By going through these Maharashtra State Board Class 11 Political Science Notes Chapter 1 The State students can recall all the concepts quickly.

Maharashtra State Board Class 11 Political Science Notes Chapter 1 The State

In this chapter, we shall cover the following political concepts –
(i) Nation and Nationalism (ii) State and Government.
The terms ‘state’, ‘nation’, ‘government’ appear to have the same meaning and are often used interchangeably. However, technically there is a difference in the meaning of these terms.

A Nation has a sense of ‘oneness’ that is psychological and is born out of commonness of ethnicity and race, culture and history, religion, language, etc. A State is a politically organized society within a definite territory. It is used to describe a sovereign country having an independent government in specific territory.

Meaning: The word ‘nation’ is derived from the Latin word ‘Nasci’ meaning ‘to be born’. Thus, the literal meaning of a nation is a people having a common race /ethnicity or cultural linkages.

Ernest Barker defines a nation as a body of men, inhabiting a definite territory, who normally are drawn from different races but possess a common stock of thoughts and feelings acquired and transmitted during the course of common history.

A nation refers to a large group of people, united in common bonds of geography, race, history, religion, language, sharing common objectives.

Maharashtra Board Class 11 Political Science Notes Chapter 1 The State

Features Of A Nation:

  • Population: A nation must have a population that has a sense of ethnic, historical and cultural oneness.
  • Feeling of community: The emotional dimension of a nation is a perception held by the population of psychological oneness i.e., they are a community.
  • Desire to be politically separate: A feeling of unity and of being a nation is a product of the urge for ‘self-determination’. This can lead to a demand for self-governance. This signifies that people who feel united should have the right to decide the type of government that they prefer.

Meaning: Nationalism is a force which binds the people to a sense of integrity and loyalty to their country. It is a spirit of oneness or common consciousness that binds a community together. Nationalism is a sense of political identity and emotional attachment to one’s ’homeland’.

Features Of Nationalism:

  • Nationalism can be productive i.e., Progressive nationalism e.g., India’s freedom struggle or destructive i.e., Aggressive nationalism e.g., in Nazi Germany.
  • Nationalism opposes imperialism and colonialism and thus encourages self-determination. Liberation /Freedom struggles all over the world are in resistance to foreign rule or any tyranny.
  • Nationalism can help to promote diversity. The core of Indian nationalism is the idea of ‘unity in diversity in respect of religion, region, caste, language, etc.

Forms Of Nationalism:
The forms of nationalism from a political perspective are:

  • Liberal Nationalism: Its origins are in the ideals of the French Revolution. President Woodrow Wilson linked the concept of a nation to the right to self-determination and sovereignty.
  • Conservative Nationalism: It views a nation as a closely linked society with great importance to patriotism and the concept of ‘motherland’.
  • Expansionist Nationalism: It is aggressive nationalism, which leads to imperialism, conquest and colonialism. It was seen in European imperialism by countries like England, Italy, Spain, France, etc.
  • Anticolonial Nationalism: It refers to liberation struggles for independence from colonial rule, e.g., Indian or Indonesian freedom struggles from British and Dutch colonialism respectively.

The State:
The urge for political self-determination leads a nation toward statehood. A State is a political community which plays a role in almost every human activity like education, law and order, social welfare, etc.

Meaning of a State: Woodrow Wilson (USA) defined ‘a state is a people organised for law within a definite territory. A state is a community of persons, more or less numerous, permanently occupying a definite portion of territory, independent from external control and possessing an organized government to which the inhabitants render habitual obedience.

Maharashtra Board Class 11 Political Science Notes Chapter 1 The State

Elements of a State: The modern State has four essential elements.

Population: A State is an association of human beings. The progress of a state depends on the quality of population. Some states viz. China, India, etc. have a large population while some states have a small population viz. Monaco, Belgium, etc., The population may be homogeneous or diverse for e.g., USSR comprised of many nationalities like Russians, Ukrainians, Latvians, etc. Thus a ‘State’ may comprise of many ‘nations’.

Territory: A State is recognized by its territory. This includes the land area within its boundaries, airspace above the area and surrounding territorial waters (up to 12 nautical miles). The area within which the State has the authority to govern is called its jurisdiction.

Some States have small territory e.g., Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Maldives, etc., while other States e.g., Brazil, Russia, India, Australia have a large territory. Most States have compact territory e.g., India, while some states have a scattered territory e.g., Great Britain.

Government: This refers to the agency through which the will of the State is expressed. Modern governments have three organs viz. legislature, executive and judiciary. The Government must be independent. Institutions of the state are ‘public’ institutions and have legitimacy to act on behalf of the State.

These institutions are responsible for making and implementing laws to promote the general welfare of the people. There are various kinds of government based on their creation or style of functioning for e.g., democracy/ dictatorship, republic/monarchy, presidential/parliamentary, etc.

Sovereignty: It signifies the supreme power of the State internally as well as externally. It means an independent nation with its own constitution.

State And Government:
The government is an essential element of the State which is composed of a limited number of elected or nominated persons. It derives its power from the State. Its nature is administrative. A State cannot function in the absence of a government.