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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Citizenship is the state of being a citizen of a particular social, political, or national community.

Citizenship status, under social contract theory, carries with it both rights and responsibilities. "Active citizenship" is the philosophy that citizens should work towards the betterment of their community through economic participation, public service, volunteer work, and other such efforts to improve life for all citizens. In this vein, schools in some countries provide citizenship education.


National citizenship

Generally citizenship is seen as the relation between an individual and a particular nation. In ancient Greece, the main political entity was the city-state, and citizens were members of particular city-states. In the past five hundred years, with the rise of the nation-state, citizenship is most closely identified with being a member of a particular nation. To some extent, certain entities cross national boundaries such as trade organizations, non-governmental organizations as well as multi-national corporations, and sometimes the term "citizen of the world" applies in the sense of people having less ties to a particular nation and more of a sense of belonging to the world in general.

Supranational citizenship

In recent years, some intergovernmental organizations have extended the concept and terminology associated with citizenship to the international level,[1] where it is applied to the totality of the citizens of their constituent countries combined. Citizenship at this level is a secondary concept, with rights deriving from national citizenship.

European Union (EU) citizenship

The Maastricht Treaty introduced the concept of citizenship of the European Union. Article 17 (1) of the amended EC Treaty[2] states that

Citizenship of the Union is hereby established. Every person holding the nationality of a Member State shall be a citizen of the Union. Citizenship of the Union shall complement and not replace national citizenship.

The amended EC Treaty[2] establishes certain minimal rights for EU citizens. Article 12 of the amended EC Treaty guarantees a general right of non-discrimination within the scope of the Treaty. Article 18 provides a limited right to free movement and residence in Member States other than that of which the EU citizen is a national. Articles 18-21 and 225 provide certain political rights.

Union citizens have also extensive rights to move in order to exercise economic activity in any of the Member States (Articles 39, 43, 49 EC), which predate the introduction of Union citizenship.

Polis citizenship

The first form of citizenship was based on the way people lived in the ancient Greek times, in small-scale organic communities of the polis. In those days citizenship was not seen as a public matter, separated from the private life of the individual person. The obligations of citizenship were deeply connected into one’s everyday life in the polis. To be truly human, one had to be an active citizen to the community, which Aristotle famously expressed: “To take no part in the running of the community's affairs is to be either a beast or a god!” This form of citizenship was based on obligations of citizens towards the community, rather than rights given to the citizens of the community. This was not a problem because they all had a strong affinity with the polis; their own destiny and the destiny of the community were strongly linked. Also, citizens of the polis saw obligations to the community as an opportunity to be virtuous, it was a source of honour and respect. In Athens, citizens were both ruler and ruled, important political and judicial offices were rotated and all citizens had the right to speak and vote in the political assembly.

However, an important aspect of polis citizenship was exclusivity. Citizenship in ancient Greece and Rome, as well as Medieval cities that practiced polis citizenship, was exclusive and inequality of status was widely accepted. Citizens had a much higher status than non-citizens: Women, slaves or ‘barbarians’. For example, women were seen to be irrational and incapable of political participation (although some, most notably Plato, disagreed). Methods used to determine whether someone could be a citizen or not could be based on wealth (the amount of taxes one paid), political participation, or heritage (both parents had to be born in the polis).

In the Roman Empire, polis citizenship changed form: Citizenship was expanded from small scale communities to the entire empire. Romans realised that granting citizenship to people from all over the empire legitimized Roman rule over conquered areas. Citizenship in the Roman era was no longer a status of political agency; it had been reduced to a judicial safeguard and the expression of rule and law. (See Civis romanus sum.)

Honorary citizenship

Some countries extend "honorary citizenship" to those whom they consider to be especially admirable or worthy of the distinction.

By act of United States Congress and presidential assent, honorary United States citizenship has been awarded to only seven individuals. Honorary Canadian citizenship requires the unanimous approval of Parliament. The only people to ever receive honorary Canadian citizenship are Raoul Wallenberg posthumously in 1985, Nelson Mandela in 2001, the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso in 2006, and Aung San Suu Kyi in 2007. In 2002 South Korea awarded honorary citizenship to Dutch football (soccer) coach Guus Hiddink who successfully and unexpectedly took the national team to the semi-finals of the 2002 FIFA World Cup. Honorary citizenship was also awarded to Hines Ward, a black Korean American football player, in 2006 for his efforts to minimize discrimination in Korea against half-Koreans.

American actress Angelina Jolie received an honorary Cambodian citizenship in 2005 due to her humanitarian efforts. Cricketers Matthew Hayden and Herschelle Gibbs were awarded honorary citizenship of St. Kitts and Nevis in March 2007 due to their record-breaking innings in the 2007 Cricket World Cup.

