Here, you will find summaries, questions, answers, textbook solutions, pdf, extras etc. of (Nagaland Board) NBSE Class 11 Political Science Chapter 2: Nation and State. These solutions, however, should be only treated as references and can be modified/changed.
The chapter delves into the concepts of ‘Nation’ and ‘State’, their meanings, elements, and the principle of self-determination. It begins by defining a ‘Nation’ as a body of persons who, despite differences of race, region, language, or religion, share a common history and regard a particular country as their homeland. The chapter further explores the concept of ‘State’, as defined by Aristotle, as a “union of families and villages”. Modern definitions, such as those given by Hall and Garner, suggest that every state has four essential elements: population, territory, government, and sovereignty.
The chapter emphasizes the importance of sovereignty, which distinguishes the State from all other associations. It denotes “supreme and final legal authority, above and beyond which no further legal power exists.” Sovereignty has two main aspects – internal supremacy and external independence. The State is also characterized by permanence, continuity, and equality among other states, regardless of their size, population, or resources.
The principle of self-determination is discussed, raising the question of whether each nationality deserves to be a ‘Sovereign State’. The chapter suggests that self-determination can cause difficulties as all states contain some kind of cultural or ethnic mix. It also highlights the rights of cultural minorities to conserve their language, script, culture, and traditions.
Textual questions and answers
A. Long answer questions
1. Comment on the statement: “Ethnic unity, religion and language are not the basic elements which constitute the nation.”
Answer: While ethnic unity, religion, and language are important factors in building a nation, their presence or absence does not necessarily imply the presence or absence of the national spirit. Ethnicity, for instance, is of doubtful importance in the formation of nationality. The United States, for example, is a blend of hundreds of races. Similarly, the inhabitants of Switzerland do not think of themselves as French, Germans, or Italians, but as the Swiss, despite not being of the same race or possessing a common language.
Language, though considered by some writers as a significant factor in the moulding of a nation, does not necessarily define a nation. The English-speaking people constitute not one but several nations. The Swiss speak at least three distinct languages—French, German and Italian, and India has a large number of languages spoken in different regions.
Religion, while it played a role in the creation of Pakistan due to the religious nationalism of the Muslim community, is not a defining factor for most modern nation-states. Diverse religious faiths do not interfere with their spirit of nationalism.
Thus, neither ethnicity, nor language, nor religion are regarded as basic elements of nationalism in this age. Instead, nationality is essentially “Subjective”, i.e., a condition of mind and a way of feeling and living. The concept of nation is based upon two assumptions. First, the mankind is divided into distinct nations. Second, people love their nation; so much so that this love is often associated with the belief that their nation is the best they can hope for. Nationalism expressed itself in the form of “patriotic feelings”. People with nationalist ideas fought for political independence of their country. Nation and nationalism are often associated with the following beliefs and features: Common beliefs or a sense of oneness, common history, the territory, shared ideals and values, and a common identity.
2. Describe the main features of a Nation.
Examine the factors that constitute a Nation in detail.
What constitutes a Nation? Discuss it in detail.
Answer: The term ‘Nation’ is derived from the Latin word ‘natio’ which means ‘birth’ or ‘race’. Many writers such as Prof. Burgess used the term ‘Nation’ to denote those people who have “an ethnic unity” and are inhabiting “a territory of geographic unity.” Later the factor of “common language” was also added to these. Thus unity of race, common language, common religion, and geographic unity were the factors which were supposed to constitute a nation. The main features of a Nation are:
Common beliefs or a sense of oneness: A Nation is often associated with a sense of unity or oneness among its people. This unity can be derived from shared beliefs, values, or aspirations.
Common history: A Nation is a body of persons who share a common history. This shared history often forms the basis of the national identity and fosters a sense of belonging among the people.
Territory: The territory is another crucial feature of a Nation. It refers to the land or geographic region that the people of a Nation inhabit. The territory of a Nation includes the surface of the land, the soil beneath the surface, the lakes and rivers lying wholly within a Nation, the airspace falling within the surface of the Nation, and the maritime belt i.e., the area of the territorial sea.
Shared ideals and values: Shared ideals and values are another feature that constitutes a Nation. These shared ideals and values often guide the actions and behaviors of the people and contribute to the formation of a national identity.
Common identity: A common identity is a significant feature of a Nation. Despite differences in race, region, language, or religion, the people of a Nation regard a particular country as their ‘Motherland’ or ‘Fatherland’ or ‘Holy Land’. This shared sense of identity often fosters a sense of unity and belonging among the people.
5. What is the significance of the principle of National Self-Determination? How can this principle cause lots of difficulties?
Answer: The principle of National Self-Determination holds significant importance as it is closely tied to the ideals of liberty, equality, and peace. The nationalists believed that the ideals of liberty and equality could never be realized until all nations were free. All nations are equal. Therefore, the ideal of the nation-state is universally applicable. The nationalists believed in the self-determination, natural equality, and freedom of all nationalities.
World peace also depends on the recognition of the principle of national self-determination. When a nation is not independent, it will always seek to win back its independence. Imperialism means conflict between the imperial power and subject nations. States that are unified by national sentiments are always more stable. Their laws are usually better obeyed than states held together by force and repression.
However, the principle of National Self-Determination can cause a lot of difficulties. In practice, the ideal of the nation-state can cause lots of difficulties. No state is culturally or ethnically homogeneous. All states contain some kind of cultural or ethnic mix. The principle of national self-determination could break these states into many small parts. Such states would simply get disintegrated, leading to the painful displacement of large masses of people. In fact, a nation-state never existed in perfect form anywhere in the world.
