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A nation state is a political unit where the
state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, Un ...
and
nation A nation is a community A community is a social unit (a group of living things) with commonality such as Norm (social), norms, religion, values, Convention (norm), customs, or Identity (social science), identity. Communities may share a sense ...

nation
are congruent. It is a more precise concept than "
country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some form of Institutionalisation, institutionalized social ...

country
", since a country does not need to have a predominant
ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people A people is any plurality of person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason, morality, consciousness or self-consciousn ...
. A
nation A nation is a community A community is a social unit (a group of living things) with commonality such as Norm (social), norms, religion, values, Convention (norm), customs, or Identity (social science), identity. Communities may share a sense ...

nation
, in the sense of a common
ethnicity An ethnic group or 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, ancest ...

ethnicity
, may include a
diaspora A diaspora () is a scattered population whose origin lies in a separate geographic locale. Historically, the word diaspora was used to refer to the mass dispersion of a population from its indigenous territories, specifically the dispersion ...

diaspora
or
refugee A refugee, generally speaking, is a displaced person Forced displacement (also forced migration) is an involuntary or coerced movement of a person or people away from their home or home region In geography, regions are areas that are broa ...

refugee
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 Sovereignty is the supreme authority within a territory. Sovereignty entails hierarchy within the state, as well as external autonomy for states. In any state, sovereignty i ...
, 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 two ...
state depending on the degree of
cultural assimilation Cultural assimilation is the process in which a minority group A minority group, by its original definition, refers to a group of people whose practices, race, religion, ethnicity, or other characteristics are fewer in numbers than the main gro ...
of various groups). * A
city-state A city-state is an independent sovereignty, 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 c ...
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". Narrowly defined, an empire is a sovereign state called an empire and w ...

empire
, which is composed of many countries (possibly non-sovereign states) and nations under a single
monarch A monarch is a head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona A persona (plural personae or personas), depending on the context, can refer to either the public image of one's personality, or the social role tha ...

monarch
or ruling state
government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Departmen ...

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 i ...
, 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 , a region, a , a , a , an , an or a ) is a territorial and al community forming part of a . Such states differ from fully s, in that they do not have full sovereign powers, as th ...
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 A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some form of Institutionalisation, institutionalized ...

federation
(for example, the state boundaries of
Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina,, abbreviated BiH or B&H, sometimes called Bosnia–Herzegovina and often known informally as Bosnia, is a country in South South is one of the cardinal directions or compass points. South is the opposite of north a ...

Bosnia and Herzegovina
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., ...

United States
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 (from Greek Language, Greek ''ethnos'' , "group of people, nation" and ''genesis'' , "beginning, coming into being"; plural ethnogeneses) is "the formation and development of an ethnic group". This can originate through a process of ...
, and a group with a pre-existing ethnic identity can influence the drawing of territorial boundaries or argue for
political legitimacy In political science Political science is the scientific study of politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions in groups, or other forms of power relations between individuals, suc ...
. 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 Valery Aleksandrovich Tishkov Валерий Александрович Тишков (born 6 November 1941) is an ethnologist and former chairman of the State Committee of RSFSR on nationalities from February 27 to October 15, 1992 (Minister for ...
.
Walker Connor Walker F. Connor (June 19, 1926 – February 28, 2017) was of at (Middlebury, Vermont, USA). Connor is best known for his work on , and is considered one of the founders of the of . Before the collapse of European that began in the late 198 ...
discusses the impressions surrounding the characters of "
nation A nation is a community A community is a social unit (a group of living things) with commonality such as Norm (social), norms, religion, values, Convention (norm), customs, or Identity (social science), identity. Communities may share a sense ...

nation
", " (sovereign) state", "nation state", and "
nationalism Nationalism is an idea and movement that holds that the nation A nation is a community of people formed on the basis of a common language, history, ethnicity, or a common culture, and, in many cases, a shared territory. A nation is more ove ...
". 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 A nation is a community of people formed on the basis of a common language, history, ethnicity, ...
" 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 (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approxima ...

history
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'' which aired from April 1990 to May 1997 on NBC, as Sam Blue in '' Once and Again'', and ...
, David Woodward,
Michel Foucault Paul-Michel Foucault (, ; ; 15 October 192625 June 1984) was a French philosopher, historian of ideas Intellectual history (also the history of ideas) is the study of the history of human thought and of intellectual An intellectual is a ...

Michel Foucault
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 production Production may be: Economics and business * Production (economics) * Production, the act of manufacturing goods * Production, in the outline of industrial organization, the act of making products (g ...
,
capitalism Capitalism is an economic system An economic system, or economic order, is a system A system is a group of interacting Interaction is a kind of action that occurs as two or more objects have an effect upon one another. The idea o ...

capitalism
,
mercantilism Mercantilism is an economic policy The economic policy of governments covers the systems for setting levels of taxation, government budgets, the money supply and interest rates as well as the labour market, nationalization, national owner ...

mercantilism
,
political geography Political geography is concerned with the study of both the spatially uneven outcomes of political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms o ...
, and
geography Geography (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10. ...

geography
combined with
cartography Cartography (; from χάρτης ''chartēs'', "papyrus, sheet of paper, map"; and γράφειν ''graphein'', "write") is the study and practice of making and using s. Combining , , and technique, cartography builds on the premise that rea ...
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 supreme authority within a territory. Sovereignty entails hierarchy within the state, as well as external autonomy for states. In any state, sovereignty is assigned to the person, body, or institution that has the ultimate a ...
, 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 is popularly understood as an ability to read and write Writing is a medium of human communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share") is the act of developing Semantics, meaning among Subject (ph ...
and
mass media Mass media refers to a diverse array of media Media may refer to: Physical means Communication * Media (communication), tools used to deliver information or data ** Advertising media, various media, content, buying and placement fo ...
. 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 country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who ...

