What is Citizenship?

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Citizenship is a concept that is difficult to universally define; it is recognized as a form of identity, representing the culture, heritage, and traditions one is born into. However, some countries today permit people to become citizens of that respective country as long as they meet the requirements and follow the regulations needed to achieve citizenship. This process is known as naturalization.

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Some would argue that naturalization should be removed as an option to obtain citizenship of a country, due to people being allowed to have more than one citizenship and abusing dual citizenship rights. Though there is always the underlying negativity of this, naturalization and the ability to possess more than one citizenship simultaneously should remain allowed. It is because of this privilege, that people are able to travel the world and have the opportunity to live in more than one country. Possessing the legal right of citizenship in more than a single country is a significant part of many individuals’ lives. Dual citizenship encompasses and promotes diversity, a key aspect in what has shaped Canada and many other countries- and should continue to be permitted on a national scale. Citizenship is not a modern idea, despite being heavily transformed and shifted in the modern era. In fact, it dates back to the Ancient Greece era of the Romans and Spartans.

In the early eighth century BCE, people participating in the military in Spartan villages were rewarded with rights, privileges and political power over their community. In Ancient Greece, it was impossible to obtain citizenship unless one belonged to a town-dwelling tribe. Skipping forward two centuries to the era of Athens in the sixth century BCE. There seemed to be a lot of foreigners coming into Athens for the chance of better lives from their foreign countries; these foreign residents were given the name Metics. Although these Metics made great contributions to the Athenian society, they were not regarded as citizens, meaning they could not participate in any political activities that normal citizens of Athens could. The natives of Athens were looked at as higher beings with a greater sense of belonging than the Metics. This concept of citizenship bred subsequent examples to follow this protocol, as immigrants were excluded from citizenship rights. Opposing Ancient Greece’s concept of citizenship, in the middle ages era from fifth to fifteenth century CE, the feudal system was the cornerstone of everything political in European cities. The feudal system and migration went hand in hand, citizens were visiting other cities they have never been to.

Foreign trade was prominent in the medieval ages; foreign merchants were frequently moving from kingdom to kingdom to sell goods and from this, migration started to become a common occurrence. Due to this common theme of travel, the Magna Carta –

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