Micronation

Micronation

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Micronations, sometimes also referred to as model countries and new country projects, are entities that claim to be independent nation
Nation
A nation may refer to a community of people who share a common language, culture, ethnicity, descent, and/or history. In this definition, a nation has no physical borders. However, it can also refer to people who share a common territory and government irrespective of their ethnic make-up...

s or state
Sovereign state
A sovereign state, or simply, state, is a state with a defined territory on which it exercises internal and external sovereignty, a permanent population, a government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other sovereign states. It is also normally understood to be a state which is neither...

s but which are not recognized by world governments or major international organizations. These nations often exist only on paper, on the Internet
Internet
The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet protocol suite to serve billions of users worldwide...

, or in the minds of their creators.

Micronations differ from secession
Secession
Secession is the act of withdrawing from an organization, union, or especially a political entity. Threats of secession also can be a strategy for achieving more limited goals.-Secession theory:...

 and self-determination
Self-determination
Self-determination is the principle in international law that nations have the right to freely choose their sovereignty and international political status with no external compulsion or external interference...

 movements in that they are largely viewed as being eccentric
Eccentricity (behavior)
In popular usage, eccentricity refers to unusual or odd behavior on the part of an individual. This behavior would typically be perceived as unusual or unnecessary, without being demonstrably maladaptive...

 and ephemeral
Ephemeral
Ephemeral things are transitory, existing only briefly. Typically the term is used to describe objects found in nature, although it can describe a wide range of things....

 in nature, and are often created and maintained by a single person or family group. This criterion excludes entities such as the Republic of China
Republic of China
The Republic of China , commonly known as Taiwan , is a unitary sovereign state located in East Asia. Originally based in mainland China, the Republic of China currently governs the island of Taiwan , which forms over 99% of its current territory, as well as Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu and other minor...

 (Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

) that have diplomatic relations with other recognized nation-states of the world without being formally recognized themselves by many nation-states or accepted by major international bodies. Some micro-nationalistsKevin Baug, [president of "Molossia" This appears in an interview from March 2011 (http://www.sickchirpse.com/2011/03/23/interview-with-a-micronationalist-part-i/ call their countries Nomadic Countries, especially ones that have no land and are based on the Internet.

Micronations are also distinguished from imaginary countries and from other kinds of social groups (such as eco-villages, campus
Campus
A campus is traditionally the land on which a college or university and related institutional buildings are situated. Usually a campus includes libraries, lecture halls, residence halls and park-like settings...

es, tribe
Tribe
A tribe, viewed historically or developmentally, consists of a social group existing before the development of, or outside of, states.Many anthropologists use the term tribal society to refer to societies organized largely on the basis of kinship, especially corporate descent groups .Some theorists...

s, clan
Clan
A clan is a group of people united by actual or perceived kinship and descent. Even if lineage details are unknown, clan members may be organized around a founding member or apical ancestor. The kinship-based bonds may be symbolical, whereby the clan shares a "stipulated" common ancestor that is a...

s, sect
Sect
A sect is a group with distinctive religious, political or philosophical beliefs. Although in past it was mostly used to refer to religious groups, it has since expanded and in modern culture can refer to any organization that breaks away from a larger one to follow a different set of rules and...

s, and residential community association
Residential Community Association
Residential Community Associations are private, nonprofit organisations set up by developers and paid for by contributions from residents of housing communities to provide them with public services, which are traditionally provided by local authorities....

s) by expressing a formal and persistent, even if unrecognized, claim of sovereignty over some physical territory.

Some micronations have managed to extend some of their operations into the physical world by trying to enforce their alleged sovereignty. Several have issued coins
COinS
ContextObjects in Spans, commonly abbreviated COinS, is a method to embed bibliographic metadata in the HTML code of web pages. This allows bibliographic software to publish machine-readable bibliographic items and client reference management software to retrieve bibliographic metadata. The...

, flag
Flag
A flag is a piece of fabric with a distinctive design that is usually rectangular and used as a symbol, as a signaling device, or decoration. The term flag is also used to refer to the graphic design employed by a flag, or to its depiction in another medium.The first flags were used to assist...

s, postage stamps, passport
Passport
A passport is a document, issued by a national government, which certifies, for the purpose of international travel, the identity and nationality of its holder. The elements of identity are name, date of birth, sex, and place of birth....

s, medal
Medal
A medal, or medallion, is generally a circular object that has been sculpted, molded, cast, struck, stamped, or some way rendered with an insignia, portrait, or other artistic rendering. A medal may be awarded to a person or organization as a form of recognition for athletic, military, scientific,...

s, and other items, which are rarely accepted outside of their own community.

The earliest known micronations date from the beginning of the 19th century. The advent of the Internet provided the means for the creation of many new micronations, whose members are scattered all over the world and interact mostly by electronic means. The differences between such Internet micronations, other kinds of social networking groups, and role playing games are often hard to define.

The term "micronation" to describe those entities dates at least to the 1970s. The term micropatrology is sometimes used to describe the study of both micronations and microstate
Microstate
A microstate or ministate is a sovereign state having a very small population or very small land area, but usually both. Some examples include Liechtenstein, Malta, Monaco, Nauru, Singapore, and Vatican City....

s by micronational hobbyists, some of whom refer to sovereign
Sovereignty
Sovereignty is the quality of having supreme, independent authority over a geographic area, such as a territory. It can be found in a power to rule and make law that rests on a political fact for which no purely legal explanation can be provided...

 nation-state
Nation-state
The nation state is a state that self-identifies as deriving its political legitimacy from serving as a sovereign entity for a nation as a sovereign territorial unit. The state is a political and geopolitical entity; the nation is a cultural and/or ethnic entity...

s as "macronations".

Early history and evolution


The earliest recognizable micronations on record date from the beginning of the 19th century. Most were founded by eccentric adventurers or business speculators, and several were remarkably successful. One early example of a micronation is the Cocos (Keeling) Islands
Cocos (Keeling) Islands
The Territory of the Cocos Islands, also called Cocos Islands and Keeling Islands, is a territory of Australia, located in the Indian Ocean, southwest of Christmas Island and approximately midway between Australia and Sri Lanka....

, ruled by the Clunies-Ross family
King of the Cocos Islands
King of the Cocos Islands was a title given by the press to John Clunies-Ross, a Scottish sea captain, and other members of his family.He went to live on the Cocos Islands in 1827. Queen Victoria granted the islands in perpetuity to the Clunies-Ross family in 1886...

.

Less successful micronations are the Kingdom of Araucania and Patagonia
Kingdom of Araucania and Patagonia
The Kingdom of Araucanía and Patagonia was the name of a state and kingdom created in the 19th century by a French lawyer and adventurer named Orélie-Antoine de Tounens. Orélie-Antoine de Tounens claimed the regions of Araucanía and eastern Patagonia hence the name of kingdom...

 (1860–62) in southern Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

 and Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

; the Republic of Indian Stream
Republic of Indian Stream
The Republic of Indian Stream was a small, unrecognized, constitutional republic in North America, along the section of the US–Canada border that divides the Canadian province of Quebec from the US state of New Hampshire. It existed from July 9, 1832 to 1835...

 (1832–35) in North America; and the Kingdom of Sedang
Kingdom of Sedang
The Kingdom of Sedang was an ephemeral political entity established in the latter part of the 19th century by a French adventurer Charles-Marie David de Mayréna in part of what is present-day Vietnam....

 (1888–90) in French Indochina
French Indochina
French Indochina was part of the French colonial empire in southeast Asia. A federation of the three Vietnamese regions, Tonkin , Annam , and Cochinchina , as well as Cambodia, was formed in 1887....

. The oldest extant micronation to arise in modern times is the Kingdom of Redonda
Kingdom of Redonda
The Kingdom of Redonda is a name for the micronation aspect of the tiny uninhabited Caribbean island of Redonda.This islet is situated between the islands of Nevis and Montserrat, within the inner arc of the Leeward Islands chain, in the West Indies. The island is currently legally a dependency of...

, founded in 1865 in the Caribbean
Caribbean
The Caribbean is a crescent-shaped group of islands more than 2,000 miles long separating the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, to the west and south, from the Atlantic Ocean, to the east and north...

. It failed to establish itself as a real country, but has nonetheless managed to survive into the present day as a unique literary foundation with its own king and aristocracy—although it is not without its controversies: there are presently at least four competing claimants to the Redondan throne.

