government.


Spain

While historical monarchies often brought together different kingdoms/territories/ethnic groups under the same crown, in modern nation states political elites seek a uniformity of the population, leading to state nationalism. In the case of the Christian territories of the future
Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = ''Plus ultra'' (Latin)(English: "Further Beyond") , national_anthem = (English: "Royal March") , i ...
, neighboring
Al-Andalus Al-Andalus translit. ; an, al-Andalus; ast, al-Ándalus; eu, al-Andalus; ber, ⴰⵏⴷⴰⵍⵓⵙ, label=Berber, translit=Andalus; ca, al-Àndalus; gl, al-Andalus; oc, Al Andalús; pt, al-Ândalus; es, al-Ándalus () was the Mus ...
, there was an early perception of ethnicity, faith and shared territory in the Middle Ages (13th-14th centuries), as documented by the
Chronicle of Muntaner The Chronicle of Ramon Muntaner, written in Xirivella between 1325 and 1328, is the longest of the four great chronicles and narrates the facts from the birth of James I of Aragon (1207) to the coronation of Alfonso IV of Aragon (1328). His charact ...
in the proposal of the Castilian king to the other Christian kings of the peninsula: "...''if these four Kings of Spain whom he named, who are of one flesh and blood, held together, little need they fear all the other powers of the world.''..". After the dynastic union of the
Catholic Monarchs The Catholic Monarchs were Isabella I of Castile, Queen Isabella I of Crown of Castile, Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon, King Ferdinand II of Crown of Aragón, Aragon, whose marriage and joint rule marked the ''de facto'' unification of Spain ...
in the 15th century, the Spanish Monarchy ruled over different kingdoms, each with its own cultural, linguistic and political particularities, and the kings had to swear by the
Laws Law is a set of rules that are created and are law enforcement, enforceable by social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior,Robertson, ''Crimes against humanity'', 90. with its precise definition a matter of longstanding debate. ...
of each territory before the respective
Parliament In modern politics, and history, a parliament is a legislative body of government. Generally, a modern parliament has three functions: Representation (politics), representing the Election#Suffrage, electorate, making laws, and overseeing ...
s. After the
War of the Spanish Succession The War of the Spanish Succession was a European great power conflict that took place from 1701 to 1714. The death of childless Charles II of Spain in November 1700 led to a struggle for control of the Spanish Empire between his heirs, Phili ...
, rooted in the political position of the Count-Duke of Olivares and the absolutism of Philip V, the assimilation of the
Crown of Aragon The Crown of Aragon ( , ) an, Corona d'Aragón ; ca, Corona d'Aragó, , , ; es, Corona de Aragón ; la, Corona Aragonum . was a composite monarchy ruled by one king, originated by the dynastic union of the Kingdom of Aragon and the County o ...
by the Castilian Crown through the Decrees of Nova planta was the first step in the creation of the Spanish nation-state. As in other contemporary European states, political union was the first step in the creation of the Spanish nation-state, in this case not on a uniform
ethnic An ethnic group or an ethnicity is a grouping of people who identity (social science), identify with each other on the basis of shared attributes that distinguish them from other groups. Those attributes can include common sets of traditions, an ...
basis, but through the imposition of the political and cultural characteristics of the dominant ethnic group, in this case the Castilians, over those of other ethnic groups, who became national minorities to be assimilated. In fact, since the political unification of 1714, Spanish assimilation policies towards Catalan-speaking territories (
Catalonia Catalonia (; ca, Catalunya ; Aranese Occitan: ''Catalonha'' ; es, Cataluña ) is an autonomous community of Spain, designated as a ''nationalities and regions of Spain, nationality'' by its Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia of 2006, Statute ...
,
Valencia Valencia ( va, València) is the capital of the Autonomous communities of Spain, autonomous community of Valencian Community, Valencia and the Municipalities of Spain, third-most populated municipality in Spain, with 791,413 inhabitants. It is ...
, the
Balearic Islands The Balearic Islands ( es, Islas Baleares ; or ca, Illes Balears ) are an archipelago in the Balearic Sea, near the eastern coast of the Iberian Peninsula. The archipelago is an Autonomous communities of Spain, autonomous community and a P ...
, part of
Aragon Aragon ( , ; Spanish and an, Aragón ; ca, Aragó ) is an autonomous community in Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = ''Plus ultra ...
) and other national minorities, as
basques The Basques ( or ; eu, euskaldunak ; es, vascos ; french: basques ) are a Southwestern European ethnic group, characterised by the Basque language, a Basque culture, common culture and shared genetic ancestry to the ancient Vascones and Aquit ...
and galicians, have been a historical constant. The process of assimilation began with secret instructions to the corregidores of the Catalan territory: they "will take the utmost care to introduce the Castilian language, for which purpose he will give the most temperate and disguised measures so that the effect is achieved, without the care being noticed." From there, actions in the service of assimilation, discreet or aggressive, were continued, and reached to the last detail, such as, in 1799, the Royal Certificate forbidding anyone to "represent, sing and dance pieces that were not in Spanish." These nationalist policies, sometimes very aggressive, and still in force, have been, and still are, the seed of repeated territorial conflicts within the State. The nationalization process accelerated in the 19th century, in parallel to the origin of