In Germany the honorary citizenship is awarded by cities, towns and sometimes federal states. The honorary citizenship ends with the death of the honoured, or, in exceptional cases, when it is taken away by the council or parliament of the city, town, or state. In the case of war criminals, all such honours were taken away by "Article VIII, section II, letter i of the directive 38 of the Allied Control Council for Germany" on October 12, 1946 In some cases, honorary citizenship was taken away from members of the former GDR regime, e.g. Erich Honecker, after the collapse of the GDR in 1989/90.[citation needed]

In Ireland, "honorary citizenship" bestowed on a foreigner is in fact full legal citizenship including the right to reside in Ireland, to vote etc.

According to the Chapter II, Article 29, Paragraph 'e)' of the Cuban Constitution, Cuban citizens by birth are those foreigners who, by virtue of their exceptional merits won in the struggles for Cuba’s liberation, were considered Cuban citizens by birth[3]. Che Guevara was made an honorary citizen of Cuba by Fidel Castro for his part in the Cuban Revolution, of which Guevara later renounced in his well known farewell letter.[4]

Historically, many states limited citizenship to only a proportion of their population, thereby creating a citizen class with political rights superior to other sections of the population, but equal with each other. The classical example of a limited citizenry was Athens where slaves, women, and resident foreigners (called metics) were excluded from political rights. The Roman Republic forms another example (see Roman citizenship), and, more recently, the nobility of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth had some of the same characteristics.

School subject

Citizenship has been introduced as a compulsory subject of the National Curriculum in state-run schools in England. Some state schools offer an examination in this subject, all state schools have a statutory requirement to report student's progress in Citizenship.[3]

Citizenship is not offered as a normal General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) course in many schools. Only some schools offer this subject as a GCSE course, and this is usually not a compulsory subject. Some schools may even give students an option, whether to study Citizenship or not at GCSE. All 14-16 year-olds must study Citizenship, but there are no exams, few assessments and is quite a different subject.Most advanced students may also study citizenship at the age of 11-12.

In Wales the model used is Personal and Social Education.[5][6]

Citizenship is not taught as a subject in Scottish schools, however they do teach a subject called "Modern Studies" which covers the social, political and economic study of local, national and international issues.[7]

It is taught in the Republic of Ireland as an exam subject for the Junior Certificate. It is known as Civic, Social and Political Education (CSPE).

Responsibilities or duties of citizenship

The legally enforceable duties of citizenship vary depending on one's country, and may include such items as:[8]

  • paying taxes
  • serving on a jury
  • Voting
  • serving in the country's armed forces when called upon
  • obeying the criminal laws enacted by one's government, even while abroad[9]


  1. ^ see Daniele Archibugi, The Global Commonwealth of Citizens. Toward Cosmopolitan Democracy, Princeton University Press, Princeton, 2008
  2. ^ a b Treaty of Rome (consolidated version)
  3. ^ a b " Chapter II of the Constitution of the Republic of Cuba". Embassy of Cuba to Lebanon. Retrieved 2009-09-22. 
  4. ^ "Che's Farewell Letter". History of Cuba ( 1965. Retrieved 2009-09-22. 
  5. ^ "NAFWC 13/2003 Personal and Social Education (PSE) and Work-Related Education (WRE) in the Basic Curriculum. Education (WRE) in the Basic Curriculum.". Welsh Assembly Government. 15 June 2003. Retrieved 2007-06-09. 
  6. ^ "Personal and Social Education Framework: Key Stages 1 to 4 in Wales". Welsh Assembly Government. Retrieved 2007-06-09. 
  7. ^ "Modern Studies Association". Retrieved 2007-08-09. 
  8. ^ Patrick, John J. "The Concept of Citizenship in Education for Democracy". Retrieved 2007-08-09. 
  9. ^ Kenneth Ofgang, Court Upholds Ban on Americans Buying Child Sex Overseas, Metropolitan News-Enterprise, January 26, 2006. ^ Child sex overseas can be prosecuted, The Seattle Times (from Associated Press), January 26, 2006.