Martin Coles Harman, owner of the British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 island of Lundy
Lundy
Lundy is the largest island in the Bristol Channel, lying off the coast of Devon, England, approximately one third of the distance across the channel between England and Wales. It measures about at its widest. Lundy gives its name to a British sea area and is one of the islands of England.As of...

 in the early decades of the 20th century, declared himself King and issued private coinage and postage stamps for local use. Although the island was ruled as a virtual fiefdom, its owner never claimed to be independent of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, so Lundy
Lundy
Lundy is the largest island in the Bristol Channel, lying off the coast of Devon, England, approximately one third of the distance across the channel between England and Wales. It measures about at its widest. Lundy gives its name to a British sea area and is one of the islands of England.As of...

 can at best be described as a precursor to later territorial micronations. Another example is the Principality of Outer Baldonia
Principality of Outer Baldonia
The Principality of Outer Baldonia is a now defunct micronation whose territorial pretensions comprised the roughly of Outer Bald Tusket Island off the southern tip of the Canadian province of Nova Scotia.- Origins :...

, a 16 acres (64,749.8 m²) rocky island off the coast of Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia is one of Canada's three Maritime provinces and is the most populous province in Atlantic Canada. The name of the province is Latin for "New Scotland," but "Nova Scotia" is the recognized, English-language name of the province. The provincial capital is Halifax. Nova Scotia is the...

, founded by Russell Arundel, chairman of the Pepsi Cola Company (later: PepsiCo
PepsiCo
PepsiCo Inc. is an American multinational corporation headquartered in Purchase, New York, United States, with interests in the manufacturing, marketing and distribution of grain-based snack foods, beverages, and other products. PepsiCo was formed in 1965 with the merger of the Pepsi-Cola Company...

), in 1945 and comprising a population of 69 fishermen.

History during 1960 to 1980


The 1960s and 1970s witnessed the foundation of a number of territorial micronations. The first of these, Sealand
Principality of Sealand
The Principality of Sealand is an unrecognized entity, located on HM Fort Roughs, a former World War II Maunsell Sea Fort in the North Sea 10 km off the coast of Suffolk, England, United Kingdom ....

, was established in 1967 on an abandoned World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 gun platform in the North Sea
North Sea
In the southwest, beyond the Straits of Dover, the North Sea becomes the English Channel connecting to the Atlantic Ocean. In the east, it connects to the Baltic Sea via the Skagerrak and Kattegat, narrow straits that separate Denmark from Norway and Sweden respectively...

 just off the East Anglian coast of England, and has survived into the present day. Others were founded on libertarian
Libertarianism
Libertarianism, in the strictest sense, is the political philosophy that holds individual liberty as the basic moral principle of society. In the broadest sense, it is any political philosophy which approximates this view...

 principles and involved schemes to construct artificial island
Artificial island
An artificial island or man-made island is an island or archipelago that has been constructed by people rather than formed by natural means...

s, but only three are known to have had even limited success in realizing that goal.

The Republic of Rose Island
Republic of Rose Island
The Republic of Rose Island was a short-lived micronation on a man-made platform in the Adriatic Sea, 11 km off the coast of the province of Forlì, Italy....

 was a 400 m² (478.4 sq yd) platform built in 1968 in Italian national waters in the Adriatic Sea
Adriatic Sea
The Adriatic Sea is a body of water separating the Italian Peninsula from the Balkan peninsula, and the system of the Apennine Mountains from that of the Dinaric Alps and adjacent ranges...

, 7 miles (11.3 km) off the Italian
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 town of Rimini
Rimini
Rimini is a medium-sized city of 142,579 inhabitants in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy, and capital city of the Province of Rimini. It is located on the Adriatic Sea, on the coast between the rivers Marecchia and Ausa...

. It is known to have issued stamps, and to have declared Esperanto
Esperanto
is the most widely spoken constructed international auxiliary language. Its name derives from Doktoro Esperanto , the pseudonym under which L. L. Zamenhof published the first book detailing Esperanto, the Unua Libro, in 1887...

 to be its official language. Shortly after completion, however, it was seized and destroyed by the Italian Navy
Italian Navy
Italian Navy may refer to:* Pre-unitarian navies of the Italian states* Regia Marina, the Royal Navy of the Kingdom of Italy * Italian Navy , the navy of the Italian Republic...

 for failing to pay state taxes.

In the late 1960s, Leicester Hemingway
Leicester Hemingway
Leicester C. Hemingway , was an American writer. He was the younger brother of writer Ernest Hemingway, and authored six books, including a first novel entitled The Sound of the Trumpet , which was based on Leicester's experiences in France and Germany during World War II...

, brother of author Ernest
Ernest Hemingway
Ernest Miller Hemingway was an American author and journalist. His economic and understated style had a strong influence on 20th-century fiction, while his life of adventure and his public image influenced later generations. Hemingway produced most of his work between the mid-1920s and the...

, was involved in another such project—a small timber platform in international waters off the west coast of Jamaica
Jamaica
Jamaica is an island nation of the Greater Antilles, in length, up to in width and 10,990 square kilometres in area. It is situated in the Caribbean Sea, about south of Cuba, and west of Hispaniola, the island harbouring the nation-states Haiti and the Dominican Republic...

. This territory, consisting of an 8 feet (2.4 m) by 30 feet (9.1 m) barge, he called "New Atlantis". Hemingway was an honorary citizen and President; however, the structure was damaged by storms and finally pillaged by Mexican fishermen. In 1973, Hemingway was reported to have moved on from New Atlantis to promoting a 1000 sq yd (836.1 m²) platform near the Bahamas. The new country was called "Tierra del Mar" (Land of the Sea). (Ernest Hemingway's adopted hometown of Key West
Key West
Key West is an island in the Straits of Florida on the North American continent at the southernmost tip of the Florida Keys. Key West is home to the southernmost point in the Continental United States; the island is about from Cuba....

 was later itself part of another micronation; see Conch Republic
Conch Republic
The Conch Republic is a micronation declared as a tongue-in-cheek secession of the city of Key West from the United States on April 23, 1982. It has been maintained as a tourism booster for the city since...

.)

The Republic of Minerva
Republic of Minerva
The Republic of Minerva was one of the few modern attempts at creating a sovereign micronation on the reclaimed land of an artificial island in 1972. The architect was Las Vegas real estate millionaire and political activist Michael Oliver, who went on to other similar attempts in the following...

 was set up in 1972 as a libertarian new-country project by Nevada
Nevada
Nevada is a state in the western, mountain west, and southwestern regions of the United States. With an area of and a population of about 2.7 million, it is the 7th-largest and 35th-most populous state. Over two-thirds of Nevada's people live in the Las Vegas metropolitan area, which contains its...

 businessman Michael Oliver
Michael Oliver (real estate)
Michael Oliver is a Lithuanian immigrant of Jewish descent, Las Vegas real estate millionaire, and political activist. He was the founder of the micronation project the Republic of Minerva, a failed attempt to create a sovereign state in the South Pacific in 1972.In the following decades, Oliver...

. Oliver's group conducted dredging operations at the Minerva Reefs
Minerva Reefs
The Minerva Reefs are a group of two submerged atolls located in the Pacific Ocean south of Fiji and Tonga. The reefs were named after the whaleship Minerva, was wrecked on what became known as South Minerva after setting out from Sydney in 1829...

, a shoal located in the Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east.At 165.2 million square kilometres in area, this largest division of the World...

 south of Fiji
Fiji
Fiji , officially the Republic of Fiji , is an island nation in Melanesia in the South Pacific Ocean about northeast of New Zealand's North Island...

. They succeeded in creating a small artificial island, but their efforts at securing international recognition met with little success, and near-neighbour Tonga
Tonga
Tonga, officially the Kingdom of Tonga , is a state and an archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean, comprising 176 islands scattered over of ocean in the South Pacific...

 sent a military force to the area and annexed it.

On April 1, 1977, bibliophile Richard George William Pitt Booth
Richard Booth
Richard George William Pitt Booth, MBE , is a Welsh bookseller, known for his contribution to the success of Hay-on-Wye as a centre for second-hand bookselling...

 declared the Welsh
Wales
Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain, bordered by England to its east and the Atlantic Ocean and Irish Sea to its west. It has a population of three million, and a total area of 20,779 km²...

 town of Hay-on-Wye
Hay-on-Wye
Hay-on-Wye , often described as "the town of books", is a small market town and community in Powys, Wales.-Location:The town lies on the east bank of the River Wye and is within the Brecon Beacons National Park, just north of the Black Mountains...

 an independent kingdom with himself as its monarch. The town has subsequently developed a healthy tourism industry based on literary interests, and "King Richard" (whose sceptre is a recycled toilet plunger) continues to award Hay-on-Wye peerages and honours to anyone prepared to pay for them.