Spanish nationalism The creation of the tradition of the political community of Spaniards as common destiny over other communities has been argued to trace back to the Cortes of Cádiz. Revisiting the history of Spain, after 1812 Spanish liberalism tended to take fo ...
, the social, political and ideological movement that tried to shape a Spanish national identity based on the Castilian model, in conflict with the other historical nations of the State. Politicians of the time were aware that despite the aggressive policies pursued up to that time, the uniform and monocultural "Spanish nation" did not exist, as indicated in 1835 by Antonio Alcalà Galiano, when in the Cortes del Estatuto Real he defended the effort
"To make the Spanish nation a nation that neither is nor has been until now."
In 1906, the Catalanist party Solidaritat Catalana was founded to try to mitigate the economically and culturally oppressive treatment of Spain towards the Catalans. One of the responses of
Spanish nationalism The creation of the tradition of the political community of Spaniards as common destiny over other communities has been argued to trace back to the Cortes of Cádiz. Revisiting the history of Spain, after 1812 Spanish liberalism tended to take fo ...
came from the military state with statements such as that of the publication La Correspondencia militar: "The Catalan problem is not solved, well, by freedom, but by restriction; not by palliatives and pacts, but by iron and fire". Another came from important Spanish intellectuals, such Pio Baroja and Blasco Ibañez, calling the Catalans "
Jews Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים, , ) or Jewish people are an ethnoreligious group and nation originating from the Israelites Israelite origins and kingdom: "The first act in the long drama of Jewish history is the age of the Israelites""The ...
", considered a serious insult at that time when
racism Racism is the belief that groups of humans possess different behavioral traits corresponding to inherited attributes and can be divided based on the superiority of one Race (human categorization), race over another. It may also mean prejudice, d ...
was gaining strength. Building the nation (as in
France France (), officially the French Republic ( ), is a country primarily located in Western Europe. It also comprises of Overseas France, overseas regions and territories in the Americas and the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic, Pacific Ocean, Pac ...
, it was the state that created the nation, and not the opposite process) is an ideal that the Spanish elites constantly reiterated, and, one hundred years later than Alcalá Galiano, for example, we can also find it in the mouth of the fascist José Pemartín, who admired the German and Italian modeling policies:
"There is an intimate and decisive dualism, both in Italian fascism and in German National Socialism. On the one hand the Hegelian doctrine of the absolutism of the state is felt. The State originates in the Nation, educates and shapes the mentality of the individual; is, in Mussolini's words, the soul of the soul »
The turn of the 20th century, and the first half of that century, have seen the most ethnic violence, coinciding with a racism that even came to identify states with races; in the case of Spain, with a supposed Spanish race sublimated in Castilian, of which national minorities were degenerate forms, and the first of those that needed to be exterminated. In this sense, one can find discourses on the alienation of Catalan speakers, such as, for example, an article entitled «Cataluña bilingüe», by Menéndez Pidal, in which he defends the Romanones decree against the
Catalan language Catalan (; autonym: , ), known in the Valencian Community and Carche as '' Valencian'' ( autonym: ), is a Western Romance language. It is the official language of Andorra, and an official language of three autonomous communities in easte ...
, published in El Imparcial (1867–1933), El Imparcial, on 15 December 1902:
«… There they will see that the Courts of the Catalan-Aragonese Confederation never had Catalan as their official language; that the kings of Aragon, even those of the Catalan dynasty, used Catalan only in Catalonia, and used Spanish not only in the Cortes of Aragon, but also in foreign relations, the same with Castile or Navarre as with the infidel kings of Granada , from Africa or Asia, because even in the most important days of Catalonia, Spanish prevailed as the language of the Aragonese kingdom and Catalan was reserved for the peculiar affairs of the Catalan county..."
or the article "Los Catalanes. A las Cortes Constituyentes », appeared in several newspapers, among others: El Dia de Alicante, June 23, 1931, El Porvenir Castellano and El Noticiero de Soria, July 2, 1931, in the Heraldo de Almeria on June 4, 1931, sent by the "Pro-Justice Committee", with a post office box in Madrid:
"The Catalanists have recently declared that they are not Spanish, nor do they want to be, nor can they be. They have also been saying for a long time that they are an oppressed, enslaved, exploited people. It is imperative to do them justice... That they return to Phenicia or that they go wherever they want to admit them. When the Catalan tribes saw Spain and settled in the Spanish territory that is now occupied by the provinces of Barcelona, Gerona, Lérida and Tarragona, how little they imagined that the case of the captivity of the tribes of Israel in Egypt would be repeated there! !... Let us respect his most holy will. They are eternally inadaptable... Their cowardice and selfishness leaves them no room for fraternity... So, we propose to the Constituent Cortes the expulsion of the Catalanists... You are free! The Republic opens wide the doors of Spain, your prison. go away Get out of here. Go back to Phenicia, or go wherever you want, how big is the world."
