The term ‘nationality’ or nation is derived from the Latin word ‘Natus’ which means born. Nationality or nation, therefore, in its derivative sense means a group of people belonging to the same racial stock. The term was used in this sense by the German philosophers.
This conception of nationality is, however, erroneous. There is not even a single nation or nationality in the world whose people belong to the same racial stock. Every nation has mixed population. The development of nationality is thus a spiritual and psychological phenomenon, neither racial nor political.
It is a spiritual and psychological sentiment of unity. In the words of Garner, nationality is a culturally homogeneous social group which is at once conscious of its unity. In the words of Bryce, “Nation is a union of men having racial or ethnographic significance”.
In the opinion of Bluntschi “Nation is a union of people bound together by language and customs in a common civilization which gives them a sense of unity and distinction from all foreigners.” Barker says, “A nation is a community of persons living in definite territory and thereby bound together by the bonds of mutual love”.
In the words of Gilchrist, “a nationality may be defined as ‘a spiritual sentiment or principle arising among a number of people usually of the same race, residents on the same territory, sharing a common language, the same religion, similar history or traditions, common interests with common political associations and common ideals of political unity”.
Burgess defines a nation or nationality, “as a population with ethnic unity, inhabiting a territory with geographic unity.
Leacock defines a nation or nationality as, “a body of people united by common descent and a common language.” Ramsay
Muir defines a nation or nationality as “a body or people who feel themselves to be naturally linked together by certain affinities which are so strong and real for them that they can live happily together, are dissatisfied when disunited and cannot tolerate subjection to peoples who do not share the ties”.
There are thus so many definitions of the terms nation and nationality.