Australian and New Zealand developments


Micronational activities were disproportionately common throughout Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

 in the final three decades of the 20th century.
  • The Principality of Hutt River was founded in 1970, when Leonard Casley declared his property independent after a dispute over wheat quotas.
  • 1976 witnessed the creation of the Province of Bumbunga
    Province of Bumbunga
    The Province of Bumbunga was an Australian secessionist micronation located on a farm at Bumbunga near Snowtown and Lochiel, , South Australia during the 1970s and 1980s for approximately a decade....

     on a rural property near Snowtown, South Australia
    Snowtown, South Australia
    The town of Snowtown is located in the Mid North of South Australia 145 km north of Adelaide and lies on the main route between Adelaide and Perth. The town's elevation is 103 metres and on average the town receives 389 mm of rainfall per annum.-History:...

    , by an eccentric British monarchist.
  • The Sovereign State of Aeterna Lucina
    Sovereign State of Aeterna Lucina
    The Sovereign State of Aeterna Lucina was an Australian micronation that existed between the late 1970s until the death of its founder in the 1990s....

     was created in a hamlet on the New South Wales
    New South Wales
    New South Wales is a state of :Australia, located in the east of the country. It is bordered by Queensland, Victoria and South Australia to the north, south and west respectively. To the east, the state is bordered by the Tasman Sea, which forms part of the Pacific Ocean. New South Wales...

     north coast in 1978.
  • An anti-taxation campaigner founded the Grand Duchy of Avram in western Tasmania
    Tasmania
    Tasmania is an Australian island and state. It is south of the continent, separated by Bass Strait. The state includes the island of Tasmania—the 26th largest island in the world—and the surrounding islands. The state has a population of 507,626 , of whom almost half reside in the greater Hobart...

     in the 1980s; "His Grace the Duke of Avram" was later elected to the Tasmanian Parliament.
  • In Victoria
    Victoria (Australia)
    Victoria is the second most populous state in Australia. Geographically the smallest mainland state, Victoria is bordered by New South Wales, South Australia, and Tasmania on Boundary Islet to the north, west and south respectively....

    , a long-running dispute over flood damage to farm properties led to the creation of the Independent State of Rainbow Creek
    Independent State of Rainbow Creek
    The Independent State of Rainbow Creek was an Australian secessionist micronation active during the 1970s and 80s.It was founded as a result of a longrunning compensation dispute between a group of Victorian farmers in the town of Cowwarr, and an agency of the Victorian state government, the State...

     in 1979.
  • The Empire of Atlantium
    Empire of Atlantium
    The Empire of Atlantium is a micronation and secular,pluralist progressive lobby group based in New South Wales, Australia.Micronations: The Lonely Planet Guide to Home-Made Nations describes Atlantium as "a refreshing antidote to the reactionary self-aggrandisement of so many micronations", and...

     was established in Sydney, in 1981 as a non-territorial global government.
  • A mortgage foreclosure dispute led George and Stephanie Muirhead of Rockhampton
    Rockhampton
    Rockhampton can refer to:* Rockhampton, Queensland is a city in Queensland, Australia* Rockhampton City, Queensland, a suburb of Rockhampton, Queensland* Electoral district of Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia...

    , Queensland, to briefly and abortively secede as the Principality of Marlborough
    Principality of Marlborough
    The Principality of Marlborough was a short-lived micronation located at , 200 km north of Rockhampton, Australia in 1993....

     in 1993.
  • The Principality of Snake Hill was established in 2003 as a result of a mortgage dispute and is located near Mudgee, New South Wales
    New South Wales
    New South Wales is a state of :Australia, located in the east of the country. It is bordered by Queensland, Victoria and South Australia to the north, south and west respectively. To the east, the state is bordered by the Tasman Sea, which forms part of the Pacific Ocean. New South Wales...

    . The Head of State is Prince Paul and the constitution is based on the Ten Commandments
    Ten Commandments
    The Ten Commandments, also known as the Decalogue , are a set of biblical principles relating to ethics and worship, which play a fundamental role in Judaism and most forms of Christianity. They include instructions to worship only God and to keep the Sabbath, and prohibitions against idolatry,...

    . Lawyers are barred from entering.
  • The Principality of Wy
    Principality of Wy
    The Principality of Wy is an Australian micronation based in the Sydney suburb of Mosman.Established in 2004 in response to a lengthy dispute with the local council, 'Prince Paul' Delprat also describes it as 'the Artists' Principality', and the website includes selected artworks by artists...

     was established in 2004 by Paul Delprat
    Paul Delprat
    Paul Ashton Delprat is an Australian artist and the Principal of The Julian Ashton Art School, Sydney, Australia's oldest continuous fine art school...

     after a dispute with the local council of Mosman Municipality in Sydney.
  • The Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of the Coral Sea Islands
    Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of the Coral Sea Islands
    The Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of the Coral Sea Islands is a micronation established as a symbolic political protest by a group of gay rights activists based in southeast Queensland Australia. Declared in 2004 in response to the Australian government's refusal to recognize same-sex marriages, it was...

     was established in 2004 as a symbolic political protest by a group of gay rights activists based in southeast Queensland.
  • The United Federation of Koronis, based in Australia, claims the Koronis family
    Koronis family
    ]The Koronis family is a family of asteroids in the main belt between Mars and Jupiter. They are thought to have been formed at least two billion years ago in a catastrophic collision between two larger bodies. The largest known is about in diameter. The Koronis family travels in a cluster along...

     of asteroid
    Asteroid
    Asteroids are a class of small Solar System bodies in orbit around the Sun. They have also been called planetoids, especially the larger ones...

    s as its territory.
  • The Principality of Ponderosa, based on a small farm in Northern Victoria, achieved notoriety in 2005 when its founders—Vergilio and "Little Joe" Rigoli—were convicted of tax fraud.
  • The Independent State of Aramoana was established in 1980.
  • The Republic of Whangamomona
    Whangamomona
    Whangamomona is a small township in the Stratford District and Manawatu-Wanganui Region in New Zealand. It lies on State Highway 43, the Lost World Highway north-east of Stratford and south-west of Ohura. By rail it is from Stratford on the Stratford-Okahukura railway line.- History :The first...

     was established in 1989.

Effects of the Internet


Micronationalism shed much of its traditionally eccentric anti-establishment mantle and took on a distinctly hobbyist perspective in the mid-1990s, when the emerging popularity of the Internet made it possible to create and promote statelike entities in an entirely electronic medium with relative ease. An early example is the Kingdom of Talossa
Talossa
Talossa is the name of at least two micronations, the Kingdom of Talossa and the Republic of Talossa.The Kingdom was founded in 1979 by 14-year-old Robert Ben Madison of Milwaukee, and as such is one of the oldest micronations still in existence. It was one of the first to get a website , and...

, a micronation created in 1979 by then 14-year-old Robert Ben Madison, which went online on November 1995, and was reported in the New York Times and other print media in 2000. As a result, the number of exclusively online, fantasy or simulation-based micronations expanded dramatically.

The activities of these types of micronations are almost exclusively limited to simulations of diplomatic activity (including the signing of "treaties" and participation in "supra-micronational" forums such as the League of Micronations and the Micronational News Network), the conduct and operation of simulated elections and parliaments, and participation in simulated wars—all of which are carried out through online bulletin boards, mailing lists and blogs.

A number of older-style territorial micronations, including the Hutt River Province, Seborga, and Sealand, maintain websites that serve largely to promote their claims and sell merchandise.

Categories


In the present day, eight main types of micronations are prevalent:
  1. Social, economic, or political simulations.
  2. Exercises in personal entertainment or self-aggrandisement.
  3. Exercises in fantasy or creative fiction.
  4. Vehicles for the promotion of an agenda.
  5. Entities created for fraudulent purposes.
  6. Historical anomalies and aspirant states.
  7. New-country projects.
  8. Exercises in historical revisionism.

Social, economic, or political simulations


These micronations tend to have a reasonably serious intent, and often involve significant numbers of people interested in recreating the past or simulating political or social processes. Examples include:
  • Freetown Christiania
    Freetown Christiania
    Not to be confused with Christiania, Norway, another name for Oslo.Christiania, also known as Freetown Christiania is a self-proclaimed autonomous neighbourhood of about 850 residents, covering 34 hectares in the borough of Christianshavn in the Danish capital Copenhagen...

    , a semi-legal district in Copenhagen
    Copenhagen
    Copenhagen is the capital and largest city of Denmark, with an urban population of 1,199,224 and a metropolitan population of 1,930,260 . With the completion of the transnational Øresund Bridge in 2000, Copenhagen has become the centre of the increasingly integrating Øresund Region...

    , Denmark
    Denmark
    Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

  • Talossa
    Talossa
    Talossa is the name of at least two micronations, the Kingdom of Talossa and the Republic of Talossa.The Kingdom was founded in 1979 by 14-year-old Robert Ben Madison of Milwaukee, and as such is one of the oldest micronations still in existence. It was one of the first to get a website , and...

