Country - Sovereignty Status

Sovereignty Status

See also: List of sovereign states

The term "country" is commonly used to refer to sovereign states. There is no universal agreement on the number of "countries" in the world, since a number of states have disputed sovereignty status. There are 204 total states, with 193 states participating in the United Nations and 13 states whose sovereignty status are disputed. The newest state is South Sudan.

Although not sovereign states, England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland (in the United Kingdom) are examples of entities that are regarded and referred to as countries. Former states such as Bavaria (now part of Germany) and Piedmont (now part of Italy) would not normally be referred to as "countries" in contemporary English.

The degree of autonomy of non-sovereign countries varies widely. Some are possessions of sovereign states, as several states have overseas dependencies (such as the British Virgin Islands (GBR) and Saint Pierre and Miquelon (FRA)), with citizenry at times identical and at times distinct from their own. Such dependent territories are sometimes listed together with sovereign states on lists of countries, and may be treated as a "country of origin" in international trade, as Hong Kong is.

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Famous quotes containing the words status and/or sovereignty:

    Knowing how beleaguered working mothers truly are—knowing because I am one of them—I am still amazed at how one need only say “I work” to be forgiven all expectation, to be assigned almost a handicapped status that no decent human being would burden further with demands. “I work” has become the universally accepted excuse, invoked as an all-purpose explanation for bowing out, not participating, letting others down, or otherwise behaving inexcusably.
    Melinda M. Marshall (20th century)

    What if it tempt you toward the flood, my lord,
    Or to the dreadful summit of the cliff
    That beetles o’er his base into the sea,
    And there assume some other horrible form
    Which might deprive your sovereignty of reason,
    And draw you into madness?
    William Shakespeare (1564–1616)