distinct territorial body or political entity
(Redirected from Nation state)

The term country refers to a political state or nation or its territory. It is often referred to as the land of an individual's birth, residence, or citizenship.

"Duty, Honor, Country" — those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be. ~ Douglas MacArthur

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If we are weak, our country will be in jeopardy. It is the living lesson of human history of the rise and fall of nations. In order for a country not to fall, it must cultivate its own strength. ~ Park Chung-hee
SWA Magazine: Do you think that we will avoid a self-inflicted global catastrophe?
Asimov: The chances don't look so good, but they don't look so black, either. The birth rate is going down over most of the world, and if it continues to go down, then perhaps we can bring a halt to the population explosion before it completely overwhelms us. There is always the danger of nuclear war, but we've kept away from it now for thirty-five years. And maybe we can keep on keeping away from it. We've been polluting and using up our energy, but I think more and more we are aware of the dangers of this. And perhaps, we will do something about it. To my way of thinking, the biggest obstacle to solving the problems we have, and we have some of the solutions, is that the world is dividing up into separate nations, all of which are more concerned over their own short-term interests than over the long-term survival of the human species. And as long as that is so, then I don't think we will have a chance, because we will all go down the tube quarreling, so to speak.
  • Nation states are archaic leftovers from when each man feared the tribe over the hill, an attitude we can’t afford anymore.
  • If your country needs you, you should be right there; that is the way I felt when I was young, and that's the way I feel today.
    • Frank Buckles, on service in the U.S. Army, as quoted in The Knoxville News.
  • I cannot conceive how any man can have brought himself to that pitch of presumption, to consider his country as nothing but carte blanche, upon which he may scribble whatever he pleases.
  • My dear, my native soil!
    For whom my warmest wish to Heav'n is sent,
    Long may thy hardy sons of rustic toil
    Be blest with health, and peace, and sweet content!
    • Robert Burns, The Cotter's Saturday Night (1786), stanza 20.
  • I can't but say it is an awkward sight
    To see one's native land receding through
    The growing waters; it unmans one quite,
    Especially when life is rather new.
  • Yon Sun that sets upon the sea
    We follow in his flight;
    Farewell awhile to him and thee,
    My native land—Good Night!
  • To be popular is easy; to be right when right is unpopular, is noble... I repudiate with scorn the immoral doctrine, 'Our country, right or wrong'.
  • People are educated from a young age to love the country and fellow citizens, but in reality they rarely see that love in action. Who loves our country and who loves our nation? Politicians don’t demonstrate that love and neither do soldiers.
  • Our country! In her intercourse with foreign nations, may she always be in the right; but our country, right or wrong.
    • Stephen Decatur, toast at a dinner in Norfolk, Virginia (April 1816); reported in Alexander Slidell Mackenzie, Life of Stephen Decatur (1848), p. 295. Variation: "Our country—In her intercourse with foreign nations may she always be in the right, and always successful, right or wrong." Reported in Niles’ Weekly Register, Baltimore, Maryland (April 20, 1816), p. 136.
  • As nations are among the largest and the most complete divisions into which society is formed, the grandest aggregations of organized human power; as they raise to observation and distinction the world’s greatest men, and call into requisition the highest order of talent and ability for their guidance, preservation and success, they are ever among the most attractive, instructive and useful subjects of thought, to those just entering upon the duties and activities of life.
  • The simple organization of a people into a national body, composite or otherwise, is of itself an impressive fact. As an original proceeding, it marks the point of departure of a people, from the darkness and chaos of unbridled barbarism, to the wholesome restraints of public law and society. It implies a willing surrender and subjection of individual aims and ends, often narrow and selfish, to the broader and better ones that arise out of society as a whole. It is both a sign and a result of civilization. A knowledge of the character, resources and proceedings of other nations, affords us the means of comparison and criticism, without which progress would be feeble, tardy, and perhaps, impossible. It is by comparing one nation with another, and one learning from another, each competing with all, and all competing with each, that hurtful errors are exposed, great social truths discovered, and the wheels of civilization whirled onward.
  • There is a law of harmony in all departments of nature. The oak is in the acorn. The career and destiny of individual men are enfolded in the elements of which they are composed. The same is true of a nation. It will be something or it will be nothing. It will be great, or it will be small, according to its own essential qualities. As these are rich and varied, or pure and simple, slender and feeble, broad and strong, so will be the life and destiny of the nation itself. The stream cannot rise higher than its source. The ship cannot sail faster than the wind. The flight of the arrow depends upon the strength and elasticity of the bow, and as with these, so with a nation.
  • And nobler is a limited command,
    Given by the love of all your native land,
    Than a successive title, long and dark,
    Drawn from the mouldy rolls of Noah's Ark.
  • Building a nation calls us to recognize that we must constantly relate to others, rejecting a mindset of hostility in order to adopt one of reciprocal subsidiarity, in a constant effort to do our best. I am confident that we can do this.
  • There is no country in the world where so many provisions are established for them; so many hospitals to receive them when they are sick or lame, founded and maintained by voluntary charities; so many alms-houses for the aged of both sexes, together with a solemn general law made by the rich to subject their estates to a heavy tax for the support of the poor. Under all these obligations, are our poor modest, humble, and thankful; and do they use their best endeavours to maintain themselves, and lighten our shoulders of this burthen? On the contrary, I affirm that there is no country in the world in which the poor are more idle, dissolute, drunken, and insolent. The day you passed that act, you took away from before their eyes the greatest of all inducements to industry, frugality, and sobriety, by giving them a dependence on somewhat else than a careful accumulation during youth and health, for support in age or sickness.
  • God grant, that not only the Love of Liberty, but a thorough Knowledge of the Rights of Man, may pervade all the Nations of the Earth, so that a Philosopher may set his Foot anywhere on its Surface, and say, “This is my Country.”
