A constitution is a set of fundamental principles or established precedents according to which a state or other organization is governed.

[1] These rules together make up, i.e. constitute, what the entity is. When these principles are written down into a single collection or set of legal documents, those documents may be said to comprise a written constitution. Constitutions concern different levels of organizations, from sovereign states to companies and unincorporated associations. A treaty which establishes an international organization is also its constitution, in that it would define how that organization is constituted. Within states, whether sovereign or federated, a constitution defines the principles upon which the state is based, the procedure in which laws are made and by whom. Some constitutions, especially written constitutions, also act as limiters of state power, by establishing lines which a state's rulers cannot cross, such as fundamental rights. The state has four essential elements: 1. 2. 3. 4. Population Territory Government Sovereignty

What follows now is a brief elaboration of these elements. 1. Population The State is a human institution. Hence population is it’s first and foremost element. No state can be imagined without the people, as there must be some to rule and others to be ruled. The people constitute its "personal basis". It is however, difficult to fix the size of the population of a state. For the Greek Philosopher Plato, the ideal state should not contain more than 5040 people. But Rousseau the French Philosopher would treat 10,000 inhabitants as the ideal population. Modern states greatly vary in population. While some modern states (e.g. the USA, Russia and Canada) are still under populated relating to area, resources and similar factors, others (e.g., China, India, Egypt) are confronted by the problem of population which is expanding too rapidly for their natural and technological resources. There is no such hard and first rule as to the number of people required to make a state. The population of a state must be large enough to preserve the political independence and to exploit its natural resources and small enough to be well governed. But it is the kind of people that matters more than their numbers. What kind of people comprises a particular state? Are they literate, well educated, culturally advanced? Aristotle rightly has said that a good citizen makes a good state. So what is important is the quality of people, their character, their culture and their sense of belonging to the state. 2. Territory

i. Territory is its "material basis". unless they inhabit in a definite territory When they reside permanently in a fixed place. Any interference with the rights of one state by others may lead to war. Government usually consists of three branches: the Legislature.indeed. 4.internal and external. Sovereignty The fourth essential element of the state is sovereignty. Any violation of these laws will lead to punishment. A geographically contiguous territory is an asset. India before 1947 was not a state because though it had the other three elements. External sovereignty implies the freedom of the state from foreign control. Sovereignty has two aspects. The word 'Sovereignty' denotes supreme and final legal authority and beyond which no further legal power exists. The particular form of government depends upon the nature of the state which in turn depends upon the political habits and character of the people. In the modern world. The territory of a state comprises: i) Land. The state has full rights of control and use over its territory. lying above its territory. But how much territory is necessary for the maintenance of state? There is no accepted rule as to the size of a state's territory. the Executive and the Judiciary. It is that important element which distinguishes the state from all other associations. It becomes easy to organise them into a political unit and control them.People cannot constitute a state. Government Government is the important. with clearly demarcated boundaries over which it exercises undisputed authority. Internal sovereignty is the supreme authority of the state over all individuals and associations within its geographical limits. territory and government. carries on its functions and realise its policies and objectives. So the state requires a fixed territory. the state makes..e. administration and adjudication. population. independence was missing. No external authority can limit its power. 3. Their respective functions are legislation. rivers and lakes within its frontiers. . otherwise it creates problems of administration and control. ii) Territorial water. iii) Air space. the fourth and the most important one i. we find states of all sizes and shapes. By virtue of it. they develop a community of interests and a sense of unity.e.. indispensable machinery by mean of which the state maintains its existence. extending six miles into the sea from the coast.and enforces laws on persons and associations. More important than the size are the nature resources and the location of the state. A community of persons does not form a state unless it is organised by an established government. mountains.

A state's sovereignty extends to its territory. a definite territory. Only by courtesy. . a duly established government and sovereignty. we call them as states. Such recognition is provided by the community of states. Lack of sovereignty gives them no position or rank as states. The sovereignty of the state over its territory and its people must be accepted as undisputed. Every state must have its population. international organisations like the United Nations. None of them enjoys sovereignty. The UN membership is a means of recognising state's sovereignty whenever a new state comes into existence. its recognition by other states and by UN is extremely important. A state also requires recognition by other sovereign states. which grant membership to sovereign states. The term 'state' generally used for the units of the Indian Republic or for any of the fifty states which make the United States of America. Absence of any of these elements denies to it the status of statehood. is a misnomer.

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