International Independent Recognized Sovereign Neutral Nation and State
International Independent Recognized Sovereign Neutral Nation and State
State of SCNRFP is a Uncodified Constitution Country: An "uncodified constitution" is a constitution made up of rules that are found from various documents in the absence of a single document or written constitution. The documents used as references may include commentaries by judiciary and legal experts. The uncodified constitution is sometimes referred to as “unwritten constitution” although this not not entirely accurate as its elements are written down in several official documents. Under the uncodified constitution, new conditions and situations of government are resolved by precedent or passing legislation. Other Countries with having a Uncodified Constitution are Israel, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom, Canada, San Marino, and Sweden
The UN, being neither a State nor a government, is not entitled to acknowledge a State or government”. In order to become a member of the organization, the candidate state must submit an application to the Secretary General, as well as a letter in which it accepts all terms of the Charter. However, the UN does offer membership into their organization.
The first and oldest international organization—being established employing a treaty, and creating a permanent secretariat—is the Central Commission for the Navigation of the Rhine (founded in 1815). The first general international organization—addressing a variety of issues—was the League of Nations. The United Nations followed this model after World War II.
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State of SCNRFP, International Independent Recognized Sovereign Neutral Nation and State
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06 February 2020
8.b. International Agreement Foreign Territory
06 February 2020
8.b. International Agreement Foreign Territory
The UN officially came into existence on 24 October 1945, after ratification of the United Nations Charter by the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (the Republic of China, France, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States) and a majority of the other signatories.
The UN, being neither a State nor a government, is not entitled to acknowledge a State or government”. In order to become a member of the organization, the candidate state must submit an application to the Secretary General, as well as a letter in which it accepts all terms of the Charter. However, the UN does offer membership into their organization.
Membership in the Organization, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, “is open to all peace-loving States that accept the obligations contained in the United Nations Charter and, in the judgment of the Organization, are able to carry out these obligations”. States are admitted to membership in the United Nations by decision of the General Assembly upon the recommendation of the Security Council.
The recognition of a new State or Government is an act that only other States and Governments may grant or withhold. It generally implies readiness to assume diplomatic relations. The United Nations is neither a State nor a Government, and therefore does not possess any authority to recognize either a State or a Government. As an organization of independent States, it may admit a new State to its membership or accept the credentials of the representatives of a new Government.
At each session, the General Assembly considers the credentials of all representatives of Member States participating in that session. During such consideration, which routinely takes place first in the nine-member Credentials Committee but can also arise at other times, the issue can be raised whether a particular representative has been accredited by the Government actually in power. This issue is ultimately decided by a majority vote in the Assembly. It should be noted that the normal change of Governments, as through a democratic election, does not raise any issues concerning the credentials of the representative of the State concerned.
Non-Member States of the United Nations, which are members of one or more specialized agencies, can apply for the status of Permanent Observer. The status of a Permanent Observer is based purely on practice, and there are no provisions for it in the United Nations Charter. The practice dates from 1946, when the Secretary-General accepted the designation of the Swiss Government as a Permanent Observer to the United Nations. Observers were subsequently put forward by certain States that later became United Nations Members, including Austria, Finland, Italy, and Japan. Switzerland became a UN Member on 10 September 2002.
Permanent Observers have free access to most meetings and relevant documentation.
Many regional and international organizations are also observers in the work and annual sessions of the General Assembly.
Observer status may be granted by a United Nations General Assembly resolution. The status of a permanent observer is based purely on practice of the General Assembly, and there are no provisions for it in the United Nations Charter. The practice is to distinguish between state and non-state observers. Non-member states are members of one or more specialized agencies, and can apply for permanent observer state status. Non-state observers are the international organizations and other entities.
It has never joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) or the European Union, and only joined the United Nations in 2002. Despite its longstanding neutrality, the country still maintains an army for defense purposes and requires part-time military service from all males between the ages of 18 and 34.
The United Nations General Assembly has granted observer status to international organizations, entities, and non-member states, to enable them to participate in the work of the United Nations General Assembly, though with limitations. The General Assembly determines the privileges it will grant to each observer, beyond those laid down in a 1986 Conference on treaties between States and International Organizations. Exceptionally, the EU was in 2011 granted the right to speak in debates, to submit proposals and amendments, the right of reply, to raise points of order and to circulate documents, etc. As of May 2011, the EU was the only international organization to hold these enhanced rights, which has been likened to the rights of full membership, short of the right to vote.
The General Assembly may invite non-member entities to participate in the work of the United Nations without formal membership, and has done so on numerous occasions. Such participants are described as observers, some of which may be further classified as non-member state observers. Most former non-member observer states accepted observer status at a time when they had applied for membership but were unable to attain it, due to the (actual or threatened) veto by one or more of the permanent members of the Security Council. The grant of observer status is made by the General Assembly only, and not subject to a Security Council veto.
In some circumstances a state may elect to become an observer rather than full member. For example, to preserve its neutrality while participating in its work, Switzerland chose to remain a permanent non-member state observer from 1948 until it became a member in 2002.
As of 2019, there are two permanent non-member observer states in the General Assembly of the United Nations: the Holy See and Palestine. Both were described as "Non-member States having received a standing invitation to participate as observers in the sessions and the work of the General Assembly and maintaining permanent observer missions at Headquarters". The Holy See uncontroversially obtained its non-member observer state status in 1964. The Holy See did not wish to join the United Nations as a member because "Membership in the organization would not seem to be consonant with the provisions of Article 24 of the Lateran Treaty, particularly as regards spiritual status and participation in possible use of force." Since April 6, 1964, the Holy See has accepted permanent observer state status, which was regarded as a diplomatic courtesy, to enable the Vatican to participate in the UN's humanitarian activities and in the promotion of peace.
In 2012, Palestine‘s observer status was changed from "non-member observer entity" to "non-member observer state", which many called "symbolic". The change followed an application by Palestine for full UN membership in 2011 as part of the Palestine 194 campaign, to provide additional leverage to the Palestinians in their dealings with Israel. The application had not been put to a UN Security Council vote.
With the change in status, the United Nations Secretariat held that Palestine was entitled to become a party to treaties for which the UN Secretary-General is the depositary. On 17 December 2012, UN Chief of Protocol, Yeocheol Yoon, declared that "the designation of 'State of Palestine' shall be used by the Secretariat in all official United Nations documents."
The seating in the General Assembly Hall is arranged with non-member observer states being seated immediately after UN member states, and before other observers. On 10 September 2015, the General Assembly resolved to approve the raising at the UN of the flags of non-member observer states alongside those of the 193 UN member states.
Sixteen former non-member states were also granted observer status. Fourteen of those states eventually became members of the United Nations. The other two constitute a single special case.
Most of the former non-member observer states accepted this status at a time when they had applied for membership but were unable to attain it, due to the (actual or threatened) veto of one or more of the permanent members of the Security Council. The vetoes were later overcome either by changes in geopolitical circumstances, or by "package deals" under which the Security Council approved multiple new member states at the same time, as was done with a dozen countries in 1955 and with East and West Germany in 1973.
Many intergovernmental organizations and a few other entities (non-governmental organizations and others with various degrees of statehood or sovereignty), are invited to become observers at the General Assembly. Some of them maintain a permanent office in the United Nations headquarters in New York City, while others do not; however, this is the choice of the organization and does not imply differences in their status.
While the EU is an observer, it is party to some 50 international UN agreements as the only non-state participant. It is a full participant on the Commission on Sustainable Development, the Forum on Forests and the Food and Agriculture Organization. It has also been a full participant at certain UN summits, such as the Rio and Kyoto summits on climate change, including hosting a summit. Furthermore, the EU delegation maintains close relations with the UN's aid bodies. In 2011 the EU was granted enhanced powers in the General Assembly; the right to speak in debates, to submit proposals and amendments, the right of reply, to raise points of order and to circulate documents. These rights were also made open to other international organizations who requested them, if their members have given them the right to speak on their behalf.
In the resolution adopted in May 2011 granting additional rights to the European Union the UNGA decided that similar arrangements may be adopted for any other regional organization that is allowed to speak on behalf of its member states.
The South West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO), a liberation movement in Namibia, held observer status with the right to circulate communications without intermediary beginning in 1976. This terminated in 1990 when the Republic of Namibia attained independence and was granted full membership in the United Nations and SWAPO was transformed into a political party.
The Family of Nations as an Element of the Ideology of Colonialism
The following article links the use of the concept of ‘civilization’ with the nineteenth-century perception of the international system, for which the ‘family of nations’ was current as a technical term in international legal theory for the international legal community. Following the distinction between state sovereignty and subjecthood under international law, international legal theorists denied the latter to most states outside Europe and classed them as ‘uncivilized’, even though their governments had concluded treaties under international law with European and the US governments and had thereby been formally recognized as sovereigns. In many cases, these treaties were agreements concerning the establishment of ‘Protectorates’ as the paramount type of dependency under the control of a European or the us government. In this context, international law became the house law of the ‘Family of Nations’, which extended across the globe while denying access to it to many states. https://brill.com/view/journals/jhil/18/2-3/article-p278_6.xml?language=en
The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) is a forum of 120 developing world states that are not formally aligned with or against any major power bloc. After the United Nations, it is the largest grouping of states worldwide.
Drawing on the principles agreed at the Bandung Conference in 1955, the Non-Aligned Movement was established in 1961 in Belgrade, SR Serbia, Yugoslavia through an initiative of the Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, Ghanaian President Kwame Nkrumah, Indonesian President Sukarno, Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser and Yugoslav President Josip Broz Tito. This led to the first Conference of Heads of State or Governments of Non-Aligned Countries. The term non-aligned movement first appears in the fifth conference in 1976, where participating countries are denoted as "members of the movement".
The purpose of the organization was enumerated by Fidel Castro in his Havana Declaration of 1979 as to ensure "the national independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and security of non-aligned countries" in their "struggle against imperialism, colonialism, neo-colonialism, racism, and all forms of foreign aggression, occupation, domination, interference or hegemony as well as against great power and bloc politics." The countries of the Non-Aligned Movement represent nearly two-thirds of the United Nations' members and contain 55% of the world population. Membership is particularly concentrated in countries considered to be developing or part of the Third World, though the Non-Aligned Movement also has a number of developed nations.
Although many of the Non-Aligned Movement's members were actually quite closely aligned with one or another of the superpowers (such as the People's Republic of China, an observer, or the Soviet Union, not participating in the Non-Aligned Movement), the movement still maintained cohesion throughout the Cold War, even despite several conflicts between members which also threatened the movement. In the years since the Cold War's end, it has focused on developing multilateral ties and connections as well as unity among the developing nations of the world, especially those within the Global South.
The movement stems from a desire not to be aligned within a geopolitical/military structure and therefore itself does not have a very strict organizational structure. Some organizational basics were defined at the 1996 Cartagena Document on Methodology. The Summit Conference of Heads of State or Government of Non-Aligned States is "the highest decision making authority". The chairmanship rotates between countries and changes at every summit of heads of state or government to the country organizing the summit.
Requirements for membership of the Non-Aligned Movement coincide with the key beliefs of the United Nations. The current requirements are that the candidate country has displayed practices in accordance with the ten "Bandung principles" of 1955:
Respect for fundamental human rights and for the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations.
Respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all nations.
Recognition of the movements for national independence.
Recognition of the equality of all races and of the equality of all nations, large and small.
Abstention from intervention or interference in the internal affairs of another country.
Respect for the right of each nation to defend itself singly or collectively, in conformity with the Charter of the United Nations.
Refraining from acts or threats of aggression or the use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any country.
Settlement of all international disputes by peaceful means, in conformity with the Charter of the United Nations.
Promotion of mutual interests and co-operation.
Respect for justice and international obligations.
