The British are a hardworking nation.

I’d appreciate it if someone would answer my questions. Thanks in advance.

Concerning the sentence: The British are a hardworking nation.

Is “the British” used in general sentences like this, instead of “British people” only when you are conscious of other nations, such as American people, French people, Canadian people, ------?

No, ‘the British’ is fine in that context. You could talk the same about ‘the Germans’, ‘the Canadians’, ‘the Americans’, and so on.

Hi, Shyone. I’d like to ask you what the difference between “the British” and “British people” is? What’s your idea?

While ‘the British’ refers to the British as a nation in general, ‘British people’ refers to many of them, but not all.

Hi, Shyone.-Do you mean ‘British people’ doesn’t refer to a whole nation?

-Do you mean ‘the British’ is used in general sentences, while ‘British people’ is used in specific sentences?

Many foreign speakers of English have a problem with using “people” when talking about nations or members of nations. It drives me crazy, and I try to get my students to stop it, but they don’t, even though I’m sure they don’t do it in their own languages.

“The American people” or “the Americans” means the whole American nation.
“Americans” is how we refer to American individuals in general, or some of them. We don’t say “American people”.

“The British people” or “the British” is how we refer to the entire British nation.
“British people” is how we refer British individuals in general, or some but not all of them.

“The Canadian people” or “the Canadians” is how we refer to the entire Canadian nation.
“Canadians” is how we say Canadian individuals in general, or some of them. We don’t say “Canadian people”.

It’s the same thing with:

The German people - the Germans - Germans
The Italian people - the Italians - Italians

I see very much. Thank you.

To add a touch of humour:-

" The British are a hard-working nation. " That is, the one’s who have a job.

Typo. The [color=red]ones who have a job.

I stand corrected. Many thanks Jamie.