What is the difference between a nation and a country?

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In English there is a confusing tendency to use the two words interchangeably. However, a country may consists of more than one nation. For example, the Soviet Union consisted of several nations but was one country which was nominally a federation of 15 states. Germany only became a 'country' with a central government in 1871, but the concept of German nationhood was much older. Please note that nations are 'imagined communities'. Please the link below for more detail.
A country is a self-governing political entity while a nation is a tightly-knit group of people which share a common culture.
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