Portugal
and the
Dutch Republic The United Provinces of the Netherlands, or United Provinces (officially the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands), commonly referred to in historiography Historiography is the study of the methods of historian ( 484– 425 BC) was ...
. In France,
Eric Hobsbawm Eric John Ernest Hobsbawm (; 9 June 1917 – 1 October 2012) was a British historian of the rise of industrial capitalism Capitalism is an economic system based on the private ownership Private property is a legal designation for ...

Eric Hobsbawm
argues, the French state preceded the formation of the
French people The French people (french: Français) are an ethnic group primarily located in Western Europe and nation that shares a common Culture of France, French culture, history, the French language and is identified with the country of France. The F ...
. Hobsbawm considers that the state made the French nation, not
French nationalism Nationalism Nationalism is an idea and movement that promotes the interests of a particular nation A nation is a community of people formed on the basis of a common language, history, ethnicity, or a common culture, and, in many cases, ...
, which emerged at the end of the 19th century, the time of the
Dreyfus Affair The Dreyfus affair (french: l'affaire Dreyfus, ) was a political scandal that divided the Third French 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 (french: link=no, République française), is a country primarily located in Western Europe, consi ...

French Revolution
, 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'' (, ; meaning "Resurgence"), was the 19th-century political and social movement that resulted in the consolidation of different states of the Italian Peninsu ...

Italian unification
, the number of people speaking the
Italian language Italian (''italiano'' or ) is a Romance languages, Romance language of the Indo-European languages, Indo-European language family that evolved from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire. Italian is the most direct descendant of Latin, arguab ...

Italian language
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 ...

French language
. The introduction of
conscription Conscription, sometimes called the draft in the United States, is the mandatory enlistment of people in a national service National service is a system of either compulsory or voluntary government service, usually military service. Conscription ...

conscription
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 (german: Deutschland, ), officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in . It is the in Europe after , and the most populous . Germany is situated between the and seas to the north, and the to the south; it covers an area of ...

Germany
and
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of Italian Peninsula, a peninsula delimited by the Alps and List of islands of Italy, several islands surrounding it, whose ...

Italy
, came into existence at least partly as a result of political campaigns by
nationalists Nationalism is an idea and movement that promotes the interests of a particular nation (as in a in-group and out-group, group of people),Anthony D. Smith, Smith, Anthony. ''Nationalism: Theory, Ideology, History''. Polity (publisher), Polity, ...
, 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 The ''Völkisch'' movement (german: Völkische Bewegung) was a German ethnic and nationalist Nationalism is an idea and movement that promotes the interests of a particular nation (as in a in-group and out-group, group of people),Anthon ...
'' 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''.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 Some authors deconstruct the distinction between
ethnic nationalism 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 the ...
and
civic nationalism Civic nationalism, also known as liberal nationalism, is a form of nationalism identified by political philosophers who believe in an inclusive form of nationalism that adheres to traditional liberal values of freedom Freedom, generally, ...
because of the ambiguity of the concepts. They argue that the paradigmatic case of
Ernest Renan Joseph Ernest Renan (; 27 February 18232 October 1892) was a French people, French Oriental studies, Orientalist and Semitic studies, Semitic scholar, expert of Semitic languages and Ancient Semitic-speaking peoples, civilizations, historian of r ...

Ernest Renan
is an idealisation and it should be interpreted within the German tradition and not in opposition to it. For example, they argue that the arguments used by Renan at the conference ''What is a nation?'' are not consistent with his thinking. This alleged civic conception of the nation would be determined only by the case of the loss gives Alsace and Lorraine in the
Franco-Prussian War The Franco-Prussian War or Franco-German War,, german: Deutsch-Französischer Krieg often referred to in France as the War of 1870, was a conflict between the Second French Empire (later the Third French Republic) and the North German Confeder ...
. 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 the ...
(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". Narrowly defined, an empire is a sovereign state called an empire and w ...

empire
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). The nation state received a philosophical underpinning in the era of
Romanticism Romanticism (also known as the Romantic era) was an artistic, literary, musical, and intellectual movement that originated in Europe Europe is a continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by con ...
, 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 Nationalism is an idea and movement that holds that the nation A nation is a community of people formed on the basis ...
: see
Johann Gottlieb Fichte Johann Gottlieb Fichte (; ; 19 May 1762 – 29 January 1814) was a German philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about re ...

Johann Gottlieb Fichte
's conception of the ''
Volk The German noun ''Volk'' () translates to , both uncountable in the sense of ''people'' as in a , and countable (plural ''Völker'') in the sense of ' as in an or (compare the term '). Within an English-language context, the German word ...

Volk
'', later opposed by
Ernest Renan Joseph Ernest Renan (; 27 February 18232 October 1892) was a French people, French Oriental studies, Orientalist and Semitic studies, Semitic scholar, expert of Semitic languages and Ancient Semitic-speaking peoples, civilizations, historian of r ...

