What are the four characteristics of a state?

An area can be considered an independent international sovereign state only if it has the following characteristics to a reasonable degree. Some of these do not pertain to the several states of the US.

  1. Land territoriality- This is the most important characteristic of a state. It must occupy land whose territorial limits are more or less recognized. Statehood is permanent and not temporary.
  2. Government- A state is required to have a functioning political and administrative organization that serves the interests of the people living there.
  3. Organized Economy- States are responsible for many economic activities and are required to have an organized economic system.
  4. Transportation System- States need organized systems for the transportation of people, goods and services.
  5. Sovereignty- States exercise authority and enforce the law. Regarding Sovereign states outside of the US, this authority is absolute. Within the US, states exercise authority within the limits established by the Constitution.
  6. Diplomatic Recognition- Sovereign states outside of the US should be recognized as such by other independent and sovereign states. States within the US do not engage in international affairs of any kind independently of the federal government.
  7. Domestic Support- States should enjoy the support of their citizens.