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Micronations

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A micronation, sometimes referred to as a model country or new country project, is an entity that claims to be an independent nation or state but is not recognized by world governments or major international organizations.


Micronations should not be confused with microstates, which are very small but recognized countries such as Andorra, Bhutan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, San Marino, Sikkim (until 1975), and Vatican City.


They should also be distinguished from imaginary countries and from other kinds of social groups (such as eco-villages, campuses, tribes, clans, sects, and residential community associations) by expressing a formal and persistent, even if unrecognized, claim of sovereignty over some physical territory. Micronations are also distinct from true secessionist movements; micronations' activities are almost always trivial enough to be ignored rather than challenged by the established nations whose territory they claim.


Several micronations have issued coins, flags, postage stamps, passports, medals, and other items. These items are rarely accepted outside their own community but may be sold as novelties to help raise money or collected by enthusiasts.


The earliest known micronations date from the beginning of the 19th century. The advent of the Internet provided the means for people to create many new micronations, whose members are scattered all over the world and interact mostly by electronic means, often calling their nations "nomadic countries". The differences between such Internet micronations, other kinds of social networking groups, and role-playing games are often difficult to define. The term "micronation" to describe those entities dates at least to the 1970s. The term micropatriology is sometimes used to describe the study of both micronations and microstates by micronationalists, some of whom refer to sovereign nation-states as "macronations".


Etymology

The term 'micronation' literally means "small nation". It is a neologism originating in the mid-1970s to describe the many thousands of small unrecognised state-like entities that have mostly arisen since that time. The term has since also come to be used retrospectively to refer to earlier unrecognized entities, some of which date to as far back as the 19th century. Amongst supporters of micronations ("micronationalists") the term "macronation" is in common use to refer to any internationally recognised sovereign nation-state.



Definition


Micronations generally have a number of common features, although these may vary widely. They may have a structure similar to established sovereign states, including territorial claims, government institutions, official symbols and citizens, albeit on a much smaller scale. Micronations are often quite small, in both their claimed territory and claimed populations — although there are some exceptions to this rule, with different micronations having different methods of citizenship. Micronations may also issue formal instruments such as postage stamps, coins, banknotes and passports, and bestow honours and titles of nobility.
The Montevideo Convention was one attempt to create a legal definition distinguishing between states and non-states. Some micronations meet this definition, while some do not, and others reject the convention. Some micronations like Sealand or Hutt River reject the term micronation and consider themselves as sovereign states; other micronations like Flandrensis or Molossia have no intention to be recognized as real states.


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, a micronation created in 1979 by then-14-year-old Robert Ben Madison, which went online in 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 contribution to wikis. With the introduction of the Internet, many articles on how to create micronations were made available on such wikis, which serve as a hub of online activity for micronations. The most notable wiki for the forum, MicroWiki, was created in 2005 and is currently administered by Jonathan Austen, the leader of Austenasia.


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


Further Materials

Film/Video:

Killer Mike's Trigger Warning episode 6 (Kill Your Masters) -- New Africa (only available on Netflix :/)

Liberland: Utopian Tax-Free Micronation or State of Mind?

A Tiny Spark (a short documentary)

Top 10 Most Famous Micronations

The Stream - Mapping Micronations (Al Jazeera)

Meeting of the Micronations

37 Brief Histories of 37 Micronations