Ernest Renan
). 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 Superior may refer to: *Superior (hierarchy), something which is higher in a hie ...

Racism
, which in Boulainvilliers's theories was inherently anti
patriotic Patriotism or national pride is the feeling of love, devotion, and sense of attachment to a homeland and alliance with other citizens who share the same sentiment. This attachment can be a combination of many different feelings relating to on ...

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 colonies In political science, a colony is a territory subject to a form of foreign rule. Though dominated by the foreign c ...

colonialist
imperialism Imperialism is a policy or ideology of extending rule over peoples and other countries, for extending political and economic access, power and control, often through employing , especially military force, but also . While related to the concept ...

imperialism
and "continental imperialism", most notably in pan-Germanic and
pan-Slavic#REDIRECT Pan-Slavism Pan-Slavism, a movement which crystallized in the mid-19th century, is the political ideology An ideology () is a set of belief A belief is an Attitude (psychology), attitude that something is the case, or that some prop ...
movements. The relation between racism and ethnic nationalism reached its height in the 20th century
fascism Fascism () is a form of far-right, authoritarian ultranationalism characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition, and strong regimentation of society and the economy that rose to prominence in early 20th-century Europ ...

fascism
and
Nazism Nazism ( ), officially National Socialism (german: Nationalsozialismus, ), is the ideology An ideology () is a set of belief A belief is an Attitude (psychology), attitude that something is the case, or that some proposition about th ...

Nazism
. 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 Antisemitism (also spelled anti-semitism or anti-Semitism) is hostility to, prejudice, or discrimination against Jews. A person who holds such positions is ca ...

Nuremberg laws
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 ...

Nazi Germany
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 ISO 259-2 , Israeli pronunciation ) 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 ...

Jews
nor the
Roma Roma or ROMA may refer to: Places Australia * Roma, Queensland, a town ** Roma Airport ** Roma Courthouse ** Electoral district of Roma Roma was an electoral district An electoral district, also known as an election district, legislative ...

Roma
were considered part of the people and were specifically targeted for persecution. German
nationality law Nationality law is the law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced by its environment ...
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 supreme authority within a territory. Sovereignty entails hierarchy within the state, as well as external autonomy for states. In any state, sovereignty is assigned to the person, body, or institution that has the ultimate a ...
within its borders has been criticized. A global political system based on
international agreements A treaty is a formal, legally binding written agreement between actors in international law International law, also known as public international law and law of nations, is the set of rules, norms, and standards generally accepted in relat ...
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 ...

corporation
s and
non-governmental organizations upright=1.3, alt=A roomful of people, Europe-Georgia Institute head George Melashvili addresses the audience at the launch of the "Europe in a suitcase" project by two NGOs (the EGI and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation), which aims to increase ...
, 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 continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical regions are commonly regarded as continents. Ordered ...

Europe
, 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". Narrowly defined, an empire is a sovereign state called an empire and w ...

empire
s, the
Austrian Empire The Austrian Empire (german: Kaiserthum Oesterreich, modern spelling ') was a Central Europe Central Europe is an area of Europe between Western Europe and Eastern Europe, based on a common History, historical, Society, social and cultural ...
,
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 Hyponymy and hypernymy, umbrella term given to various political entities of France in the Middle Ages ...
,
Kingdom of Hungary The Kingdom of Hungary was a monarchy in Central Europe that existed from the Middle Ages into the 20th century (1000–1946 with the exception of 1918–1920) and existed for almost a millennium. The Principality of Hungary emerged as a Christ ...

Kingdom of Hungary
, the
Russian Empire The Russian Empire, . commonly referred to as Imperial Russia, was a historical that extended across and from 1721, succeeding the following the that ended the . The Empire lasted until the was proclaimed by the that took power after the ...
, 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 colonies In political scie ...
, 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) during the Early Modern period, was a colonial empire ...

Spanish Empire
, the
Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire (; ', ; or '; )info page on bookat Martin Luther University) // CITED: p. 36 (PDF p. 38/338). was an empire that controlled much of Southeastern Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa, Northern Africa between the 14th ...
, 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. ...

British 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 doctrine) is a form of monarchy in which the monarch holds supreme autocracy, autocratic authority, principally not being restricted by written laws, legislature, or customs. These are often hereditary monar ...
ruled by a king,
emperor An emperor (from la, imperator The Latin word "imperator" derives from the stem of the verb la, imperare, label=none, meaning 'to order, to command'. It was originally employed as a title roughly equivalent to ''commander'' under the Roma ...

emperor
or
sultan Sultan (; ar, سلطان ', ) is a position with several historical meanings. Originally, it was an Arabic abstract noun A noun () is a word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phone ...

sultan
. 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 University Press (OUP) is the university press of the University of Oxford. It is the larges ...
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. In the
Muslim world The terms Muslim world and Islamic world commonly refer to the Islamic Islam (;There are ten pronunciations of ''Islam'' in English, differing in whether the first or second syllable has the stress, whether the ''s'' is or , and whether ...

