Need for Analysis of the state. Since political science is the science at the state, a clear understanding of what is meant by the term “state” is important. From the beginning of social life mankind has lived under some form of authority. This authority has varied in its nature and has exercised its functions through different forms of organization.
Beneath these differences in the concrete manifestations of political life may be observed a practical identity of purpose and by disregarding nonessential elements and modifications that arise because of the demands of time, place, and circumstance, we may discover the very essence of the state and the characteristics that distinguish it from other organizations.
In this way the nature of the state in the abstract, the phenomenon with which political theory deals, may be considered apart from the various concrete states that have existed from time to time, consideration of which belongs to the field of historical and descriptive political science.
Essential Elements of the State:
An analysis of the state shows its essential factors to be as follows:
- (1) Population, that is a considerable group of human beings,
- (2) Territory, that is a definite area of the earth’s surface upon which the population Permanently resides,
- (3) Government, that is, a political organization through which the will or law of the state is expressed and administered,
- (4) Sovereignty, that is, the supremacy of the State over all individuals and associations within it and the independence of the state from external control.
The absence of any one of these elements destroys the state all must exist in combination. The state is not the people, nor the land, nor the government, but all of them and in addition the state must possess that unity which makes it a distinct and independent political entity.
A State, therefore, may be defined as a community of persons, permanently occupying a definite territory, legally independent of external control, and possessing an organized government which creates and administers law over all persons and groups within its jurisdiction. Abstractly considered, the state is a juridical entity or person concretely considered, it is the community, the territory which it occupies, and the governmental organization through which it wills and acts.
Population of the State:
The territory must be inhabited in order to form a state is self-evident. An uninhabited portion of the earth, taken in itself, cannot form a state. The population of a state may be viewed as citizens, that is, as members of the state, entitled to the privileges that result from membership therein, and as subjects, that is, as the persons over whom the authority of the state is exercised and to whom its commands are addressed.
While citizenship is necessary for full membership in the state, there may also be found residing in the territory of a state persons who are not citizens but who receive the protection of the state and enjoy its benefits. An alien is a person Who is not a citizen of the state in whose territory he is living or through which he is traveling. A national is a person who is Entitled to the protection of the state.
The Filipinos, for Example, were nationals of the United States, although they were not citizens of the United States. Usually citizenship is required for the exercise of political privileges and sometimes even for the full possession of civil rights. No definite limit can be fixed for the number of persons necessary to form a state.
The population should be sufficiently numerous to maintain a state organization and to distinguish between public and private affairs, between those who govern and those who are governed and it should not be greater than the territorial area and resources of the state are capable of supporting.
Aristotle laid down the principle that the population should be large enough to be self sufficing and small enough to be well governed. Early writers on the state believed that small numbers were essential to good government but modem devices of government, such as representation, local self government, and federation, and modern improvements in transportation and communication have made possible successful government of large populations. In the modern world the population of states varies from a few thousands to many millions.
Territory of the State:
Although history shows nomadic peoples, in the hunting and fishing or pastoral stages of development, living under a tribal form of organization in which the idea of definite and permanent territory played little part, it is doubtful whether the term “state” is properly applied to such a condition. Such peoples may have rulers and may be subject to discipline and law.
They are often a state in the making. The origin of the state was the result of a gradual evolution, and the exact point at which an earlier social form changed into a distinct political form is difficult to fix. However, the occupation of permanent abodes and the idea of authority over a definite area were powerful factors in the rise of political organization.
The state, as the etymology of the word shows, is associated with a fixed place. At any rate, the possession of territory is a necessary basis for all modern states, and the idea of territorial sovereignty and jurisdiction is firmly embedded in present political thought.
Ideas regarding the area over which a state should extend have varied widely. To the Greeks the narrow boundaries of a compact city seemed the proper limit to the Romans the whole world was not too large for their concept of the state while modern states have placed a certain amount of emphasis upon natural boundaries and geographic units.