    , a political simulation founded in 1979, with more than 130 members ("citizens") and an invented culture and language
    Talossan language
    The Talossan language is a constructed language created by R. Ben Madison in 1980 for the micronation he founded, the Kingdom of Talossa....

    , recently split into three separate groups.
  • Nova Roma
    Nova Roma
    Nova Roma is an international Roman revivalist and reconstructionist organization created in 1998 by Joseph Bloch and William Bradford, later incorporated in Maine as a non-profit organization with an educational and religious mission...

    , a group claiming a worldwide membership of several thousand that has minted its own coins, maintains its own wiki, and which engages in real-life Roman-themed re-enactments.
  • Republic of Jamtland
    Republic of Jamtland
    The United Republics of Jamtland, Herjeådalen and Ravund is a part serious part humorous culture and marketing project, with regionalist and historical elements based in the Swedish County of Jämtland, located in the middle of Scandinavia.-History:The Republic of Jamtland was founded in 1963 as a...

    , a self-proclaimed republic in the county of Jämtland
    Jämtland
    Jämtland or Jamtland is a historical province or landskap in the center of Sweden in northern Europe. It borders to Härjedalen and Medelpad in the south, Ångermanland in the east, Lapland in the north and Trøndelag and Norway in the west...

    , Sweden
    Sweden
    Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

    . It was founded in 1963 due to Sweden's social welfare politics. It wanted Jämtland to merge with the county of Västernorrland. It also wanted more people to move away from the countryside of northern Sweden and in to the big cities of southern Sweden, leaving upper Sweden to fend for itself. This started protests in Jämtland and later that year they declared themselves a free republic within the Kingdom of Sweden
    Sweden
    Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

    . The Republic of Jämtland has a population of 130,573 inhabitants and has an area of 19,090.4 square miles. Jämtland also has embassies and consulates in 17 different countries, such as China, Germany, the USA, England, Norway and Russia. In 1967, Yngve Gamlin, the president of the republic at that time, went to see the Swedish prime minister Tage Erlander
    Tage Erlander
    was a Swedish politician. He was the leader of the Swedish Social Democratic Party and Prime Minister of Sweden from 1946 to 1969...

     about merging with Västernorrland county. Yngve was greeted at Harpsund
    Harpsund
    Harpsund is a manor house located in Flen Municipality, Södermanland County, Sweden. Since May 22, 1953 Harpsund has been used as a country residence for the Prime Minister of Sweden.-History:...

     estate by Tage as a chief of state on a state visit to Sweden. This gave Jamtland some recognition from Sweden as a free republic. This event has, however, been debated whether it should be seen as formal recognition or not.

Exercises in personal entertainment or self-aggrandisement



With literally thousands in existence, micronations of the second type are by far the most common. This type can also be known as "political simulationism" or simply "simulationism" They generally exist "for fun," have relatively few participants, are ephemeral, today usually Internet-based, and many do not survive more than a few months—although there are notable exceptions. They are usually concerned solely with arrogating to their founders the outward symbols of statehood
Sovereign state
A sovereign state, or simply, state, is a state with a defined territory on which it exercises internal and external sovereignty, a permanent population, a government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other sovereign states. It is also normally understood to be a state which is neither...

. The use of grand-sounding titles, awards, honours, and heraldic symbols derived from European feudal traditions, the conduct of "wars" (often known as recwars) and "diplomacy" with other micronations, and simulated continents or planets are common manifestations of their activities. Examples include:
  • The Aerican Empire
    Aerican Empire
    The Aerican Empire is a micronation founded in May 1987, which has no sovereign territory of its own and has never been recognized by any other sovereign state as existing. The name is a pun on the term American Empire...

    , a Monty Python
    Monty Python
    Monty Python was a British surreal comedy group who created their influential Monty Python's Flying Circus, a British television comedy sketch show that first aired on the BBC on 5 October 1969. Forty-five episodes were made over four series...

    esque micronation founded in 1987 and known for its tongue-in-cheek interplanetary land claims, smiley-faced flag and a range of national holidays that includes "Topin Wagglegammon" amongst others.
  • Republic of Molossia
    Republic of Molossia
    The Republic of Molossia is an unrecognized micronation, founded by Kevin Baugh semi-humorously as a "dictatorial banana-republic" and headquartered solely from a tiny home near Dayton, Nevada....

    , a desert-based micronation of 2.5ha located near Reno, Nevada
    Reno, Nevada
    Reno is the county seat of Washoe County, Nevada, United States. The city has a population of about 220,500 and is the most populous Nevada city outside of the Las Vegas metropolitan area...

     ruled by President Kevin Baugh, founded in 1977. There is a nationwide ban on smoking.
  • The Kingdom of Lovely is an attempt by King Danny I (Danny Wallace
    Danny Wallace (writer)
    Daniel Frederick Wallace is a British filmmaker, comedian, writer, actor, and presenter of radio and television. His notable works include the books Join Me, Yes Man, and the TV series How to Start Your Own Country.He lives in London, with his wife, an Australian publicist...

    ) to create an internet nation based in his flat in London.

Exercises in fantasy or creative fiction


Micronations of the third type include stand-alone artistic projects, deliberate exercises in creative online fiction, and artistamp
Artistamp
The term artistamp or artist's stamp refers to a postage stamp-like art form used to depict or commemorate any subject its creator chooses...

 creations. Examples include:
  • The Republic of Kugelmugel
    Kugelmugel
    Kugelmugel is a former micronation located in Vienna, Austria.Located in Vienna Prater, the Republic of Kugelmugel declared independence in 1984, after disputes between artist Edwin Lipburger and Austrian authorities over building permits for the ball-shaped house he built at the address...

    , founded by an Austrian artist and based in a ball-shaped house in Vienna
    Vienna
    Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

    , which quickly became a tourist attraction.
  • The Copeman Empire, run from a caravan park in Norfolk, England, by its founder Nick Copeman
    Nick Copeman
    Henry Michael King Nicholas, born January 6, 1979, is an author and micronational leader. He first attracted a cult following in 2003, after changing his name by deed poll to "HM King Nicholas I", and founding a new empire from his royal seat - a four-berth caravan trailer just outside Sheringham,...

    , who changed his name by deed poll
    Deed poll
    A deed poll is a legal document binding only to a single person or several persons acting jointly to express an active intention...

     to HM King Nicholas I. He and his empire are the subject of a book and a website where King Nicholas sells Knighthoods.
  • San Serriffe
    San Serriffe
    San Serriffe is a fictional island nation created for April Fools' Day, 1977, by Britain's Guardian newspaper. An elaborate description of the nation, using puns and plays on words relating to typography , was reported as legitimate news, apparently fooling many readers...

    , an April Fool's Day hoax created by the British newspaper The Guardian
    The Guardian
    The Guardian, formerly known as The Manchester Guardian , is a British national daily newspaper in the Berliner format...

    , in its April 1, 1977 edition. The fictional island nation was described in an elaborate seven-page supplement and has been revisited by the newspaper several times.
  • Republic of Saugeais
    Republic of Saugeais
    The Republic of Saugeais is a long-lived self-proclaimed micronation located in eastern France, in the département of Doubs. The republic comprises the 11 municipalities of Les Alliés, Arçon, Bugny, La Chaux-de-Gilley, Gilley, Hauterive-la-Fresse, La Longeville, Montflovin,...

     (République du Saugeais), a fifty-year-old "republic" in the French département of Doubs, bordering Switzerland. The republic is made of the 11 municipalities of Les Allies, Arcon, Bugny, La Chaux-de-Gilley, Gilley, Hauterive-la-Fresne, La Longeville, Montflovin, Maisons-du-Bois-Lievremont, Ville-du-Pont, and its capital Montbenoit
    Montbenoît
    Montbenoît is a commune in the Doubs department in the Franche-Comté region in eastern France.-Geography:The commune lies north of Pontarlier in the Jura mountains.-History:...

    . It had a "president"—Georgette Bertin-Pourchet, elected in 2006—a "prime minister" and numerous "citizens". It was born from a joke between a Sauget resident and the local Préfet.