Muslim world
, immediately after Muhammad's death in 632,
Caliphate A caliphate ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an Islamic state under the leadership of an Islamic steward with the title of caliph (; ar, خَلِيفَة ', ), a person considered a politico-religious successor to the Islamic prophet Muhammad ...
s were established. Caliphates were
Islamic state {{Infobox war faction , name = Islamic State , anthem = '' Dawlat al-Islam Qamat'' {{small, ("My Ummah ' ( ar, أمة ) is an Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language that first emerged in the 1st ...
s under the leadership of a political-religious successor to the Islamic prophet
Muhammad Muhammad ibn AbdullahHe is referred to by many appellations, including Messenger of Allah, The Prophet Muhammad, Allah's Apostle, Last Prophet of Islam, and others; there are also many variant spellings of Muhammad, such as Mohamet, Mohammed, ...

Muhammad
. These
polities A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some form of institutionalized social relations, and have a capacity to mobilize resources. A polity can be any other group o ...
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 Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, Sultan of the Ottoman Empire fr ...

Selim I
(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, اَلْخِلَافَةُ ٱلْعَبَّاسِيَّةُ, ') was the third caliphate A caliphate ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an Islamic state under the leadership of an Islam Islam (;There ar ...
-
Mamluk Mamluk ( ar, مملوك, mamlūk (singular), , ''mamālīk'' (plural), translated as "one who is owned", meaning "", also as ''Mameluke'', ''mamluq'', ''mamluke'', ''mameluk'', ''mameluke'', ''mamaluke'', or ''marmeluke'') is a term most commo ...

Mamluk
Caliphate since the Mongols' sacking of Baghdad and the killing of the last Abbasid Caliph in Baghdad, Iraq 1258. The
Ottoman Caliphate The Ottoman Caliphate ( ota, خلافت مقامى, tr, hilâfet makamı; "the office of caliphate"), under the Ottoman dynasty The Ottoman dynasty ( tr, Osmanlı Hanedanı) was made up of the members of the imperial House of Osman ( ota, ...
as an office of the
Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire (; ', ; or '; )info page on bookat Martin Luther University) // CITED: p. 36 (PDF p. 38/338). was an empire that controlled much of Southeastern Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa, Northern Africa between the 14th ...
was abolished under
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk Kemal Atatürk (or alternatively written as Kamâl Atatürk, Mustafa Kemal Pasha Pasha or Paşa ( ota, پاشا; tr, paşa; sq, Pashë; ar, باشا), in older works sometimes anglicized as bashaw, was a higher rank in the Ottoman Emp ...

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 Republic of Turkey into a secular, modern nation-state, implemented under the leadership of Must ...
. Some of the smaller European states were not so ethnically diverse, but were also
dynastic A dynasty (, ) is a sequence of rulers from the same family In human society, family (from la, familia) is a group of people related either by consanguinity (by recognized birth) or affinity (by marriage or other relationship). Th ...
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 University Press (OUP) is the university press 200px, The Pitt Building in Cambridge, which u ...
. Their territory could expand by
royal intermarriage Royal intermarriage is the practice of members of ruling dynasties marrying into other reigning families. It was more commonly done in the past as part of strategic diplomacy for national interest National Interest, often referred to by the Fre ...
or merge with another state when the dynasty merged. In some parts of Europe, notably
Germany Germany (german: Deutschland, ), officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in . It is the in Europe after , and the most populous . Germany is situated between the and seas to the north, and the to the south; it covers an area of ...

Germany
, 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 so ...

prince
s or other hereditary rulers, some were governed by
bishop A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. Within the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Moravian Chu ...

bishop
s or
abbot Abbot (from Aramaic: ''Abba'' "father") is an ecclesiastical title A title is one or more words used before or after a person's name, in certain contexts. It may signify either generation, an official position, or a professional or academic ...

abbot
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 A commercial policy (also referred to as a trade policy or international trade policy) is a government's policy governing international trade International trade is the exchange of capital, goods, and service ...
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 A trade bloc is a type of trade pact, intergovernmental agreement, often part of a regional intergovernmental organization, where barriers to trade (tariffs and Non-tariff barriers to tr ...

customs union
, the
Zollverein The ''Zollverein'' (), or German Customs Union, was a coalition of German states formed to manage tariff A tariff is a tax imposed by a government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, gen ...

Zollverein
. However, the
Austro-Prussian War The Austro-Prussian War or Seven Weeks' War, known in Germany as ("German War") and by a variety of other names, was fought in 1866 between the Austrian Empire The Austrian Empire (german: Kaiserthum Oesterreich, modern spelling ') was ...
, and the German alliances in the
Franco-Prussian War The Franco-Prussian War or Franco-German War,, german: Deutsch-Französischer Krieg often referred to in France as the War of 1870, was a conflict between the Second French Empire (later the Third French Republic) and the North German Confeder ...
, were decisive in the unification. The
Austro-Hungarian Empire Austria-Hungary, often referred to as the Austro-Hungarian Empire or the Dual Monarchy, was a constitutional monarchy A constitutional monarchy, parliamentary monarchy, or democratic monarchy is a form of monarchy in which the monarch exer ...
and the
Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire (; ', ; or '; )info page on bookat Martin Luther University) // CITED: p. 36 (PDF p. 38/338). was an empire that controlled much of Southeastern Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa, Northern Africa between the 14th ...
broke up after the
First World War World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainmen ...
, and the
Russian Empire The Russian Empire, . commonly referred to as Imperial Russia, was a historical that extended across and from 1721, succeeding the following the that ended the . The Empire lasted until the was proclaimed by the that took power after the ...
became the
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a that spanned during its existence from 1922 to 1991. It was nominally a of multiple national ; in practice and were highly until its final years. The ...
after the
Russian Civil War {{Infobox military conflict , conflict = Russian Civil War , partof = the Russian Revolution The Russian Revolution was a period of political and social revolution across the territory of the Russian Empire The R ...
. 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-speaking The German language (, ) is a West Germanic language mainly spoken in Central Europe Central Europ ...

