Citizenship is most often conceptualized with respect to theories of political rights and duties of membership in a defined community. Modern citizenship in western democracies begins with the nation-state scale as the defined community of greatest relevance. The codification and institutionalization of individual freedoms at the national level was one of the key components of the growth of citizenship as it originated in Britain in the seventeenth century. It reflected a shift from local, communal relations and social rights rooted in village membership into a sense of a national community and of individual rights guaranteed by a state.