What Is the Difference Between a State and a Nation and Which Country Is an Example of a Nation State?

First, there are two types of “states.”

One is a division of a country, as in the 50 states of the United States.

The other kind of state is any country.

By definition, a country must occupy a space with internationally recognized boundaries, and it must be a self-governing political entity, among other things.

A nation, however, is slightly different. It is defined as a tightly knit group of people who share a common language, institutions, religion, and historical experience.

Most countries are nation-states, including the United States, Germany, and France, for example.

Canada, though, is one state with two nations, the British and the French cultures.

A nation can exist without having a state or a country.

One example is the Palestinians. Palestine is not an independent country, although the Palestinian people would like to have their own state.

Another example is the Basque nation in southwestern Europe.

For longer than anyone knows, the Basque people have lived in the western foothills of the Pyrenees mountains, the border area of France and Spain.

Today, most of the more than 2 million Basques live in Spain. For years, many Basques have wanted to form their own country, separate from Spain and France.

The Basque language, called Euskera, is one of the most mysterious and oldest on earth, it is not related to any other known language.

Genetic studies of the Basque people have shown that they are not related to any other European peoples.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

1 thought on “What Is the Difference Between a State and a Nation and Which Country Is an Example of a Nation State?”

  1. I would like to know where you have got your information regarding what you have referred to as the Palestinian nation. As a geography teacher it is my understanding that the word Palestinian was a Roman term for the area once occupied by the Phillistines. It was then reused by Britain during the colonial period to refer to an area of the middle east which included Arab and Israeli people groups (Nations as you prefer). As far as i can see it is simply a geaographical term and does not refer to a nation group but simply all people living within an artificialy drawn area. I would like to know what anthropological evidence there is regarding any link between an ethnic group and the term Palestinian.

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