is a stable community
of people, formed on the basis of a common language, territory, history, ethnicity, or psychological make-up manifested in a common culture
. A nation is distinct from a people
, and is more abstract, and more overtly political, than an ethnic group
. It is a cultural-political community that has become conscious of its autonomy, unity, and particular interests.Black's Law Dictionary
defines a nation as follows:
nation, n. (14c) 1. A large group of people having a common origin, language, and tradition and usu. constituting a political entity. • When a nation is coincident with a state, the term nation-state is often used....
2. A community of people inhabiting a defined territory and organized under an independent government; a sovereign political state....
's What is a Nation?
(1882) declares that "race is confused with nation and a sovereignty analogous to that of really existing peoples is attributed to ethnographic or, rather linguistic groups", and "[t]he truth is that there is no pure race and that to make politics depend upon ethnographic analysis is to surrender it to a chimera", echoing a sentiment of civic nationalism
. He also claims that a nation does not form on the basis of dynasty
, or shared interests
. Rather, "[a] nation is a soul, a spiritual principle. Two things, which in truth are but one, constitute this soul or spiritual principle. One lies in the past, one in the present. One is the possession in common of a rich legacy of memories; the other is present-day consent, the desire to live together, the will to perpetuate the value of the heritage that one has received in an undivided form", emphasizing the democratic
aspects of what constitutes a nation, although, "[f]orgetting, I would even go so far as to say historical error, is a crucial factor in the creation
of a nation". "A nation is therefore a large-scale solidarity", which Renan says is reaffirmed in a "daily plebiscite
". Read more...