  • Archibugi, Daniele (2008). The Global Commonwealth of Citizens. Toward Cosmopolitan Democracy. Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-1400829767. 
  • Carens, Joseph (2000). Culture, Citizenship, and Community: A Contextual Exploration of Justice as Evenhandedness. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0198297680. 
  • Heater, Derek (2004). A Brief History of Citizenship. NYU Press. ISBN 978-0814736722. 
  • Kymlicka, Will (1995). Multicultural Citizenship: A Liberal Theory of Minority Rights. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0198290919. 
  • Maas, Willem (2007). Creating European Citizens. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 978-0742554863. 
  • Marshall, T.H. (1950). Citizenship and Social Class and Other Essays. Cambridge University Press. 
  • Shue, Henry (1950). Basic Rights. 
  • Smith, Rogers (2003). Stories of Peoplehood: The Politics and Morals of Political Membership. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0521520034. 
  • Somers, Margaret (2008). Genealogies of Citizenship: Markets, Statelessness, and the Right to Have Rights. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-79394-0. 
  • Soysal, Yasemin (1994). Limits of Citizenship. Migrants and Postnational Membership in Europe. University of Chicago Press. 
  • Turner, Bryan S. (1994). Citizenship and Social Theory. Sage. ISBN 978-0803986114. 

External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

It may be laid down, as a primary position, and the basis of our system, that every citizen who enjoys the protection of a free government, owes not only a proportion of his property, but even of his personal services to the defence of it...

Citizenship is membership in a political community. The term derives from membership of a city (as was the term citizen), but now normally refers to a nation. Citizenship carries with it rights of political participation; many also consider it brings duties to exercise those rights responsibly.


  • It may be laid down, as a primary position, and the basis of our system, that every citizen who enjoys the protection of a free government, owes not only a proportion of his property, but even of his personal services to the defence of it, and consequently that the Citizens of America (with a few legal and official exceptions) from 18 to 50 Years of Age should be borne on the Militia Rolls, provided with uniform Arms, and so far accustomed to the use of them, that the Total strength of the Country might be called forth at Short Notice on any very interesting Emergency.
    • George Washington, in "Sentiments on a Peace Establishment" in a letter to Alexander Hamilton (2 May 1783); published in The Writings of George Washington (1938), edited by John C. Fitzpatrick, Vol. 26, p. 289


  • I do not think that the effect of good environment, of fine buildings, of pleasant homes, upon the character, temperament, will, disposition, and energy of the people sufficiently dawns upon the average citizen. ~ Thomas Adams
  • This is not a contest between persons. The humblest citizen in all the land, when clad in the armor of a righteous cause, is stronger than all the hosts of error. I come to you in defense of a cause as holy as the cause of liberty - the cause of humanity. ~ William Jennings Bryan
  • But without a caring society, without each citizen voluntarily accepting the weight of responsibility, government is destined to grow even larger, taking more of your money, burrowing deeper into your lives. ~ Jeb Bush
  • It is a remarkable comment on our affairs that the former prime minister of a great sovereign state should thus be received as an honorary citizen of another. ~ Winston Churchill
  • Voting is the most precious right of every citizen, and we have a moral obligation to ensure the integrity of our voting process. ~ Hillary Clinton
  • Technology can be an obstacle for immigrants from low-tech countries to obtain US citizenship since the USCIS relies heavily on the internet to distribute information about naturalization.~ Citizenship Coach
  • Be assured, fellow citizens, that in a democracy it is the laws that guard the person of the citizen and the constitution of the state, whereas the despot and the oligarch find their protection in suspicion and in armed guards. ~ Aeschines
  • Today, the Iraqi citizen sees that America is coming and wants to occupy his country and kill him, and he is willing to experience for himself what happened in Palestine. ~ Bashar al-Assad
  • I believe if a private citizen is able to affect public opinion in a constructive way he doesn't have to be an elected public servant to perform a public service. ~ Warren Beatty
  • My favorite song is "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" because it's become my signature song. I sang it for six American presidents and five command performances... it's made me a world citizen. ~ Tony Bennett
  • Every citizen should be a soldier. This was the case with the Greeks and Romans, and must be that of every free state. ~ Thomas Jefferson
  • Every citizen will be able, in his productive years when he is earning, to insure himself against the ravages of illness in his old age. ~ Lyndon B. Johnson
  • The first requisite of a good citizen in this republic of ours is that he shall be able and willing to pull his own weight. ~ Theodore Roosevelt
  • I believe with all my heart that America remains 'the great idea' that inspires the world. It is a privilege to be born here. It is an honor to become a citizen here. It is a gift to raise your family here, to vote here, and to live here. ~ Arnold Schwarzenegger
  • Justice in the life and conduct of the State is possible only as first it resides in the hearts and souls of the citizens. ~ Plato
  • I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts. ~ Abraham Lincoln
  • It is the duty of every citizen according to his best capacities to give validity to his convictions in political affairs. ~ Albert Einstein
  • Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. ~ Margaret Mead
  • Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote that he is not making a present or a compliment to please an individual—or at least that he ought not so to do; but that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country.~ Samuel Adams
  • A government by secrecy benefits no one. It injures the people it seeks to serve; it damages its own integrity and operation. It breeds distrust, dampens the fervor of its citizens and mocks their loyalty. ~ Senator Long, 1964
  • The citizen can bring our political and governmental institutions back to life, make them responsive and accountable, and keep them honest. No one else can.~ John Gardner
  • It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence ~ Charles A Beard
  • It is not the function of our Government to keep the citizen from falling into error; it is the function of the citizen to keep the Government from falling into error. ~ Justice Robert Houghwout Jackson
  • The citizen who sees his society's democratic clothes being worn out and does not cry out is not a patriot but a traitor. ~ Mark Twain