The main scapegoat of Spanish nationalism is the non-Spanish languages, which over the last three hundred years have been tried to be replaced by Spanish with hundreds of laws and regulations, but also with acts of great violence, such as during the civil war. For example, the statements of Gonzalo Queipo de Llano, Queipo de Llano can be found in the article entitled "Against Catalonia, the Israel of the Modern World", published in the Diario Palentino on November 26, 1936, where it is dropped that in Americas, America Catalans are considered a race of
Jews Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים, , ) or Jewish people are an ethnoreligious group and nation originating from the Israelites Israelite origins and kingdom: "The first act in the long drama of Jewish history is the age of the Israelites""The ...
, because they use the same procedures that the Hebrews perform in all the nations of the Globe. And considering the Catalans as Hebrews and considering his Antisemitism, anti-Semitism "Our struggle is not a civil war, but a war for Western civilization against the Jewish world," it is not surprising that Queipo de Llano expressed his Anti-Catalanism, anti-Catalan intentions: "When the war is over, Pompeu Fabra and his works will be dragged along the Ramblas" (it was not talk to talk, the house of Pompeu Fabra, the standardizer of Catalan language, was raided and his huge personal library burned in the middle of the street. Pompeu Fabra was able to escape into exile). Another example of Fascism, fascist aggression towards the Catalan language is pointed out by Paul Preston in "The Spanish Holocaust", given that during the civil war it practically led to an ethnic conflict:
"In the days following the occupation of Lleida (…), the republican prisoners identified as Catalans were executed without trial. Anyone who heard them speak Catalan was very likely to be arrested. The arbitrary brutality of the anti-Catalan repression reached such a point that Franco himself had to issue an order ordering that mistakes that could later be regretted be avoided ". "There are examples of the murder of peasants for no other apparent reason than that of speaking Catalan"
After a possible attempt at ethnic cleansing, the Biopolitics, biopolitical imposition of Spanish during the Francoist Spain, Franco dictatorship, to the point of being considered an attempt at cultural genocide, democracy consolidated an apparent asymmetric regime of bilingualism of sorts, wherein the Spanish government has employed a system of laws that favored Spanish over Cataln, which becomes the weaker of the two languages, and therefore, in the absence of other states where it is spoken, is doomed to extinction in the medium or short term. In the same vein, its use in the Spanish Congress is prevented, and it is prevented from achieving official status Europe, unlike less spoken languages such as Goidelic languages, Gaelic. In other institutional areas, such as justice, Plataforma per la Llengua has denounced Anti-Catalanism, Catalanophobia. The association Soberania i Justícia have also denounced it in an act in the European Parliament. It also takes the form of linguistic secessionism, originally advocated by the Spanish extreme right and which has finally been adopted by the Spanish government itself and state bodies. In November 2005, Òmnium Cultural, Omnium Cultural organized a meeting of Catalan and Madrid intellectuals in the Círculo de Bellas Artes, Círculo de bellas artes in Madrid to show support for ongoing reform of Catalan Statute of Autonomy, which sought to resolve territorial tensions, and among other things better protect the Catalan language. On the Catalan side, a flight was made with one hundred representatives of the cultural, civic, intellectual, artistic and sporting world of Catalonia, but on the Spanish side, except Santiago Carrillo, a politician from the Second Spanish Republic, Second Republic, did not attend any more. The subsequent failure of the statutory reform with respect to its objectives opened the door to the growth of Catalan sovereignty. Apart from language discrimination by public officials, e.g. in the hospitals, the current prohibition of using the Catalan language in state institutions such as Court, despite being the former
Crown of Aragon The Crown of Aragon ( , ) an, Corona d'Aragón ; ca, Corona d'Aragó, , , ; es, Corona de Aragón ; la, Corona Aragonum . was a composite monarchy ruled by one king, originated by the dynastic union of the Kingdom of Aragon and the County o ...
, with three Catalan-speaking territories, one of the co-founders of the current Spanish state, is nothing more than the continuation of the foreignization of Catalan-speaking people from the first third of the 20th century, in full swing of state racism and
fascism Fascism is a far-right, Authoritarianism, authoritarian, ultranationalism, ultra-nationalist political Political ideology, ideology and Political movement, movement,: "extreme militaristic nationalism, contempt for electoral democracy and pol ...
. It also can be pointed the linguistic secessionism, originally advocated by the Spanish far right and which has finally been adopted by the Spanish government itself and state bodies. By fragmenting Catalan language into as many languages as territories, it becomes inoperative, economically suffocated, and becomes a political toy in the hands of territorial politicians. Susceptible to be classified as an ethnic democracy, the Spanish State currently only recognizes the Names of the Romani people, gypsies as a national minority, excluding Catalans (and, of course, Valencians and Balearic), Basques and Galicians. However, it is evident to any external observer that there are social diversities within the Spanish State that qualify as manifestations of national minorities, such as, for example, the existence of the main three linguistic minorities in their ancestral territories.