Chairpersons of the NAM had included such diverse figures as Suharto, militaristic anti-communist, and Nelson Mandela, a democratic socialist and famous anti-apartheid activist. Consisting of many governments with vastly different ideologies, the Non-Aligned Movement is unified by its declared commitment to world peace and security. At the seventh summit held in New Delhi in March 1983, the movement described itself as "history's biggest peace movement". The movement places equal emphasis on disarmament. NAM's commitment to peace pre-dates its formal institutionalisation in 1961. The Brioni meeting between heads of governments of India, Egypt and Yugoslavia in 1956 recognized that there exists a vital link between struggle for peace and endeavours for disarmament.
During the 1970s and early 1980s, the NAM also sponsored campaigns for restructuring commercial relations between developed and developing nations, namely the New International Economic Order (NIEO), and its cultural offspring, the New World Information and Communication Order (NWICO). The latter, on its own, sparked a Non-Aligned initiative on cooperation for communications, the Non-Aligned News Agencies Pool, created in 1975 and later converted into the NAM News Network in 2005.
The Non-Aligned Movement espouses policies and practices of cooperation, especially those that are multilateral and provide mutual benefit to all those involved. Many of the members of the Non-Aligned Movement are also members of the United Nations. Both organizations have a stated policy of peaceful cooperation, yet the successes the NAM has had with multilateral agreements tend to be ignored by the larger, western and developed nation dominated UN. African concerns about apartheid were linked with Arab-Asian concerns about Palestine and multilateral cooperation in these areas has enjoyed moderate success. The Non-Aligned Movement has played a major role in various ideological conflicts throughout its existence, including extreme opposition to apartheid governments and support of guerrilla movements in various locations, including Rhodesia and South Africa.
Cultural diversity and human rights
The movement accepts the universality of human rights and social justice, but fiercely resists cultural homogenisation. In line with its views on sovereignty, the organisation appeals for the protection of cultural diversity, and the tolerance of the religious, socio-cultural, and historical particularities that define human rights in a specific region.
Working groups, task forces, committees
Committee on Palestine
High-Level Working Group for the Restructuring of the United Nations
Joint Coordinating Committee (chaired by Chairman of G-77 and Chairman of NAM)
Non-Aligned Security Caucus
Standing Ministerial Committee for Economic Cooperation
Task Force on Somalia
Working Group on Disarmament
Working Group on Human Rights
Working Group on Peace-Keeping Operations.
The League of Nations was established at the end of World War I as an international peacekeeping organization. Although US President Woodrow Wilson was an enthusiastic proponent of the League, the United States did not officially join the League of Nations due to opposition from isolationists in Congress.
The League began organizational work in the fall of 1919, spending its first 10 months with a headquarters in London before moving to Geneva. The Covenant of the League of Nations went into effect on January 10, 1920, formally instituting the League of Nations. By 1920, 48 countries had joined.
The League of Nations was an international diplomatic group developed after World War I as a way to solve disputes between countries before they erupted into open warfare. A precursor to the United Nations, the League achieved some victories but had a mixed record of success, sometimes putting self-interest before becoming involved with conflict resolution, while also contending with governments that did not recognize its authority. The League effectively ceased operations during World War II.
What Was the League of Nations? The League of Nations has its origins in the Fourteen Points speech of President Woodrow Wilson, part of a presentation given in January 1918 outlining of his ideas for peace after the carnage of World War I. Wilson envisioned an organization that was charged with resolving conflicts before they exploded into bloodshed and warfare.
By December of the same year, Wilson left for Paris to transform his 14 Points into what would become the Treaty of Versailles. Seven months later, he returned to the United States with a treaty that included the idea for what became the League of Nations.
Republican Congressman from Massachusetts Henry Cabot Lodge led a battle against the treaty. Lodge believed both the treaty and the League undercut U.S. autonomy in international matters.In response, Wilson took the debate to the American people, embarking on a 27-day train journey to sell the treaty to live audiences but cut his tour short due to exhaustion and sickness. Upon arriving back in Washington, D.C., Wilson had a stroke.
Congress did not ratify the treaty, and the United States refused to take part in the League of Nations. Isolationists in Congress feared it would draw the United Sates into international affairs unnecessarily.
Paris Peace Conference
In other countries, the League of Nations was a more popular idea.Under the leadership of Lord Cecil, the British Parliament created the Phillimore Committee as an exploratory body and announced support of it. French liberals followed, with the leaders of Sweden, Switzerland, Belgium, Greece, Czechoslovakia and other smaller nations responding in kind.
In 1919 the structure and process of the League were laid out in a covenant developed by all the countries taking part in the Paris Peace Conference. The League began organizational work in the fall of 1919, spending its first 10 months with a headquarters in London before moving to Geneva.
The Covenant of the League of Nations went into effect on January 10, 1920, formally instituting the League of Nations. By 1920, 48 countries had joined.
League of Nations Plays it Safe.The League struggled for the right opportunity to assert its authority. Secretary-general Sir Eric Drummond believed that failure was likely to damage the burgeoning organization, so it was best not to insinuate itself into just any dispute.
When Russia, which was not a member of the League, attacked a port in Persia in 1920, Persia appealed to the League for help. The League refused to take part, believing that Russia would not acknowledge their jurisdiction and that would damage the League’s authority.
Adding to the growing pains, some European countries had a hard time handing over autonomy when seeking help with disputes.
There were situations in which the League had no choice but to get involved. From 1919 to 1935, the League acted as a trustee of a tiny region between France and Germany called the Saar. The League became the 15-year custodian of the coal-rich area to allow it time to determine on its own which of the two countries it wished to join, with Germany being the eventual choice.
A similar situation happened in Danzig, which was set-up as a free city by the Treaty of Versailles and became the center of a dispute between Germany and Poland. The League administered Danzig for several years before it fell back under German rule.
Disputes Solved by the League of Nations Poland was in frequent distress, fearing for its independence against threats from neighboring Russia, which in 1920 occupied the city of Vilna and handed it over to Lithuanian allies. Following a demand that Poland recognize Lithuanian independence, the League became involved.
Vilna was returned to Poland, but hostilities with Lithuania continued. The League was also brought in as Poland grappled with Germany about Upper Silesia and with Czechoslovakia over the town of Teschen.
Other areas of dispute that the League got involved in included the squabble between Finland and Sweden over the Aaland Islands, disputes between Hungary and Rumania, Finland’s separate quarrels with Russia, Yugoslavia and Austria, a border argument between Albania and Greece, and the tussle between France and England over Morocco.
In 1923, following the murder of Italian General Enrico Tellini and his staff within the borders of Greece, Benito Mussolini retaliated by bombing and invading the Greek island Corfu. Greece requested the League’s help, but Mussolini refused to work with it.
The League was left on the sidelines watching as the dispute was solved instead by the Conference of Ambassadors, an Allied group that was later made part of the League.
The Incident at Petrich followed two years later. It’s unclear precisely how the debacle in the border town of Petrich in Bulgaria started, but it resulted in the deaths of a Greek captain and retaliation from Greece in the form of invasion.
Bulgaria apologized and begged the League for help. The League decreed a settlement that was accepted by both countries.
Larger Efforts by the League of Nations Other League efforts include the Geneva Protocol, devised in the 1920s to limit what is now understood as chemical and biological weaponry, and the World Disarmament Conference in the 1930s, which was meant to make disarmament a reality but failed after Adolf Hitler broke away from the conference and the League in 1933.
In 1920 the League created its Mandates Commission, charged with protecting minorities. Its suggestions about Africa were treated seriously by France and Belgium but ignored by South Africa. In 1929, the Mandates Commission helped Iraq join the League.
The Mandates Commission also got involved in tensions in Palestine between the incoming Jewish population and Palestinian Arabs, though any hopes of sustaining peace there was further complicated by Nazi persecution of the Jews, which lead to a rise in immigration to Palestine.
The League was also involved in the Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928, which sought to outlaw war. It was successfully adapted by over 60 countries. Put to the test when Japan invaded Mongolia in 1931, the League proved incapable of enforcing the pact.
Why Did the League of Nations Fail? When World War II broke out, most members of the League were not involved and claimed neutrality, but members France and Germany were.
There had to be unanimity for decisions that were taken. Unanimity made it really hard for the League to do anything. The League suffered big time from the absence of major powers — Germany, Japan, Italy ultimately left — and the lack of U.S. participation.
In 1940, League members Denmark, Norway, Luxembourg, Belgium, the Netherlands and France all fell to Hitler. Switzerland became nervous about hosting an organization perceived as an Allied one, and the League began to dismantle its offices.
Soon the Allies endorsed the idea of the United Nations, which held its first planning conference in San Francisco in 1944, effectively ending any need for the League of Nations to make a post-war return.
The Guardians. Susan Pederson. The League of Nations: From 1919 to 1929. Gary B. Ostrower.
The League of Nations, 1920. U.S. Department of State, Office of the Historian.
The League of Nations and the United Nations. BBC.
Citation Information Article Title League of NationsAuthorHistory.com
Editors Website NameHISTORYURLhttps://www.history.com/topics/world-war-i/league-oAccess
Date February 4, 2021
Publisher A&E Television Networks Last Updated March 5, 2020Original Published Date October 12, 2017
The peace activists of the nineteenth century were very aware of the fact that in the long run, the results of their efforts would depend on the active involvement and cooperation of governments worldwide. They envisaged an “International Forum” where governments could get together and discuss international disputes rather than immediately resorting to the use of arms.
In 1889, the Inter-parliamentary Union (IPU) was co-founded by William Randall Cremer, the British pacifist and Member of the Parliament, and Frederic Passy, the founder of the French “Ligue de la Paix” and Member of Parliament. Thus, the first truly international political organization, whose aim was to promote international arbitration and world peace, was born. As a result, a new kind of pacifism, based on parliamentarian support, was established. By 1914, one third of all members of the 24 State Parliaments had joined IPU, and their ultimate goal was to compel their Governments to resolve disputes by means of peaceful settlement and arbitration. IPU acclaimed with satisfaction the initiative of Tsar Nicholas II who had called the Peace Conferences held at The Hague in 1899 and 1907). IPU was directed by a Council headed by a President who was to have been both a Member and the President ex officio of the Executive Committee. All the annual IPU conferences served as forums by which States could “perfect” the process of international arbitration. The IPU Bureau transferred its operations from Bern to Brussels in 1911. It is now based in Geneva.
Even though the International Peace Bureau (IPB) was not an officially recognized organization of member States, it can be considered a forerunner of the League of Nations because of its visions, its goals and its prominent activists. IPB was an international body created to provide a “base of operations” for peace societies all over the world so that they could consolidate their efforts and organize annual Universal Peace Congresses. Its members consisted of the various peace societies that had been founded during the second half of the nineteenth century.
In 1891, the Third Universal Peace Congress in Rome voted to formally install IPB at Kanonenweg 12 in Bern, Switzerland. The first President was the Danish pacifist and Member of Parliament, Fredrik Bajer, followed by Henri La Fontaine in 1907. Bertha von Suttner, the well-known Austrian pacifist, became Vice-President until her death in 1914.
The Swiss pacifist and publisher, Elie Ducommun, was the Secretary-General until his death in 1906, after which he was followed by Albert Gobat (1906-1914) and Henri Golay (1914-1951).
In spite of their intense efforts, the First World War broke out, and during the war, most of the activities of the peace societies were severely restricted.
Thus, the work of the International Peace Bureau was put on hold until 1918. After the war, it became very active in the “No More War!” campaign of the International War Resisters movement.
With the foundation of the League of Nations in January of 1920, IPB lost much of its relevance, though it had reached its goal of establishing an international organization for the peaceful settlement of conflicts. In 1924, IPB executive office moved to Geneva, where it is still active, at 41, rue de Zurich.