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Source material

Up to date as of January 22, 2010

From Wikisource

by Will H. Hays
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I plead for a patriotism in peace as well as in war. Let us have not nearly that patriotism born of extremities which burns in the souls of men only when their country is in danger, but the patriotism of good citizenship in low places and in high places, in season and out of season. Let us have the patriotism which moves men to make their country's welfare their own business, and in prosaic times of peace, interest themselves continually in the politics of their communities. Good government is certain in no other way.

What we need in this country is not less politics, but more attention to politics. There must be two great political parties, and both should be strong and viral. If a political party does not stand for those things which will bear the severest scrutiny, it is not entitled to succeed and it will not endure. Let the political parties determine their acts solely by how they can contribute most to the country's good and let the individual membership give that attention to their party's affairs which is due the only instrument through which all individuals can apply their patriotism. There is no zone of twilight in politics. Right is right and wrong is wrong, and the same strict standard of righteous conduct must obtain as in any private business or professional matter. With our politics entirely on this basis, living our patriotism daily, we will do a citizen's full duty and not until then.

I have no use for the individual who is too busy to take part in politics. He has no just complaint to make. Whatever happens he is riding on another person's ticket. It is passing strange than men have to be urged to exercise the first privilege of a sovereign citizenship -- the right to help govern themselves. For this right this nation was founded, for this right the Union was preserved, for this right patriots have labored since the foundation of the republic, and that this right might be for all men everywhere we fought in France and drenched the plains of Europe with our blood.

Unless there is an awakened sense of civic duty, as the glorified result of our experience of fire and blood, we have lost the most important lesson of this war. Hundreds of thousands of men and women arose in the spirit of consecrated service and unselfishly carried the burden of war-works at home and abroad. I urge that this army of patriots now realize that they have a duty in peace as well in war. That the nation needs their continuing devotion, and that they owe this continuing service to their country's welfare. We are the freest government in the world, but our strength rests totally in that patriotism which moves us everyday to discharge the debt we owe this nation by making and keeping conditions right in this country.

The Republican party is the party of the future. It was born of a national necessity and from that hour has been a party of patriotism, with its loyalty measured only by the possibilities. And now with our eyes solely on the country's welfare, we will measure our steps forward by the new needs of the nation, continuing to be the instrument to apply to changing conditions the wisdom of experience and the efficacy of an honest, zealous servant. With a determination for an execution consistent with our record, squaring our performances with our promises, we will proceed to the fulfillment of the party's mission. God helping it shall be accomplished.

PD-icon.svg This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1923.

The author died in 1954, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 50 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.

Bible wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From BibleWiki

the rights and privileges of a citizen in distinction from a foreigner (Luke 15:15; 19:14; Acts 21:39). Under the Mosaic law non-Israelites, with the exception of the Moabites and the Ammonites and others mentioned in Deut. 23:1-3, were admitted to the general privileges of citizenship among the Jews (Ex. 12:19; Lev. 24:22; Num. 15:15; 35:15; Deut. 10:18; 14:29; 16:10, 14).

The right of citizenship under the Roman government was granted by the emperor to individuals, and sometimes to provinces, as a favour or as a recompense for services rendered to the state, or for a sum of money (Acts 22:28). This "freedom" secured privileges equal to those enjoyed by natives of Rome. Among the most notable of these was the provision that a man could not be bound or imprisoned without a formal trial (Acts 22:25, 26), or scourged (16:37). All Roman citizens had the right of appeal to Caesar (25:11).

This entry includes text from Easton's Bible Dictionary, 1897.

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Simple English

Citizenship is the relationship between a person and his or her country, usually the same one he or she lives in, supports, and in return gets protection from. A person is usually a citizen of the country where he or she is born, but sometimes a person will apply to change his or her citizenship to become a citizen in another country.

In most countries, citizens have rights such as political participation at a lawful age, and duties, such as keeping the laws.

Some have made a difference between a "citizen", living in a republic (a country with no king), and a "subject" who is under the rule of a king or queen.

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