Sovereignty is a characteristic of a political entity that, within a defined geographical area, possesses and exercises power that is the highest in that area. The sovereign entity's decision is both generally applicable throughout the area and, although extraneous matters such as public or world opinion are not typically disregarded, the sovereign entity acts independently. Sovereignty has, since the European Renaissance, been an important characteristic of the modern state, assisting in the development of national identity. Initially, ...

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