The world is organized by man-made boundaries that divide land into sovereign states, (excluding Antarctica). Early states formed through empires, conquest, and colonialism, were held together by religious based rule. The Treaty of Westphalia lessened the powers of religious figures the Catholic Pope and the Holy Roman Emperor, which ended religious wars in Europe in 1648 . This transformation marks the formation of the modern state system, which organizes the world into nation-states. A nation-state exists where common identity coincides with the boundaries of sovereign authority. The synonymous nature of the words nation and state have a European base were early states were nearly synonymous with their nations. These definitions are frequently used interchangeably when they should not be. I will argue that although the terms nation and state are clearly related, they both have distinct meanings, which explains why there are states without a nation, nations without a state, and some nations that spread out over many states.
Max Weber defined a state as a body that successfully claims a monopoly of legitimate force in a particular territory . The government of a state carries out legislative, executive, and judicial functions in order to create internal control and stability in a country. The state is the universal form of political organization, which is composed of a population, territory, and sovereignty. All land (excluding Antarctica) is currently divided into 190 separate states. Examples of states include the United States, France, Chile, and many more. All states have a government that makes political decisions and aims to protect the state from external and internal attack. A state is not the same as a nation.
A nation can be thought of as an identity shared by a large number of people based on, but not limited to, objective factors like common race, language, religion, customs, and government. The best descri...
Richard N. Cooper, States, Citizens and Markets in the 21st Century (Queens University), 1997
Max Weber, Politics as a Vocation (London, Routledge and Kegan Paul), 1970
David Miller, On Nationality (Oxford University Press Inc, New York), 1995
Peter Ravn Rasmussen, “Nations” or “States”, http://www.scholiast.org/nations/whatisanation.html
Victor A. Kremenyuk, Conflicts In and Around Russia, (Greenwood Press, Westport CT), 1994