Many writers have argued that small states ate proportionately stronger than large ones that then is a limit to the area that can be governed advantage usually from a common center, and that people have little affection for a government distantly removed. As late as the formation bf the United States it was urged that large states could not be well governed, and that democracy was possible only in small Mates.
On the other hand, writers have emphasized the economic and military advantages of large states, and have pointed out the metal and cultural value of the wide outlook and the national pride that result from membership in a large and powerful state. Besides, the existence of many small states complicates international relations and increase the difficulty of maintaining peace. Some form of world unification seems essential to the establishment of world law.
At the same time, many of the greatest contributions to human progress and civilization, especially intellectual and artistic contributions, have come from small states. And experiments in social and political reform are furthered by the existence of numerous and varied political types. If the dangers of war and economic rivalry could be removed. there might be distinct advantages in the existence of small states.
The territory of a state includes land, water, and air. The jurisdiction of a state extends over the land within its boundaries and over rivers or lakes in its territory. It extends over a marginal strip of the ocean, usually fixed at a width of three miles from the shore. In practice, many states extend their maritime jurisdiction somewhat beyond this limit, and there is a growing sentiment in favor of such extension.
The remainder of the high seas is international territory, belonging to no state, but open the use of all. The rights of a state over the air above its territory have become of importance in recent years because of the development of aviation and the radio. While efforts have been made to extend international control over the air, it is generally held that each state has full sovereign rights over the air space above its territory and its territorial waters. It may therefore if it desires prohibit or limit the use of its air space for international aerial navigation.
The territory of a state may be compact, as in the case of Switzerland, or it may be geographically divided and disconnected, as in the case of the British Empire. Anomalous situations existed in the division of the German state into two parts by the Polish Corridor and in the survival of a few “enclaves,” or states entirely surrounded by the territory of another state. The little republic of San Marino, which is entirely surrounded by the territory of Italy, is an example. States have sometimes put forward claims to the right of natural frontiers or strategic boundaries, such as mountains or rivers, and of access to the sea.
Although not recognized as rights, such claims have been given consideration by peace conferences in redrawing the boundaries of states. At the close of the First World War, Italy was given Austrian territory in order to strengthen her strategic boundaries, and several of the newly created European states were given access to the high seas by the transfer to them of territory taken from neighboring states.
The factors that determine the division of the earth into states are numerous. Common descent religion, geographic barriers, economic interests, nationality, military and naval strength, and many other matters have been important, the Particular states that exist at any given time being resultants of these forces. Some of the factors are permanent, though their nature and relative importance may change.
Thus the geographic configuration of the earth has always been a factor in state making, but the achievements of man in overcoming natural obstacles and in devising means of rapid transportation have modified its importance. On the other hand, certain factors, once important, have disappeared or become of little influence. States are no longer combined by the dynastic intermarriage of royal houses, nor is a common religion generally considered essential today to the existence of a state.
The areas of common economic interests differ in different periods of history, depending upon the stage of economic development. Traditions of the past sometimes account for states that otherwise have little reason for existence. In some parts of the earth the various factors that create states coincide and furnish a logical basis for state existence in other parts of the earth they are so confused that no satisfactory political boundaries can be drawn.
Any attempt today to draw a political map of the earth as it should be meets insuperable difficulties, because of the complexity of forces to be considered, and because of the failure of these forces to coincide in given areas. The reasons for the existence of the states that make up the present political world would open up many interesting aspects of political science.
Government of the State:
Given a population inhabiting a definite territory, the next requisite for statehood is some method by which authority may be exercised over these individuals. Some organization must exist by means of which the state may express and administer its will. Government is the organization or machinery of the state. Without a government the population would be an incoherent, anarchic mob with no means of collective action.
