Nations is often used synonymously with ethnic group, but although ethnicity is now one of the most important aspects of cultural or social identity for the members of most nations, people with the same ethnic origin may live in different nation-states and be treated as members of separate nations for that reason.


  • Nations, like men, have their infancy.
  • Happy are all free peoples, too strong to be dispossessed.But blessed are those among nations who dare to be strong for the rest!
  • Our wants are various, and nobody has been found able to acquire even the necessaries without the aid of other people, and there is scarcely any Nation that has not stood in need of others. The Almighty himself has made our race such that we should help one another. Should this mutual aid be checked within or without the Nation, it is contrary to Nature.
  • ...Fatherland without freedom and merit is a large word with little meaning.
    • Anders Chydenius For What Reason do so Many Swedes Emigrate Every Year?, 1765.
  • And I will shake all the nations, and the precious things of all the nations will come in; and I will fill this house with glory,’ says Jehovah of armies.
  • Honesty, decency, faithfulness, and comradeship, ... must be shown when dealing with those of like blood but to no one else. What happens to a Russian, to a Czech, does not interest me in the slightest. . . . Whether nations live in prosperity or starve to death like cattle interests me only insofar as we need them as slaves for our culture. . . . Whether 10,000 Russian females collapse from exhaustion while digging an antitank ditch interests me only insofar as the antitank ditch for Germany is finished.
    • Heinrich Himmler, cited in Awake! magazine 1987, 3/22, article: The World Since 1914, Part 2; 1929-1934 Worldwide Depression and On to War Again
  • "A nation is a society united by a delusion about its ancestory and by a common hatred of its neighbors."
  • Look! The nations are like a drop from a bucket,
    And as the film of dust on the scales they are regarded.
    Look! He lifts up the islands like fine dust.
  • Nations will certainly go to your light, and kings to the brightness of your shining forth.
  • The little one will become a thousand, and the small one a mighty nation. I myself, Jehovah, will speed it up in its own time.
  • ‘In those days ten men out of all the languages of the nations will take hold, yes, they will take firm hold of the robe of a Jew, saying: “We want to go with you, for we have heard that God is with you people.
  • "The great nations have always acted like gangsters, and the small nations like prostitutes."
  • "No man has a right to fix the boundary of the march of a nation; no man has a right to say to his country - thus far shalt thou go and no further."
  • "No nation is fit to sit in judgement upon any other nation."

Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations (1989)Edit

  • Not gold but only men can make
    A people great and strong;
    Men who for truth and honor's sake
    Stand fast and suffer long.

    Brave men who work while others sleep,
    Who dare while others fly—
    They build a nation's pillars deep
    And lift them to the sky.
    • Ralph Waldo Emerson, "A Nation's Strength", stanzas 5 and 6. Masterpieces of Religious Verse, ed. James Dalton Morrison, p. 459 (1948). Granger's Index to Poetry, 6th ed., p. 898 (1973) says the author is unknown and that this is wrongly attributed to Emerson; the poem is not found in Emerson's Complete Works (1903).
  • Cleanse the body of this nation
    Through the glory of the Lord.
    • Henry Scott Holland, "Judge Eternal, Throned in Splendor". Service Book and Hymnal of the Lutheran Church in America, music ed., no. 343 (1958).
  • Great nations write their autobiographies in three manuscripts, the book of their deeds, the book of their words and the book of their art. Not one of these books can be understood unless we read the two others, but of the three the only trustworthy one is the last.
    • John Ruskin, St. Mark's Rest: The History of Venice, Preface p. 1 (1885).
  • A nation that can not preserve itself ought to die, and it will die—die in the grasp of the evils it is too feeble to overthrow.
    • Morris Sheppard, remarks in the Senate (December 18, 1914), Congressional Record, vol. 52, p. 338.
  • 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.
  • Great nations rise and fall. The people go from bondage to spiritual truth, to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency, from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependence, from dependence back again to bondage.
    • Author unknown. Attributed to Benjamin Disraeli. Reported as unverified in Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations (1989).
  • I know three things must always be
    To keep a nation strong and free.
    One is a hearthstone bright and dear,
    With busy, happy loved ones near.
    One is a ready heart and hand
    To love, and serve, and keep the land.
    is a worn and beaten way
    where the people go to pray.
    long as these are kept alive,
    Nation and people will survive.
    God keep them always, everywhere—
    The home, the heart, the place of prayer.
    • Author unknown, "Three Things", Sourcebook of Poetry (1968), comp. Al Bryant, p. 514. A variation of this poem appeared in the Congressional Record, January 14, 1959, vol. 105, Appendix, p. A144.

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