United Kingdom

The
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain, is a country in Europe, off the north-western coast of the European mainland, continental mainland. It comprises England, Scotlan ...
is an unusual example of a nation state due to its "countries within a
country A country is a distinct part of the world, such as a state (polity), state, nation, or other polity, political entity. It may be a sovereign state or make up one part of a larger state. For example, the country of Japan is an independent, so ...
". The United Kingdom is formed by the union of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, but it is a unitary state formed initially by the merger of two independent kingdoms, the Kingdom of England (which already included Wales) and the Kingdom of Scotland, but the Treaty of Union (1707) that set out the agreed terms has ensured the continuation of distinct features of each state, including separate Law in the United Kingdom, legal systems and separate Religion in the United Kingdom, national churches. In 2003, the British Government described the United Kingdom as "countries within a country". While the Office for National Statistics and others describe the United Kingdom as a "nation state", others, including a then Prime Minister, describe it as a "
multinational state A multinational state or a multinational union is a sovereign entity that comprises two or more nation A nation is a community of people formed on the basis of a combination of shared features such as language, history, ethnicity, culture an ...
", and the term Home Nations is used to describe the four national teams that represent the four nations of the United Kingdom (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales). Some refer to it as a "Union State". There has been academic debate over whether the United Kingdom can be legally dissolved, as it is recognized internationally as a single nation state. English law jurist A.V. Dicey wrote from an English legal perspective that the question is based on whether the legislation giving rise to the union (the Union with Scotland Act), one of the two pieces of legislation which created the state, can be repealed. Dicey claimed because the Law of England does not acknowledge the word "unconstitutional", as a matter of English law it can be repealed. He also stated any tampering with the Acts of Union 1707 would be political madness.