Vehicles for agenda promotion



These types of micronations are typically associated with a political or social reform agenda. Some are maintained as media
News media
The news media are those elements of the mass media that focus on delivering news to the general public or a target public.These include print media , broadcast news , and more recently the Internet .-Etymology:A medium is a carrier of something...

 and public relations
Public relations
Public relations is the actions of a corporation, store, government, individual, etc., in promoting goodwill between itself and the public, the community, employees, customers, etc....

 exercises. Examples of this type include:
  • Akhzivland
    Akhzivland
    Akhzivland is a micronation between Nahariya and the Lebanese border on the Israeli west coast. The state was founded by Eli Avivi in 1970. The micronation is promoted by the Israel Ministry of Tourism even though its legal status remains ambiguous....

     is a self-declared and officially tolerated "independent republic" established by Israeli hippie and former sailor Eli Avivi on the Mediterranean beach at Akhziv in Israel
    Israel
    The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

    .
  • The Conch Republic
    Conch Republic
    The Conch Republic is a micronation declared as a tongue-in-cheek secession of the city of Key West from the United States on April 23, 1982. It has been maintained as a tourism booster for the city since...

    , which began in 1982 as a protest by residents and business owners in the Florida Keys
    Florida Keys
    The Florida Keys are a coral archipelago in southeast United States. They begin at the southeastern tip of the Florida peninsula, about south of Miami, and extend in a gentle arc south-southwest and then westward to Key West, the westernmost of the inhabited islands, and on to the uninhabited Dry...

     against a United States Border Patrol
    United States Border Patrol
    The United States Border Patrol is a federal law enforcement agency within U.S. Customs and Border Protection , a component of the Department of Homeland Security . It is an agency in the Department of Homeland Security that enforces laws and regulations for the admission of foreign-born persons to...

     roadblock. It has since been maintained as a tourism booster, and the group has engaged in other protests.
  • The Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of the Coral Sea Islands
    Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of the Coral Sea Islands
    The Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of the Coral Sea Islands is a micronation established as a symbolic political protest by a group of gay rights activists based in southeast Queensland Australia. Declared in 2004 in response to the Australian government's refusal to recognize same-sex marriages, it was...

    , founded in June 2004 on the uninhabited Coral Sea Islands
    Coral Sea Islands
    The Coral Sea Islands Territory includes a group of small and mostly uninhabited tropical islands and reefs in the Coral Sea, northeast of Queensland, Australia. The only inhabited island is Willis Island...

     off the coast of Queensland
    Queensland
    Queensland is a state of Australia, occupying the north-eastern section of the mainland continent. It is bordered by the Northern Territory, South Australia and New South Wales to the west, south-west and south respectively. To the east, Queensland is bordered by the Coral Sea and Pacific Ocean...

    , in response to the Australian government's refusal to recognize same-sex marriage
    Same-sex marriage in Australia
    Same-sex marriages are currently not permitted under Australian federal law. In 2004 the Marriage Act 1961 was amended in federal parliament to expressly state that marriage is considered a union between a man and a woman only and that any existing same-sex marriage from a foreign country is not to...

    .
  • The Republic of New Afrika
    Republic of New Afrika
    The Republic of New Afrika , was a social movement that proposed three objectives. First, the creation of an independent African-American-majority country situated in the southeastern United States. A similar claim is made for all the black-majority counties and cities throughout the United States...

    , a controversial separatist group seeking the creation of an independent black nationalist state across much of the Southeastern U.S.
  • Republic of Lakotah
    Republic of Lakotah
    The Republic of Lakotah or Lakotah is a proposed country in North America to serve as a homeland for the Lakota.Its boundaries would be surrounded by the borders of the United States, covering thousands of square miles in North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming, and Montana...

    , a proposed republic for the American Indian Lakota people of North and South Dakota, eastern Montana and eastern Wyoming, and northern Nebraska.
  • Valašské královstí (Kingdom of Wallachia
    Kingdom of Wallachia
    "Kingdom of Wallachia" , named after the region of Moravian Wallachia, is a tongue-in-cheek micronation that was founded in 1997 by the photographer Tomáš Harabiš as an "elaborate practical joke". The location is in the northeast corner of the Czech Republic, 230 miles from Prague. It has since...

    ) is a tongue-in-cheek micronation established by Tomáš Harabiš, with the Czech actor Bolek Polívka
    Bolek Polívka
    Boleslav Polívka is a Czech film and theatre actor, mime, playwright and screenwriter. Polívka played in more than 40 films.- Career :...

     as its king in 1997 in the territory of Moravian Wallachia
    Moravian Wallachia
    Moravian Wallachia is a mountainous region located in the easternmost part of Moravia, Czech Republic, near the Slovakian border. The name Wallachia was formerly applied to all the highlands of Moravia and neighboring Silesia, although in the nineteenth century a smaller area came to be defined...

    , for the purpose of promoting the region and tourist activities. The micronation has been registered as a tourist agency in 2000. The micronation suffered a coup d'état during which Polívka was stripped of his throne and ousted from the kingdom.

Entities created for allegedly fraudulent purposes


A number of micronations have been established for fraudulent purposes, by seeking to link questionable or illegal financial actions with seemingly legitimate nations.
  • The Territory of Poyais was invented by Scottish adventurer and South American independence hero Gregor MacGregor
    Gregor MacGregor
    Gregor MacGregor was a Scottish soldier, adventurer, land speculator, and colonizer who fought in the South American struggle for independence. Upon his return to England in 1820, he claimed to be cacique of Poyais...

     in the early 19th century. On the basis of a land grant made to him by the Anglophile native King of the Mosquito people in what is present-day Honduras
    Honduras
    Honduras is a republic in Central America. It was previously known as Spanish Honduras to differentiate it from British Honduras, which became the modern-day state of Belize...

    , MacGregor wove one of history's most elaborate hoaxes, managing to charm the highest levels of London
    London
    London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

    's political and financial establishment with tales of the bucolic, resource-rich country he claimed to rule as a benevolent sovereign prince, or "Cazique", when he arrived in the UK in 1822.

  • The Dominion of Melchizedek
    Dominion of Melchizedek
    The Dominion of Melchizedek is a micronation known for facilitating large scale banking fraud in many parts of the world. The president was Pearlasia Gamboa, wife of vice-president David Korem...

     has been widely condemned for promoting fraud
    Fraud
    In criminal law, a fraud is an intentional deception made for personal gain or to damage another individual; the related adjective is fraudulent. The specific legal definition varies by legal jurisdiction. Fraud is a crime, and also a civil law violation...

    ulent banking activities and other financial scams, and for the involvement by one of its founders in the attempted secession of the Fiji
    Fiji
    Fiji , officially the Republic of Fiji , is an island nation in Melanesia in the South Pacific Ocean about northeast of New Zealand's North Island...

    an island of Rotuma
    Rotuma
    Rotuma is a Fijian dependency, consisting of Rotuma Island and nearby islets. The island group is home to a small but unique indigenous ethnic group which constitutes a recognizable minority within the population of Fiji, known as "Rotumans"...

    .
  • New Utopia
    New Utopia
    The Principality of New Utopia is a micronation project established and operated by Lazarus Long .The project was publicised by various media outlets in Europe and the United States. In an article about fake nations, Quatloos.com called "New Utopia" a "fake nation scam"...

    , operated by Oklahoma City longevity promoter Howard Turney as a libertarian
    Libertarianism
    Libertarianism, in the strictest sense, is the political philosophy that holds individual liberty as the basic moral principle of society. In the broadest sense, it is any political philosophy which approximates this view...

     new country project was stopped by a United States
    United States
    The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

     federal court temporary restraining order from selling bonds and bank licenses. New Utopia has claimed for a number of years to be on the verge of commencing construction of an artificial island territory located approximately midway between Honduras
    Honduras
    Honduras is a republic in Central America. It was previously known as Spanish Honduras to differentiate it from British Honduras, which became the modern-day state of Belize...

     and Cuba
    Cuba
    The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...

    , on the Misteriosa Bank
    Misteriosa Bank
    The Misteriosa Bank is a submerged bank or atoll in the Caribbean Sea, located at - approximately equidistant from Mexico , Honduras and Cuba . The bank is long and wide. The area is [ftp://rock.geosociety.org/pub/reposit/2001/2001075.pdf]. Immediately south of it is Rosario Bank...

     but no such project has yet been undertaken.

  • The Kingdom of EnenKio
    Kingdom of EnenKio
    The Kingdom of EnenKio, or "EnenKio" for short, is a small separatist group of Marshall Islander heritage who lay claim to the United States' unincorporated territory of Wake Island. EnenKio seeks recognition as a sovereign Micronesian state in the Northern Marshall Islands...

    , which claims Wake Atoll
    Wake Island
    Wake Island is a coral atoll having a coastline of in the North Pacific Ocean, located about two-thirds of the way from Honolulu west to Guam east. It is an unorganized, unincorporated territory of the United States, administered by the Office of Insular Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior...

     in the Marshall Islands
    Marshall Islands
    The Republic of the Marshall Islands , , is a Micronesian nation of atolls and islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, just west of the International Date Line and just north of the Equator. As of July 2011 the population was 67,182...

     belonging to the US minor outlying islands
    United States Minor Outlying Islands
    The United States Minor Outlying Islands, a statistical designation defined by the International Organization for Standardization's ISO 3166-1 code, consists of nine United States insular areas in the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea: Baker Island, Howland Island, Jarvis Island, Johnston Atoll,...

