Legal Definition and Related Resources of Nation

Meaning of Nation

A people or aggregation of men distinguished from another people or aggregation generally by their language or government , organized into a jural society , inhabiting a distinct portion of the earth. The term presupposes or implies an independence of any other sovereign power more or less absolutely, an organized government, recognized officials, a system of laws, definite boundaries and the power to enter into negotiations with other nations. See Montova v United States , 180 U.S. 261, 21 S.Ct. 358.

Nation Alternative Definition

An Independent body politic; a society of men united together for the purpose of promoting their mutual safety and advantage by the joint efforts of their combined strength. But every combination of men who govern themselves independently of all others will not be considered a nation. A body of pirates, for example, who govern themselves, are not a nation. To constitute a nation, another ingredient is required. The body thus formed must respect other nations in general, and each of their members in particular. Such a society has her affairs and her interests; she deliberates and takes resolutions in common, thus becoming a moral person, who possesses an understanding and will peculiar to herself, and is susceptible of obligations and rights. Vattel, Prelim. Ill, 2; 5 Pet. (U. S.) 52. See 1 Idaho (N. S.) 612.

Related Entries of Nation in the Encyclopedia of Law Project

Browse or run a search for Nation in the American Encyclopedia of Law, the Asian Encyclopedia of Law, the European Encyclopedia of Law, the UK Encyclopedia of Law or the Latin American and Spanish Encyclopedia of Law.

Nation in Historical Law

You might be interested in the historical meaning of this term. Browse or search for Nation in Historical Law in the Encyclopedia of Law.

Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms

Search for legal acronyms and/or abbreviations containing Nation in the Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms Dictionary.

Related Legal Terms

You might be also interested in these legal terms:

Mentioned in these terms

Autonomy, Census, Civil Law, Commonwealth, Constitution, Consul, Extradition, Foreign, Heptarchy, Indian Tribe, Induction, International Law, Municipal, National, Nationality, Neutrality, Non-belligerency, Plebiscite, , Reprisal, Revenue, Sedition, Signatory.


You might be interested in these references tools:

Resource Description
Nation in the Dictionary Nation in our legal dictionaries
Browse the Legal Thesaurus Find synonyms and related words of Nation
Legal Maxims Maxims are established principles that jurists use as interpretive tools, invoked more frequently in international law
Legal Answers (Q&A) A community-driven knowledge creation process, of enduring value to a broad audience
Related topics Nation in the World Encyclopedia of Law


This definition of Nation is based on the The Cyclopedic Law Dictionary . This entry needs to be proofread.

Vocabularies (Semantic Web Information)

Resource Description
Topic Map A group of names, occurrences and associations
Topic Tree A topic display format, showing the hierarchy
Sitemap Index Sitemap Index, including Taxonomies The URI of Nation (more about URIs)

Notion of Mfn

The meaning of Mfn may be as follows: Most Favoured Nation: every member is treated as well as the “most favoured one”: ie: if U.S. offers low tariff to Canada on ice cubes: every other GATT member is entitled to the same treatment (see also free trade, GATT)


This term is a noun.

Etimology of Nation

(You may find nation at the world legal encyclopedia and the etimology of more terms).

c. 1300, from Old French nacion “birth, rank; descendants, relatives; country, homeland” (12c.) and directly from Latin nationem (nominative natio) “birth, origin; breed, stock, kind, species; race of people, tribe,” literally “that which has been born,” from natus, past participle of nasci “be born” (Old Latin gnasci), from PIE root *gene- “give birth, beget,” with derivatives referring to procreation and familial and tribal groups. Political sense has gradually predominated, but earliest English examples inclined toward the racial meaning “large group of people with common ancestry.” Older sense preserved in application to North American Indian peoples (164
0s). Nation-building first attested 1907 (implied in nation-builder).


Legal English Vocabulary: nation in Spanish

Online translation of the English legal term nation into Spanish: nación (English to Spanish translation) . More about legal dictionary from english to spanish online.

Related to the Legal Thesaurus

  • nation
  • Definition of Nation

    In relation to social issues, a meaning of nation is provided here: a culturally and politically unified group of people bound together by a strong sense of shared values, institutions and cultural characteristics


    See Also

    • Nation
    • Province
    • Sovereignty
    • Rule of Law
    • Public International Law
    • State Territory






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