State and nation

State is a concept that refers to the political organization that integrates a population in a territory under an authority.

Nation is a historical and cultural concept, which refers to the set of people who have in common a language, a history, a culture and a set of traditions.

DefinitionForm of political organization of a territory, made up of the institutions, laws and authorities that hold power.Group of inhabitants of a territory, who, as a whole, share common bonds: traditions, language, culture, customs, etc.
  • Legal and political concept.
  • Territory delimited by borders.
  • Has a population.
  • It has a government.
  • Historical and cultural concept.
  • Made up of a population with a common history.
  • They do not always have a state.
TypesAccording to its political-territorial system:

  • Unit state.
  • Federal state.
  • Composite state.
  • Confederate state.

According to its form of government:

  • Monarchy.
  • Republic.
  • Aristocracy.
  • Democracy.


What is a state?

The State is a form of political organization under which the population of a territory coalesces under a common authority and laws, characterized by having a sovereign and independent power. In this sense, it refers to the political unit that constitutes a country or its territory.

The State is a legal and political concept that refers to the social, economic and political sovereignty held by the set of institutions (powers and government bodies) that regulate the life of a community in a territory delimited by borders.

For a State to be recognized as such by international law, it must meet three fundamental conditions:

  • Possess a territory delimited by borders.
  • Have a human population.
  • Have a government, that is, the set of representative bodies in which the authority of the State resides.

State Types

States can be classified according to their political-territorial system:

  • Unitary State : existence of a central power that radiates throughout the territory.
  • Federal State : central government with local, regional or state institutions.
  • Composite state : they are subdivided into communities. Each of them has political and legal sovereignty.
  • Confederate state : set of sovereign states with their own laws, but united by one or more laws in common.

They can also be classified according to their form of government:

  • Monarchy : a family represents the interests of a State, under the central figure of a monarch.
  • Republic : the representative of the State is elected by popular or parliamentary vote.
  • Aristocracy : the state is governed by an elite, generally linked to royalty.
  • Democracy : popular sovereignty is exercised through the right to vote.

See also

What is a nation?

As a nation, on the other hand, we refer to a group of people who have things in common such as language, culture, race, history and religion, and who share certain customs and traditions.

The word nation comes from the Latin natio , natiōnis, which means ‘place of birth’, or ‘people, tribe’.

In this way, a nation is made up of a group of people who have the same origin, speak the same language and have a common cultural identity and tradition.

Nation, on the other hand, can also refer to the territory that a nation occupies. However, a nation may or may not have a territory, such as the Jewish people until 1948.

The nation, on the other hand, is characterized by being a community of people with a common identity, language, culture and history. Hence, the nation is also a historical and cultural concept .

Nation can also be a political concept , equivalent to that of the State in certain contexts, especially when it refers to the nation defined as a political subject in which the constituent sovereignty of a State resides.

However, it is convenient to reaffirm that the concept of nation is related more than with a political fact, with a set of historical and cultural factors that bring together, due to different circumstances, a community under a series of common factors. Thus, a nation can be present in several States or, conversely, a State can contain in itself several nations.

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