- stateIt is usual to spell it with a capital initial letter when it refers to political entities, either nations (The State of Israel / a State visit), or parts of a federal nation (the State of Virginia / crossing the State border), and when it means ‘civil government’ (Church and State / the Secretary of State). This applies both to names and to general reference when necessary to avoid possible ambiguity with the general meanings of state (as in the state [= condition] of Israel). In other contexts a lower-case initial is used (a police state / the welfare state).
Modern English usage. 2014.