Lets start from the definition of the word “state”.
The state is a collection of human beings occupying a definite territory under an organised government d is subject to no outside control.
The above mentioned definitions of a state reveal four characteristics or elements. They are population, territory,organisation or government and sovereignty. A state cannot be formed at all in the absence to any one of these characteristics.
The most basic characteristic of the state is population. As a human organisation the state cannot be formed without some people. A desert in which human beings do not live cannot be regarded as a state. However, there is no limit prescribed as to the size of population.
For an ideal state it should be 5,000 and, Aristotle thinks that it should be 10,000 minimum and 100,000 maximum. In modern times, the maximum and minimum size of population has not been prescribed. It means that there is no hard and fast rule about the size of the population of the state.
In fact, population varies from few thousands as in case of Monacol, Guatemala and Leech Tenstein to the millions as in China and India. Although the modern tendency is in favour of large population of state, it is unwise to have a very large population when its resources are scarce.
The second characteristic of the state is territory or a fixed geographical area, on the earth. In the absence of a fixed territory a state cannot be constituted. As for example, the nomadic tribes like Gipsies and others cannot form a state of their own owing to the absence of a fixed territory, to reside in.
Similarly, the Jews did not from a state till, they definitely settled down in Israel in 1948. Like population, there is no limit set for the territory of a state. It may vary from a few square miles as in the case of Monacol and few million square miles as in the Soviet Union and the United States.
In the modern world today, small states as well as big states exist. From the administrative point of view small states are always better than big states but from the point of view of defense, they are not good all.
The state must possess an organized Government. It is the machinery through which the state must exercise its supreme power. It constitutes the brain of the state. A state cannot be thought of without some sort of Government.
The state performs its various functions through the Government. J.W. Garner says, Government is the agency or machinery through which common policies are determined and by which common affairs are regulated and common interests are promoted.???
The fourth and the most important element, or characteristic of the state is sovereignty. Sovereignty means supreme power or ultimate authority against which there can be no appeal. Externally, the state claims final and absolute authority. It is independent of any foreign control.
Internally, the state is supreme over all of its citizens and associations within its jurisdiction. All the individual within the state must submit to its will obediently.
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