All the members of the political community constitute the state a much smaller number, though in modern states a fair proportion, comprise the government. It includes all those persons who are occupied in expressing or administering the will of the state-the sum total of all the legislative, executive, and judicial bodies in the central, local, and colonial organs. Moreover, the terms “executive,” “legislative,” and “judicial” must not be interpreted in a narrow sense.
When the electorate, through the suffrage, chooses governing officials, it is exercising the executive power of appointment by means of the initiative and referendum it shares in legislation and by jury service it becomes part of the judiciary. Similarly, the term “executive” must be broadened to include that extensive and important group of officials known as the administration, which, with its own system of law and courts, has become in some states practically a separate department of government. The members of the military, naval and police forces of the state are a part of the administration.
Finally, some states have established organs exercising the specific function of making or accomplished their constitutions. These also form parts of the government.
In its broader sense, then, the government may be defined as the sum total of those organizations that exercise or may exercise the sovereign powers of the state. Just as each state is a unit, so the government of each state is a unit, although separated of convenience into various departments and divisions. A state cannot exist without a government, and government exists only as the organization of a state.
While the term “state” is an abstract term and may be conceived apart from the existence of any actual state, since all states are alike in essence, “government” is distinctly a concrete term, and its forms vary, being determined in each case by the political conditions that obtain in each state. Government is thus the existing adjustment between the state and its individuals, and the means by which interstate relations are maintained the machinery through which the purposes of the state are formulated and executed and the common interests are regulated and promoted.
Sovereignty of the State:
A people inhabiting a definite territory and organized under a government does not necessarily form a state. A state must possess unity as well as organization. By unity is meant the fact that the territory of and population constituting a state cannot be subject to any Wider political organization, and that a state cannot include any territory or population that is not subject to it politically.
Thus the so-called “states” of the United States are not states from the standpoint of political science, since they form parts of the wider political unit, the United States, which itself is one state. On the other hand, Europe, though a unit geographically, is not a state, because it includes a number of separate political organizations, each of which is a state. Unity involves the idea of external independence and internal oneness and a population possessing unity in this sense, if it occupies a definite territory and is organized by means of a government, invariably constitutes a state.
If, then, population, territory, government, and political unity are the essential elements of a state, a further analysis may be made. Leaving out of consideration population and territory as the physical elements or raw materials of which a state is composed, and combining government and unity, we find the real essence of the state to be sovereignty viewed internally, this means that a state has complete legal authority over all the individuals and groups that compose it viewed externally, it means that a state is legally independent of the control of any other state. Since a state possesses unity, no member of the
Slate is exempt from its authority, and no power outside the state can exert control over it. Since a state possesses organization, it has a government by means of which it enforces authority over its individuals and maintains its independence of other states. Sovereignty, that is, internal supremacy and external independence, is the distinctive characteristic that distinguishes the state from all other forms of human association. The sovereign will of the state, when expressed and enforced by means of its government, is called law.
Since the state is internally sovereign, its jurisdiction extends over all persons in its territory except those over whom it has Waived authority in accordance with the generally accepted rules of international law, or in accordance with special treaty concessions. Internal sovereignty implies that there can be but one State organization upon the same territory over the same people, For purposes of convenience the state may divide the powers of government between central and local bodies exercising authority in the same territory, but all such bodies are exercising the indivisible sovereignty of a single state.
Moreover, states may change completely their form of government, legally or by revolution, without destroying the state or its sovereignty. Only by continued anarchy, by absorption into another state, or by subdivision into several states can the permanent life and sovereignty of a state be destroyed.
The external sovereignty or independence of the state implies that it is free from the control of any Other state. This aspect of sovereignty is less absolute than its internal phase. The rules of international law and the treaty agreements of states place practical limitations the complete independence of all states.
A certain degree of control, especially in respect to foreign affairs, may be exercised by one or more states over another without destroying the statehood of the latter. Protected states, such as Cuba, and neutralized states, such as Switzerland, are considered sovereign states, in spite of external limitations upon their powers in international relations. The self-governing dominions of the British Commonwealth may be considered as states in spite of the nominal control which Great Britain exerts over them in certain respects.