Liechtenstein
,
Andorra Andorra (, ; ), officially the Principality of Andorra ( ca, Principat d'Andorra), is a sovereign Sovereign is a title which can be applied to the highest leader in various categories. The word is borrowed from Old French Old French ( ...

Andorra
,
Monaco Monaco (; ), officially the Principality of Monaco (french: Principauté de Monaco; Monégasque Ligurian: ''Prinçipatu de Mu̍negu''), is a sovereign Sovereign is a title which can be applied to the highest leader in various categories. The ...

Monaco
, 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 a small country (and a European microstate) ...

San Marino
. (
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 Vatica ...

Vatican City
is a special case. All of the larger
Papal State The Papal States ( ; it, Stato Pontificio), officially the State of the Church ( it, Stato della Chiesa, ; la, Status Ecclesiasticus; also '), were a series of territories in the Italian Peninsula under the direct sovereign rule of the pope ...
s save the Vatican itself were occupied and absorbed by Italy by 1870. The resulting
Roman Question The Roman Question ( it, Questione romana; la, Quaestio Romana) was a dispute regarding the temporal power of the pope The pope ( la, papa, from el, πάππας, translit=pappas, "father"), also known as the supreme pontiff () or the Rom ...
was resolved with the rise of the modern state under the 1929 Lateran treaties between
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of Italian Peninsula, a peninsula delimited by the Alps and List of islands of Italy, several islands surrounding it, whose ...

Italy
and the
Holy See The Holy See ( lat, Sancta Sedes, ; it, Santa Sede ), also called the See of Rome or Apostolic See, is the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Rome A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian ...
.)


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 boundaries of or legal s, such as s, , , and other . Borders are established through agreements between political or social entities that control those areas; the creation of these agreements is called . Some borders—such as mos ...

border
, 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 the study of society, human social behaviour, patterns of social relationships, social interaction, and culture that surrounds everyday life. It is a social science that u ...

customs
and . In Germany, that process, the creation of the
Zollverein The ''Zollverein'' (), or German Customs Union, was a coalition of German states formed to manage tariff A tariff is a tax imposed by a government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, gen ...

Zollverein
, 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 transferring passengers and goods on wheeled vehicle A vehicle (from la, vehiculum) is a machine that transports people or cargo. Vehicles include wagons, bicycles, motor veh ...

rail transport
networks was at first largely a matter for
private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, British singer Dusty Springfield, after an absence of nearly two decades from the charts. Both "In Pri ...
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 The Trans-European Networks (TEN) were created by the European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of Member state of the European Union, member states that are located primarily in Europe. Its members have a co ...
, are a recent innovation. The nation states typically had a more centralised and uniform
public administration Public administration is the implementation of government policy Public policy is a course of action created and/or enacted, typically by a government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, g ...
than its imperial predecessors: they were smaller, and the population less diverse. (The internal diversity of the
Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire (; ', ; or '; )info page on bookat Martin Luther University) // CITED: p. 36 (PDF p. 38/338). was an empire that controlled much of Southeastern Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa, Northern Africa between the 14th ...
, 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 The Imperial Territory of Alsace-Lorraine (german: Reichsland Elsaß-Lothringen or ; gsw-als, 's Rìchslànd Elsàss-Lothrìnga; Moselle Franconian __NOTOC__ Moselle Franconian (German ''Moselfränkisch'') is a West Central German language, ...

Alsace-Lorraine
,
Catalonia Catalonia (; ca, Catalunya ; Aranese, Aranese Occitan: ''Catalonha'' ; es, Cataluña ) is an Autonomous communities of Spain, autonomous community in the northeastern corner of Spain, designated as a ''nationalities and regions of Spain, na ...

Catalonia
,
Brittany Brittany (; french: link=no, Bretagne ; br, Breizh, or ; Gallo: ''Bertaèyn'' ) is a peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from ' "almost" and ' "island") is a landform surrounded by water on most of its border while being connected to ...
and
Corsica Corsica (, Upper , Southern , ; french: link=no, Corse ; lij, link=no, Còrsega) is an island in the Mediterranean Sea The Mediterranean Sea is a connected to the , surrounded by the and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north ...

Corsica
. 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 autonomyRegional autonomy is decentralization Decentralization or decentralisation is the process by which the activities of an organization, particularly those regarding planning and decision making, are distributed or delegated away from a central, aut ...
, in formerly
centralised Centralisation or centralization (see spelling differences Despite the various English dialects spoken from country to country and within different regions of the same country, there are only slight regional variations in English orthog ...
states such as
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a List of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country spanning Western Europe and Overseas France, overseas regions and territories in the Ame ...

