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الدول الصغيرة جدا Micronations

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المشرف: Eng. Jan Fahoom

الدول الصغيرة جدا Micronations

مشاركةبواسطة Mr Digital في السبت نوفمبر 13, 2010 11:30 am

Most international governments refuse to recognise them but that wouldn't bother the self-styled monarchs, presidents and potentates of the 55 or so micronations dotted about the planet.

But what are these oddball entities on the fringes of geography? Some, such as Sealand, a North Sea principality run by one Prince Michael, actually exist. Others are confined to paper, the internet or their creators' heads


The Principality of Hutt River
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Not surprisingly given its ample empty spaces, Australia hosts several micronations, including the Principality of Hutt River. About the size of Hong Kong, the territory occupies a sprawling farm north of Perth, the capital of Western Australia, near the town of Northampton. Hutt River was founded on April 21 1970 by the farmer Leonard George Casley, an ex-mathematician and physicist who worked for Nasa in the 1950s and has a star named after him.

Casley and his "compatriots" formally seceded from Western Australia over a dispute with the state government over what Casley saw as draconian wheat production quotas. Now Hutt's ruler styles himself His Royal Highness Prince Leonard I.


Minerva

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Named after the Roman goddess of wisdom, the Republic of Minerva has been dogged by controversy since its founding on an artifically raised Pacific island in 1972. The territory was established by a Las Vegas property millionaire, Michael Oliver, who envisioned a libertarian society with "no taxation, welfare, subsidies or any form of economic interventionism", but Tonga promptly declared Minerva its own and sent in the troops.

Tonga has never since let go of the island with the motto "Land of the Rising Atoll", despite attempts by Oliver followers to prise it from the grip of its mammoth Polynesian neighbour

Dominion of British West Florida

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In 1630, the English King Charles I granted a swathe of North America stretching "from Virginia to Florida and westward to the Great Ocean" to Robert Heath, attorney general for England and Wales. Quite a gift. In 1663, Charles II reassigned the land to a group of noblemen, who clung on for a couple of decades, until 1682. International tussles followed, with the territory changing hands in whole or part repeatedly. At different times, the French and Spanish held a stake.

Finally the British wrested it back, before America took over in turn in 1810. According to Dominion activists, who who laid claim to the micronation much later, in 2005, that US annexation was illegal. The activists claim parts of Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Persuading the "hyperpower" normally deemed sovereign to relax its grip appears likely to be a challenge on a macro scale.

The Barony of Caux

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A supposed absolute feudal state, the Barony of Caux claims lands in Shropshire and Normandy. According to the micronation's website, the barony is the world's oldest continuous feudal state - a somewhat implausible claim, but a hallmark of micronations is their swaggering confidence.

The Toronto-based boss of the claimed territory, John I, whose raven clan emblem graces the nation's flag, avows descent from William the Conqueror adjutant Hugo le Corbet. Hence the Anglo-Gallic territorial claim, which John I backdates to the 11th century. John I must be doing something right because he apparently has 80 subjects scattered around the globe.


Grand Duchy of the Lagoan Isles

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Like the Barony of Caux, the Grand Duchy of the Lagoan Isles oozes assumed grandeur. The title's trappings include a golden crown emblem, an anthem - God Save Our Islands Three - and a currency, the Lagoan Edney dollar. Established in 2005, the British-based Duchy is the brainchild of a schoolteacher, Louis Stephens ("Grand Duke Louis"), who lays claims to Baffins Pond near the seaside town of Portsmouth and three islands within it.

Stephens made his bid for the territory after noticing the pond and islands were not specifically cited in a 1938 land sale contract. He sent a letter announcing his claim to Portsmouth council and released a series of banknotes with an ornithological theme.


Whangamomona

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Whangamomona, in Taranaki, New Zealand, has the unusual claim-to-fame of being intermittently ruled by animals. The first elected animal to rule the micronation, Billy Gumboot the Goat, won the vote in 1999 by devouring rival challengers' ballots. But, after serving just 18 months, Gumboot died in office. Eventually, he was succeeded by Tai the Poodle, who retired in 2004 after only a year, thanks to stress following an alleged assassination bid.

Enter a human with amphibian overtones - a local garage owner, Murt "Murtle the Turtle" Kennard. Beating stiff competition including a cross-dresser called Miriam, Murt landed the top job in 2005 and was reelected four years later by one vote. Originally just a hamlet, his domain declared itself a republic in 1989 - as a tourist stunt or out of pique over a boundary dispute. Hanga, as it is also known, lies on State Highway 43, the so-called Lost World Highway, 40 miles from one of the few towns around, Stratford.


Republic of Saugeais

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Crossing a mishmash of municipalities in the eastern French département of Doubs, the Republic of Saugeais stems from a joke cracked back in 1947. Then, a prefect - a regional bigwig - came to the administrative town of Montbenoît to attend an official event. The prefect had lunch at the Hôtel de l'Abbaye, owned by a hospitality industry veteran, Georges Pourchet.

For a laugh, Pourchet asked the prefect: "Do you have a permit allowing you to enter the Republic of Saugeais?" The prefect asked for details of the mysterious entity. On the spot, in a flash of elan, Pourchet invented enough background to build a dynasty, complete with an anthem and bank notes, that would last long after his death in the early 1970s. The current president is Georgette Bertin-Pourchet, a relative.


The Dominion of Melchizedek (DoM)

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The average micronation is a whimsical concoction liable to raise eyebrows and smiles. Not the Dominion of Melchizedek, however. The dark side of the micronation coin, the dominion allegedly serves as a platform for global bank fraud. Founded in 1986 by California-born Evan David Pedley, Melchizedek's attributes include "fantasy passports".

A 1995 Washington Post report stated that the place was "diplomatically recognised" by the Central African Republic in 1993, but added: "You get the feeling that the Central African Republic would recognise the State of Denial if it had a letterhead."


Grand Duchy of Westarctica

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One of the world's most remote micronations, the Grand Duchy of Westarctica theoretically occupies a barren polar tract. The Westarctica claim centres on Marie Byrd Land, a western stretch of Antarctica east of the Amundsen Sea, and its contentious existence rests on an alleged loophole in the 1961 Antarctic Treaty designed to regulate the region.

Westarctica was founded in 2001 by a spectrum of eccentrics with names such as the Grand Knight of the Holy Order of Saints. Judging by its website, the micronation is thriving despite the unpromising south polar climate. Among Westarctica's activities are minting and selling coins to collectors. Anyone can apply to be a citizen of the glacial nation with a fantasy feel.


Sealand

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The world's most talked about micronation, the Principality of Sealand occupies a second world war British naval defence platform six miles off the Suffolk coast. Sealand was founded as a sovereign principality in 1967 by a British subject, Roy Bates, a former pirate radio broadcaster who styled himself HRH Prince Roy of Sealand.

To strengthen his stake in the offshore territory, Prince Roy, as he is known, produced the Sealand dollar, which claims parity with the US currency. He also issued a string of passports and stamps. Sealand has had a difficult time in its short history. In 1978, a cartel of businessmen allegedly tried to kidnap Prince Roy's son, His Royal Highness Prince Michael, from the platform over a bungled deal. In June 2006, a devastating fire tore through Sealand's main power generation facility. Back-up systems helped the principality survive. Sealand remains afloat and on the lookout for donations.
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