There are many countries with impressively long histories, but to determine which country is the oldest, one must first differentiate between countries and empires. Not doing so could produce incorrect and contradictory answers.
Empire Vs. Country
Empires are defined as political units whose rule covers wide expanses and encompasses several territories. Countries are defined as sovereign states with their own territory, population, and government. One of the key differences between empires and countries is that empires have less clearly defined territory geographically than countries and countries are independent and separate from other entities. Empires are more like groups of countries that share a government.
Empires existed in ancient China, Japan, Iran (Persia), Greece, Rome, Egypt, Korea, Mexico, and +India, but were not, of course, as we know these nations today. Their starting dates do not correlate with their modern namesakes. These empires had central governments ruling over their vast territories.
The makeup of ancient empires largely consisted of agglomerations of city-states or fiefdoms whose jurisdictions overlapped that of the imperial government. Much of an empire's territory was temporary (with fluid boundaries) and often won through war or marriage alliances of monarchs. Because of this, many city-states did not function as unified entities, even if they came to be considered part of the same empire.
Empires were far from the modern nation-state or sovereign country, which emerged in the 19th century, and the two entities did not coexist for long. In fact, many times an empire's downfall became a nation-state's beginning. Often, today's nation-states arose from the dissolution of empires and were formed around communities that shared common geography, language, and culture.
Ultimately, it is not possible to definitively say what country is the oldest, but the following three are most often cited as the world's oldest countries.
By many accounts, the Republic of San Marino, one of the world's smallest countries, is also the world's oldest country. The tiny country that is completely landlocked by Italy was founded on September 3rd in the year 301 BCE. A monastery at the top of Mount Titano, likely the center of the community, was constructed in sixth century BCE. However, the nation wasn't recognized as independent until CE 1631 by the pope, who controlled much of central Italy politically at the time.
San Marino's continued independence was made possible by its isolated position amid fortresses in high, mountainous terrain. San Marino's constitution, written in the year 1600, is the world's oldest.
Japan's history as both an empire and a country can be confusing. According to Japanese history, the colonial empire's first emperor, Emperor Jimmu, founded the country of Japan in 660 BCE. However, it was not until at least eighth-century CE that Japanese culture and Buddhism spread across the islands.
Over its long history, Japan has seen many different types of governments and leaders. While the country celebrates 660 BCE as the year of its founding, it wasn't until the Meiji Restoration of 1868 that modern Japan emerged.
The first recorded dynasty in Chinese history existed over 3,500 years ago when the feudal Shang dynasty ruled from 17th to 11th century BCE. However, the modern country of China celebrates 221 BCE as the date of its founding, the year Qin Shi Huang proclaimed himself the first emperor of China. But China went through many more changes and dynasties to become the country it is today.
In third-century CE, the Han dynasty unified Chinese culture and tradition. In the 13th century, the Mongols invaded China and decimated its population and culture. China's Oing dynasty was overthrown during a revolution in 1912, spurring the creation of the Republic of China. Finally, in 1949, the Republic of China itself was overthrown by Mao Tse Tung's communist rebels and the People's Republic of China was created. This is China as the world now knows it.
More Old Countries
Modern countries such as Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Greece, and India bear so little resemblance to their ancient counterparts that their founding is technically considered recent. Many of these countries trace their modern roots only as far back as the 19th century and that is why their names do not appear in lists of very old countries.
However, some modern countries have remained more unchanged and can trace their roots much further back. See this list for other old countries and their dates of origin.
By Matt Rosenberg Update February 03, 2020
In many historical societies, the position of kingship carries a sacral meaning, that is, it is identical with that of a high priest and judge. The concept of theocracy is related, although a sacred king need not necessarily rule through his religious authority; rather, the temporal position has a religious significance.
Sir James George Frazer used the concept of the sacred king in his study The Golden Bough (1890–1915), the title of which refers to the myth of the Rex Nemorensis. Frazer gives numerous examples, cited below, and was an inspiration for the myth and ritual school. However, "the myth and ritual, or myth-ritualist, theory" is disputed; many scholars now believe that myth and ritual share common paradigms, but not that one developed from the other.
According to Frazer, the notion has prehistoric roots and occurs worldwide, on Java as in sub-Saharan Africa, with shaman-kings credited with rainmaking and assuring fertility and good fortune. The king might also be designated to suffer and atone for his people, meaning that the sacral king could be the pre-ordained victim in a human sacrifice, either killed at the end of his term in the position, or sacrificed in a time of crisis (e.g. the Blót of Domalde).
From the Bronze Age in the Near East, the enthronement and anointment of a monarch is a central religious ritual, reflected in the titles "Messiah" or "Christ", which became separated from worldly kingship. Thus Sargon of Akkad described himself as "deputy of Ishtar", just as the modern Catholic Pope takes the role of the "Vicar of Christ".
Kings are styled as shepherds from earliest times, e.g., the term applied to Sumerian princes such as Lugalbanda in the 3rd millennium BCE. The image of the shepherd combines the themes of leadership and the responsibility to supply food and protection, as well as superiority.
Study of the concept was introduced by Sir James George Frazer in his influential book The Golden Bough (1890–1915); sacral kingship plays a role in Romanticism and Esotericism (e.g. Julius Evola) and some currents of Neopaganism (Theodism). The school of Pan-Babylonianism derived much of the religion described in the Hebrew Bible from cults of sacral kingship in ancient Babylonia.
The so-called British and Scandinavian cult-historical schools maintained that the king personified a god and stood at the center of the national or tribal religion. The English "myth and ritual school" concentrated on anthropology and folklore, while the Scandinavian "Uppsala school" emphasized Semitological study.
A sacred king, according to the systematic interpretation of mythology developed by Frazer in The Golden Bough (published 1890), was a king who represented a solar deity in a periodically re-enacted fertility rite. Frazer seized upon the notion of a substitute king and made him the keystone of his theory of a universal, pan-European, and indeed worldwide fertility myth, in which a consort for the Goddess was annually replaced. According to Frazer, the sacred king represented the spirit of vegetation, a divine John Barleycorn. He came into being in the spring, reigned during the summer, and ritually died at harvest time, only to be reborn at the winter solstice to wax and rule again. The spirit of vegetation was therefore a "dying and reviving god". Osiris, Dionysus, Attis and many other familiar figures from Greek mythology and classical antiquity were re-interpreted in this mold. The sacred king, the human embodiment of the dying and reviving vegetation god, was supposed to have originally been an individual chosen to rule for a time, but whose fate was to suffer as a sacrifice, to be offered back to the earth so that a new king could rule for a time in his stead.
Especially in Europe during Frazer's early twentieth century heyday, it launched a cottage industry of amateurs looking for "pagan survivals" in such things as traditional fairs, maypoles, and folk arts like morris dancing. It was widely influential in literature, being alluded to by D. H. Lawrence, James Joyce, Ezra Pound, and in T. S. Eliot's The Waste Land, among other works.
Robert Graves used Frazer's work in The Greek Myths and made it one of the foundations of his own personal mythology in The White Goddess, and in the fictional Seven Days in New Crete he depicted a future in which the institution of a sacrificial sacred king is revived. Margaret Murray, the principal theorist of witchcraft as a "pagan survival," used Frazer's work to propose the thesis that many kings of England who died as kings, most notably William Rufus, were secret pagans and witches, whose deaths were the re-enactment of the human sacrifice that stood at the centre of Frazer's myth. This idea used by fantasy writer Katherine Kurtz in her novel Lammas Night.
Theocracy is a form of government in which a deity of some type is recognized as the supreme ruling authority, giving divine guidance to human intermediaries that manage the day-to-day affairs of the government.
The Imperial cult of ancient Rome identified Roman emperors and some members of their families with the divinely sanctioned authority (auctoritas) of the Roman State. The official offer of cultus to a living emperor acknowledged his office and rule as divinely approved and constitutional: his Principate should therefore demonstrate pious respect for traditional Republican deities and mores.
The word theocracy originates from the Greek θεοκρατία (theocratia) meaning "the rule of God". This in turn derives from θεός (theos), meaning "god", and κρατέω (krateo), meaning "to rule". Thus the meaning of the word in Greek was "rule by god(s)" or human incarnation(s) of god(s).
The term was initially coined by Flavius Josephus in the first century AD to describe the characteristic government of the Jews. Josephus argued that while mankind had developed many forms of rule, most could be subsumed under the following three types: monarchy, oligarchy, and democracy. However, according to Josephus, the government of the Jews was unique. Josephus offered the term "theocracy" to describe this polity, ordained by Moses, in which God is sovereign and his word is law.
Josephus' definition was widely accepted until the Enlightenment era, when the term took on negative connotations and was hardly salvaged by Hegel's abstruse commentary. The first recorded English use was in 1622, with the meaning "sacerdotal government under divine inspiration" (as in Biblical Israel before the rise of kings); the meaning "priestly or religious body wielding political and civil power" is recorded from 1825.
In some religions, the ruler, usually a king, was regarded as the chosen favorite of God (or gods) and could not be questioned, sometimes even being the descendant of or a god in their own right. Today, there is also a form of government where clerics have the power and the supreme leader could not be questioned in action. From the perspective of the theocratic government, "God himself is recognized as the head" of the state, hence the term theocracy, from the Koine Greek θεοκρατία "rule of God", a term used by Josephus for the kingdoms of Israel and Judah. Taken literally, theocracy means rule by God or gods and refers primarily to an internal "rule of the heart", especially in its biblical application. The common, generic use of the term, as defined above in terms of rule by a church or analogous religious leadership, would be more accurately described as an ecclesiocracy.
In a pure theocracy, the civil leader is believed to have a personal connection with the civilization's religion or belief. For example, Moses led the Israelites, and Muhammad led the early Muslims. There is a fine line between the tendency of appointing religious characters to run the state and having a religious-based government. According to the Holy Books, Prophet Joseph was offered an essential governmental role just because he was trustworthy, wise and knowledgeable (Quran 12: 54–55). As a result of the Prophet Joseph's knowledge and also due to his ethical and genuine efforts during a critical economic situation, the whole nation was rescued from a seven-year drought (Quran 12: 47–48).
When religions have a "holy book", it is used as a direct message from God. Law proclaimed by the ruler is also considered a divine revelation, and hence the law of God. As to the Prophet Muhammad ruling, "The first thirteen of the Prophet's twenty-three year career went on totally apolitical and non-violent. This attitude partly changed only after he had to flee from Mecca to Medina. This hijra, or migration, would be a turning point in the Prophet's mission and would mark the very beginning of the Muslim calendar. Yet the Prophet did not establish a theocracy in Medina. Instead of a polity defined solely by Islam, he founded a territorial polity based on religious pluralism. This is evident in a document called the 'Charter of Medina', which the Prophet signed with the leaders of the other community in the city."
According to the Quran, Prophets were not after power or material resources. For example, in surah 26 verses (109, 127, 145, 164, 180), the Koran repeatedly quotes from Prophets Noah, Hud, Salih, Lut, and Shu'aib that: "I do not ask from you any payment for it; my payment is only from the Lord of the worlds." Also, in theocracy many aspects of the holy book are overshadowed by material powers. Due to being considered divine, the regime entitles itself to interpret verses to its own benefit and uses them out of context for its political aims. An ecclesiocracy, on the other hand, is a situation where the religious leaders assume a leading role in the state, but do not claim that they are instruments of divine revelation. For example, the prince-bishops of the European Middle Ages, where the bishop was also the temporal ruler. Such a state may use the administrative hierarchy of the religion for its own administration, or it may have two "arms" – administrators and clergy – but with the state administrative hierarchy subordinate to the religious hierarchy. The papacy in the Papal States occupied a middle ground between theocracy and ecclesiocracy, since the pope did not claim he was a prophet who received revelation from God and translated it into civil law.
