Origin of Nation State
Feudalism was only 'a temporary scaffolding or framework order'. It gave to the people of Europe some order, but a true national life could not grow on such a system. Many factors contributed to its decline. The general course of events had been that powerful lords subdued less powerful ones, and small kingdoms emerged by successful conquest or lucky marriage, and by the consolidation of an authority that was generally welcomed by the masses, if not by the more important lords, whose powers were gradually limited by the new monarchs. The Renaissance and the Reformation accelerated the pace of this change. The Tudors in England took advantage of the situation and demonstrated to the European countries how the people could unite and progress under a strong and centralised authority. The ties of unity were further fostered by the sentiments of nationality. Britian's insular position helped the British in attaining the full stature of an organised and conscious nationhood. The attempt of the English, in the early fifteenth century, to dominate France roused the national spirit in that country too. A similar awakening, due to various causes, had come in Spain and Portugal. The sixteenth century saw the Danish and Swedish peoples also similarly organised.
A new type of State, thus, emerged. The old concept of the State was replaced by the State based on bonds of nationality strengthened by natural boundaries. A national State, with a distinct and separate territory of its own, gave rise to the modern theories of sovereignty and equality of States. The nation-State also helped the growth of international law.