    , has been condemned for selling passports and diplomatic papers by the governments of the Marshall Islands and of the United States. On April 23, 1998, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of the Marshall Islands
    Marshall Islands
    The Republic of the Marshall Islands , , is a Micronesian nation of atolls and islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, just west of the International Date Line and just north of the Equator. As of July 2011 the population was 67,182...

     issued an official Circular Note, denouncing representatives of both "EnenKio" and "Melchizedek" for making fraudulent representations.

  • The United Kingdom of Atlantis operated a website that ceased to function in 2005, and claimed to be located in the Pacific Ocean near Australia. The "kingdom" published maps of its alleged location; however, the islands shown did not exist. Atlantis' leader, the self-styled Sheikh Yakub Al-Sheikh Ibrahim, was wanted in the US for various crimes including fraud and money laundering. At one point, Atlantis sent a delegation to the legitimate state of Palau
    Palau
    Palau , officially the Republic of Palau , is an island nation in the Pacific Ocean, east of the Philippines and south of Tokyo. In 1978, after three decades as being part of the United Nations trusteeship, Palau chose independence instead of becoming part of the Federated States of Micronesia, a...

     to offer a low interest loan of $100 million.

Historical anomalies and aspirant states


A small number of micronations are founded on historical anomalies or eccentric interpretations of law. These types of micronations are usually located on small (usually disputed) territorial enclaves, generate limited economic activity founded on tourism
Tourism
Tourism is travel for recreational, leisure or business purposes. The World Tourism Organization defines tourists as people "traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes".Tourism has become a...

 and philatelic and numismatic sales, and are tolerated or ignored by the nations from which they claim to have seceded. This category includes:
  • Seborga
    Principality of Seborga
    The Principality of Seborga is a micronation located in the northwestern Italian Province of Imperia in Liguria, near the French border, and in sight of Monaco....

    , a town in the region of Liguria
    Liguria
    Liguria is a coastal region of north-western Italy, the third smallest of the Italian regions. Its capital is Genoa. It is a popular region with tourists for its beautiful beaches, picturesque little towns, and good food.-Geography:...

    , Italy
    Italy
    Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

    , near the southern end of the border with France
    France
    The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

    , which traces its history back to the Middle Ages.
  • The Principality of Hutt River (formerly "Hutt River Province"), a farm in Western Australia
    Western Australia
    Western Australia is a state of Australia, occupying the entire western third of the Australian continent. It is bounded by the Indian Ocean to the north and west, the Great Australian Bight and Indian Ocean to the south, the Northern Territory to the north-east and South Australia to the south-east...

    , claims to have seceded from Australia
    Australia
    Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

     to become an independent principality
    Principality
    A principality is a monarchical feudatory or sovereign state, ruled or reigned over by a monarch with the title of prince or princess, or by a monarch with another title within the generic use of the term prince....

    , with a worldwide population numbered in the tens of thousands.
  • The Principality of Sealand
    Principality of Sealand
    The Principality of Sealand is an unrecognized entity, located on HM Fort Roughs, a former World War II Maunsell Sea Fort in the North Sea 10 km off the coast of Suffolk, England, United Kingdom ....

    , a World War II
    World War II
    World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

    -era anti-aircraft platform built in the North Sea
    North Sea
    In the southwest, beyond the Straits of Dover, the North Sea becomes the English Channel connecting to the Atlantic Ocean. In the east, it connects to the Baltic Sea via the Skagerrak and Kattegat, narrow straits that separate Denmark from Norway and Sweden respectively...

     beyond Britain's then territorial limit, seized by a pirate radio group in 1967 as a base for their operations, and currently used as the site of a secure web-hosting facility. Sealand has continued to promote its independence by issuing stamps, money, and appointing an official national athlete. It has been described as the world's best-known micronation.
  • The Crown Dependency of Forvik
    Crown Dependency of Forvik
    The Crown Dependency of Forvik is a micronation located on the island of Forewick Holm in the Shetland Islands of Scotland.Forvik was created in June 2008 by the island's disputed owner, sole occasional occupant, and Cunningsburgh resident, Stuart Hill when he unilaterally declared Forvik to be a...

     is an island in Shetland, currently recognized as part of UK. Stuart Hill
    Stuart Hill (Sailor)
    Stuart Alan Hill also known as Captain Calamity is an English amateur sailor, jurist and activist in the Shetland Islands independence movement.-Early life:Hill was born 1943 in Bromley, Kent, the son of a nuclear engineer...

     claims that independence comes from an arrangement struck in 1468 between King Christian I of Denmark/Norway and Scotland's James III, whereby Christian pawned the Shetland Islands to James in order to raise money for his daughter's dowry. Hill claims that the dowry was never paid and therefore it is not part of UK and should be a crown dependency
    Crown dependency
    The Crown Dependencies are British possessions of the Crown, as opposed to overseas territories of the United Kingdom. They comprise the Channel Island Bailiwicks of Jersey and Guernsey in the English Channel, and the Isle of Man in the Irish Sea....

     like the Isle of Man
    Isle of Man
    The Isle of Man , otherwise known simply as Mann , is a self-governing British Crown Dependency, located in the Irish Sea between the islands of Great Britain and Ireland, within the British Isles. The head of state is Queen Elizabeth II, who holds the title of Lord of Mann. The Lord of Mann is...

    . Hill has also encouraged the rest of Shetland to declare independence.

New-country projects


New-country projects are attempts to found completely new nation-states. They typically involve plans to construct artificial islands (few of which are ever realised), and a large percentage have embraced or purported to embrace libertarian
Libertarianism
Libertarianism, in the strictest sense, is the political philosophy that holds individual liberty as the basic moral principle of society. In the broadest sense, it is any political philosophy which approximates this view...

 or democratic
Democracy
Democracy is generally defined as a form of government in which all adult citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. Ideally, this includes equal participation in the proposal, development and passage of legislation into law...

 principles. Examples include:
  • Operation Atlantis
    Operation Atlantis
    Operation Atlantis was a project, headed by Werner Stiefel, developed with the intent of establishing a libertarian country on international waters. The operation set out to do this by launching a ferro-cement boat into the Hudson River in December 1971 which was piloted into an area near the...

    , an early 1970s New York–based libertarian group that built a concrete-hulled ship called Freedom, which they sailed to the Caribbean
    Caribbean
    The Caribbean is a crescent-shaped group of islands more than 2,000 miles long separating the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, to the west and south, from the Atlantic Ocean, to the east and north...

    , intending to anchor it permanently there as their "territory". The ship sank in a hurricane and the project foundered with it.


  • Republic of Minerva
    Republic of Minerva
    The Republic of Minerva was one of the few modern attempts at creating a sovereign micronation on the reclaimed land of an artificial island in 1972. The architect was Las Vegas real estate millionaire and political activist Michael Oliver, who went on to other similar attempts in the following...

    , another libertarian project that succeeded in building a small man-made island on the Minerva Reefs south of Fiji
    Fiji
    Fiji , officially the Republic of Fiji , is an island nation in Melanesia in the South Pacific Ocean about northeast of New Zealand's North Island...

     in 1972 before being ejected by troops from Tonga
    Tonga
    Tonga, officially the Kingdom of Tonga , is a state and an archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean, comprising 176 islands scattered over of ocean in the South Pacific...

    , who later formally annexed it.
  • Principality of Freedonia
    Principality of Freedonia
    The Principality of Freedonia was a micronation based on libertarian principles. It was supposedly established as a "hypothetical project" by a group of US teenagers in 1992, before becoming a new country project in 1997 and attempting to purchase territory...

    , a libertarian project that tried to lease territory from the Sultan of Awdal in Somaliland
    Somaliland
    Somaliland is an unrecognised self-declared sovereign state that is internationally recognised as an autonomous region of Somalia. The government of Somaliland regards itself as the successor state to the British Somaliland protectorate, which was independent for a few days in 1960 as the State of...

     in 2001. Resulting public dissatisfaction led to rioting, and the reported death of a Somali.
  • Oceania (also known as "The Atlantis Project", but unrelated to the 1970s project listed above), another libertarian artificial island project that raised US $400,000 before going bankrupt in 1994.
  • Seasteading
    Seasteading
    Seasteading is the concept of creating permanent dwellings at sea, called seasteads, outside the territories claimed by the governments of any standing nation....