Minorities

The most obvious deviation from the ideal of "one nation, one state" is the presence of minorities, especially ethnic minorities, which are clearly not members of the majority nation. An ethnic nationalist definition of a
nation A nation is a community of people formed on the basis of a combination of shared features such as language, history, ethnicity, culture and/or society. A nation is thus the collective Identity (social science), identity of a group of people unde ...
is necessarily exclusive: ethnic nations typically do not have open membership. In most cases, there is a clear idea that surrounding nations are different, and that includes members of those nations who live on the "wrong side" of the border. Historical examples of groups who have been specifically singled out as ''outsiders'' are the Roma and
Jews Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים, , ) or Jewish people are an ethnoreligious group and nation originating from the Israelites Israelite origins and kingdom: "The first act in the long drama of Jewish history is the age of the Israelites""The ...
in Europe. Negative responses to minorities within the nation state have ranged from
cultural assimilation Cultural assimilation is the process in which a minority group or culture comes to resemble a society's Dominant culture, majority group or assume the values, behaviors, and beliefs of another group whether fully or partially. The different types ...
enforced by the state, to Ethnic cleansing, expulsion, persecution, violence, and Genocide, extermination. The assimilation policies are usually enforced by the state, but violence against minorities is not always state-initiated: it can occur in the form of mob violence such as lynching or pogroms. Nation states are responsible for some of the worst historical examples of violence against minorities not considered part of the nation. However, many nation states accept specific minorities as being part of the nation, and the term ''national minority'' is often used in this sense. The Sorbs in Germany are an example: for centuries they have lived in German-speaking states, surrounded by a much larger ethnic German population, and they have no other historical territory. They are now generally considered to be part of the German nation and are accepted as such by the Federal Republic of Germany, which constitutionally guarantees their cultural rights. Of the thousands of ethnic and cultural minorities in nation states across the world, only a few have this level of acceptance and protection. Multiculturalism is an official policy in some states, establishing the ideal of coexisting existence among multiple and separate ethnic, cultural, and linguistic groups. Other states preffer the interculturalism (or "melting pot" approach) alternative to multiculturalism, citing Criticism of multiculturalism, problems with latter as promoting self-segregation tendencies among minority groups, challenging national cohesion, polarizing society in groups that can't relate to one another, generating problems in regard to minorities and immigrants' fluency in the national language of use and integration with the rest of society (generating hate and persecution against them from the "otherness" they would generate in such a case according to its adherants), without minorities having to give up certain parts of their culture before being absorbed into a now changed majority culture by their contribution. Many nations have laws protecting minority rights. When national boundaries that do not match ethnic boundaries are drawn, such as in the Balkans and Central Asia, ethnic tension, massacres and even genocide, sometimes has occurred historically (see Bosnian genocide and 2010 South Kyrgyzstan ethnic clashes).


Irredentism

In principle, the border of a nation state would extend far enough to include all the members of the nation, and all of the national homeland. Again, in practice, some of them always live on the 'wrong side' of the border. Part of the national homeland may be there too, and it may be governed by the 'wrong' nation. The response to the non-inclusion of territory and population may take the form of irredentism: demands to annex ''unredeemed'' territory and incorporate it into the nation state. Irredentist claims are usually based on the fact that an identifiable part of the national group lives across the border. However, they can include claims to territory where no members of that nation live at present, because they lived there in the past, the national language is spoken in that region, the national culture has influenced it, geographical unity with the existing territory, or a wide variety of other reasons. Past grievances are usually involved and can cause revanchism. It is sometimes difficult to distinguish irredentism from pan-nationalism, since both claim that all members of an ethnic and cultural nation belong in one specific state. Pan-nationalism is less likely to specify the nation ethnically. For instance, variants of Pan-Germanism have different ideas about what constituted Kleindeutschland and Großdeutschland, Greater Germany, including the confusing term ''Grossdeutschland'', which, in fact, implied the inclusion of huge Slavic minorities from the
Austro-Hungarian Empire Austria-Hungary, often referred to as the Austro-Hungarian Empire,, the Dual Monarchy, or Austria, was a constitutional monarchy and great power in Central Europe between 1867 and 1918. It was formed with the Austro-Hungarian Compromise ...
. Typically, irredentist demands are at first made by members of non-state nationalist movements. When they are adopted by a state, they typically result in tensions, and actual attempts at annexation are always considered a ''casus belli'', a cause for war. In many cases, such claims result in long-term hostile relations between neighbouring states. Irredentist movements typically circulate maps of the claimed national territory, the ''greater'' nation state. That territory, which is often much larger than the existing state, plays a central role in their propaganda. Irredentism should not be confused with claims to overseas colonies, which are not generally considered part of the national homeland. Some French overseas colonies would be an exception: French rule in Algeria unsuccessfully treated the colony as a ''Département in France, département'' of France.


Future

It has been speculated by both proponents of globalization and various science fiction writers that the concept of a nation state may disappear with the ever-increasing interconnectedness of the world. Such ideas are sometimes expressed around concepts of a world government. Another possibility is a societal collapse and move into communal anarchy or zero world government, in which nation states no longer exist.


