What are micronations?

We all believe that the concept of country is very clear: a large group of people grouped politically under a state, who with a common identity, are governed by the same government, language, economy and laws, while sharing a story.

A little-known international reality

They are also recognized by other countries, with which they form international communities of common interest. However, this is not always the case. Micronations are an example of this.

The micronation name is known to the entity made up of a small group of people, sometimes even a family or a single individual, based in a small territory (sometimes even virtual, i.e. it only exists on the Internet) that claims to be a nation or independent state, even if it does not comply with the statutes of the Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States, a fact that does not, however, stop them from claiming recognition with international bodies and other governments of the world don’t count on them.

Even though they do not meet each and every one of the four basic criteria to be recognized as a State (permanent population, determined territory, government and ability to enter in relation to the other States) micronations use precisely the first paragraph of article 3 of this Convention to justify its existence, for as expressed in that article “the political existence of the State is independent of its recognition by other States”, even though that is precisely what they seek these particular entities.

It is also important to note that micronations should be differentiated from small states, as well as from states of limited recognition, which do have recognition. Similarly, they must differentiate theself from alternative villages, eco-villages or clans that do not seek to be recognized as nations, with the main characteristic of micronations being the fervent desire to be recognized as sovereign and independent nations by the of the international community.

In their desire to be legitimately a nation as such, there are micronations that issue passports, mint coins and award titles and honors that have only validity and recognition within their territory, because they aren´t recognized by international bodies as the United Nations Unit (UN) cannot speak of states as such, so both their stamps and documents lack international legality, not being recognized by other States or countries.

Its increasing incidence in the last century led to terms such as “micropathology”, which designates the academic study of micronations, as well as alternative governments and microstates. Likewise, the hobby or hobby of creating micronations is known as “micronationalism”.

It is also important to highlight some historical backgrounds of such entities. For this, you went back to the Principality of Elba, created without the consent of its inhabitants on the island of the same name by Napoleon Bonaparte during his exile. Similarly, in 1820, renowned explorer Gregor MacGregor created over a swamp on the coast of Mosquitos a fictional country he called Poyais, declaring himself a chieftain, thereby attracting and deceiving several English investors.

However, it was in the 19th century that the first micronations emerged under the conception of nation-state and with aspirations of sovereignty and recognition. An example of this is the Kingdom of Araucanía and Patagonia created in 1860 by Antoine de Tounens.

Similarly in the twentieth century, exactly from the sixties and seventies several micronations were formed, such as the Principality of Sealand, as well as the Islands of Roses or the Republic of Minerva, which was later taken up by Tonga after his invade.

In recent times the rulers of these entities have used new technologies to promote the existence of their micronations, in order to achieve fame and recognition, as well as for the presentation of these as a tourist destination, which represents significant income for these micronations.

Similarly, there are other micronations created on the Internet, but they do not constitute a serious matter, such as those located in physical territories that actually place all their efforts on being officially recognized as nation-states by the other governments of the world.

Image source: es.micronaciones.wikia.com

What are micronations?
Source: curiosities  
August 22, 2019

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