The attributes and traits of a nation are multifaceted and encompass a wide range of characteristics that define its identity and standing in the world.
Attributes and Traits of a Nation: A Nation is a distinct sovereign territory or State with a systematic political structure and common identity. A Nation, in some cases is likened to a country or used interchangeably. A Nation is recognized by it’s identity, it may be independent and sovereign or not, however, it must have a defined territory.
A Nation is Identified by so many things such as the people who are considered citizens, it also has it’s cultural heritage to differentiate it from that of other nations of the world and then, a nation embodies tribes and languages. In most situations, there are usually more than one Language that is peculiar or common to the people of a particular nation and in some cases; nation’s may adopt some foreign languages for some reasons like bilateral relations.
A Nation is also a geographic location spanning across a defined territory or landmass with a well structured government Institution and applicable laws, principles and guidelines. The world is currently occupied by over one hundred and ninety-five countries spanning across seven continents. Some nation’s across the world are relatively large in landmass and population while others a smaller in size and population.
Some of the very unique elements of a Nation or State is unity, common goal and history. Every nation has these things in common. The concept of interpersonal relationships begins remotely from the family background and then extends to the community level and further as a nation or State. To these effect, a typical Nation has some basic characteristics that distinguishes it. We shall be taking a look at some of these characteristics in no particular order in order to provide an insight as to the nature and importance of these characteristics.
11 Key Characteristics of a Nation
1. Government: Government is an Institution or an Institutionalized structure set up by the people’s mandate as representatives of the people’s interest at different levels of administration. Every society operates a functional government structure even from the grassroot level.
This goes to show how important it is to have and run such structure. Every nation is known to have a government structure that is well organized with a systematic administration usually guided by a constitution or as prescribed by the relevant State laws.
In some cases, such structures are solely on the people’s mandate and they are being checked by the people who elected them into such offices. Government structures are usually divided into levels or tiers for easy administration and devolution of such governmental powers. Therefore, we could have a federal government, a State government and a local government. Their powers are usually prescribed and well defined to eliminate any form of conflict of authority which might result into chaos or instability.
2. Economy: One of the major characteristics of a Nation is a vibrant economy. For a nation to survive and sustain her citizens, there must be a well organized economic structure that harness the nations capital development and productivity in order to achieve a stable structure.
A vibrant economy is one that runs round the clock. Commercial transactions is what what sustains a nation. Such commercial activities or transactions includes; the exchange of goods and services for monetary value or provision of service based products for financial gain.
Around the world, there are nation’s with more vibrant economy than the others especially a product driven economy that prioritizes production and even exportation of products and services. A Nation without an economy can not survive. Economy is a major characteristic of a nation that stands in a strategic position just like a piller to the nation.
3. Politics: Man is by nature a gregarious animal which implies that; man does not enjoy living in isolation. This is why human population keeps growing and Nations develop beyond bounds of territories. Man is also a political animal and love to be in charge.
The fact that everyone can not be in charge at thesame time, a system of selection and administration became necessary. This is not just to facilitate administrative convenience but to also enthrone peace and stability. This has been the root of politics and political structure.
In most nation’s, the system varies however, the structure must be there. Every nation has a political structure designed to suit the people and at thesame time, promote relative peace and administrative convenience.
4. Currency: Currency is any legal tender generally accepted as a legal mean of exchange. Over the years, the concept of currency, otherwise known as money, has undergone several evolutions starting from trade by barter. The advent of modern civilization brought about a legal tender known as currency whereby a certain value or exchange rate is attached to it, making it easily identifiable and a seamless means of exchange with a determinable value.
Every nation has a unique currency that is different from that of other Nations both in identity and value. The purchasing power of a nation’s currency determines its value and this is directly and indirectly affected by the kind of economy a nation is operating and how vibrant it is.
5. Sovereignty: Being a Nation and recognised as one comes with some level of autonomy and freedom. Sovereignty is the state of independence of a State or Nation where it is free from external interference in it’s internal Political, economic social affairs.
Every nation enjoys this sort of privilege. By virtue of being a nation, the internal affairs are saddled on the relevant authorities to manage and not to be open for external interference (except where the nation deliberately solicits for assistance).
6. Security: The government of a State are usually saddled with some basic responsibilities that cannot be derogated from or jettisoned. Some of such duties includes; internal Security, provision of social amenities and construction of public utilities and structures. A Nation is Identified by its role to her people especially in the protection of their lives and properties.
The security of citizens comes first as top priority of every responsible government in a nation and so, a nation is known to establish and run security outfits for the uptimum security of the lives and properties of her citizens.
7. Defined Territory: A nation can easily be Identified by her landmass and territorial waters. A Nation is carved out with definite territory that is well documented.
This is because, the sovereign state of a nation is universal and so, a nation cannot go outside her boundaries without authorization and one might not know her boundaries if it’s not properly marked and documented.
8. Law: The fact that man is gregarious and political in nature comes with a lot of other concepts. The presence of a multitude can orchestrate misunderstanding, chaos and anarchy. The scarcity of resources due to upheaval in the world population has brought about a lot of vices. Some persons has the unruly tendencies and so need to be kept in check. All these has led to the proposition of law and order.
In most cases, such laws may be well documented or not. A law is a set of rules that set out acceptable behaviors and unacceptable conducts that the consequences of indulging in such unacceptable conducts. Every nation is guided by law (some has a written law while others don’t).
9. Language: The people’s culture is embellished by her Language. Every nation is associated with a particular language. Language is a human way of communicating with one another. It has defined rules and vocabularies. Languages are peculiar to nations as some are categorized as official language, native language and secondary languages. It is just like a means of Identification and a cultural heritage.
10. Common History: Part of what makes a people is their common history. The people grouped as a nation are set of people who share in thesame goals and aspirations as well as share in a common history.
The history of a people define who they are and where they come from and so it is with a nation. Every nation share a peculiar history that defines them and makes them unique, it is one of the main characteristics of a Nation.
In a subtle conclusion, identifying a nation is not soley on the people but inclusive of the culture, history, territory and many others.