Religiously endorsed monarchies fall between these two poles, according to the relative strengths of the religious and political organs.
Theocracy is distinguished from other, secular forms of government that have a state religion, or are influenced by theological or moral concepts, and monarchies held "By the Grace of God". In the most common usage of the term, some civil rulers are leaders of the dominant religion (e.g., the Byzantine emperor as patron and defender of the official Church); the government proclaims it rules on behalf of God or a higher power, as specified by the local religion, and with divine approval of government institutions and laws. These characteristics apply also to a caesaropapist regime. The Byzantine Empire however was not theocratic since the patriarch answered to the emperor, not vice versa; similarly in Tudor England the crown forced the church to break away from Rome so the royal (and, especially later, parliamentary) power could assume full control of the now Anglican hierarchy and confiscate most church property and income.
Secular governments can also co-exist with a state religion or delegate some aspects of civil law to religious communities. For example, in Israel marriage is governed by officially recognized religious bodies who each provide marriage services for their respected adherents, yet no form of civil marriage (free of religion, for atheists, for example) exists nor marriage by non-recognized minority religions.
Following the Capture of Rome on 20 September 1870, the Papal States including Rome with the Vatican was annexed by the Kingdom of Italy. In 1929, through the Lateran Treaty signed with the Italian Government, the new state of Vatican City (population 842) – with no connection to the former Papal States – was formally created and recognized as an independent state. The head of state of the Vatican is the pope, elected by the College of Cardinals, an assembly of Senatorial-princes of the Church. They are usually clerics, appointed as Ordinaries, but in the past have also included men who were not bishops nor clerics. A pope is elected for life, and either dies or may resign. The cardinals are appointed by the popes, who thereby choose the electors of their successors.
Voting is limited to cardinals under 80 years of age. A Secretary for Relations with States, directly responsible for international relations, is appointed by the pope. The Vatican legal system is rooted in canon law but ultimately is decided by the pope; the Bishop of Rome as the Supreme Pontiff "has the fullness of legislative, executive and judicial powers." Although the laws of Vatican City come from the secular laws of Italy, under article 3 of the Law of the Sources of the Law, provision is made for the supplementary application of the "laws promulgated by the Kingdom of Italy". The government of the Vatican can also be considered an ecclesiocracy (ruled by the Church).
Mount Athos (Athonite State)Main article: Mount AthosMount Athos is a mountain peninsula in Greece which is an Eastern Orthodox autonomous region consisting of 20 monasteries under the direct jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople. There have been almost 1,800-years of continuous Christian presence on Mount Athos and it has a long history of monastic traditions, which dates back to at least 800 A.D. The origins of self-rule are originally from an edict by the Byzantine Emperor Ioannis Tzimisces in 972, which was later reaffirmed by the Emperor Alexios I Komnenos in 1095. After Greece's independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1830, Greece claimed Mount Athos but after a diplomatic dispute with Russia the region was formally recognized as Greek after World War I.
Mount Athos is specifically exempt from the free movement of people and goods required by Greece's membership of the European Union and entrance is only allowed with express permission from the monks. The number of daily visitors to Mount Athos is restricted, with all visitors required to obtain an entrance permit. Only men are permitted to visit and Orthodox Christians take precedence in permit-issuing. Residents of Mount Athos must be men aged 18 and over who are members of the Eastern Orthodox Church and also either monks or workers.
Athos is governed jointly by a 'Holy Community' consisting of representatives from the 20 monasteries and a Civil Governor, appointed by the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Holy Community also has a four-member executive committee called the 'Holy Administration' which is led by a Protos.
Iran has been described as a "theocratic republic" (by the CIA World Factbook), and its constitution has been described as a "hybrid" of "theocratic and democratic elements" by Francis Fukuyama. Like other Islamic states, it maintains religious laws and has religious courts to interpret all aspects of law. According to Iran's constitution, "all civil, penal, financial, economic, administrative, cultural, military, political, and other laws and regulations must be based on Islamic criteria."
In addition, Iran has a religious ruler and many religious officials in powerful government posts. The head of state, or "Supreme Leader", is a faqih (scholar of Islamic law) and possesses more power than Iran's president. The Leader appoints the heads of many powerful posts: the commanders of the armed forces, the director of the national radio and television network, the heads of the powerful major religious foundations, the chief justice, the attorney general (indirectly through the chief justice), special tribunals, and members of national security councils dealing with defense and foreign affairs. He also co-appoints the 12 jurists of the Guardian Council.
The Leader is elected by the Assembly of Experts which is made up of mujtahids, who are Islamic scholars competent in interpreting Sharia.
The Guardian Council, has the power to veto bills from majlis (parliament) and to approve or disapprove candidates who wish to run for high office (president, majlis, the Assembly of Experts). The council supervises elections, and can greenlight or ban investigations into the election process. Six of the Guardians (half the council) are faqih empowered to approve or veto all bills from the majlis (parliament) according to whether the faqih believe them to be in accordance with Islamic law and customs (Sharia). The other six members are lawyers appointed by the head of the judiciary (who is also a cleric and also appointed by the Leader).
An Islamic republic is the name given to several states that are officially ruled by Islamic laws, including the Islamic Republics of Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, and Mauritania. Pakistan first adopted the title under the constitution of 1956. Mauritania adopted it on 28 November 1958. Iran adopted it after the 1979 Iranian Revolution that overthrew the Pahlavi dynasty. Afghanistan adopted it in 2004 after the fall of the Taliban government. Despite having similar names, the countries differ greatly in their governments and laws.
The term "Islamic republic" has come to mean several different things, at times contradictory. To some Muslim religious leaders in the Middle East and Africa who advocate it, an Islamic republic is a state under a particular Islamic form of government. They see it as a compromise between a purely Islamic caliphate and secular nationalism and republicanism. In their conception of the Islamic republic, the penal code of the state is required to be compatible with some or all laws of Sharia, and the state may not be a monarchy, as many Middle Eastern states are presently.
Central Tibetan Administration
The Central Tibetan Administration, colloquially known as the Tibetan government in exile, is a Tibetan exile organization with a state-like internal structure. According to its charter, the position of head of state of the Central Tibetan Administration belongs ex officio to the current Dalai Lama, a religious hierarch. In this respect, it continues the traditions of the former government of Tibet, which was ruled by the Dalai Lamas and their ministers, with a specific role reserved for a class of monk officials.
On 14 March 2011, at the 14th Dalai Lama's suggestion, the parliament of the Central Tibetan Administration began considering a proposal to remove the Dalai Lama's role as head of state in favor of an elected leader.
The first directly elected Kalön Tripa was Samdhong Rinpoche, who was elected on 20 August 2001.
Before 2011, the Kalön Tripa position was subordinate to the 14th Dalai Lama who presided over the government in exile from its founding. In August of that year, Lobsang Sangay polled 55 percent votes out of 49,189, defeating his nearest rival Tethong Tenzin Namgyal by 8,646 votes, becoming the second popularly elected Kalon Tripa. The Dalai Lama announced that his political authority would be transferred to Sangay.
Change to SikyongOn 20 September 2012, the 15th Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile unanimously voted to change the title of Kalön Tripa to Sikyong in Article 19 of the Charter of the Tibetans in exile and relevant articles. The Dalai Lama had previously referred to the Kalon Tripa as Sikyong, and this usage was cited as the primary justification for the name change. According to Tibetan Review, "Sikyong" translates to "political leader", as distinct from "spiritual leader". Foreign affairs Kalon Dicki Chhoyang stated that the term "Sikyong" has had a precedent dating back to the 7th Dalai Lama, and that the name change "ensures historical continuity and legitimacy of the traditional leadership from the fifth Dalai Lama". The online Dharma Dictionary translates sikyong (srid skyong) as "secular ruler; regime, regent". The title sikyong had previously been used by regents who ruled Tibet during the Dalai Lama's minority.
States with official state religions
Main article: State religion
Having a state religion is not sufficient enough to be a theocracy in the narrow sense of the term. Many countries have a state religion without the government directly deriving its powers from a divine authority or a religious authority directly exercising governmental powers. Since the narrow sense of the term has few instances in the modern world, the more common usage of it is the wider sense of an enforced state religion.
Historic states with theocratic aspects
The pharaoh was believed to be the offspring of the sungod Ra.
The emperor was historically venerated as the descendant of the Shinto sun goddess Amaterasu. Through this line of descent, the emperor was seen as a living god who was the supreme leader of the Japanese people. This status only changed with the Occupation of Japan following the end of the Second World War when Emperor Hirohito was forced to declare that he was not a living god in order for Japan to reorganize into a democratic nation.
Further information: Israel and Kritarchy
Early Israel was a Kritarchy, ruled by Judges before instituting a monarchy. The Judges were believed to be representatives of YHVH Yahweh (also rendered as Jehovah).
Further information: Imperial cult and State church of the Roman Empire
The imperial cults in Ancient Egypt and the Roman Empire, as well as numerous other monarchies, deified the ruling monarch. The state religion was often dedicated to the worship of the ruler as a deity, or the incarnation thereof.
In ancient and medieval Christianity, Caesaropapism is the doctrine where a head of state is at the same time the head of the church.
Unified religious rule in Buddhist Tibet began in 1642, when the Fifth Dalai Lama allied with the military power of the Mongol Gushri Khan to consolidate the political power and center control around his office as head of the Gelug school. This form of government is known as the dual system of government. Prior to 1642, particular monasteries and monks had held considerable power throughout Tibet, but had not achieved anything approaching complete control, though power continued to be held in a diffuse, feudal system after the ascension of the Fifth Dalai Lama. Power in Tibet was held by a number of traditional elites, including members of the nobility, the heads of the major Buddhist sects (including their various tulkus), and various large and influential monastic communities.
The Bogd Khaanate period of Mongolia (1911–19) is also cited as a former Buddhist theocracy.
Further information: Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors and Chinese emperor
Similar to the Roman Emperor, the Chinese sovereign was historically held to be the Son of Heaven. However, from the first historical Emperor on, this was largely ceremonial and tradition quickly established it as a posthumous dignity, like the Roman institution. The situation before Qin Shi Huang Di is less clear.
The Shang dynasty essentially functioned as a theocracy, declaring the ruling family the sons of heaven and calling the chief sky god Shangdi after a word for their deceased ancestors. After their overthrow by the Zhou, the royal clan of Shang were not eliminated but instead moved to a ceremonial capital where they were charged to continue the performance of their rituals.
The titles combined by Shi Huangdi to form his new title of emperor were originally applied to god-like beings who ordered the heavens and earth and to culture heroes credited with the invention of agriculture, clothing, music, astrology, etc. Even after the fall of Qin, an emperor's words were considered sacred edicts (聖旨) and his written proclamations "directives from above" (上諭).
As a result, some Sinologists translate the title huangdi (usually rendered "emperor") as thearch. The term properly refers to the head of a thearchy (a kingdom of gods), but the more accurate "theocrat" carries associations of a strong priesthood that would be generally inaccurate in describing imperial China. Others reserve the use of "thearch" to describe the legendary figures of Chinese prehistory while continuing to use "emperor" to describe historical rulers.
The Heavenly Kingdom of Great Peace in 1860s Qing China was a heterodox Christian theocracy led by a person who said that he was the younger brother of Jesus Christ, Hong Xiuquan. This theocratic state fought one of the most destructive wars in history, the Taiping Rebellion, against the Qing dynasty for fifteen years before being crushed following the fall of the rebel capital Nanjing.
Main article: Caliphate
The Sunni branch of Islam stipulates that, as a head of state, a Caliph should be elected by Muslims or their representatives. Followers of Shia Islam, however, believe a Caliph should be an Imam chosen by God from the Ahl al-Bayt (the "Family of the House", Muhammad's direct descendants).