    , a project aiming at building competitive governments at sea.
  • Global Country of World Peace
    Global Country of World Peace
    The Global Country of World Peace was declared by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the founder and guru of the Transcendental Meditation movement, on Vijayadashami , October 7, 2000. He described it as "a country without borders for peace loving people everywhere"...

    , "a country without borders for peace loving people everywhere", was declared by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
    Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
    Maharishi Mahesh Yogi , born Mahesh Prasad Varma , developed the Transcendental Meditation technique and was the leader and guru of the TM movement, characterised as a new religious movement and also as non-religious...

     in 2000. It made several attempts to buy or lease land for a sovereign territory. It is currently governed by Maharaja Tony Nader
    Tony Nader
    Tony Abu Nader is a Lebanese neuro-physiologist, the president of both Maharishi University of Management in Holland and Maharishi Open University, and was designated the 'First Sovereign Ruler' of the 'Global Country of World Peace'. After receiving his medical degree in internal medicine and...

    . Its currency is the RAAM
    RAAM
    RAAM, or Raam is a bearer bond and local currency issued by Stichting Maharishi Global Financing Research , a charitable foundation based in MERU, Holland. It is also the "global development currency" of the Global Country of World Peace...

     and its capitals include Maharishi Vedic City, Iowa
    Maharishi Vedic City, Iowa
    Maharishi Vedic City is a city in Jefferson County, Iowa, United States. The city was first incorporated in 2001 as "Vedic City" but then officially changed its name to "Maharishi Vedic City" five months later. It was the first city to incorporate in Iowa since 1982...

     and MERU, Holland
    MERU, Holland
    MERU, Holland, is a residential and office complex which includes the residence of the late Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, a capital of the Global Country of World Peace, a campus of Maharishi European Research University , and other institutions of the Transcendental Meditation movement. It occupies the...

    .

Exercises in historical revisionism


In Germany, numerous individuals and groups—collectively labeled Kommissarische Reichsregierung
Kommissarische Reichsregierung
thumb|right|300px|The German ReichKommissarische Reichsregierung is a label for multiple groups and individuals in Germany and elsewhere who assert that the German Reich continues to exist in its pre-World War II borders and that they are its government or government in exile.The KRRs often...

en
(KRR)—assert that the German Empire
German Empire
The German Empire refers to Germany during the "Second Reich" period from the unification of Germany and proclamation of Wilhelm I as German Emperor on 18 January 1871, to 1918, when it became a federal republic after defeat in World War I and the abdication of the Emperor, Wilhelm II.The German...

 continues to exist in its pre-World War II borders
Territorial changes of Germany
The territorial changes of Germany refer to the changes in the borders and territory of Germany from its formation in 1871 to the present. Modern Germany was formed in 1871 when Otto von Bismarck unified most of the German-speaking states into the German Empire...

 and that they are its government.

Legitimacy



In international law
International law
Public international law concerns the structure and conduct of sovereign states; analogous entities, such as the Holy See; and intergovernmental organizations. To a lesser degree, international law also may affect multinational corporations and individuals, an impact increasingly evolving beyond...

, the Montevideo Convention
Montevideo Convention
The Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States was a treaty signed at Montevideo, Uruguay, on December 26, 1933, during the Seventh International Conference of American States. The Convention codified the declarative theory of statehood as accepted as part of customary international...

 on the Right and Duties of States sets down the criteria for statehood in article 1: The state
Sovereign state
A sovereign state, or simply, state, is a state with a defined territory on which it exercises internal and external sovereignty, a permanent population, a government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other sovereign states. It is also normally understood to be a state which is neither...

 as a person of international law
International law
Public international law concerns the structure and conduct of sovereign states; analogous entities, such as the Holy See; and intergovernmental organizations. To a lesser degree, international law also may affect multinational corporations and individuals, an impact increasingly evolving beyond...

 should possess the following qualifications: (a) a permanent population
Population
A population is all the organisms that both belong to the same group or species and live in the same geographical area. The area that is used to define a sexual population is such that inter-breeding is possible between any pair within the area and more probable than cross-breeding with individuals...

; (b) a defined territory; (c) government
Government
Government refers to the legislators, administrators, and arbitrators in the administrative bureaucracy who control a state at a given time, and to the system of government by which they are organized...

; and (d) capacity to enter into relations with the other states.


The first sentence of article 3 of the Montevideo Convention explicitly states that "The political existence of the state is independent of recognition by the other states."

Under these guidelines, any entity which meets all of the criteria set forth in article 1 can be regarded as sovereign under international law, whether or not other states have recognized it. Most micronations have failed to meet one or more of these criteria.

The Sovereign Military Order of Malta, as an independent subject of international law does not meet all the criteria for recognition as a State (however it does not claim itself a State either), but is and has been recognized as a sovereign nation for centuries.

The doctrine of territorial integrity
Territorial integrity
Territorial integrity is the principle under international law that nation-states should not attempt to promote secessionist movements or to promote border changes in other nation-states...

 does not effectively prohibit unilateral secession
Secession
Secession is the act of withdrawing from an organization, union, or especially a political entity. Threats of secession also can be a strategy for achieving more limited goals.-Secession theory:...

 from established states in international law, per the relevant section from the text of the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the Helsinki Final Act, Helsinki Accords or Helsinki Declaration:
In effect, this states that other states (i.e., third parties), may not encourage secession in a state. This does not make any statement as regards persons within a state electing to secede of their own accord.

Academic, literary and media attention


There has been a small but growing amount of attention paid to the micronation phenomenon in recent years. Most interest in academic circles has been concerned with studying the apparently anomalous legal situations affecting such entities as Sealand
Principality of Sealand
The Principality of Sealand is an unrecognized entity, located on HM Fort Roughs, a former World War II Maunsell Sea Fort in the North Sea 10 km off the coast of Suffolk, England, United Kingdom ....

 and the Hutt River Province
Hutt River Province Principality
The Principality of Hutt River, previously known as the Hutt River Province, is the oldest micronation in Australia. The principality claims to be an independent sovereign state having achieved legal status on 21 April 1972, although it remains unrecognized except by other micronations.The...

, in exploring how some micronations represent grassroots political ideas, and in the creation of role-playing entities for instructional purposes.

In 2000, Professor Fabrice O'Driscoll, of the Aix-Marseille University, published a book about micronations: Ils ne siègent pas à l'ONU ("They are not in the United Nations"), with more than 300 pages dedicated to the subject.

In May 2000, an article in the New York Times entitled "Utopian Rulers, and Spoofs, Stake Out Territory Online" brought the phenomenon to a wider audience. Similar articles were published by newspapers such as the Italian La Repubblica, O Estado de São Paulo in Brazil, and Portugal's Visão at around the same time.

Several recent publications have dealt with the subject of particular historic micronations, including Republic of Indian Stream (University Press), by Dartmouth College
Dartmouth College
Dartmouth College is a private, Ivy League university in Hanover, New Hampshire, United States. The institution comprises a liberal arts college, Dartmouth Medical School, Thayer School of Engineering, and the Tuck School of Business, as well as 19 graduate programs in the arts and sciences...

 geographer Daniel Doan, and The Land that Never Was, about Gregor MacGregor and the Principality of Poyais, by David Sinclair (Review, 2003, ISBN 0-7553-1080-2).

In August 2003, a summit of micronations took place in Helsinki at Finlandia Hall, the site of the Conference for Security and Co-operation in Europe (CSCE
CSCE
CSCE may refer to* Coffee, Sugar and Cocoa Exchange which merged to form the New York Board of Trade* Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe...

). The summit was attended by delegations of the Principality of Sealand
Principality of Sealand
The Principality of Sealand is an unrecognized entity, located on HM Fort Roughs, a former World War II Maunsell Sea Fort in the North Sea 10 km off the coast of Suffolk, England, United Kingdom ....

, the Kingdoms of Elgaland-Vargaland, NSK-State in Time
Neue Slowenische Kunst
Neue Slowenische Kunst , aka NSK, is a controversial political art collective that announced itself in Slovenia in 1984, when Slovenia was part of Yugoslavia. NSK's name, being German, is compatible with a theme in NSK works: the complicated relationship Slovenes have had with Germans...

, Ladonia
Ladonia (micronation)
Ladonia is a micronation, proclaimed in 1996 as the result of a years-long court battle between artist Lars Vilks and local authorities over two sculptures. The claimed territory is part of a natural reserve in an enclave of southern Sweden...

, the Transnational Republic
Transnational republic
The Transnational Republic is a group of artists that are working to construct the first Transnational Republic where citizens are defined by the similarity of their beliefs and feelings...

, the State of Sabotage and by scholars from various academic institutions.

