Throughout the majority of history, the common man has been a subject of the government. A subject is dependent on the ruler of the land for every benefit, for every grace given, for his livelihood, and he is subject to the whims of the ruler, to the dictates and decrees of the ruler. In history, their have been benevolent kings, who ruled their subjects graciously and mercifully, but they ruled their subject, and the subjects had gratitude for their wisdom and grace.
In Ancient Greece, arose the city-states, with citizens, rather than subjects. Citizens had responsibilities, and rights. They were free men, with a responsibility to educate themselves on the responsibilities to learn what it took to take part in their self-governance, in the direction of their lives and the laws their government put upon them. Citizenship was earned, by the residents of the city. It had responsibilities. The Greek City-States were powerful and one colony of it grew to a republic and then an empire: Rome.
Rome's decline began even as its empire grew. Its Caesar was not meant to be an Emperor, but an Emperor he became. Its citizens became its subjects, as the empire grew, even as the citizens of Rome retained their rights, their security, and their benefits. Its citizens forgot and abandoned their responsibilities, because they had those benefits.
Eventually, the citizens, even of Rome, became the subjects of the Caesar, of the Emperor. The powerful concept of citizenship, of the government of the people was lost to history, to the Dark Ages, along with the technological advances the era of citizenship had brought. The era of fealty, of kingdoms, of subjects, returned. Again, kings ruled their subjects, their lords, their serfs, their counts, and barons. Some ruled with grace & mercy, but ruled they did. They were the educated elite. They were entitled by birth, intelligence, and divine intervention to rule the unwashed masses, to whom they granted house & food, health and doctor, peace and war. It was the ruler, the lord, the baron, & the king whom secured the borders and ruled his subjects.
The subjects begged the King, for justice, for fairness, for sufficient food, for doctors, and rules & decrees to maintain law & order. And the King decreed, according to his will, what his people, his subjects would be subjected to. When the King ruled with an iron hand, the subjects hoped his son would bring respite with his reign. When the King ruled with an iron fist, the subjects sometimes brought the prince to power.
In the far reaches of the Roman Empire had been the Franks, and the Anglos, and the Saxons. Eventually, the Anglos and the Saxons fought for a Parliament, to represent the subjects in governance from the King. Still, the King ruled his subjects, and eventually, some of his subjects sought far off lands, far from the reach of the King. They called it the "New World" but the world shrank, and the King sought to subjugate those in the New World, to expand his empire.
And with the renewed rights & responsibilities of Citizenship, came prosperity and technological advances. The United States thrived, because the individual citizen thrived. There were starts and stops. There were missteps. There were the scars of the non-citizen, of the slave, but the notion of Citizen, responsible for his own actions was successful.
The subjects of Russian Czars and Chinese Emperors rebelled, but their Premiers were still rulers of their subjects. Stalin, Lenin, & Mao chose what the subjects would be allowed, even as they ruled in the name of "the people."
And the citizens in the United States were told that Government could give them this and should provide them that, things they had done themselves before. It was said these things were rights, benefits, and free. Free is good, but someone must pay for the goods that are free. Tax the rich they were told. And the rich agreed. Warren Buffett, George Soros, & Bill Gates agreed: Tax us all! But they paid lawyers, accountants, & CPA's to not be taxed. They paid lawyers and lobbyists instead of the IRS. They donated their money to the politicians that claimed they would tax the rich and give to the poor. And the politicians voted to pay their companies with the taxes they received. And the politicians got rich taxing them all and paying the rich that said "Tax us all!"
And the Government decided their agents should take pornographic x-rays and feel up the people before they got on a plane, for their own protection. And the Government decided the people should pay extra taxes, so they could decide, instead of the evil corporations owned by the shareholders, aka the people, who should be treated by the doctors & nurses. And the Government decided who would get money for college, who would be indebted for life, who would be allowed to drive, who would be allowed to own a gun, and who would be allowed to travel, or who would be allowed to borrow money for a house. The Government would provide security and jobs. The Government would rule the people, i.e. the subjects, and decide again who got what, if they begged and demanded.
The Government was ran by the educated elites, who knew what was best, or so they said. The people trusted their rulers to give them what they needed, and to rule with mercy & grace. The subjects have no responsibilities. They obey the decrees. They receive the benefits. They are told what to do. And when the ruler is benevolent, they'll shout "Long live the ruler!" for the next may not be so nice and they'll whisper "Death to the Tyrant!" in hopes he does not hear.
Citizenship has responsibilities, and with those responsibilities come rights. A Citizen does not have the luxury of trusting the elites to remain benevolent, while a subject has only hope he will be. A subject will get what the ruler decides to give while a Citizen will remain vigilant of what his Representatives do attempt to decree. If you don't want to be a subject of the ruler, then you must accept the responsibilities of a Citizen.