Main article: Byzantine Empire § Religion
The Byzantine Empire (a.d. 324–1453) operated under caesaropapism, meaning that the emperor was both the head of civil society and the ultimate authority over the ecclesiastical authorities, or patriarchates. The emperor was considered to be God's omnipotent representative on earth and he ruled as an absolute autocrat.
Jennifer Fretland Van Voorst argues, “the Byzantine Empire became a theocracy in the sense that Christian values and ideals were the foundation of the empire's political ideals and heavily entwined with its political goals". Steven Runciman says in his book on The Byzantine Theocracy (2004):
The constitution of the Byzantine Empire was based on the conviction that it was the earthly copy of the Kingdom of Heaven. Just as God ruled in Heaven, so the Emperor, made in His image, should rule on earth and carry out his commandments. ...It saw itself as a universal empire. Ideally, it should embrace all the peoples of the Earth who, ideally, should all be members of the one true Christian Church, its own Orthodox Church. Just as man was made in God's image, so man's kingdom on Earth was made in the image of the Kingdom of Heaven.
Münster (16th Century)Between 1533 and 1535 the Protestant leaders Jan Mattys and John of Leiden erected a short-living theocratic kingdom in the city of Münster. They created an anabaptist regime with chiliastic and milleniaristic expectations. Money was abolished and any violations of the Ten Commandments were punished by death. Despite the pietistic ideology, polygamy was allowed and von Leiden had 17 wives. In 1535, Münster was recaptured by Franz von Waldeck, ending the existence of the kingdom.
Geneva and Zurich (16th century)Historians debate the extent to which Geneva, Switzerland, in the days of John Calvin (1509–64) was a theocracy. On the one hand, Calvin's theology clearly called for separation between church and state. Other historians have stressed the enormous political power wielded on a daily basis by the clerics.
In nearby Zurich, Switzerland, Protestant reformer Huldrych Zwingli (1484-1531) built a political system that many scholars have called a theocracy, while others have denied it.
Deseret (LDS Church, USA)Main articles: State of Deseret and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints See also: Theodemocracy
The question of theocracy has been debated extensively by historians regarding the Latter-Day Saint communities in Illinois, and especially in Utah.
Joseph Smith, mayor of Nauvoo, Illinois, and founder of the Latter Day Saint movement, ran as an independent for president in 1844. He proposed the redemption of slaves by selling public lands; reducing the size and salary of Congress; the closure of prisons; the annexation of Texas, Oregon, and parts of Canada; the securing of international rights on high seas; free trade; and the re-establishment of a national bank. His top aide Brigham Young campaigned for Smith saying, "He it is that God of Heaven designs to save this nation from destruction and preserve the Constitution." The campaign ended when Smith was killed by a mob while in the Carthage, Illinois, jail on June 27, 1844.
After severe persecution, the Mormons left the United States and resettled in a remote part of Utah, which was then part of Mexico. However the United States took control in 1848 and would not accept polygamy. The Mormon State of Deseret was short-lived. Its original borders stretched from western Colorado to the southern California coast. When the Mormons arrived in the valley of the Great Salt Lake in 1847, the Great Basin was still a part of Mexico and had no secular government. As a result, Brigham Young administered the region both spiritually and temporally through the highly organized and centralized Melchizedek Priesthood. This original organization was based upon a concept called theodemocracy, a governmental system combining Biblical theocracy with mid-19th-century American political ideals.
In 1849, the Saints organized a secular government in Utah, although many ecclesiastical leaders maintained their positions of secular power. The Mormons also petitioned Congress to have Deseret admitted into the Union as a state. However, under the Compromise of 1850, Utah Territory was created and Brigham Young was appointed governor. In this situation, Young still stood as head of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) as well as of Utah's secular government.
After the abortive Utah War of 1857–1858, the replacement of Young by an outside Federal Territorial Governor, intense federal prosecution of LDS Church leaders, the eventual resolution of controversies regarding plural marriage, and accession by Utah to statehood, the apparent temporal aspects of LDS theodemocracy receded markedly.
During the Achaemenid Empire, Zoroastrianism was the state religion and included formalized worship. The Persian kings were known to be pious Zoroastrians and they ruled with a Zoroastrian form of law called asha. However, Cyrus the Great, who founded the empire, avoided imposing the Zoroastrian faith on the inhabitants of conquered territory. Cyrus's kindness towards Jews has been cited as sparking Zoroastrian influence on Judaism.
Under the Seleucids, Zoroastrianism became autonomous. During the Sassanid period, the Zoroastrian calendar was reformed, image-use in worship was banned, Fire Temples were increasingly built, and intolerance towards other faiths prevailed.
Florence under Savonarola
The short reign (1494–1498) of Girolamo Savonarola, a Dominican priest, over the city of Florence had features of a theocracy. During his rule, "un-Christian" books, statues, poetry, and other items were burned (in the Bonfire of the Vanities), sodomy was made a capital offense, and other Christian practices became law.
The Ani-kutani (ᎠᏂᎫᏔᏂ) were the ancient priesthood of the Tsigamogi, Chickamauga, and Cherokee. According to Cherokee legend, the Ani-Kutani many were slain during a mass uprising by the Cherokee people approximately 300 years prior to European contact, however, the religion, practices, teachings, and priesthood still continue today. The Ani-Kutani "fire priests" that existed in historic times. They are the hereditary clan. The Ani'Kuta'ni supervised religious ceremonies. They were mound builders who lived in the Appalachian lands later settled by the Cherokees.
Member states of the United Nations (UN), as defined by the UN. All members of the UN are sovereign states, though not all sovereign states are necessarily members.
A sovereign state is a political entity that is represented by one centralized government that has sovereignty over a geographic area. International law defines sovereign states as having a permanent population, defined territory, one government and the capacity to enter into relations with other sovereign states. It is also normally understood that a sovereign state is neither dependent on nor subjected to any other power or state.
According to the declarative theory of statehood, a sovereign state can exist without being recognized by other sovereign states. Unrecognized states will often find it difficult to exercise full treaty-making powers or engage in diplomatic relations with other sovereign states.
Main article: Westphalian sovereignty
Westphalian sovereignty is the concept of nation-state sovereignty based on territoriality and the absence of a role for external agents in domestic structures. It is an international system of states, multinational corporations, and organizations that began with the Peace of Westphalia in 1648.
Sovereignty is a term that is frequently misused. Up until the 19th century, the radicalized concept of a "standard of civilization" was routinely deployed to determine that certain people in the world were "uncivilized", and lacking organized societies. That position was reflected and constituted in the notion that their "sovereignty" was either completely lacking or at least of an inferior character when compared to that of the "civilized" people." Lassa Oppenheim said, "There exists perhaps no conception the meaning of which is more controversial than that of sovereignty. It is an indisputable fact that this conception, from the moment when it was introduced into political science until the present day, has never had a meaning which was universally agreed upon." In the opinion of H. V. Evatt of the High Court of Australia, "sovereignty is neither a question of fact, nor a question of law, but a question that does not arise at all."
Sovereignty has taken on a different meaning with the development of the principle of self-determination and the prohibition against the threat or use of force as jus cogens norms of modern international law. The United Nations Charter, the Draft Declaration on Rights and Duties of States, and the charters of regional international organizations express the view that all states are juridically equal and enjoy the same rights and duties based upon the mere fact of their existence as persons under international law. The right of nations to determine their own political status and exercise permanent sovereignty within the limits of their territorial jurisdictions is widely recognized.
In political science, sovereignty is usually defined as the most essential attribute of the state in the form of its complete self-sufficiency in the frames of a certain territory, that is its supremacy in the domestic policy and independence in the foreign one.
Named after the 1648 Treaty of Westphalia, the Westphalian System of state sovereignty, which according to Bryan Turner is "made a more or less clear separation between religion and state, and recognized the right of princes 'to confessionalize' the state, that is, to determine the religious affiliation of their kingdoms on the pragmatic principle of cuius regio eius religio [whose realm, his religion]."
Before 1900 sovereign states enjoyed absolute immunity from the judicial process, derived from the concepts of sovereignty and the Westphalian equality of states. First articulated by Jean Bodin, the powers of the state are considered to be suprema potestas within territorial boundaries. Based on this, the jurisprudence has developed along the lines of affording immunity from prosecution to foreign states in domestic courts. In The Schooner Exchange v. M'Faddon, Chief Justice John Marshall of the United States Supreme Court wrote that the "perfect equality and absolute independence of sovereigns" has created a class of cases where "every sovereign is understood to waive the exercise of a part of that complete exclusive territorial jurisdiction, which has been stated to be the attribute of every nation".
Absolute sovereign immunity is no longer as widely accepted as it has been in the past, and some countries including the United States, Canada, Singapore, Australia, Pakistan and South Africa have introduced restrictive immunity by statute, which explicitly limits jurisdictional immunity to public acts, but not private or commercial ones, though there is no precise definition by which public acts can easily be distinguished from private ones.
State recognition signifies the decision of a sovereign state to treat another entity as also being a sovereign state. Recognition can be either expressed or implied and is usually retroactive in its effects. It does not necessarily signify a desire to establish or maintain diplomatic relations.
No definition is binding on all the members of the community of nations on the criteria for statehood. In actual practice, the criteria are mainly political, not legal. L.C. Green cited the recognition of the unborn Polish and Czechoslovak states in World War I and explained that "since recognition of statehood is a matter of discretion, it is open to any existing State to accept as a state any entity it wishes, regardless of the existence of territory or of an established government."
In international law, however, there are several theories of when a state should be recognized as sovereign.
The constitutive theory of statehood defines a state as a person of international law if, and only if, it is recognized as sovereign by at least one other state. This theory of recognition was developed in the 19th century. Under it, a state was sovereign if another sovereign state recognized it as such. Because of this, new states could not immediately become part of the international community or be bound by international law, and recognized nations did not have to respect international law in their dealings with them. In 1815, at the Congress of Vienna, the Final Act recognized only 39 sovereign states in the European diplomatic system, and as a result, it was firmly established that in the future new states would have to be recognized by other states, and that meant in practice recognition by one or more of the great powers.
One of the major criticisms of this law is the confusion caused when some states recognize a new entity, but other states do not. Hersch Lauterpacht, one of the theory's main proponents, suggested that a state must grant recognition as a possible solution. However, a state may use any criteria when judging if they should give recognition and they have no obligation to use such criteria. Many states may only recognize another state if it is to their advantage.
In 1912, L. F. L. Oppenheim said the following, regarding constitutive theory:
International Law does not say that a State is not in existence as long as it is not recognized, but it takes no notice of it before its recognition. Through recognition only and exclusively a State becomes an International Person and a subject of International Law.
Main article: Montevideo Convention
By contrast, the declarative theory of statehood defines a state as a person in international law if it meets the following criteria: 1) a defined territory; 2) a permanent population; 3) a government and 4) a capacity to enter into relations with other states. According to declarative theory, an entity's statehood is independent of its recognition by other states, as long as the sovereignty was not gained by military force. The declarative model was most famously expressed in the 1933 Montevideo Convention.
A 'territory' in the international law context consists of land territory, internal waters, territorial sea and air space above the territory. There is no requirement on strictly delimited borders or a minimum size of the land, but artificial installations and uninhabitable territories cannot be considered as territories sufficient for statehood. The term 'permanent population' defines the community that has the intention to inhabit the territory permanently and is capable to support the superstructure of the State, though there is no requirement of a minimum population. The government must be capable of exercising effective control over a territory and population (the requirement known in legal theory as 'effective control test') and guarantee the protection of basic human rights by legal methods and policies. The 'capacity to enter into relations with other states' reflects the entity's degree of independence.