France
. 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 and Norm (social), norms found in human Society, societies, as well as the knowledge, beliefs, arts, laws, Social norm, customs, capabilities, and habits of the individuals i ...

culture
, through state policy. The model of the nation state implies that its population constitutes a
nation A nation is a community A community is a social unit (a group of living things) with commonality such as Norm (social), norms, religion, values, Convention (norm), customs, or Identity (social science), identity. Communities may share a sense ...

nation
, 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 A. Fishman and Ofelia García consider it as part of sociolinguistics Sociolinguistics is the descriptive study of the effect of any and all aspects of socie ...
. The creation of national systems of compulsory
primary education Primary education is typically the first stage of formal education Formal learning is education normally delivered by trained teachers in a systematic intentional way within a school A school is an educational institution designed to p ...
and a relatively uniform
curriculum In education Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, value (ethics), values, morals, beliefs, habits, and personal development. Educational methods include teaching, training, storytelli ...
in secondary schools, was the most effective instrument in the spread of the
national language A national language is a language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most languages have a writing system composed o ...
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 manufacture Manufacturing is the production of goods In economics Economics () is the social science that st ...

prohibition
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 Linguistic anglicisation (or anglicization, occasionally anglification, anglifying, or Englishing) is the practice of modifying foreign words, names, and phrases to make them easier to spell, pronounce, or understand in English English usually ...
, Bulgarization,
Croatization Croatisation or Croatization ( hr, kroatizacija, or ''pohrvaćenje''; it, croatizzazione; sr, хрватизација / ''hrvatizacija'' or похрваћење / ''pohrvaćenje'') is a process of cultural assimilation Cultural assimilation is ...
, Czechization, Francisation, Italianization, Germanisation, Hispanicization, Magyarisation, Polonisation, Russification, Serbization, Slovakisation). In some cases, these policies triggered bitter conflicts and further ethnic separatism. 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, 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 A. Fishman and Ofelia García consider it as part of sociolinguistics Sociolinguistics is the descriptive study of the effect of any and all aspects of socie ...
and educational systems.


In practice

In some cases, the geographic boundaries of an ethnic population and a political state largely coincide. In these cases, there is little immigration or emigration, few members of ethnic minorities, and few members of the "home" ethnicity living in other countries. Nation states where a single ethnic group makes up more than 85% of the population include the following: * Albania: The vast majority of the population is ethnically Albanians, Albanian at about 98.6% of the population, with the remainder consisting of a few small ethnic minorities. * Armenia: The vast majority of Armenia's population consists of ethnic Armenian people, Armenians at about 98% of the population, with the remainder consisting of a few small ethnic minorities. * Bangladesh: The vast majority ethnic group of Bangladesh are the Bengali people, comprising 98% of the population, with the remainder consisting of mostly Bihari people, Bihari migrants and indigenous tribal groups. Therefore, Bangladeshi society is to a great extent linguistically and culturally homogeneous, with very small populations of foreign expatriates and workers, although there is a substantial number of Bengali workers living abroad. * China: The vast majority of China's population is Han Chinese, Han, making up 92% of the population and geographically distributed on the eastern side of China. The government also recognizes Ethnic minorities in China, 55 ethnic minorities, including Turks, Tibetan people, Tibetans, Mongols and others. * Egypt: The vast majority of Egypt's population consists of ethnic Egyptian people, Egyptians at about 99% of the population, with the remainder consisting of a few small ethnic minorities, as well as refugees or asylum seekers. Modern Egyptian identity is closely tied to the geography of Egypt and History of Egypt, its long history; its development over the centuries saw overlapping or conflicting ideologies. Though today an Arab people, that aspect constitutes for Egyptians a cultural dimension of their identity, not a necessary attribute of or prop for their national political being. Today most Egyptians see themselves, their history, culture and language (Egyptian Arabic, the Egyptian variant of Arabic) as specifically Egyptian and at the same time as part of the Arab world. * Estonia: Defined as a nation state in its 1920 Constitution of Estonia, constitution, up until the period of Occupation of the Baltic states, Soviet occupation, Estonia was historically a very homogenous state with 88.2% of residents being Estonians, 8.2% Russians in Estonia, Russians, 1.5% Baltic Germans, Germans and 0.4%
Jews Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים ISO 259-2 , Israeli pronunciation ) 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 ...

Jews
according to the 1934 census. As a result of Soviet policies the demographic situation significantly changed with the arrival of Russian speaking settlers. Today Estonians form 69%, Russians 25.4%, Ukrainians 2.04% and Belarusians 1.1% of the population (2012). A significant proportion of the inhabitants (84.1%) are citizens of Estonia, around 7.3% are citizens of Russia and 7.0% as yet undefined citizenship (2010). * Eswatini: The vast majority of the population is ethnically Swazi people, Swazi at about 98.6% of the population, with the remainder consisting of a few small ethnic minorities. * Greece: 91.6% of the permanent residents are ethnic Greek; the remaining 911929 inhabitants consist of immigrants from Albania (480,824), Bulgaria (75,915), Romania (46,253), former USSR (70,000), Western Europe (77,000) and the rest of the world (161,937). * Hungary: The Hungarian people, Hungarians (or ''Magyar'') people consist of about 95% of the population, with a small
Roma Roma or ROMA may refer to: Places Australia * Roma, Queensland, a town ** Roma Airport ** Roma Courthouse ** Electoral district of Roma Roma was an electoral district An electoral district, also known as an election district, legislative ...

