What is a Micronation?
Micronation is an entity that claims to be a sovereign nation but is not recognized by any other government or major international organization. A micronation formally and persistently agitates for sovereignty over a given territory and is thus differentiated from other social groups.
The Concept of a Micronation
In modern day, more than 400 existing micronations have been recorded. The world has seen its fair share of presidents and royalty presiding over invented empires. The self-declared entity that is a micronation can either be real, virtual, or imaginary and it is often physically small. The governments of countries in which micronations operate often dismiss the entities as trivial and harmless. Some micronations issue items such as passports, stamps, coins, medals, postage, and flags.
Micronations became gathered further popularity with the invention of the internet. The internet enabled people from all over the world to connect, interact, and trade ideas. These virtual micronations are often referred to as nomadic countries. The term micronation was first used in the 1970s. Legally, the difference between state and non-states is based on the Montevideo Convention of 1933. Some of the entities, however, reject the notion of micronations.
Types of Micronations
Micronations are formed for many reasons. Some of them are established as hobbies and for personal entertainment, and they do not seek recognition. Other micronations exist to simulate political, economic, and social processes and they boast significant numbers of individuals. These types of entities also do not seek recognition. Some begin as protests. Some self-made entities start as artistic projects, and they balloon into tourist attractions. New country projects seek formal recognition, and they are interested in creating new countries. More often than not, these projects endeavor to create human-made islands and claim them as independent countries. Another type of micronation, the alternative government, recognizes the presence of other authorities. Some micronations are created for fraudulent purposes, especially to exempt themselves out of taxation. Other micronations exploit historical and legal anomalies to declare aspirant states.
Examples of Micronations
The Republic of Molossia was declared in the state of Nevada, in 1999 by self-proclaimed President Kevin Baugh. It occupies an area of 6.3 square acres, and it has created its own currency and postal service. The Principality of Seborga was formed in 1963 in the Italian Province of Imperia. Its citizens claim that the land they occupy was not mentioned in the documents drawn during the unification attempts of Italy in the 1880s. In 1971, a micronation named Freetown Christiania was formed on an abandoned military base in the City of Copenhagen, Denmark. The entity operates as an anarchist community, and it is populated by many squatters, hippies, and anarchists. The community adheres to its set of rules, and the neighborhood is known for its brightly colored buildings and the absence of cars.