Article 3 of the Montevideo Convention declares that political statehood is independent of recognition by other states, and the state is not prohibited from defending itself. In contrast, recognition is considered a requirement for statehood by the constitutive theory of statehood. An important part of the convention was Article 11 that prohibits using military force to gain sovereignty.
A similar opinion about "the conditions on which an entity constitutes a state" is expressed by the European Economic Community Opinions of the Badinter Arbitration Committee, which found that a state was defined by having a territory, a population, government, and capacity to enter into relations with other states.
See also: List of states with limited recognition
State practice relating to the recognition of states typically falls somewhere between the declaratory and constitutive approaches. International law does not require a state to recognize other states. Recognition is often withheld when a new state is seen as illegitimate or has come about in breach of international law. Almost universal non-recognition by the international community of Rhodesia and Northern Cyprus are good examples of this, the former only having been recognized by South Africa, and the latter only recognized by Turkey. In the case of Rhodesia, recognition was widely withheld when the white minority seized power and attempted to form a state along the lines of Apartheid South Africa, a move that the United Nations Security Council described as the creation of an "illegal racist minority régime". In the case of Northern Cyprus, recognition was withheld from a state created in Northern Cyprus. International law contains no prohibition on declarations of independence, and the recognition of a country is a political issue. As a result, Turkish Cypriots gained "observer status" in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, and their representatives are elected in the Assembly of Northern Cyprus; and Northern Cyprus became an observer member of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the Economic Cooperation Organization.
De facto and de jure states
Most sovereign states are both de jure and de facto (i.e., they exist both in law and in reality). However, states which are only de jure states are sometimes recognized as being the legitimate government of a territory over which they have no actual control. For example, during the Second World War, governments-in-exile of several states continued to enjoy diplomatic relations with the Allies, notwithstanding that their countries were under occupation by Axis powers. The PLO and Palestinian Authority claim that the State of Palestine is a sovereign state, a claim which has been recognized by most states, though most of the territory it claims is under the de facto control of Israel. Other entities may have de facto control over a territory but lack international recognition; these may be considered by the international community to be only de facto states. They are considered de jure states only according to their own law and by states that recognize them. For example, Somaliland is commonly considered to be such a state. For a list of entities that wish to be universally recognized as sovereign states, but do not have complete worldwide diplomatic recognition, see the list of states with limited recognition.
Relationship between state and government
Although the terms "state" and "government" are often used interchangeably, international law distinguishes between a non-physical state and its government; and in fact, the concept of "government-in-exile" is predicated upon that distinction. States are non-physical juridical entities, and not organizations of any kind. However, ordinarily, only the government of a state can obligate or bind the state, for example by treaty.
Generally speaking, states are durable entities, though they can become extinguished, either through voluntary means or outside forces, such as military conquest. Violent state abolition has virtually ceased since the end of World War II. Because states are non-physical juridical entities, it has been argued their extinction cannot be due to physical force alone. Instead, the physical actions of the military must be associated with the correct social or judiciary actions in order to abolish a state.
Ontological status of the state
The ontological status of the state has been the subject of debate, especially, whether or not the state, being an object that no one can see, taste, touch, or otherwise detect, actually exists.
The state as "quasi-abstract"
It has been argued that one potential reason as to why the existence of states has been controversial is because states do not have a place in the traditional Platonist duality of the concrete and the abstract. Characteristically, concrete objects are those that have a position in time and space, which states do not have (though their territories have a spatial position, states are distinct from their territories), and abstract objects have a position in neither time nor space, which does not fit the supposed characteristics of states either, since states do have a temporal position (they can be created at certain times and then become extinct at a future time). Therefore, it has been argued that states belong to a third category, the quasi-abstract, that has recently begun to garner philosophical attention, especially in the area of documentality, an ontological theory that seeks to understand the role of documents in understanding all of social reality. Quasi-abstract objects, such as states, can be brought into being through document acts, and can also be used to manipulate them, such as by binding them by treaty or surrendering them as the result of a war.
Scholars in international relations can be broken up into two different practices, realists and pluralists, of what they believe the ontological state of the state is. Realists believe that the world is one of only states and interstate relations and the identity of the state is defined before any international relations with other states. On the other hand, pluralists believe that the state is not the only actor in international relations and interactions between states and the state is competing against many other actors.
The state as "spiritual entity"
Another theory of the ontology of the state is that the state is a spiritual, or "mystical entity" with its own being, distinct from the members of the state. The German Idealist philosopher Georg Hegel (1770–1831) was perhaps the greatest proponent of this theory. The Hegelian definition of the state is "the Divine Idea as it exists on Earth".
Trends in the number of states
Since the end of World War II, the number of sovereign states in the international system has surged. Some research suggests that the existence of international and regional organizations, the greater availability of economic aid, and greater acceptance of the norm of self-determination have increased the desire of political units to secede and can be credited for the increase in the number of states in the international system. Harvard economist Alberto Alesina and Tufts economist Enrico Spolaore argue in their book, Size of Nations, that the increase in the number of states can partly be credited to a more peaceful world, greater free trade and international economic integration, democratization, and the presence of international organizations that co-ordinate economic and political policies.
List of former sovereign states
List of sovereign states (by formation date)
List of sovereign states and dependent territories by continent
List of states with limited recognition
List of historical unrecognized states and dependencies
Rule according to higher law
Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations
Sovereignty is the supreme authority within a territory. In any state, sovereignty is assigned to the person, body, or institution that has the ultimate authority over other people in order to establish a law or change an existing law. In political theory, sovereignty is a substantive term designating supreme legitimate authority over some polity. In international law, sovereignty is the exercise of power by a state. De jure sovereignty refers to the legal right to do so; de facto sovereignty refers to the factual ability to doing so. This can become an issue of special concern upon the failure of the usual expectation that de jure and de facto sovereignty exist at the place and time of concern, and reside within the same organization.
The term arises from the unattested Vulgar Latin's *superanus, (itself derived form of Latin super - "over") meaning "chief", "ruler". Its spelling, which varied from the word's first appearance in English in the fourteenth century, was influenced by the English reign.
The concepts of sovereignty have been discussed throughout history, and are still actively debated. Its definition, concept, and application has changed throughout, especially during the Age of Enlightenment. The current notion of state sovereignty contains four aspects consisting of territory, population, authority and recognition. According to Stephen D. Krasner, the term could also be understood in four different ways:
Domestic sovereignty – actual control over a state exercised by an authority organized within this state,
Interdependence sovereignty – actual control of movement across state's borders, assuming the borders exist, International legal sovereignty – formal recognition by other sovereign states,
Westphalian sovereignty – lack of other authority over state other than the domestic authority (examples of such other authorities could be a non-domestic church, a non-domestic political organization, or any other external agent).
Often, these four aspects all appear together, but this is not necessarily the case – they are not affected by one another, and there are historical examples of states that were non-sovereign in one aspect while at the same time being sovereign in another of these aspects. According to Immanuel Wallerstein, another fundamental feature of sovereignty is that it is a claim that must be recognized by others if it is to have any meaning:
Sovereignty is more than anything else a matter of legitimacy [...that] requires reciprocal recognition. Sovereignty is a hypothetical trade, in which two potentially conflicting sides, respecting de facto realities of power, exchange such recognitions as their least costly strategy.
The Roman jurist Ulpian observed that:
The people transferred all their imperium and power to the Emperor. Cum lege regia, quae de imperio eius lata est, populus ei et in eum omne suum imperium et potestatem conferat (Digest I.4.1)
The emperor is not bound by the laws. Princeps legibus solutus est (Digest I.3.31)
A decision by the emperor has the force of law. Quod principi placuit legis habet vigorem. (Digest I.4.1)
Ulpian was expressing the idea that the Emperor exercised a rather absolute form of sovereignty, that originated in the people, although he did not use the term expressly.
Ulpian's statements were known in medieval Europe, but sovereignty was an important concept in medieval times. Medieval monarchs were not sovereign, at least not strongly so, because they were constrained by, and shared power with, their feudal aristocracy. Furthermore, both were strongly constrained by custom.
Sovereignty existed during the Medieval period as the de jure rights of nobility and royalty, and in the de facto capability of individuals to make their own choices in life.
Around 1380–1400, the issue of feminine sovereignty was addressed in Geoffrey Chaucer's Middle English collection of Canterbury Tales, specifically in The Wife of Bath's Tale.
A later English Arthurian romance, The Wedding of Sir Gawain and Dame Ragnell (c. 1450), uses many of the same elements of the Wife of Bath's tale, yet changes the setting to the court of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. The story revolves around the knight Sir Gawain granting to Dame Ragnell, his new bride, what is purported to be wanted most by women: sovereignty.
We desire most from men,
From men both lund and poor,
To have sovereignty without lies.
For where we have sovereignty, all is ours,
Though a knight be ever so fierce,
And ever win mastery.
It is our desire to have master
Over such a sir.
Such is our purpose.
— The Wedding of Sir Gawain and Dame Ragnell (c. 1450),
Sovereignty reemerged as a concept in the late 16th century, a time when civil wars had created a craving for stronger central authority, when monarchs had begun to gather power onto their own hands at the expense of the nobility, and the modern nation state was emerging. Jean Bodin, partly in reaction to the chaos of the French wars of religion, presented theories of sovereignty calling for strong central authority in the form of absolute monarchy. In his 1576 treatise Les Six Livres de la République ("Six Books of the Republic") Bodin argued that it is inherent in the nature of the state that sovereignty must be:
Absolute: On this point he said that the sovereign must be hedged in with obligations and conditions, must be able to legislate without his (or its) subjects' consent, must not be bound by the laws of his predecessors, and could not, because it is illogical, be bound by his own laws.
Perpetual: Not temporarily delegated as to a strong leader in an emergency or to a state employee such as a magistrate. He held that sovereignty must be perpetual because anyone with the power to enforce a time limit on the governing power must be above the governing power, which would be impossible if the governing power is absolute.
Bodin rejected the notion of transference of sovereignty from people to the ruler (also known as the sovereign); natural law and divine law confer upon the sovereign the right to rule. And the sovereign is not above divine law or natural law. He is above (ie. not bound by) only positive law, that is, laws made by humans. He emphasized that a sovereign is bound to observe certain basic rules derived from the divine law, the law of nature or reason, and the law that is common to all nations (jus gentium), as well as the fundamental laws of the state that determine who is the sovereign, who succeeds to sovereignty, and what limits the sovereign power. Thus, Bodin’s sovereign was restricted by the constitutional law of the state and by the higher law that was considered as binding upon every human being. The fact that the sovereign must obey divine and natural law imposes ethical constraints on him. Bodin also held that the lois royales, the fundamental laws of the French monarchy which regulated matters such as succession, are natural laws and are binding on the French sovereign.
Despite his commitment to absolutism, Bodin held some moderate opinions on how government should in practice be carried out. He held that although the sovereign is not obliged to, it is advisable for him, as a practical expedient, to convene a senate from whom he can obtain advice, to delegate some power to magistrates for the practical administration of the law, and to use the Estates as a means of communicating with the people. Bodin believed that "the most divine, most excellent, and the state form most proper to royalty is governed partly aristocratically and partly democratically".
With his doctrine that sovereignty is conferred by divine law, Bodin predefined the scope of the divine right of kings.
Age of Enlightenment
During the Age of Enlightenment, the idea of sovereignty gained both legal and moral force as the main Western description of the meaning and power of a State. In particular, the "Social contract" as a mechanism for establishing sovereignty was suggested and, by 1800, widely accepted, especially in the new United States and France, though also in Great Britain to a lesser extent.
