Citizenship or Nationality – what is behind these terms?

Often, the concepts of citizenship and citizenship are considered synonyms, as different names for one concept. In fact, this is not so, or rather not quite so. In order to more clearly understand the essence of the issue, we need to go back to the depths of history..

Citizenship is a stable legal relationship between a person and the state, expressed in a complex of mutual rights and obligations.

   The most famous are the institutions of citizenship of many Greek policies that had a democratic structure. As with any rule, there were some exceptions. Sparta, although it was not a state with a democratic system, also had a developed institution of citizenship. This was due to the fact that the Spartans (self-name – Lacedaemonians; Sparta – Lacedaemonia) lived in an environment, conquered by them, ethnically alien tribes. And in order to maintain its power over the conquered peoples, not to mix with them, it was necessary to have a powerful unifying factor, which was the institution of citizenship..

   In fact, the same reasons explained such a reverent attitude towards the institution of citizenship in other Greek city-states. Belonging to the citizenship of their policy gave & nbsp; a certain set of rights that foreigners were deprived of. These rights include more loyal requirements for taxation, the ability to hold managerial positions, and so on. However, at the same time, the citizen was also required to fulfill certain duties, for example, compulsory military service, moreover, the equipment had to be acquired independently.

   Roman civilization further modernized the institution of citizenship. Given the enormous size of the Roman Empire, and the huge number of conquered peoples, the citizenship of Rome made it possible to separate the indigenous population from the huge number of newcomers. The presence of citizenship gave, as well as in Greek cities, the opportunity to hold certain government positions.

   But time passed, the ancient civilization fell and Europe plunged into the Middle Ages. Monarchical regimes based on vassal dependence were established practically throughout Europe. The legal relationship between man and state has also changed, or rather, between man and ruler. Such a connection between a person and the head of state (most often a monarch) is called citizenship. Thus, it can be argued that citizenship is an institution characteristic of state formations with a monarchical system of government. Unlike citizenship, citizenship is practically a one-way connection between a subject and a monarch. It is characterized by a certain set of duties of the subject in relation to the monarch and, in fact, the complete absence of duties of the monarch in relation to his subjects. This definition most accurately refers to the institution of absolute monarchy.

   The revolution in France that took place in the 18th century launched the restoration of the institution of citizenship as opposed to the institution of tribute. Despite the precarious position of the institution of citizenship in France, associated with constant changes taking place in the internal politics of the state, a powerful impetus was given to changes. The Napoleonic Code enshrined these undertakings in law. The main distinguishing factor was the elimination of the class stratification of society and the abolition of noble privileges. All residents of France have become formally equal – citizens. On another continent, in America, the seceded colonies created their own union based initially on the principle of equality of citizens. Although a significant difference was that in the United States, only free people had citizenship. Blacks – slaves did not have citizenship.

   With the fall at the end of the XIX & nbsp; the beginning of the 20th century, the largest European monarchies, and the institution of citizenship fell into decay. By the beginning of World War II, only Great Britain remained of the monarchist countries in Europe. The rest of the monarchies were either destroyed, or the monarchs performed exclusively sham roles in such countries: Spain, Italy, Denmark.

   The legal situation with the institutions of citizenship and citizenship in the Third Reich is interesting. This is perhaps the only case in history when these two terms existed at the same time. In 1935, the Reich Citizen Act (German & nbsp; Reichsbürgergesetz ) and the German Blood and German Honor Act (German & nbsp; Gesetz zum Schutze des deutschen Blutes und der deutschen Ehre ). All the inhabitants of the Reich were divided into three categories: citizens, subjects and foreigners. Citizens had a full range of rights. Citizens had a certain set of duties but were impaired in their rights. The rights and obligations of foreigners were determined by bilateral treaties of the Reich and the countries of residence of foreigners. Division into categories citizen – subject was determined by racial principle.

   In the modern world, the differences between countries with a monarchical form of government are erased and the remaining monarchies do not really differ much from the republics, although the inhabitants of monarchical states formally remain subjects of their monarch. Countries such as, for example: Great Britain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, despite the formal – monarchical system, in official documents, and, most importantly, legislatively, use the term “citizenship”. Some countries: Denmark, Japan, Norway, Sweden formally retained the term “subjects” for their inhabitants, but in essence the concept is no different from citizenship.


   Formally, the terms “citizenship” and “citizenship” differ in a set of rights and obligations in relation to a person and to the state..

   Citizenship is a two-way relationship between a person and a state and has a set of mutual rights and obligations.

   Citizenship is, rather, a one-sided set of duties of a subject in relation to the monarch, who personifies the state..

   In fact, in the modern world, the differences between the terms “citizenship” and “citizenship” are erased and the institution of “citizenship” is actually dying out. Thus, the use of the term “citizenship” or “subject” becomes rather rare, although justified in certain cases. The application of these terms to countries with a republican system is incorrect..

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