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About MICRONATIONS

December 17, 2009

We just found a weird post about Micronations that caught our attention over this concept of “micronation”. A micronation can be roughly defined as an entity that claims to be an independent country, state or area, but is not officially recognised as such. We wrote here about a project that aims to be a micronation, the Nowhereisland by Alex Hartley. But let’s see some more examples surrounding this issue:

We have found out that the term “micronation” dates back at least to the 1970s to describe the many thousands of small, unrecognized, state-like entities that have mostly arisen since that time. The term has since also come to be used retroactively to refer to earlier ephemeral unrecognized entities, some of which date as far back as the early 19th century.

The Republic of Rose Island. Located at the Adriatic Sea, is a man made structure in the middle of the Adriatic Sea 7 miles off the coast of Italy. In 1967, Italian engineer Giorgio Rosa funded the construction of a 400 square metre platform supported by nine pylons, and furnished it with a number of commercial establishments, including a restaurant, bar, nightclub, souvenir shop and a post office. On June 24th, 1968, the island declared its independence, and started printing its own stamps, and declared it had its own currency. Most micronations are unrecognized by world governments or major international organizations and often exist only on paper, on the Internet, or in the minds of their creators, like this one, that was destroyed by the Italian Navy.

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REM Island. It was a platform built in the Republic of Ireland and it used to operate as a media station for the commercial Radio and TV Noordzee from August till December 1964 . REM stands for ‘Reclame Exploitatie Maatschappij’ and was founded in 1963 by the Rotterdam-based ship builder Cornelis Verolme along with a group of investors. Their artificial island was built in the harbour of Cork, Ireland, and served as a design prototype for future oil platforms. Both stations were dismantled by armed forces of the Netherlands. It was six miles off Noordwijk.

Dismantling of REM Island.

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Republic of Indian Stream. It 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. The small nation that existed from July of 1832 to sometime in 1835 (although the US census in 1940 still refered to the area as Indian Stream and not part of New Hampshire). The land was given by the Wampanoag chief, King Philip, to one land spectulation company while simultaneously the same land was being given by other tribes to another land speculation company. It wasn’t until after the war of 1812 that the land companies merged, and all the land claims were straightened out.

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Kugelmugel is a former micronation located in Vienna, Austria. 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. The house is enclosed by a barbed-wire fence and is the only address within the proclaimed Republic. Its address is “2, Antifaschismusplatz” (2, Anti-Fascism Square, 2 refers to the 2nd district Leopoldstadt), and the founder is one of the 389 citizens.

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Seasteading, a portmanteau of sea and homesteading, is the concept of creating permanent dwellings at sea, called seasteads, outside the territories claimed by the governments of any standing nation.

The Seasteading Institute, founded by Wayne Gramlich and Patri Friedman on April 15, 2008, is an organization formed to facilitate the establishment of autonomous, mobile communities on seaborne platforms operating in international waters. Gramlich’s 1998 article “SeaSteading – Homesteading on the High Seas” outlined the notion of affordable steading, and attracted the attention of Friedman with his proposal for a small-scale project.

The project picked up mainstream exposure in 2008 after having been brought to the attention of PayPal founder Peter Thiel, who invested $500,000 in the institute and has since spoken out on behalf of its viability, most recently in his essay “The Education of a Libertarian,” published online by Cato Unbound.

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The micronation phenomenon is tied closely to the development of the nation-state concept in the 19th century, and the earliest recognizable micronations can be dated to that period. The 1960s and 1970s witnessed the foundation of a number of territorial micronations. Some of them were established on abandoned World War II gun platforms in the North Sea just off the East Anglian coast of England, and has survived into the present day. Others were founded on libertarian principles and involved schemes to construct artificial islands, but only three are known to have had even limited success in realizing that goal.

If you want to have your own Micronation, you can buy this book: Micronations: The Lonely Planet Guide to Home-Made Nations and start working on it!!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 17, 2009 5:31 pm

    There is also the case of artist Joep Van Lieshout’s atelier in Rotterdam! Check it out: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0268/is_8_39/ai_75830817/

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  1. Where do ships and planes go to die? | Graveyards as micronations « dpr-barcelona

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