    • Benjamin Franklin, letter to David Hartley (December 4, 1789); reported in Albert H. Smyth, ed., The Writings of Benjamin Franklin, (1907), volume10, p. 72.
  • So the loud torrent, and the whirlwind's roar,
    But bind him to his native mountains more.
  • Nations, like individuals, are punished for their transgressions.
  • I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.
  • Who saves his country, saves himself, saves all things, and all things saved do bless him! Who lets his country die, lets all things die, dies himself ignobly, and all things dying curse him!
    • Benjamin Harvey Hill, reported in Benjamin H. Hill, Jr., Senator Benjamin H. Hill of Georgia; His Life, Speeches and Writings (1893), epigraph, p. 594. From "Notes on the Situation", a series of articles appearing in the Chronicle and Sentinel, Atlanta, Georgia.
  • In the life of nations, what in the last resort decides questions is a kind of Judgment Court of God.
  • If the war is lost, the nation will also perish. This fate is inevitable. There is no necessity to take into consideration the basis which the people will need to continue even a most primitive existence. On the contrary, it will be better to destroy these things ourselves, because this nation will have proved to be the weaker one and the future will belong solely to the stronger.
  • You convey too great a compliment when you say that I have earned the right to the presidential nomination. No man can establish such an obligation upon any part of the American people. My country owes me no debt. It gave me, as it gives every boy and girl, a chance. It gave me schooling, independence of action, opportunity for service and honor. In no other land could a boy from a country village, without inheritance or influential friends, look forward with unbounded hope. My whole life has taught me what America means. I am indebted to my country beyond any human power to repay.
    • Herbert Hoover, letter to Senator George H. Moses, chairman of the Republican national convention, upon learning of his nomination for president (14 June 1928); reported in The Memoirs of Herbert Hoover (1952), volume 2, p. 195.
  • They must be either for or against us. Distrust them and you make them your enemies, place confidence in them, and you engage them by every dear and honorable tie to the interest of the country, who extends to them equal rights and privileges.
  • What country before ever existed a century and half without a rebellion? And what country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms.
  • "Duty, Honor, Country" — those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be. They are your rallying point to build courage when courage seems to fail, to regain faith when there seems to be little cause for faith, to create hope when hope becomes forlorn... In my dreams I hear again the crash of guns, the rattle of musketry, the strange, mournful mutter of the battlefield. But in the evening of my memory always I come back to West Point. Always there echoes and re-echoes: Duty, Honor, Country. Today marks my final roll call with you. But I want you to know that when I cross the river, my last conscious thoughts will be of the Corps, and the Corps, and the Corps. I bid you farewell.
  • When it shall be said in any country in the world, my poor are happy; neither ignorance nor distress is to be found among them; my jails are empty of prisoners, my streets of beggars; the aged are not in want, the taxes are not oppressive; the rational world is my friend, because I am a friend of its happiness: When these things can be said, then may the country boast of its constitution and its government.
    • Thomas Paine, The Rights of Man (1791), Part 2.7, "Chapter V: Ways and means of improving the condition of Europe, interspersed with miscellaneous observations", p. 249.
  • In societies such as ours, it is unusual for anyone describable as an intellectual to feel a very deep attachment to his own country. Public opinion — that is, the section of public opinion of which he as an intellectual is aware — will not allow him to do so. Most of the people surrounding him are sceptical and disaffected, and he may adopt the same attitude from imitativeness or sheer cowardice: in that case he will have abandoned the form of nationalism that lies nearest to hand without getting any closer to a genuinely internationalist outlook. He still feels the need for a Fatherland, and it is natural to look for one somewhere abroad. Having found it, he can wallow unrestrainedly in exactly those emotions from which he believes that he has emancipated himself. God, the King, the Empire, the Union Jack — all the overthrown idols can reappear under different names, and because they are not recognised for what they are they can be worshipped with a good conscience. Transferred nationalism, like the use of scapegoats, is a way of attaining salvation without altering one's conduct.
  • Every man has a right to one country. He has a right to love and serve that country and to feel that it is absolutely his country and that he has in it every right possessed by anyone else. It is our duty to require the man of German blood who is an American citizen to give up all allegiance to Germany wholeheartedly and without on his part any mental reservation whatever. If he does this it becomes no less our duty to give him the full rights of an American, including our loyal respect and friendship without on our part any mental reservation whatever. The duties are reciprocal, and from the standpoint of American patriotism one is as important as the other.
    • Theodore Roosevelt, "Every Man Has a Right to One Country," The Kansas City (Missouri) Star (15 July 1918), p. 2.
  • Breathes there the man with soul so dead,
    Who never to himself hath said,
    This is my own, my native land!
    Whose heart hath ne'er within him burn'd,
    As home his footsteps he hath turn'd,
    From wandering on a foreign strand!
  • My foot is on my native heath, and my name is MacGregor.
  • My country, 'tis of thee. Sweet land of liberty. Of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died. Land of the Pilgrim's pride. From every mountain side. Let freedom ring.
  • The true greatness of a nation cannot be in triumphs of the intellect alone. Literature and art may widen the sphere of its influence; they may adorn it; but they are in their nature but accessories. The true grandeur of humanity is in moral elevation, enlightened and decorated by the intellect of man. The truest tokens of this grandeur in a State are the diffusion of the greatest happiness among the greatest number, and that passionless God-like Justice, which controls the relations of the State to other States, and to all the people, who are committed to its charge.
  • I would not change my native land
    For rich Peru with all her gold.
    • Isaac Watts, "Praise for Birth and Education in a Christian Land", song 5, stanza 3, Divine Songs in Easy Language for the Use of Children (1715; republication of 1975), p. 12.
  • What defines a people is not race, not tradition, not geography, but the free choice of a group of human beings to live together as fellow citizens.
  • I respect a person who's willing to die for his country, but I admire a person who is prepared to kill for his country.
    • Nanfu Wang Craig Williamson, as quoted in "The spy who never came in from the cold" (20 September 1998), Sunday Times, South Africa

