A Country SVG is a territory with political, physical-geographical, cultural or historical boundaries, which can be both clearly defined and fixed, and blurred (in this case, they often speak not about boundaries, but about “boundaries”). According to this, several types of countries are distinguished:
- Political countries (territory of the state or colonies)
- Physico-geographical countries and regions
- Cultural countries and regions
- Historical countries and regions
- A country may have either state sovereignty or be under the sovereignty of another state (colonies, trust territories).
Country SVG or State SVG
The words “country” (in its political-geographical sense) and “state” denote similar but not identical concepts, although in some cases the term “country” is used as a complete synonym of the state (in such cases the political country is meant as the territory of the state). The concept of the state covers, first of all, the structure of domination established on a certain territory and continuously renewed as a result of joint actions of people. On the contrary, the concept of a country has a more capacious cultural-historical, social and economic content than a political one, and therefore includes concepts that determine the characteristics of the local national community (mentality, customs, languages, etc.). As noted by D. S. Likhachev, the country is a unity of people, nature and culture. In this regard, in particular, the subject of country studies are both the territories delineated by the state and historical-geographical boundaries, and it is assumed that the concept of the country will be preserved in the event of disappearance of state boundaries in the future.
In practice, the most striking examples of discrepancies between the concepts of country and state are the colonial empires, which were considered as sovereign states, but not as single countries. Another illustrative example is the notion of the destruction of some States and the construction of others on the territories of countries that retain economic, historical and cultural continuity, either fully or largely coincidentally.
At the same time, the concept of a historical Country SVG does not require continuity, although partial continuity is possible: for example, the historic Netherlands is located in the Netherlands (the corresponding country in Russian is called the Netherlands), Belgium, Luxembourg and France. At the same time, not only political, but also cultural unity of the historic Netherlands is not formed, because part of this country is drawn to French culture, and part – to German and British culture. The example with the Netherlands shows the same phenomenon of discrepancy of borders on a smaller scale: the historical region of Luxembourg (one of the historical regions of the Netherlands, along with the Netherlands, Zealand, etc.) consists of the western part, the province of Belgium, and the eastern – sovereign Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Discrepancies between the borders of states and countries that remain traditionally recognizable, although they do not reflect the past climate, cultural and ethnic unity, can be represented by such countries as Turkestan (now in six states whose territories differ both climatically and ethnically), Korea (now in two states, each of which is forming new socio-political and cultural values).