August 24, 2012

The concept of a nation

The concept of a nation

by Yishak Yared | A nation is a geographical entity with defined and recognized boundaries. These boundaries are drawn or take shapes in the process of history by the internal developments of a society or by external factors or forces.

With time, the people who live within the boundaries of a nation come to possess an administrative system or government established either through a gradual and peaceful process or  set up by war or force.

In the former case, the administrative order probably results from the common characteristics and interests of the peoples within its boundaries-their ethnic unity, linguistic and cultural similarities, or common economic and security interests. If, on the other hand, the administrative system was set up through war and force, it may have taken one or two courses.

Either it was set up a party that emerged at the end of a process of war among the peoples within its boundaries or by peoples within a particular territory (nation) who united their forces toward of external threats and invasions. In such historical process, the people inhabiting a nation come to have an inter-related and commercially integrated economic system and attain similar, close or identical levels of economic development. The people in such a nation may have a common language, culture and religion or different languages, divergent cultures and various religions or faiths.

Irrespective of whether there is commonness or diversity of languages, cultures or religion, however, the people of a nation create and develop in the historical process feelings of oneness, brotherhood and solidarity. Impelled only by internal factors, this process of formation of a nation, is slow and may take centuries. When external factors and forces come to play, it may take even less than a century.

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