A nation may refer to a community of people who share a common language, culture, ethnicity, descent, or history. In this definition, a nation has no physical borders. However, it can also refer to people who share a common territory and government (for example the inhabitants of a sovereign state) irrespective of their ethnic make-up. The word nation can more specifically refer to people of North American Indians, such as the Cherokee Nation that prefer this term over the contested term tribe.
According to Joseph Stalin writing in 1913 in Marxism and the National Question: "a nation is not a racial or tribal, but a historically constituted community of people;" "a nation is not a casual or ephemeral conglomeration, but a stable community of people"; "a common language is one of the characteristic features of a nation"; "a nation is formed only as a result of lengthy and systematic intercourse, as a result of people living together generation after generation"; "a common territory is one of the characteristic features of a nation"; "a common economic life, economic cohesion, is one of the characteristic features of a nation"; "a common psychological make-up, which manifests itself in a common culture, is one of the characteristic features of a nation"; "A nation is a historically constituted, stable community of people, formed on the basis of a common language, territory, economic life, and psychological make-up manifested in a common culture." According to Stalin, this would exclude Jews as they have no common territory.
An alternative view, expressed by Otto Bauer, author of Social Democracy and the Nationalities Question (1907), that "A nation is an aggregate of people bound into a community of character by a common destiny." would include Jews. R. Springer, author of The National Problem (1909), also cited by Stalin in his discussion of this matter, held similar views.
Famous quotes containing the word nation:
“Maybe a nation that consumes as much booze and dope as we do and has our kind of divorce statistics should pipe down about character issues. Either that or just go ahead and determine the presidency with three-legged races and pie-eating contests. It would make better TV.”
—P.J. (Patrick Jake)
“The United States is the only great nation whose government is operated without a budget. The fact is to be the more striking when it is considered that budgets and budget procedures are the outgrowth of democratic doctrines and have an important part in developing the modern constitutional rights.... The constitutional purpose of a budget is to make government responsive to public opinion and responsible for its acts.”
—William Howard Taft (18571930)
“Giving out crowns to everyone will not make a nation of kings.”
—Mason Cooley (b. 1927)