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Chapter: 11th 12th std standard Political Science History goverment rule laws life Higher secondary school College Notes

Political Science : Elements of the State

Physical bases of the State 1.Population 2. Territory Political bases of the State 1.Government 2.Soverignty

Elements :


From the above definitions, it is clear that the following are the elements of the state :-

Physical bases of the State


2. Territory 

Political bases of the State



Elements of the State


Population :


It is the people who make the state. Population is essential for the state. Greek thinkers were of the view that the population should neither be too big nor too small. According to Plato the ideal number would be 5040.


According to Aristotle, the number should be neither too large nor too small. It should be large enough to be self - sufficing and small enough to be well governed. Rousseau

determined 10,000 to be an ideal number for a state. Greek thinkers like Plato and Aristotle thinking on the number was based on small city - states like Athens and Sparta. Modern states vary in population. India has a population of 102,70,15,247 people according to 2001 census.

Territory :


There can be no state without a fixed territory. People need territory to live and organize themselves socially and politically. It may be remembered that the territory of the state includes land, water and air - space.


The modern states differ in their sizes. Territory is necessary for citizenship. As in the case of population, no definite size with regard to extent of area of the state can be fixed. There are small and big states.


In the words of Prof. Elliott 'territorial sovereignty or the Superiority of state overall within its boundaries and complete freedom from external control has been a fundamental principle of the modern state life'.


India has an area of 32,87,263 sq. km. Approximately India occupies 2.4% of the global area.

Government :


Government is the third element of the state. There can be no state without government. Government is the working agency of the state. It is the political organization of the state.


Prof. Appadorai defined government as the agency through which the will of the State is formulated, expressed and realized.


According to C.F. Strong, in order to make and enforce laws the state must have supreme authority. This is called the government.


Sovereignty :

The fourth essential element of the state is sovereignty.

The word 'sovereignty' means supreme and final legal authority above and beyond which no legal power exists.


The concept of 'sovereignty' was developed in conjunction with the rise of the modern state. The term Sovereignty is derived from the Latin word superanus which means supreme. the father of modern theory of sovereignty was Jean Bodin (1530 - 1597) a French political thinker.

Sovereignty has two aspects :

1)    Internal sovereignty

2)    External sovereignty


Internal sovereignty means that the State is supreme over all its citizens, and associations.


External sovereignty means that the state is independent and free from foreign or outside control.


According to Harold J. Laski, 'It is by possession of sovereignty that the state is distinguished from all other

forms of human association.


The diagram given below shows that the society is the outer most and the government is the inner most.

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