Clash of civilizations

The theory of the clash of civilizations lies in direct contrast to Cosmopolitanism, cosmopolitan theories about an ever more connected world that no longer requires nation states. According to political scientist Samuel P. Huntington, people's cultural and religious Identity (social science), identities will be the primary source of conflict in the post–Cold War world. The theory was originally formulated in a 1992 lecture at the American Enterprise Institute, which was then developed in a 1993 ''Foreign Affairs'' article titled "The Clash of Civilizations?",Official copy (free preview): in response to Francis Fukuyama's 1992 book, ''The End of History and the Last Man''. Huntington later expanded his thesis in a 1996 book ''The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order''. Huntington began his thinking by surveying the diverse theories about the nature of global politics in the post–Cold War period. Some theorists and writers argued that human rights, liberal democracy and capitalist free market economics had become the only remaining ideological alternative for nations in the post–Cold War world. Specifically, Francis Fukuyama, in ''The End of History and the Last Man'', argued that the world had reached a Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Hegelian "end of history". Huntington believed that while the age of ideology had ended, the world had reverted only to a normal state of affairs characterized by cultural conflict. In his thesis, he argued that the primary axis of conflict in the future will be along cultural and religious lines. As an extension, he posits that the concept of different civilizations, as the highest rank of cultural identity, will become increasingly useful in analyzing the potential for conflict. In the 1993 ''Foreign Affairs'' article, Huntington writes: :''It is my hypothesis that the fundamental source of conflict in this new world will not be primarily ideological or primarily economic. The great divisions among humankind and the dominating source of conflict will be cultural. Nation states will remain the most powerful actors in world affairs, but the principal conflicts of global politics will occur between nations and groups of different civilizations. The clash of civilizations will dominate global politics. The fault lines between civilizations will be the battle lines of the future.'' Sandra Joireman suggests that Huntington may be characterised as a neo-Primordialism, primordialist, as, while he sees people as having strong ties to their ethnicity, he does not believe that these ties have always existed.


Historiography

Historians often look to the past to find the origins of a particular nation state. Indeed, they often put so much emphasis on the importance of the nation state in modern times, that they distort the history of earlier periods in order to emphasize the question of origins. Lansing and English argue that much of the medieval history of Europe was structured to follow the historical winners—especially the nation states that emerged around Paris and London. Important developments that did not directly lead to a nation state get neglected, they argue: :one effect of this approach has been to privilege historical winners, aspects of medieval Europe that became important in later centuries, above all the nation state.... Arguably the liveliest cultural innovation in the 13th century was the Mediterranean, centered on Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor, Frederick II's polyglot court and administration in Palermo...Sicily and the Italian South in later centuries suffered a long slide into overtaxed poverty and marginality. Textbook narratives, therefore, focus not on medieval Palermo, with its Muslim and Jewish bureaucracies and Arabic-speaking monarch, but on the historical winners, Paris and London.


See also

* Balkanization *
Caliphate A caliphate or khilāfah ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an institution or public office under the leadership of an Islamic steward with the title of caliph (; ar, خَلِيفَة , ), a person considered a political-religious successor to th ...
* City-state * Civilization state *
Islamic state An Islamic state is a State (polity), state that has a form of government based on sharia, Islamic law (sharia). As a term, it has been used to describe various historical Polity, polities and theories of governance in the Islamic world. As a t ...
* Nation * Nationalism * National personification * Titular nation * Westphalian sovereignty


Notes


References


General references

* Benedict Anderson, Anderson, Benedict. 1991. ''Imagined Communities''. . * Josep Colomer, Colomer, Josep M. 2007. ''Great Empires, Small Nations: The Uncertain Future of the Sovereign State''. . * Gellner, Ernest (1983). ''Nations and Nationalism''. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. . * Hobsbawm, Eric J. (1992). ''Nations and Nationalism Since 1780: Programme, Myth, Reality''. 2nd ed. Cambridge University Press. . * * Khan, Ali (1992)
"The Extinction of Nation States"
* Ernest Renan, Renan, Ernest. 1882. s:fr:Qu'est-ce qu'une nation ?, "Qu'est-ce qu'une nation?" ("What Is a Nation?") * Malesevic, Sinisa (2006). ''Identity as Ideology: Understanding Ethnicity and Nationalism''. New York: Palgrave. * Smith, Anthony D. (1986). ''The Ethnic Origins of Nations''. London: Basil Blackwell. pp 6–18. . * White, Philip L. (2006)
"Globalization and the Mythology of the Nation State"
In A. G. Hopkins, ed. ''Global History: Interactions Between the Universal and the Local''. Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 257–284.


Citations


External links



on identity and the nation state. * :ca:Cronologia de la repressi%C3%B3 del catal%C3%A0, Chronology of the repression of the Catalan language in catalan language {{DEFAULTSORT:Nation State Nation, State Political science terminology