The exact degree of external independence necessary for statehood is difficult to define. If, however, a state is a recognized member of the family of nations, it is considered the legal equal of all other states, in the sense that all are entitled to equal status and protection under international law. This does not mean that states are equal in size, population, wealth, power, or degree of civilization, nor that all states are entitled to an equal voice in determining international questions or to equal representation in international organizations. The supremacy of the great powers is more important in fact than the theory of legal equality.
The State in Constitutional and International Law:
Some difference of opinion concerning the nature of the state exists between writers on constitutional law and writers on international law. The former are interested in the internal sovereignty of the state and in its relations to the individuals that compose it the latter are interested in the external sovereignty of the state and in its relations to other states.
In the actual political world there are forms that are difficult to classify Some states apparently possess a limited internal sovereignty others possess a partial external independence. Members of federal unions, protectorates, states under mandates, vassal states under the suzerainty of other states, and autonomous dependencies, such as the British self-governing dominions, are viewed as states by some writers, although they do not possess Complete external sovereignty.
Nor are they fully recognized as states in international law, though some of them may have definite international status and powers. Some of these are tending to lose the traces of sovereign powers that they possess others may be developing into full-Hedged sovereign states.
Besides, there are petty states, such as San Marino and Monaco, that seem to possess complete internal sovereignty, and yet are not recognized as full international persons. In international law a state must possess the power to fulfill the international obligations which are required of all members of the family of nations. In addition, international law requires a certain type and degree of civilization before it will admit a state into the International community.
Turkey was not recognized as a state in the international sense until the middle of the nineteenth Century, and Chum and Japan came still later into the family of nations these countries possessed the requirements of a state from the internal point of view long before they Were recognized as states internationally. For some years after the 1917 revolution Russia was somewhat outside the international circle, because of the refusal of her government to recognize Certain previous international obligations, although there was ho question that Russia was a state from the point of view of internal sovereignty.
Much of this confusion results from the fact that sovereignty is viewed as having an internal and an external aspect. In reality, internal sovereignty and external sovereignty are two Quite distinct, though closely related, concepts. Internal sovereignty is the legal supremacy of the state over all persons and associations Within it. External sovereignty is the independence of the state from interference by other states. If the term “sovereignty” were limited to the former meaning, and the term “independence” were used for the latter, clarity of thinking Would be furthered. The one does not always coincide with the other. Internal sovereignty is legally absolute, while external sovereignty is always relative and often decidedly limited.
The State as People or as Territory:
While population and territory me both essential to the state, in the modern sense, a certain confusion has resulted, especially in the past, from viewing the state primarily as a group of people or primarily as an area of territory. In the first case, the sovereignty of the state would be personal.
Its jurisdiction would extend over its members wherever they were, and they would carry their law with them wherever they went. The rulers of the state would he lords of their people. In the latter case, the sovereignty of the state would be territorial. Its jurisdiction would extend to all persons on its territory, whether members of the state or not and it would apply to all Of them its own law for rule of the state would be lords of their land.
In the modern world the theory of territorial sovereignty is generally applied. Traces of the other principle appear, however, in the freedom from territorial jurisdiction possessed by ambassadors and by foreign sovereigns or foreign public vessels temporarily in the territory of another state.
Likewise, the principle of personal sovereignty is applied in the extraterritorial jurisdiction of the great powers over their citizens in certain Oriental countries, and in the practice of certain European countries of punishing their citizens for crimes committed outside the territorial limits of the state. The method of acquiring citizenship at the time of birth shows a similar confusion.
According to the principle of personal sovereignty, children born to the citizens of a state become its citizens regardless of the place of birth according to the principle of territorial sovereignty, children born in the territory of a state become its citizens, regardless of the citizenship of their parents. Both principles are applied in the modern political world, with resultant contradictions and controversies.