Roma
and German people, German minority: see Demographics of Hungary. * Iceland: Although the inhabitants are ethnically related to other Scandinavian groups, the national culture and language are found only in Iceland. There are no cross-border minorities as the nearest land is too far away: see Demographics of Iceland. * Japan: Japan is also traditionally seen as an example of a nation state and also the largest of the nation states, with population in excess of 120 million. Japan has a small number of minorities such as Ryūkyū peoples, Koreans and Han Chinese, Chinese, and on the northern island of Hokkaidō, the indigenous Ainu people, Ainu minority. However, they are either numerically insignificant (Ainu), their difference is not as pronounced (though Ryukyuan culture is closely related to Japanese culture, it is nonetheless distinctive in that it historically received much more influence from China and has separate political and nonpolitical and religious traditions) or well assimilated (Koreans in Japan, Zainichi population is collapsing due to assimilation/naturalisation). * Lebanon: The Lebanese people, Lebanese Arabs comprise about 95% of the population, with the remainder consisting of a few small ethnic minorities, as well as refugees or asylum seekers. Modern Lebanese identity is closely tied to the geography of Lebanon and History of Lebanon, its history. Although they are now an Arab people and ethnically homogeneous, its identity oversees overlapping or conflicting ideologies between its Phoenician heritage and Arab heritage. While many Lebanese regard themselves as Arab, some Lebanese Christians, especially the Maronites, regard themselves, their history, and their culture as Phoenician and not Arab, while still other Lebanese regard themselves as both. * Lesotho: Lesotho's ethno-linguistic structure consists almost entirely of the Basotho (singular Mosotho), a Bantu-speaking people; about 99.7% of the population are Basotho. * Maldives: The vast majority of the population is ethnically Dhivehi people, Dhivehi at about 98% of the population, with the remainder consisting of foreign workers; there are no indigenous ethnic minorities. * Malta: The vast majority of the population is ethnically Maltese people, Maltese at about 95.3% of the population, with the remainder consisting of a few small ethnic minorities. * Mongolia: The vast majority of the population is ethnically Mongols, Mongol at about 95.0% of the population, with the remainder consisting of a few ethnic minorities included in Kazakhs. * North Korea, North and South Korea are among the most ethnically and linguistically homogeneous countries in the world. According to The World Factbook, North Korea is homogeneity and heterogeneity, homogeneous. South Korea is considered one of the most ethnically homogeneous societies in the world Demographics of South Korea#Ethnic groups, with ethnic Koreans representing approximately 96% of total population. * Poland: After World War II, with the genocide of the
Jews Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים ISO 259-2 , Israeli pronunciation ) 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 ...

Jews
by the invading Nazi Germany, German Nazis during the Holocaust, the expulsion of Germans after World War II and the loss of eastern territories (Kresy), 96.7% of the people of Poland claim Poles, Polish nationality, while 97.8% declare that they speak Polish language, Polish at home (Census 2002.). * Several Polynesian countries such as Tonga, Samoa, Tuvalu, etc. *
Portugal Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic ( pt, República Portuguesa, links=yes ), is a country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who ...

Portugal
: Although surrounded by other lands and people, the Portuguese
nation A nation is a community A community is a social unit (a group of living things) with commonality such as Norm (social), norms, religion, values, Convention (norm), customs, or Identity (social science), identity. Communities may share a sense ...

nation
has occupied the same territory since the Romanization (cultural), romanization or latinization of the native population during the Ancient Rome, Roman era. The modern Portuguese people, Portuguese nation is a very old amalgam of formerly distinct historical populations that passed through and settled in the territory of modern Portugal: native Iberian peoples, Celts, ancient Mediterraneans (Greeks, Phoenicians, Ancient Rome, Romans,
Jews Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים ISO 259-2 , Israeli pronunciation ) 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 ...

Jews
), invading Germanic peoples like the Suebi and the Visigoths, and Muslim Arabs and Berbers. Most Berber/Arab people and the Jews were expelled from the Iberian Peninsula during the Reconquista and the repopulation by Christians. *
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 a small country (and a European microstate) ...

San Marino
: The Sammarinese make up about 97% of the population and all speak Italian language, Italian and are ethnically and linguistically identical to Italian people, Italians. San Marino is a landlocked enclave, completely surrounded by Italy. The state has a population of approximately 30,000, including 1,000 foreigners, most of whom are Italians. The notion of a unifying "national identity" also extends to countries that host multiple ethnic or language groups, such as India. For example, Switzerland is constitutionally a confederation of Cantons of Switzerland, cantons, and has four official languages, but it has also a "Swiss" national identity, a national history and a classic national hero, Wilhelm Tell. Innumerable conflicts have arisen where political boundaries did not correspond with ethnic or cultural boundaries. After World War II in the Josip Broz Tito 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, Croats and Slovenes, as well as Bosniaks, Montenegrins (ethnic group), Montenegrins and Macedonians (ethnic group), 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 state, socialist republic and producing the civil wars in
Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina,, abbreviated BiH or B&H, sometimes called Bosnia–Herzegovina and often known informally as Bosnia, is a country in South South is one of the cardinal directions or compass points. South is the opposite of north a ...

Bosnia and Herzegovina
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 Slovenia (89% Slovene), Croatia (90.4% Croat) and Serbia (83% Serb) could be classified as nation states per se, whereas North Macedonia (66% Macedonian), Montenegro (42% Montenegrin) and
Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina,, abbreviated BiH or B&H, sometimes called Bosnia–Herzegovina and often known informally as Bosnia, is a country in South South is one of the cardinal directions or compass points. South is the opposite of north a ...

