Every country is a nation of laws


With a state one means a country and the people who live in it. This also includes their common rules and the people who create the rules and ensure that they are followed. Examples of states are Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Italy and so on. There are a total of almost 200 countries on earth. All countries in the world are listed here.

In technical language, the country is called the "national territory". The people are the inhabitants or the "state people". The third is "state authority". These are the government with the head of the government, parliament, the courts, but also the police and the military. Some scholars add the constitution and laws as a fourth element.

It took a long time for the states of today to form you. In the beginning there were villages and towns. They banded together voluntarily or a ruler ordered it. Others were also conquered in the war. This is how rural districts, cantons, federal states and today's states came into being. Conventional classifications were often overturned and redefined.

There are some animal species that also make up states. They organize themselves and form a community in which work and duties are shared among everyone. This is the only way they can survive. These animal species mainly include insects such as bees, ants and wasps. Scientists still haven't figured out exactly how this works.

What belongs to a state?

Many states are republics. They have a parliament like the USA here.

Besides the country and the people, a constitution and laws are needed. They turn the state into a constitutional state. This means that the rights are clear and that the stronger cannot simply rule. So it is clear who has to say how much in which area.

Every state has a form of government. It is often a republic, there is a government with a president and a parliament, these are the representatives of the people. If there is also a king in this country, then the form of government is a monarchy. If only one person has the say, then it is a dictatorship.

Every state also has a form of government. The form of government answers the question: “How much do the people, court, government, parliament and maybe even the king have to determine?” It can be very different. All states in Europe have a democracy, they also say: a democratic form of government.

What is a constitution?

This federal letter can be seen as the first constitution in Switzerland. However, it was repeatedly replaced by newer constitutions.

A constitution contains the supreme rules for a state. In Switzerland it is called the “Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation”. In Germany it is called the "Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany". The “Austrian Federal Constitution” is not a uniform text, but consists of four independent parts that complement each other.

The constitution regulates how the state is structured. The national territory is also described. This also includes who makes up the nation: all residents or just who was born in the country? Everyone whose parents were already part of the national people? Is there also the possibility for other people to become citizens, i.e. to be naturalized? In addition, the rights and obligations of all people who live in the state are recorded.

The constitution also describes the form of government and the form of government. The three state powers are also laid down in the constitution. In addition, there is information about how the state is structured: Are there sub-states, federal states, federal states, cantons, districts, districts, municipalities or whatever? In addition, the constitution includes what tasks they are entitled to. For example, who is responsible for building highways, hospitals or schools?

Relations with other states are also regulated in the constitution. Is the state neutral or does it belong to a military alliance? Does it belong to an economic area like the European Union? Incidentally, the European Union also has a constitution.

Which are the three state powers?

Judges can often be recognized in office by their special clothing. Judges should be fair and independent.

There are a lot of people in a state. You can meet and discuss everything with each other. That's why people made up representatives to take care of it for them. These are the government, parliament and the courts. These three are the three powers of the state.

The people elect the parliament. Parliament determines how much money the state can spend on what purpose and how high the taxes should be for it. Parliament also passes new laws or abolishes old laws. In Switzerland, the people can sometimes decide on laws, but not on the amount of taxes.

The government does what parliament has decided. For example, it maintains an army and the police. She has schools and hospitals built and much more. In Switzerland, the parliament elects the government, the Federal Council. In Germany only the head of the government is elected by parliament, at the moment that is Chancellor Angela Merkel, who also appoints the ministers in her government. In Austria, the Federal Chancellor is appointed by the Federal President. The Austrian Chancellor also puts together a government for the country. Switzerland also has a Federal Chancellor, but he is not a member of the government, but an official who supports the government.

The third state power is the court. When a law is not obeyed, a person or group of people can seek judgment in the court. The court also guarantees compliance with human and children's rights.

The separation of powers means that parliament, government and court can work independently of one another. So you mustn't persuade yourself. For example, if the court finds that a law is contrary to the constitution, then parliament has to change the law.

Do people in a state do everything together?

Street cleaning and rubbish collection are mostly the responsibility of the municipalities.

Every state started out small, mostly with a village or a town, these are the municipalities. Several municipalities together result in districts, cantons, rural districts and federal states. These names vary from country to country.

In each state it is determined which tasks the municipalities, districts, cantons, districts or federal states have. If they are not too small, they have their own parliament, but also their own government and court. So you also have control over your money.

Take a citizen of the city of Zurich as an example: He can vote for the parliament and the government in his city and in the canton. In the country he only elects members of parliament.

Typical tasks of the municipalities are the maintenance of their own roads, the removal of rubbish, the operation of swimming pools and so on. Typical government tasks are the army or negotiations with other countries. Schools and hospitals are often somewhere in between. Switzerland, for example, still has its own currency. The states of the European Union determine their currency and many other things together.

How do states treat each other?

The countries marked in green have recognized the Republic of Kosovo.

First of all, one state has to recognize the other. So he agrees that the other state rightly exists, with its borders and its government. This is often taken for granted, but not always. An example: The Republic of Kosovo has only existed since 2008. Many states have recognized Kosovo since then. The neighbor Serbia did not recognize him, but neither did other European states such as Spain or Greece.

After recognition, the two partner countries agree on how they want to deal with each other. They supply themselves with electricity or gas, for example, and trade in many other goods. Each country may also have one or more offices of its own with the other. People can go there if, for example, they have lost their passport in a neighboring country. Such offices are called “consulates”. Other states can have embassies in the capital of a state. They have more powers than consulates.

Most states have formed an association. It's called the United Nations. Almost all states belong to it, there are currently almost 200. In English it is called “United Nations” or “United Nations Organization”, abbreviated to UN or UNO. However, no state is obliged to join the UN. There are also some states that do not recognize all others as their own state. That was the case, for example, at the beginning with Kosovo. Not all states see the matter with Palestine and Taiwan alike. Therefore, the number of states cannot be precisely determined.