It is very difficult to say whether any given nationality deserves ‘Statehood’. Before a nationality can become independent and sovereign, it has to satisfy many conditions. First, it must be economically viable to sustain itself, without needing much external financial support. Second, it should also be able to defend itself against foreign attacks, since we cannot rule out the possibility of a war.
B. Short answer questions
6. What is Nation?
Answer: A nation is defined as a body of persons who, despite differences of race, region, language, or religion, share a common history and regard a particular country as their ‘Motherland’ or ‘Fatherland’ or ‘Holy Land’.
7. How have modern writers defined a State?
Answer: Modern definitions of a state, such as those given by Hall and Garner, suggest that every state has four essential elements: population, territory, government, and sovereignty. The state is defined as the agency or machinery through which the will of the state is expressed and realized
8. All States contain a few distinct national groups or cultural minorities. Mention the rights of such groups.
Answer: Each distinct national group should be granted these rights: the right to conserve its language and script, the right to conserve its culture and customs, and the right to conserve its religion and other institutions.
C. Very short answer questions
9. Name the four constituent elements of State.
Answer: According to modern definitions, every state has four essential elements: population, territory, government, and sovereignty.
10. Each State is supposed to possess an attribute of Continuity. What does this feature mean?
Answer: This means that when one government is replaced by another, the new government becomes the successor to the funds, estates, debts and obligations of the old government.
D. Multiple Choice Questions: Tick (✓) the correct answer.
11. What does ‘Equality of States’ mean in terms of the Principles laid down by the Charter of the United Nations?
Answer: (c) Sovereign Equality of ‘International Persons’, i.e. States
12. Which among the following is not an essential element of a State?
Answer: (c) Membership of the United Nations
13. Who among the following led Independence Movement in East Pakistan that later became an independent State called Bangladesh?
Answer: (d) Sheikh Mujibur Rahman
Additional/extra questions and answers
1. What is the origin of the word ‘nation’ and how was it initially defined?
Answer: The term ‘nation’ originates from the Latin word ‘natio’ which signifies ‘birth’ or ‘race’. Early scholars like Prof. Burgess defined a ‘nation’ as a group of people with “an ethnic unity” inhabiting “a territory of geographic unity.” Later, the concept of a “common language” was also incorporated. Thus, the unity of race, shared language, common religion, and geographic unity were presumed to form a nation.
2. Explain why Ethnic Unity, Religion, and Language are not considered the Basic Elements which constitute the Nation.
Answer: Ethnic unity, common religion, and language are evidently significant factors in establishing a nation. However, the existence or non-existence of any one of these does not necessarily imply the presence or absence of national spirit. The relevance of ethnicity in the formation of nationality is dubious. For instance, many races co-exist in the United States and yet they don’t see themselves as belonging to different nations. The Swiss, who speak multiple languages and come from different ethnicities, identify as a single nation. Similarly, language and religion have shown to be insufficient in defining a nation as seen in the cases of English-speaking countries and religiously diverse nation-states. Hence, neither ethnicity, nor language, nor religion are considered fundamental elements of nationalism today.
3. What assumptions is the concept of nation based upon?
Answer: The concept of nation is based on two assumptions. First, it is presumed that mankind is divided into distinct nations. Second, it is assumed that people hold a deep affection for their nation, often to the extent that they believe their nation is the best. This love often manifests itself as “patriotic feelings” which can propel people to fight for their country’s political independence.
4. How is nationality seen as a ‘subjective’ condition?
Answer: Nationality is essentially seen as a ‘subjective’ condition as it represents a state of mind and a specific way of feeling and living. People within a nation share a sense of belonging and identity, often associated with the belief that their nation is superior. This sentiment of nationality often manifests in the form of patriotic feelings, wherein individuals are willing to make sacrifices and fight for the political independence of their country.
37. Analyze the statement “A nation-state never existed in perfect form anywhere in the world.”
Answer: The statement “A nation-state never existed in perfect form anywhere in the world” essentially refers to the fact that no state is entirely culturally or ethnically homogeneous. While the concept of a nation-state implies a single ethnic or cultural group forming a state, in reality, all states contain some mix of cultures or ethnicities. This heterogeneity makes it nearly impossible for the ideal of a nation-state to be realized in its purest form. The presence of multiple ethnicities or cultures within a state can lead to difficulties in terms of national self-determination. This is evident from the examples of Germany, the United States, Canada, and Switzerland, where different nationalities coexist and live in harmony. It is a challenge to determine who deserves ‘statehood’ and the ensuing complexities associated with it, such as economic viability and defense capabilities, make the practical implementation of the nation-state ideal problematic.
1. From which Latin word is the term ‘nation’ derived?
A. Natio B. Natus C. Nativus D. Natur
Answer: A. Natio
2. Who was one of the early scholars to use the term ‘Nation’ denoting an ‘ethnic unity’?
A. Prof. Smith B. Prof. Burgess C. Prof. Johnson D. Prof. Adams
Answer: B. Prof. Burgess
3. What factors were originally considered to constitute a nation?
A. Unity of race, common language, shared religion, and geographic unity B. Unity of race, shared economy, and geographic unity C. Common language, shared religion, and shared economy D. Common language, shared religion, and shared political ideology
Answer: A. Unity of race, common language, shared religion, and geographic unity
4. Does ethnicity play a major role in the formation of nationality in the United States?
A. Yes B. No C. Maybe D. Not mentioned
Answer: B. No
59. In which country do several nationalities live together in harmony and cooperation, apart from the United States and Canada?
A. Japan B. Switzerland C. Norway D. Russia
Answer: B. Switzerland
60. Is it true that a nation-state in perfect form has existed anywhere in the world?
A. Yes B. No C. Maybe D. Information Not Provided
Answer: B. No
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