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Do you dream of a day in which you dont have to live by the rules imposed on you by a country? Maybe you want to become the ruler of a country? Perhaps you are just tired of bureaucracy. You too could enjoy the reality of becoming a monarch, esteemed leader or president. Just found you own micronation. Sometimes known as ‘model countries’ or ‘new country project’, micronations are small entities that have claim to be independent nationals or states whilst lacking recognition from international organisations and world governments.
Currently, around 400 micronations in existance. So where is your nearest one? You can find some of the more well known ones on the micronation map below.
What sets a micronation apart?
When compared to imagination countries, tribes, sects, eco-villages and clans, what makes micronations different? Micronations claim a formal and persistent right of sovereignty even if it is unrecognized. The difference between a micronation and a secession movement is that micronations do not actively challenge the nation whose territory they claim.
Some micornations have gone as far as issuing currency, having their own flags, passports stamps, medals and other ‘official’ documents. Their currencies are seldom used outside of the nation itself but can be sold as novelties to raise money.
Are micronations legal?
Or a better question to ask would be ‘are micronations legitimate’? Well, under international law, the Montevideo Convention on Rights and Duties of States sets our the criteria for statehood in article 1. It says: “The state as a person of international law should possess the following qualifications: (a) a permanent population; (b) a defined territory; (c) government; and (d) capacity to enter into relations with the other states.”
The Montevideo Convention carries on to say in article 3, “The political existence of the state is independent of recognition by the other states” Under these guidelines, bodies that meet the criteria outlined in article 1 of the Montevideo Convention on Rights and Duties of States can be regarded as sovereign under international law. This would not matter whether other nations or organisations have recognised the micronation or not.
Who are the key players on this miniature world stage?
As there are around 400 micronations in existence at the moment, its not practical to mention them all. Below are some of the most prominent or well known micronations.
Declared as a tongue-in-cheek secession of the city of Key West in Florida, the Conch Republic has existed since 1982. Even though now-a-days the Conch Republic is kept alive as a tourist attraction, it was founded on some very real concerns. The founders set up the micronation as a protest against the U.S. Border Patrol roadblock and checkpoint. The obstructions were seen to be great inconveniences to residents and tourists alike.
Founded by and presided over by His Excellency President Kevin Baugh since 1999, the Republic of Molossia sits on a two pieces of land in Dayton, Nevada. The micronation is roughly 6.3 square acres in size.It has its own postal service, space program, currency (which is tied to the price of cookie dough), a customers service and other civil services. As it is surrounded by the United Sates on all its borders, Molossia has a system of government similar to that of a sovereign state. Same-sex marriage has been legal in Molossia since 2002. Their main export are said to be garbage and children (as they have to send their children to school in the U. S.)
Commonly refereed to as Sealand is a micronation that an offshore platform as its territory. Roughs Tower, the platform in question, was originally built as an anti-aircraft defense platform by the British during WW2. Sealand is not recognised by international bodies even though it comes that it has de facto recognistion from the United Kingdom.
One of the newest micronations around. Liberland was founded in 2015 on an unclaimed patch of land near the Croatian-Serbian border. It was founded with libertarian principles in mind and currently sits on about 3 square miles of land. Most of it is un-inhabited but Liberland does has a government of about 20 members, and economy built on cryptocurrency and bitcoints.
Other microantions include: Aerican Empire, North Dumpling Island, Grand Duchy of Avram, Republic of Saugeais, Elgaland-Vargaland, Principality of Seborga, Principality of Freedonia, Freetown Christiania, Ganienkeh, Principality of Hutt River, Republic of Jamtland, Mercia, Naminara, Ecological Danubian Principality of Ongal, Outer Baldonia, Redonda, Rose Island, Principality of Trinidad, Westarctica and many others.
Do you want to promote a micronation not mentioned on the list? Maybe you have an opinion on micronations as a concept. Let us know in the comment box below!