• Features of a nation
    1. Population
    2. Feeling of community
    3. Desire to be politically separate



A nation is a people who identify socially, culturally, politically and want to establish a separate identity for themselves. There is a sense of oneness that is psychological and born out of commonness of culture, ethnicity, religion, language, history, etc. The word ‘nation’ is derived from the Latin word ‘Natio’ which means birth or race. They may or may not be located in a specific geographic territory. The terms ‘Country’ and ‘Nation’ are often used interchangeably, that they are thought of as different words having the same meaning. But there are major differences between the two:

  • A nation is a community of people formed on the basis of a common language, territory, ethnicity, etc.
  • A country may be an independent sovereign state or part of a larger state, a physical territory with a government, or a geographic region associated with sets of previously independent or differently associated people.
  • According to Lord Bryce, “Nation can be defined as ‘Nationality’ which has organized itself into a political body, either independent or desiring to be independent.

Features of a nation:

1. Population:

A Nation must have a population. The population has some similarities. These similarities may be language, race, and religion or there may be common cultural or historical experiences. Common land confers a sense of belonging in the minds of people, thus geographical boundaries instill a sense of unity. There is also a sense of ethnic, historical, and cultural oneness that goes in the perception of identifying oneself as a nation.

For eg: The creation of Bangladesh in 1971 was on the basis of a common language i.e. Bengali.

2. Feeling of community:

The similarities of demography and culture must translate into a psychological feeling of a community. This is the emotional dimension. This is a matter of perception held by the people of that community.

For Eg: The feeling of community can be seen during national movements and days that remember historical events like Independence day, Republic day, etc.

3. Desire to be politically separate:

People living in a particular geographic area having common socio-cultural, religious, or linguistic commonality can lead to a feeling of being a nation. Such a feeling is a product of the urge for self-determination. This can lead to a demand for self-governance at a political level.

For Eg: East Timor got independent from Indonesia, Eretria from Ethiopia, and South Sudan from Sudan.

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