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 141-42.
  • There came to the beach a poor Exile of Erin,
    The dew on his thin robe was heavy and chill;
    For his country he sigh'd, when at twilight repairing,
    To wander alone by the wind-beaten hill.
  • From the lone shielding on the misty island
    Mountains divide us, and the waste of seas—
    But still the blood is strong, the heart is Highland,
    And we in dreams behold the Hebrides.
    • Canadian Boat Song. First appeared in Blackwood's Magazine, September 1829. Attributed to John G. Lockhart, John Galt and Earl of Eglington (died 1819). Founded on Eglington's lines according to Prof. Mackinnon. Also in article in Tait's Magazine (1849). Wording changed by Skelton.
  • He made all countries where he came his own.
  • They love their land, because it is their own,
    And scorn to give aught other reason why;
    Would shake hands with a king upon his throne,
    And think it kindness to his majesty.
  • To be really cosmopolitan a man must be at home even in his own country.
  • Patriæ quis exul se quoque fugit.
    • Translation: What exile from his country is able to escape from himself?
    • Horace, Carmina II. 16. 19.
  • Who dare to love their country, and be poor.
  • Un enfant en ouvrant ses yeux doit voir la patrie, et jusqu'à la mort ne voir qu'elle.
    • Translation: The infant, on first opening his eyes, ought to see his country, and to the hour of his death never lose sight of it.
    • Jean-Jacques Rousseau.
  • It was always accounted a virtue in a man to love his country. With us it is now something more than a virtue. It is a necessity. When an American says that he loves his country, he means not only that he loves the New England hills, the prairies glistening in the sun, the wide and rising plains, the great mountains, and the sea. He means that he loves an inner air, an inner light in which freedom lives and in which a man can draw the breath of self-respect.
    Men who have offered their lives for their country know that patriotism is not the fear of something; it is the love of something.
    • Adlai Stevenson, speech to the American Legion convention, New York City (27 August 1952); as quoted in "Democratic Candidate Adlai Stevenson Defines the Nature of Patriotism" in Lend Me Your Ears : Great Speeches In History (2004) by William Safire, p. 81 - 82.
  • La patrie est aux lieux où l'âme est enchainée.
    • Translation: Our country is that spot to which our heart is bound.
    • Voltaire, Le Fanatisme. I. 2.

See also

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