21 November 2017

For your consideration: "Difference Between Territory and State"

Territory vs State

Some countries are only composed of a certain geographical area, a population, and a government while others, especially those that are bigger and more powerful than others, are composed of several other territories which they cede through invasion or through the choice of their citizens. Some of these territories join together to form federations and are then called states.

A state is an organized, political institution that controls a territory under a government and forms part of a federal republic. It uses legitimate force to maintain a monopoly over the territory under a central government.

There are several types of states; those that are sovereign and those that are subject to the control of other states. Sovereign states are those that have definite territories and which consist of permanent populations and government allowing them to enter into relations with other sovereign states

Most states are part of federated states such as the case of the United States of America, and the federal government holds power over the states. A state is also sometimes referred to as country.

A territory, on the other hand, is a geographical area which does not have sovereignty and is under the control of another government. They may enjoy local autonomy and, at the same time, may be subject to some of the laws of the state that governs them. Territories may be those that are sub-national entities in a unitary state like France, administrative districts of a nation-state such as those in Austria, counties within a state like those in the U.S.

Other examples of territories are those which are occupied territories and are under the military control of the invading country, disputed territories which are claimed by two or more countries, and special administrative regions like Macao and Hong Kong. Ships are also the territories of the countries whose flags they are flying.

A territory can be any area which is claimed by a government. As countries expand their borders, they claim territories, and they can become states when they become organized and incorporated enabling them to petition the federal government to make them states.

Citizens of a state enjoy more privileges and the full rights of a citizen while citizens of a territory enjoy limited rights and privileges. They are also usually situated farther from the central government although they are also represented in it.


1.A territory is an area which is under the control of another state or government and does not have sovereignty while a state is also known as a country or an organized political organization which enjoys sovereignty.

2. Citizens of states enjoy more privileges and full rights under the law while citizens of territories only have limited rights and privileges.

3. A state is usually located within the geographical area of the seat of government while a territory is usually located far from it; even ships which are in international waters are considered territories of their flagship country.

4. A state monopolizes control over its territories through legitimate force while a territory does not.