Thomas Hobbes, in Leviathan (1651) put forward a conception of sovereignty similar to Bodin's, which had just achieved legal status in the "Peace of Westphalia", but for different reasons. He created the first modern version of the social contract (or contractarian) theory, arguing that to overcome the "nasty, brutish and short" quality of life without the cooperation of other human beings, people must join in a "commonwealth" and submit to a "Soveraigne [sic] Power" that is able to compel them to act in the common good. This expediency argument attracted many of the early proponents of sovereignty. Hobbes strengthened the definition of sovereignty beyond either Westphalian or Bodin's, by saying that it must be:
Absolute: because conditions could only be imposed on a sovereign if there were some outside arbitrator to determine when he had violated them, in which case the sovereign would not be the final authority.
Indivisible: The sovereign is the only final authority in his territory; he does not share final authority with any other entity. Hobbes held this to be true because otherwise there would be no way of resolving a disagreement between the multiple authorities.
Hobbes' hypothesis—that the ruler's sovereignty is contracted to him by the people in return for his maintaining their physical safety—led him to conclude that if and when the ruler fails, the people recover their ability to protect themselves by forming a new contract.
Hobbes's theories decisively shape the concept of sovereignty through the medium of social contract theories. Jean-Jacques Rousseau's (1712–1778) definition of popular sovereignty (with early antecedents in Francisco Suárez's theory of the origin of power), provides that the people are the legitimate sovereign. Rousseau considered sovereignty to be inalienable; he condemned the distinction between the origin and the exercise of sovereignty, a distinction upon which constitutional monarchy or representative democracy is founded. John Locke, and Montesquieu are also key figures in the unfolding of the concept of sovereignty; their views differ with Rousseau and with Hobbes on this issue of alienability.
The second book of Jean-Jacques Rousseau's Du Contrat Social, ou Principes du droit politique (1762) deals with sovereignty and its rights. Sovereignty, or the general will, is inalienable, for the will cannot be transmitted; it is indivisible, since it is essentially general; it is infallible and always right, determined and limited in its power by the common interest; it acts through laws. Law is the decision of the general will in regard to some object of common interest, but though the general will is always right and desires only good, its judgment is not always enlightened, and consequently does not always see wherein the common good lies; hence the necessity of the legislator. But the legislator has, of himself, no authority; he is only a guide who drafts and proposes laws, but the people alone (that is, the sovereign or general will) has authority to make and impose them.
Rousseau, in the Social Contract argued, "the growth of the State giving the trustees of public authority more and means to abuse their power, the more the Government has to have force to contain the people, the more force the Sovereign should have in turn in order to contain the Government," with the understanding that the Sovereign is "a collective being of wonder" (Book II, Chapter I) resulting from "the general will" of the people, and that "what any man, whoever he may be, orders on his own, is not a law" (Book II, Chapter VI) – and furthermore predicated on the assumption that the people have an unbiased means by which to ascertain the general will. Thus the legal maxim, "there is no law without a sovereign."
Definition and types
There exists perhaps no conception the meaning of which is more controversial than that of sovereignty. It is an indisputable fact that this conception, from the moment when it was introduced into political science until the present day, has never had a meaning which was universally agreed upon.
Lassa Oppenheim (30-03-1858 – 07-10-1919), an authority on international law
An important factor of sovereignty is its degree of absoluteness. A sovereign power has absolute sovereignty when it is not restricted by a constitution, by the laws of its predecessors, or by custom, and no areas of law or policy are reserved as being outside its control. International law; policies and actions of neighboring states; cooperation and respect of the populace; means of enforcement; and resources to enact policy are factors that might limit sovereignty. For example, parents are not guaranteed the right to decide some matters in the upbringing of their children independent of societal regulation, and municipalities do not have unlimited jurisdiction in local matters, thus neither parents nor municipalities have absolute sovereignty. Theorists have diverged over the desirability of increased absoluteness.
A key element of sovereignty in a legalistic sense is that of exclusivity of jurisdiction. Specifically, the degree to which decisions made by a sovereign entity might be contradicted by another authority. Along these lines, the German sociologist Max Weber proposed that sovereignty is a community's monopoly on the legitimate use of force; and thus any group claiming the same right must either be brought under the yoke of the sovereign, proven illegitimate, or otherwise contested and defeated for sovereignty to be genuine. International law, competing branches of government, and authorities reserved for subordinate entities (such as federated states or republics) represent legal infringements on exclusivity. Social institutions such as religious bodies, corporations, and competing political parties might represent de facto infringements on exclusivity.
De jure and de facto
De jure, or legal, sovereignty concerns the expressed and institutionally recognized right to exercise control over a territory. De facto, or actual, sovereignty is concerned with whether control in fact exists. Cooperation and respect of the populace; control of resources in, or moved into, an area; means of enforcement and security; and ability to carry out various functions of state all represent measures of de facto sovereignty. When control is practiced predominantly by military or police force it is considered coercive sovereignty.
Sovereignty and independence
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State sovereignty is sometimes viewed synonymously with independence, however, sovereignty can be transferred as a legal right whereas independence cannot. A state can achieve de facto independence long after acquiring sovereignty, such as in the case of Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. Additionally, independence can also be suspended when an entire region becomes subject to an occupation such as when Iraq had been overrun by the forces to take part in the Iraq War of 2003, Iraq had not been annexed by any country, so its sovereignty during this period was not contested by any state including those present on the territory. Alternatively, independence can be lost completely when sovereignty itself becomes the subject of dispute. The pre-World War II administrations of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia maintained an exile existence (and considerable international recognition) whilst their territories were annexed by the Soviet Union and governed locally by their pro-Soviet functionaries. When in 1991 Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia re-enacted independence, it was done so on the basis of continuity directly from the pre-Soviet republics. Another complicated sovereignty scenario can arise when regime itself is the subject of dispute. In the case of Poland, the People's Republic of Poland which governed Poland from 1945 to 1989 is now seen to have been an illegal entity by the modern Polish administration. The post-1989 Polish state claims direct continuity from the Second Polish Republic which ended in 1939. For other reasons however, Poland maintains its communist-era outline as opposed to its pre-World War II shape which included areas now in Belarus, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Slovakia and Ukraine but did not include some of its western regions that were then in Germany.
At the opposite end of the scale, there is no dispute regarding the self-governance of certain self-proclaimed states such as the Republic of Kosovo or Somaliland (see List of states with limited recognition, but most of them are puppet states) since their governments neither answer to a bigger state, nor is their governance subjected to supervision. The sovereignty (i.e. legal right to govern) however, is disputed in all three cases as the first entity is claimed by Serbia and the second by Somalia.
Further information: Free state (polity)
Internal sovereignty is the relationship between a sovereign power and the political community. A central concern is legitimacy: by what right does a government exercise authority? Claims of legitimacy might refer to the divine right of kings, or to a social contract (i.e. popular sovereignty). Max Weber offered a first categorization of political authority and legitimacy with the categories of traditional, charismatic and legal-rational.
With Sovereignty meaning holding supreme, independent authority over a region or state, Internal Sovereignty refers to the internal affairs of the state and the location of supreme power within it. A state that has internal sovereignty is one with a government that has been elected by the people and has the popular legitimacy. Internal sovereignty examines the internal affairs of a state and how it operates. It is important to have strong internal sovereignty in relation to keeping order and peace. When you have weak internal sovereignty, organizations such as rebel groups will undermine the authority and disrupt the peace. The presence of a strong authority allows you to keep agreement and enforce sanctions for the violation of laws. The ability for leadership to prevent these violations is a key variable in determining internal sovereignty. The lack of internal sovereignty can cause war in one of two ways: first, undermining the value of agreement by allowing costly violations; and second, requiring such large subsidies for implementation that they render war cheaper than peace. Leadership needs to be able to promise members, especially those like armies, police forces, or paramilitaries will abide by agreements. The presence of strong internal sovereignty allows a state to deter opposition groups in exchange for bargaining. It has been said that a more decentralized authority would be more efficient in keeping peace because the deal must please not only the leadership but also the opposition group. While the operations and affairs within a state are relative to the level of sovereignty within that state, there is still an argument over who should hold the authority in a sovereign state.
This argument between who should hold the authority within a sovereign state is called the traditional doctrine of public sovereignty. This discussion is between an internal sovereign or an authority of public sovereignty. An internal sovereign is a political body that possesses ultimate, final and independent authority; one whose decisions are binding upon all citizens, groups and institutions in society. Early thinkers believe sovereignty should be vested in the hands of a single person, a monarch. They believed the overriding merit of vesting sovereignty in a single individual was that sovereignty would therefore be indivisible; it would be expressed in a single voice that could claim final authority. An example of an internal sovereign or monarch is Louis XIV of France during the seventeenth century; Louis XIV claimed that he was the state. Jean-Jacques Rousseau rejected monarchical rule in favor of the other type of authority within a sovereign state, public sovereignty. Public Sovereignty is the belief that ultimate authority is vested in the people themselves, expressed in the idea of the general will. This means that the power is elected and supported by its members, the authority has a central goal of the good of the people in mind. The idea of public sovereignty has often been the basis for modern democratic theory.
Modern internal sovereignty
Further information: Tribal sovereignty and States of Mexico
Within the modern governmental system, internal sovereignty is usually found in states that have public sovereignty and rarely found within a state controlled by an internal sovereign. A form of government that is a little different from both is the UK parliament system. John Austin argued that sovereignty in the UK was vested neither in the Crown nor in the people but in the "Queen-in-Parliament". This is the origin of the doctrine of parliamentary sovereignty and is usually seen as the fundamental principle of the British constitution. With these principles of parliamentary sovereignty majority control can gain access to unlimited constitutional authority, creating what has been called "elective dictatorship" or "modern autocracy". Public sovereignty in modern governments is a lot more common with examples like the USA, Canada, Australia and India where government is divided into different levels.
See also: Sovereign state § Recognition
External sovereignty concerns the relationship between a sovereign power and other states. For example, the United Kingdom uses the following criterion when deciding under what conditions other states recognize a political entity as having sovereignty over some territory;
"Sovereignty." A government which exercises de facto administrative control over a country and is not subordinate to any other government in that country or a foreign sovereign state.
(The Arantzazu Mendi,  A.C. 256), Stroud's Judicial Dictionary
External sovereignty is connected with questions of international law – such as: when, if ever, is intervention by one country into another's territory permissible?
Following the Thirty Years' War, a European religious conflict that embroiled much of the continent, the Peace of Westphalia in 1648 established the notion of territorial sovereignty as a norm of noninterference in the affairs of other states, so-called Westphalian sovereignty, even though the actual treaty itself reaffirmed the multiple levels of sovereignty of the Holy Roman Empire. This resulted as a natural extension of the older principle of cuius regio, eius religio (Whose realm, his religion), leaving the Roman Catholic Church with little ability to interfere with the internal affairs of many European states. It is a myth, however, that the Treaties of Westphalia created a new European order of equal sovereign states.
In international law, sovereignty means that a government possesses full control over affairs within a territorial or geographical area or limit. Determining whether a specific entity is sovereign is not an exact science, but often a matter of diplomatic dispute. There is usually an expectation that both de jure and de facto sovereignty rest in the same organization at the place and time of concern. Foreign governments use varied criteria and political considerations when deciding whether or not to recognize the sovereignty of a state over a territory. Membership in the United Nations requires that "[t]he admission of any such state to membership in the United Nations will be effected by a decision of the General Assembly upon the recommendation of the Security Council."