From 7 November through 17 December 2004, the Reg Vardy Gallery at the University of Sunderland
University of Sunderland
The University of Sunderland is located in Sunderland, north east England. The university has more than 17,500 students, including 7,000-plus international students from some 70 countries....

 (UK) hosted an exhibition on the subject of micronational group identity and symbolism. The exhibition focused on numismatic, philatelic and vexillological
Vexillology
Vexillology is the scholarly study of flags. The word is a synthesis of the Latin word vexillum, meaning 'flag', and the Greek suffix -logy, meaning 'study'. The vexillum was a particular type of flag used by Roman legions during the classical era; its name is a diminutive form of the word velum...

 artifacts, as well as other symbols and instruments created and used by a number of micronations from the 1950s through to the present day. A summit of micronations conducted as part of this exhibition was attended by representatives of Sealand
Principality of Sealand
The Principality of Sealand is an unrecognized entity, located on HM Fort Roughs, a former World War II Maunsell Sea Fort in the North Sea 10 km off the coast of Suffolk, England, United Kingdom ....

, Elgaland-Vargaland, New Utopia
New Utopia
The Principality of New Utopia is a micronation project established and operated by Lazarus Long .The project was publicised by various media outlets in Europe and the United States. In an article about fake nations, Quatloos.com called "New Utopia" a "fake nation scam"...

, Atlantium
Empire of Atlantium
The Empire of Atlantium is a micronation and secular,pluralist progressive lobby group based in New South Wales, Australia.Micronations: The Lonely Planet Guide to Home-Made Nations describes Atlantium as "a refreshing antidote to the reactionary self-aggrandisement of so many micronations", and...

, Frestonia
Frestonia
Frestonia was the name adopted by the residents of Freston Road, a street at the north western boundary of Notting Hill, London, also known as Notting Dale, when they attempted to secede from the United Kingdom in 1977. Actor David Rappaport was the Foreign Minister, while playwright Heathcote...

 and Fusa
Fusa
Fusa is a municipality in the county of Hordaland, Norway. Fusa was separated from Os in 1856. Hålandsdal and Strandvik were separated from Fusa on 1 January 1903, but they were both again merged with Fusa on 1 January 1964....

. The exhibition was reprised at the Andrew Kreps Gallery in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 from 24 June – 29 July of the following year and organized by R. Blackson and Peter Coffin. Peter Coffin organized a more extensive exhibition about micronations at Paris' Palais de Tokyo
Palais de Tokyo
The Palais de Tokyo is a building dedicated to modern and contemporary art, located at 13 avenue du Président-Wilson, near the Trocadéro, in the 16th arrondissement of Paris. The eastern wing of the building belongs the City of Paris and hosts the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris...

 in early 2007 called ÉTATS (faites-le vous-même)/States (Do it yourself).

The Sunderland summit was later featured in the 5-part BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 light entertainment television series How to Start Your Own Country
How to Start Your Own Country (TV series)
How To Start Your Own Country was a six-part BBC Television documentary comedy series aired between August and September 2005. The show was presented by British writer/comedian Danny Wallace and followed his quest to start his own country in his flat in Bow, London...

presented by Danny Wallace
Danny Wallace (writer)
Daniel Frederick Wallace is a British filmmaker, comedian, writer, actor, and presenter of radio and television. His notable works include the books Join Me, Yes Man, and the TV series How to Start Your Own Country.He lives in London, with his wife, an Australian publicist...

. The series told the story of Wallace's experience of founding a micronation, Lovely, located in his London flat. It screened in the UK in August 2005.

Similar programs have also aired on television networks in other parts of Europe. In France, several Canal+
Canal+
Canal+ is a French premium pay television channel launched in 1984. It is 80% owned by the Canal+ Group, which in turn is owned by Vivendi SA. The channel broadcasts several kinds of programming, mostly encrypted...

 programs have centered on the satirical Presipality of Groland, while in Belgium a series by Rob Vanoudenhoven and broadcast on the Flemish commercial network VTM in April 2006 was reminiscent of Wallace's series, and centred around the producer's creation of Robland. Among other things Vanoudenhoven minted his own coins denominated in "Robbies".

On September 9, 2006, The Guardian
The Guardian
The Guardian, formerly known as The Manchester Guardian , is a British national daily newspaper in the Berliner format...

 newspaper reported that the travel guide company Lonely Planet
Lonely Planet
Lonely Planet is the largest travel guide book and digital media publisher in the world. The company is owned by BBC Worldwide, which bought a 75% share from the founders Maureen and Tony Wheeler in 2007 and the final 25% in February 2011...

 had published the world's first travel guide devoted to micronations, Micronations: The Lonely Planet Guide to Home-Made Nations.

The Democratic Empire of Sunda, which claims to be the Government of the Kingdom of Sunda (an ancient kingdom, in present-day Indonesia) in exile in Switzerland, made media headlines when two so-called princesses, Lamia Roro Wiranatadikusumah Siliwangi Al Misri, 21, and Fathia Reza Wiranatadikusumah Siliwangi Al Misiri, 23, were detained by Malaysian authorities at the border with Brunei
Brunei
Brunei , officially the State of Brunei Darussalam or the Nation of Brunei, the Abode of Peace , is a sovereign state located on the north coast of the island of Borneo, in Southeast Asia...

, on 13 July 2007, and are charged for entering the country without a valid pass. The hearing continues.

In 2010, a conference of micronations was held on Dangar Island
Dangar Island
Dangar Island is a small forested island in the Hawkesbury River, just north of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. It has a permanent population of about 250, which swells dramatically during holiday seasons. The island is serviced regularly by the Dangar Island Ferry service that departs from...

 in Sydney
Sydney
Sydney is the most populous city in Australia and the state capital of New South Wales. Sydney is located on Australia's south-east coast of the Tasman Sea. As of June 2010, the greater metropolitan area had an approximate population of 4.6 million people...

, Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

. Micronations with representatives in attendance included the Empire of Atlantium
Empire of Atlantium
The Empire of Atlantium is a micronation and secular,pluralist progressive lobby group based in New South Wales, Australia.Micronations: The Lonely Planet Guide to Home-Made Nations describes Atlantium as "a refreshing antidote to the reactionary self-aggrandisement of so many micronations", and...

, the Principality of Hutt River, the Principality of Wy
Principality of Wy
The Principality of Wy is an Australian micronation based in the Sydney suburb of Mosman.Established in 2004 in response to a lengthy dispute with the local council, 'Prince Paul' Delprat also describes it as 'the Artists' Principality', and the website includes selected artworks by artists...

 and the Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of the Coral Sea Islands
Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of the Coral Sea Islands
The Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of the Coral Sea Islands is a micronation established as a symbolic political protest by a group of gay rights activists based in southeast Queensland Australia. Declared in 2004 in response to the Australian government's refusal to recognize same-sex marriages, it was...



In 2010, a documentary film by Jody Shapiro entitled "How to Start your Own Country" was screened as part of the Toronto International Film Festival
Toronto International Film Festival
The Toronto International Film Festival is a publicly-attended film festival held each September in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. In 2010, 339 films from 59 countries were screened at 32 screens in downtown Toronto venues...

. The documentary explored various micronations around the world, and included an analysis of the concept of statehood and citizenship. Erwin Strauss, author of the eponymous book, was interviewed as part of the film.

See also



  • Flags of micronations
    Flags of micronations
    Micronations are ephemeral, self-proclaimed entities that claim to be independent sovereign states but which are not acknowledged as such by any recognised sovereign state, or by any supranational organisation....

  • League for Small and Subject Nationalities
    League for Small and Subject Nationalities
    The League for Small and Subject Nationalities was an self-determinist organisation formed during World War I in New York City, with the following aims:The League's President was Frederic C...

  • List of micronation currencies
  • List of micronations
  • Sovereign individual

Further reading

  • Adam Clanton, "The Men Who Would Be King: Forgotten Challenges to U.S. Sovereignty," UCLA Pacific Basin Law Journal, Vol. 26, No. 1, Fall 2008, pp. 1–50.
  • Kochta & Kalleinen, editors. Amorph! 03 Summit of Micronations–Documents/Asiakirjoja, 2003, ISBN 3-936919-45-3
  • Menefee, Samuel Pyeatt. Republics of the Reefs': Nation-Building on the Continental Shelf and in the World's Oceans," California Western International Law Journal, vol. 25, no. 1, Fall 1994, pp. 81–111
  • Strauss, Erwin S.
    Erwin Strauss
    Erwin S. Strauss is an American author, science fiction fan and filk musician, born in Washington, D.C.. He frequently is known by the nickname "Filthy Pierre."- Science fiction and writing :...

    How to start your own country, ISBN 0-915179-01-6

External links