Bosnia and Herzegovina
(50.1% Bosniak) are multinational states. Belgium is a classic example of a state that is not a nation state. The state was formed by secession from the United Kingdom of the Netherlands in 1830, whose neutrality and integrity was protected by the Treaty of London 1839; thus it served as a buffer state after the Napoleonic Wars between the European powers
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a List of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country spanning Western Europe and Overseas France, overseas regions and territories in the Ame ...

France
, Prussia (after 1871 the German Empire) and the United Kingdom until World War I, when its neutrality was breached by the Germans. Currently, Belgium is divided between the Flemings in the north, the French-speaking population in the south, and the German-speaking population in the east. The Flanders, Flemish population in the north speaks Dutch, the Wallonia, Walloon population in the south speaks either French language, 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 and the Nieuw-Vlaamse Alliantie. The Francophone Wallonia, Walloon identity of Belgium is linguistically distinct and Regionalism (politics), regionalist. There is also unitary Belgian nationalism, several versions of a Greater Netherlands ideal, and a German-speaking community of Belgium annexed from
Germany Germany (german: Deutschland, ), officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in . It is the in Europe after , and the most populous . Germany is situated between the and seas to the north, and the to the south; it covers an area of ...

Germany
in 1920, and re-annexed by Germany in 1940–1944. However, these ideologies are all very marginal and politically insignificant during elections. China covers a large geographic area and uses the concept of "Zhonghua minzu" or Chinese nationality, in the sense of
ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people A people is any plurality of person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason, morality, consciousness or self-consciousn ...
s, but it also officially recognizes the majority Han Chinese, Han ethnic group which accounts for over 90% of the population, and no fewer than 55 Ethnic minorities in China, ethnic national minorities. According to Philip G. Roeder, Moldova is an example of a Soviet era "segment-state" (Moldavian SSR), 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, 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 was founded as a Jewish state in 1948. Its "Basic Laws of Israel, 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 as the nation-state of the Jews, Jewish people. According to the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics, 75.7% of Israel's population are Jews. Arab citizens of Israel, Arabs, who make up 20.4% of the population, are the largest ethnic minority in Israel. Israel also has very small communities of Armenians in Israel, Armenians, Circassians in Israel, Circassians, Assyrians in Israel, Assyrians, Samaritans. 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 presents an unusual example in which one kingdom represents four distinct countries. The four countries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands are: * Netherlands (including the Provinces of the Netherlands, provinces in continental Europe and the Caribbean Netherlands, special municipalities of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba) * Aruba * Curaçao * Sint Maarten Each is expressly designated as a ''land'' in Law of the Netherlands, Dutch law by the Charter for the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Unlike the German ''Länder'' and the Austrian ''Bundesländer'', ''landen'' is consistently translated as "countries" by the Dutch government.


Pakistan

Pakistan, even being an ethnically diverse country and officially a federation, is regarded as a nation state due to Two-Nation theory, its ideological basis on which it was given Partition of India, independence from British India as a separate nation rather than as part of a unified India. Different ethnic groups in Pakistan are strongly bonded by their common Muslim identity, common cultural and social values, common historical heritage, a national ''lingua franca'' (Urdu) and joint political, strategic and economic interests.


United Kingdom

Similarly to the Kingdom of the Netherlands, The United Kingdom is an unusual example of a nation state due to its claimed "countries within a
country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some form of Institutionalisation, institutionalized social ...

country
" status. The United Kingdom, which is formed by the union of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, 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 Sovereignty is the supreme authority within a territory. Sovereignty entails hierarchy within the state, as well as external autonomy for states. In any state, sovereignty i ...
", 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 normally recognized internationally as a single nation state. English law jurist A.V. Dicey from an English legal perspective wrote 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 A community is a social unit (a group of living things) with commonality such as Norm (social), norms, religion, values, Convention (norm), customs, or Identity (social science), identity. Communities may share a sense ...

nation
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 Roma or ROMA may refer to: Places Australia * Roma, Queensland, a town ** Roma Airport ** Roma Courthouse ** Electoral district of Roma Roma was an electoral district An electoral district, also known as an election district, legislative ...

Roma
and
Jews Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים ISO 259-2 , Israeli pronunciation ) 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 ...

Jews
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 A minority group, by its original definition, refers to a group of people whose practices, race, religion, ethnicity, or other characteristics are fewer in numbers than the main gro ...
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 is 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 many states, establishing the ideal of peaceful existence among multiple ethnic, cultural, and linguistic groups. 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

Ideally, the border of a nation state extends 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 or the Dual Monarchy, was a constitutional monarchy A constitutional monarchy, parliamentary monarchy, or democratic monarchy is a form of monarchy in which the monarch exer ...
. 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. Globalization especially has helped to bring about the discussion about the disappearance of nation states, as global trade and the rise of the concepts of a 'global citizen' and a common identity have helped to reduce differences and 'distances' between individual nation states, especially with regards to the internet.


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 ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an Islamic state under the leadership of an Islamic steward with the title of caliph (; ar, خَلِيفَة ', ), a person considered a politico-religious successor to the Islamic prophet Muhammad ...
* City-state * Civilization state * Nation * Nationalism * National personification * Titular nation * Westphalian sovereignty


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. {{DEFAULTSORT:Nation State Nation, State Political science terminology