A country’s survival in the modern world is very tough, notwithstanding how bizarre it may seem to think of one’s native country disappearing. A single war or armed conflict may wreak havoc on the economy, industry, environment, infrastructure, and political relationships.
There are approximately 200 countries around the globe, and despite these difficulties, a few have lasted the course. These countries are the world’s oldest, although their borders, governments, and capitals have all changed.
What is the origin of a country?
Determining the world’s oldest nations begins with a clear understanding of what constitutes a country. Metropolis-states such as the ancient Egyptian city of Ur and the ancient Greek city of Athens were strong and important, but they were not nations as we know them today.
Similarly, vast empires like the Roman Empire in Europe and the Han Dynasty in Asia, which frequently invaded and linked smaller city-states, would not be called nations. On the other hand, countries might emerge from the ruins of a defunct empire.
There are few empires in the contemporary period, yet there are still many new nations. When a region separates from an existing nation, such as when the Soviet Union divided into 25 smaller territories between 1988 and 1992 and ceased to exist, this occurs.
Determined birthdays for countries might be difficult.
It’s not always easy to determine a country’s age. It’s especially difficult to nail down the exact period in time when an older nation started to exist as a sovereign state.
Egypt is a good case in point. In what year did the United Kingdom officially recognize the nation as an independent state? Alternatively, did it all begin in 969 when the Fatimid Caliphate invaded the region and established Cairo as the capital city of Egypt?
The First Dynasty may have begun about 3100 BCE when Egypt’s first king unified upper and lower Egypt. It’s possible to argue for any of these dates and many more.
Similarly, China is the cradle of one of Earth’s oldest civilizations, with traces of writing dating back to 7000 BCE and records of large-scale governments dating back to 2070 BCE.
Several different warlords and kingdoms have invaded China, only to be overtaken by another, with the territory frequently splitting into smaller kingdoms. Consequently, China’s central authority and geographic boundaries were in movement for thousands of years until they finally settled.
Thus, many historians believe that the country we now know as China was not born until 1911-1912 when the last feudal dynasty was overthrown, and a modern republic was established.
Indeed, some historians would go so far as to say that the country was not born until 1949 when the Chinese Civil War ended and China became the communist Democratic Republic of China, which we now know as.
Besides India and Greece, which have been home to high civilization for more than 4000 years and whose city of Athens was the first to embrace a democratic government, both nations contain evidence of modern human habitation that dates back thousands of years.
Uncertainty may abound even in nations relatively new to the world stage. On July 4, 1776, the thirteen original colonies proclaimed their independence from Great Britain, commemorating that day as the official birthdate of the United States.
But it could have been when the first native Americans arrived from Asia thousands of years earlier when Colombus landed in 1492, when the first pilgrims arrived in 1620, or on September 3, 1783.
The American Revolutionary War officially ended and Great Britain formally recognized U.S. independence. Independence from Great Britain.
Depending on how a country’s birth is defined, any list of the world’s oldest nations might be vastly different. According to this definition, a country’s founding date may be determined by how long ago there was evidence of a formal government in place.
The World’s 10 Oldest Countries (by date of earliest known organized government):
- Iran – 3200 BCE
- Egypt – 3100 BCE
- Vietnam – 2879 BCE
- Armenia – 2492 BCE
- North Korea – 2333 BCE
- China – 2070 BCE
- India – 2000 BCE
- Georgia – 1300 BCE
- Israel – 1300 BCE
- Sudan – 1070 BCE
- Afghanistan – 678 BCE
Lists like the following may be used to see how far back in time each country’s sovereignty claims date back.
The World’s 10 Oldest Countries (by date of self-sovereignty):
- Japan – 660 BCE
- China – 221 BCE
- San Marino – 301 CE
- France – 843
- Austria – 976
- Denmark – 10th century
- Hungary – 1001
- Portugal – 1143
- Mongolia – 1206
- Thailand – 1238
Cities that have been continuously inhabited for thousands of years include some of the oldest cities in the world, such as Rome and China. One theory puts its age at 10,000 BCE, which puts Damascus in Syria.
Also See: Neutral Countries in World War II 2022
In addition to Jericho, West Bank (9000 BCE), Plovdiv, Bulgaria (7000 BCE), and Susa, Iran, more clearly old cities may be found (7000 BCE).
As per our chronology, these nations have recently joined the global community as of 2021.
The following are the world’s ten youngest countries as of 2021:
- South Sudan – 2011-07-09
- Kosovo (still awaiting full recognition) – 2008-02-17
- Serbia – 2006-07-05
- Montenegro – 2006-06-03
- East Timor – 2002-05-20
- Palau – 1994-10-01
- Eritrea – 1993-05-20
- Slovakia – 1993-01-01 (tie)
- Czech Republic – 1993-01-01 (tie)
- Bosnia and Herzegovina – 1992-03-03*
On the list of the world’s newest nations, the 15 former Soviet Union states that gained sovereignty in 1991 dominate places 11-30, including Uzbekistan, Estonia, Kazakhstan, and the Russian Federation.
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