Sovereignty may be recognized even when the sovereign body possesses no territory or its territory is under partial or total occupation by another power. The Holy See was in this position between the annexation in 1870 of the Papal States by Italy and the signing of the Lateran Treaties in 1929, a 59-year period during which it was recognised as sovereign by many (mostly Roman Catholic) states despite possessing no territory – a situation resolved when the Lateran Treaties granted the Holy See sovereignty over the Vatican City. Another case, sui generis, though often contested, is the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, the third sovereign entity inside Italian territory (after San Marino and the Vatican City State) and the second inside the Italian capital (since in 1869 the Palazzo di Malta and the Villa Malta receive extraterritorial rights, in this way becoming the only "sovereign" territorial possessions of the modern Order), which is the last existing heir to one of several once militarily significant, crusader states of sovereign military orders. In 1607 its Grand masters were also made Reichsfürst (princes of the Holy Roman Empire) by the Holy Roman Emperor, granting them seats in the Reichstag, at the time the closest permanent equivalent to a UN-type general assembly; confirmed 1620). These sovereign rights were never deposed, only the territories were lost. 100 modern states still maintain full diplomatic relations with the order (now de facto "the most prestigious service club"), and the UN awarded it observer status.
The governments-in-exile of many European states (for instance, Norway, Netherlands or Czechoslovakia) during the Second World War were regarded as sovereign despite their territories being under foreign occupation; their governance resumed as soon as the occupation had ended. The government of Kuwait was in a similar situation vis-à-vis the Iraqi occupation of its country during 1990–1991. The government of Republic of China was recognized as sovereign over China from 1911 to 1971 despite that its mainland China territory became occupied by Communist Chinese forces since 1949. In 1971 it lost UN recognition to Chinese Communist-led People's Republic of China and its sovereign and political status as a state became disputed and it lost its ability to use "China" as its name and therefore became commonly known as Taiwan.
The International Committee of the Red Cross is commonly mistaken to be sovereign. It has been granted various degrees of special privileges and legal immunities in many countries, including Belgium, France, Switzerland and soon in Ireland. Similarly for Australia, Russia, South Korea, South Africa and the US.[which?] that in cases like Switzerland are considerable, The Committee is a private organization governed by Swiss law.
Shared and pooled
Just as the office of head of state can be vested jointly in several persons within a state, the sovereign jurisdiction over a single political territory can be shared jointly by two or more consenting powers, notably in the form of a condominium.
Likewise the member states of international organizations may voluntarily bind themselves by treaty to a supranational organization, such as a continental union. In the case of the European Union members states this is called "pooled sovereignty".
Another example of shared and pooled sovereignty is the Acts of Union 1707 which created the unitary state now known as the United Kingdom. It was a full economic union, meaning the Scottish and English systems of currency, taxation and laws regulating trade were aligned. Nonetheless, Scotland and England never fully surrendered or pooled all of their governance sovereignty; they retained many of their previous national institutional features and characteristics, particularly relating to their legal, religious and educational systems. In 2012, the Scottish Government, created in 1998 through devolution in the United Kingdom, negotiated terms with the Government of the United Kingdom for the 2014 Scottish independence referendum which resulted in the people of Scotland deciding to continue the pooling of its sovereignty with the rest of the United Kingdom.
A community of people who claim the right of self-determination based on a common ethnicity, history and culture might seek to establish sovereignty over a region, thus creating a nation-state. Such nations are sometimes recognized as autonomous areas rather than as fully sovereign, independent states.
In a federal system of government, sovereignty also refers to powers which a constituent state or republic possesses independently of the national government. In a confederation, constituent entities retain the right to withdraw from the national body and the union is often more temporary than a federation.
Different interpretations of state sovereignty in the United States of America, as it related to the expansion of slavery and fugitive slave laws, led to the outbreak of the American Civil War. Depending on the particular issue, sometimes both northern and southern states justified their political positions by appealing to state sovereignty. Fearing that slavery would be threatened by results of the 1860 presidential election, eleven slave states declared their independence from the federal Union and formed a new confederation. The United States government rejected the secessions as rebellion, declaring that secession from the Union by an individual state was unconstitutional, as the states were part of an indissolvable federation.
Main article: Acquisition of sovereignty
A number of modes for acquisition of sovereignty are presently or have historically been recognized in international law as lawful methods by which a state may acquire sovereignty over external territory. The classification of these modes originally derived from Roman property law and from the 15th and 16th century with the development of international law. The modes are:
Cession is the transfer of territory from one state to another usually by means of treaty;
Occupation is the acquisition of territory that belongs to no state (or terra nullius);
Prescription is the effective control of territory of another acquiescing state;
Operations of nature is the acquisition of territory through natural processes like river accretion or volcanism;
Creation is the process by which new land is (re)claimed from the sea such as in the Netherlands.
Limits of national jurisdiction and sovereignty
Outer space (including Earth orbits; the Moon and other celestial bodies, and their orbits)
national airspace, territorial waters, airspace, contiguous zone airspace, international airspace, land territory surface, internal waters surface, territorial waters surface, contiguous zone surface, Exclusive Economic Zone surface, international waters surface, internal waters, territorial waters, Exclusive economic zone, international waters, land territory underground, Continental shelf surface extended continental shelf surface, international seabed surface, Continental shelf underground, extended continental shelf underground, international seabed underground,
full national jurisdiction and sovereignty
restrictions on national jurisdiction and sovereignty
international jurisdiction per common heritage of mankind
There exist vastly differing views on the moral basis of sovereignty. A fundamental polarity is between theories that assert that sovereignty is vested directly in the sovereigns by divine or natural right and theories that assert it originates from the people. In the latter case there is a further division into those that assert that the people transfer their sovereignty to the sovereign (Hobbes), and those that assert that the people retain their sovereignty (Rousseau).
During the brief period of absolute monarchies in Europe, the divine right of kings was an important competing justification for the exercise of sovereignty. The Mandate of Heaven had some similar implications in China.
A republic is a form of government in which the people, or some significant portion of them, retain sovereignty over the government and where offices of state are not granted through heritage. A common modern definition of a republic is a government having a head of state who is not a monarch.
Democracy is based on the concept of popular sovereignty. In a direct democracy the public plays an active role in shaping and deciding policy. Representative democracy permits a transfer of the exercise of sovereignty from the people to a legislative body or an executive (or to some combination of legislature, executive and Judiciary). Many representative democracies provide limited direct democracy through referendum, initiative, and recall.
Parliamentary sovereignty refers to a representative democracy where the parliament is ultimately sovereign and not the executive power nor the judiciary.
Classical liberals such as John Stuart Mill consider every individual as sovereign.
Realists view sovereignty as being untouchable and as guaranteed to legitimate nation-states.
Rationalists see sovereignty similarly to realists. However, rationalism states that the sovereignty of a nation-state may be violated in extreme circumstances, such as human rights abuses.
Internationalists believe that sovereignty is outdated and an unnecessary obstacle to achieving peace, in line with their belief of a 'global community'. In the light of the abuse of power by sovereign states such as Hitler's Germany or Stalin's Soviet Union, they argue that human beings are not necessarily protected by the state whose citizens they are, and that the respect for state sovereignty on which the UN Charter is founded is an obstacle to humanitarian intervention.
Anarchists and some libertarians deny the sovereignty of states and governments. Anarchists often argue for a specific individual kind of sovereignty, such as the Anarch as a sovereign individual. Salvador Dalí, for instance, talked of "anarcho-monarchist" (as usual for him, tongue in cheek); Antonin Artaud of Heliogabalus: Or, The Crowned Anarchist; Max Stirner of The Ego and Its Own; Georges Bataille and Jacques Derrida of a kind of "antisovereignty". Therefore, anarchists join a classical conception of the individual as sovereign of himself, which forms the basis of political consciousness. The unified consciousness is sovereignty over one's own body, as Nietzsche demonstrated (see also Pierre Klossowski's book on Nietzsche and the Vicious Circle). See also sovereignty of the individual and self-ownership.
Imperialists hold a view of sovereignty where power rightfully exists with those states that hold the greatest ability to impose the will of said state, by force or threat of force, over the populace of other states with weaker military or political will. They effectively deny the sovereignty of the individual in deference to either the 'good' of the whole, or to divine right.
According to Matteo Laruffa "sovereignty resides in every public action and policy as the exercise of executive powers by institutions open to the participation of citizens to the decision-making processes"
Relation to rule of law
Another topic is whether the law is held to be sovereign, that is, whether it is above political or other interference. Sovereign law constitutes a true state of law, meaning the letter of the law (if constitutionally correct) is applicable and enforceable, even when against the political will of the nation, as long as not formally changed following the constitutional procedure. Strictly speaking, any deviation from this principle constitutes a revolution or a coup d'état, regardless of the intentions.
Mandate of Heaven
Movimiento Union Soberanista
Sovereignty of the Individual
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SOVEREIGNTY AND SOVEREIGN RIGHTS?
Disputes between two or more countries over seas and the corresponding natural resources are always complicated. Nonetheless, international agreements such as the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea or UNCLOS have provided a framework for settling these disputes.
However, even the interpretation of UNCLOS can lead to further complications and confusions. Take note of the concept of “sovereign rights” as an example, especially when compared with the concept of “sovereignty” and associated further with other concepts such as internal and territorial waters, contiguous zone, and exclusive economic zone, among others.
To understand the difference between sovereignty and sovereign rights, it is first important to define “sovereignty” as a concept. One generic and well-cited definition is that sovereignty is a full right and power of a governing body or political actor, such as a state, over itself, without any interference and restriction from outside bodies or sources.
When specifically applied to states, sovereignty contains four aspects. These are rights and power over a territory, responsibly and accountability over a population, general and specific authorities, and recognition by other sovereign states.
The law of the sea based on UNCLOS implies that sovereignty pertains to the exclusive legal authority of a state over its waters, particularly its internal waters and territorial seas. The state essentially has territorial sovereignty over these waters.
In consideration of the aforementioned definition, stating that a state has sovereignty over a territory essentially means that there are no other existing superior rights and power. Ownership of that territory is absolute and thus, no authority can be higher than the state.
On the other hand, “sovereign rights” is a term used in UNCLOS to pertain to the entitlements or privileges of a state to a defined area of a sea called the exclusive economic zone. In other words, UNCLOS merely used this term to collectively represent the limited rights of a state over its exclusive economic zone.
Article 56 of UNCLOS mentioned that in this exclusive economic zone, a state has sovereign rights for the purpose of “exploring and exploiting, conserving and managing the natural resources…of the waters superjacent to the seabed and of the seabed and its subsoil, and with regard to other activities for the economic exploitation and exploration of the zone, such as the production of energy from the water, currents and winds.”
Having a sovereign rights over a particular area, such as an exclusive economic zone, does not confer sovereignty. This also means that based on UNCLOS, an exclusive economic zone is not a sovereign territory.
IN A NUTSHELL: SOVEREIGNTY VS. SOVEREIGN RIGHTS
Based from the discussion above, sovereign rights should not be confused with sovereignty or more appropriately, territorial sovereignty. Having sovereign rights over a particular body of water does not correspond to having sovereignty over that same area. Sovereignty simply means supreme authority while sovereign rights is a term used for a collective but limited set of rights and power.
It is easy to confuse sovereign rights with sovereignty simply because of lexical, phonemic, and typographical similarities. The confusion simply stems from the seeming “resemblance” of these two words. However, it is important to maintain the difference between sovereignty and sovereign rights to promote conciseness, especially in interpreting critical documents such as the UNCLOS, or in disseminating official state pronouncements and legal or scholarly publications.
Posted on January 28, 2018 by Haroun Alfarsi
A dependent territory, dependent area, or dependency is a territory that does not possess full political independence or sovereignty as a sovereign state, yet remains politically outside the controlling state's integral area.
A constituent state is a state entity that constitutes a part of a sovereign state. A constituent state holds regional jurisdiction over a defined administrative territory, within a sovereign state. Government of a constituent state is a form of regional government.
An autonomous area is defined as an area of a country that has a degree of autonomy, or has freedom from an external authority. It is typical for it to be geographically distant from the country, or to be populated by a national minority.
The right of a people to self-determination is a cardinal principle in modern international law, binding, as such, on the United Nations as authoritative interpretation of the Charter's norms.
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