Micronations

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Micronations are the smallest form of official nationhood. Usually they are nations which hold little or no land, but have laid claim to sovereign independence and territory. Most are unrecognized by the major countries of the world.

Contents

Why should I be aware of this?

Micronations are mostly attempts at founding new countries. They often declare independence over land that actually exists, adopt constitutions, seek diplomatic recognition, appoint ambassadors, display national flags, and issue stamps, passports, and currency.

All about Micronations

The earliest recognizable micronations can be traced back to the 19th century. Most were founded by eccentric adventurers or business speculators, and several were remarkably successful. These include the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, ruled by the Clunies-Ross family, and Sarawak, ruled by the "White Rajas" of the Brooke family; both were independent personal fiefdoms in all but name, and survived until well into the 20th century.

Less successful were the Kingdom of Araucania and Patagonia (1860-1862) in southern Chile and Argentina, and the Kingdom of Sedang (1888-1890) in French Indochina. The oldest extant micronation to arise in modern times is the Kingdom of Redonda, founded in 1865 in the Caribbean. 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. [1]

Categories of micronations

There are several categories of micronations:

  • Established states

Mostly known as "Micro States", they actually own sovereign land, and are recognized as independent by one or more major countries. Small independent islands such as Antigua, and Vatican City, which holds only 108 acres of sovereign land, are among established micronations.

  • Exiled states

Though these micronations have a government, they have lost their sovereign land. They may have been recognized as "established" at some point in time and have claims to territory in their homeland. The Tibetan government is an example of such a micronation. During World War II the government of France existed as a Micronation, consisting of an organized faction which had lost its land to the German invasion.

  • Unrecognized peoples

These comprise organized racial, political or social factions whose needs are not being met by existing political and national situations. They claim independent recognition and/or full "nation" status because of these situations. Most modern Native American nations and other indigenous groups may be included in this category.

  • Model states

Model states are Micronations are which are experimenting in political science, such as attempting to found a new "landed" nation, to hypothetical theory scenarios. These are mostly semi-serious attempts at forming new governments and exist as a working governmental system of several people, laying claim to existing land, and attempting to manifest sovereign status and recognition. Oceana is an example of a high profile model state.

  • Imaginary States

These are far less serious and usually fantasy scenarios with no real goals for establishing a "real" status. A very well known Imaginary state is maintained by the Society for Creative Anacronism, which declares baronies and supports tournaments and role playing in Medieval character.

CopperBytes

  • Micronations may have a form and structure similar to established sovereign states, including territorial claims, government institutions, official symbols and citizens.
  • Micronations are often quite small, in both their claimed territory and claimed populations - although there are some exceptions to this rule.
  • Micronations may issue formal instruments such as postage stamps, coins, banknotes and passports, and confer honors and titles of nobility.
  • A criterion which distinguishes micronations from imaginary countries, eco-villages, campuses, tribes, clans, sects, and residential community associations, is that these latter entities do not usually seek to be recognized as sovereign.

References:

  • What Are Micronations?
  • Micronation

Source

  1. Knowledgerush