Posted by / Tuesday 15 March 2016 / No comments

The definition and features of a nation

Globe, Map, Country, Borders, Old

A nation refers to a group of people who are historically linked in ways that include, but is not limited to, language, religion and culture.All the members of a nation may not necessarily have to live in one country some may live outside their country of origin.

No Defined Geographical Area
A nation does not need to have a clearly defined geographical area. However, a nation identifies itself with a specific geographical area and considers that area as a national homeland. For example, before the modern state of Israel was established, the Jews in dispersion considered Israel as their homeland and Jerusalem as their capital.

Common Religious Beliefs
Another feature of a nation is that those who consider themselves as part of it share the same religious beliefs. This is the religion that unites them as a nation. The people of the nation of Israel are united by Judaism and the people of the Nation of Islam are united by Islam.

Common Language
The people of a nation usually have one common language. They identify themselves as belonging to one nation through this one common language. They also use the common language as a way of reaching out to each other.

Common Culture and Traditions
Members of a nation have a common identity. This identity is reflected in their common social and cultural ties as well as common traditions. This distinguishes them from other nations.

Common Origin
Another feature of a nation is that the members feel a sense of a common origin. They feel that they come from the same place and therefore trace their ancestry to that place. The Jews, for example, trace their origin to present day Israel.  

Common Historical Experiences
Members of a nation share common historical experiences. These experiences could be those of battles that they have won together or bad experiences of their history. These common historical experiences set them aside as a peculiar nation.

1. a. Define a nation.
    b. Identify five features of a nation.
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