When people talk about dwarf states, they usually have Monaco, Andorra or Luxembourg in mind. In fact, these places are simply huge in comparison with other, unknown to the general public, microcountries scattered around the world.
Such mini-states, whose area is measured literally in acres, were formed in due time for various reasons - from political protest to banal tax evasion and economic gain.
Even though they are not recognized as sovereign entities by their legitimate neighbors, some dwarfs have reached such a level of self-determination that they mint their own coins, create their own constitution and hold elections. Here are ten of the most famous ones.
Ladonia. The size of this country is only 0.386 square miles. In 1980, Swedish artist Lars Vilks began building a series of stone and wood sculptures in the Swedish county of Skåne. The works looked like whimsical castles, it is no surprise that they eventually became a tourist attraction. However, the authorities considered that these structures were created illegally. The court declared the sculptor a criminal, demanding to demolish the created. Vilks took an unexpected and bold step, he declared in 1996 the independence of these territories and disobedience to the laws of Sweden. The new country was named the Kingdom of Ladonia, and Wilks himself created the country's flag and manifesto. His tax policy dictates that citizens should only give away their creativity. The next year after the declaration of independence, the Queen and the President were elected. By 2001, about 14 thousand unofficial citizens (of whom about 300 are Russians) were registered in the country, in fact, no one actually lives there. The 2000s were marked by permanent state courts with Vilks over the demolition of old and new sculptures and reimbursement of legal costs. In 2003 Ladonia managed to declare war on Sweden, the United States and San Marino. At the moment, Sweden has not recognized Ladonia, trying to destroy it in the courts.
The Kingdom of Redonda, at 0.78 square miles, has a colorful history. It is most likely just a mixture of fact and fiction, developed by both writers and scientists. According to legend, in 1865, a certain banker, Matthew Shiell, a resident of the island of Montserrat, in the Caribbean, applied for ownership of the rocky and uninhabited islands of Redonda, proclaiming himself king. This remains of an extinct volcano was discovered by Christopher Columbus in 193; the island rises 300 meters above the ocean. But on a deserted island practically wasteland, Shiell himself never lived there, but in 1880 he handed the crown to his son. Legend has it that the enterprising banker even wrote a letter to England, and Queen Victoria herself recognized him as the king of the island as long as he obeys Great Britain. The new ruler, also, by the way, Matthew Shiell became a famous science fiction writer and ruled Redonda until 1947. It was he who first told the story of this mini-country, creating most of its customs, flag and form of government (absolute monarchy). Then the crown passed to a friend of the writer, John Gosuaort, who began to call himself King Juan I. With the rise to power of this monarch, the country plunges into chaos. Due to bankruptcies, John constantly resells his island or simply donates it to anyone. Today, there are 3 serious contenders left on the island - King Leo, self-crowned in 1998, Robert the Bald and Canadian Bob Williamson. He lives and writes novels in Antigua, visiting "his" kingdom on a yacht. An interesting story is connected with the mini-country - the Englishman-owner of the pub Bob Beach decided to make his establishment the Embassy of Redonda, so that visitors could smoke there. Officially, Redonda is part of the island state of Antigua.
The Republic of Minerva is 4 square miles in area. The state was proclaimed in 1972 by the American millionaire of Lithuanian descent Michael Oliver. Libertarian principles were assumed for the new country (no taxes, no subsidies). In 1971, two sand barges arrived from Australia, which created a whole artificial island on a pair of reefs. Soon the construction of the capital, the Sea City, began. All work to create a new island cost 200 thousand dollars. In January 1972, a small tower was built, the flag of the new, independent country was raised. The state received the flag, anthem and currency, and Morris Davis, a former engineer from California, became interim president. But the state of Tonga immediately declared the reefs its territory, 100 soldiers arrived on the island, who took off the flag of Minerva, hoisting their own. The Pacific Forum has recognized the annexation of reefs to Tonga. Oliver had no choice but to remove Davis from the presidency. However, in 1982, he tried to return freedom to Minerva, but three weeks later he was expelled by the local military. At the moment, not everyone recognizes Tonga's right to Minerva. Davis still considers himself president, and there is a government in exile. In 2005, the Republic of Fiji also claimed the island.
Dominion of Melchizedek. Small countries were often used for tax evasion, if not for fraud, as happened with the Melchizedek Dominion, an area of 14 square miles. In 1986, US citizens David Pedley and his son Mark created a new state. His name is associated with the high priest Melchizedek, who is considered by many to be the predecessor of Jesus. The dominion was declared to have ecclesiastical sovereignty similar to the Vatican. However, there is no official religion in the country, and the symbols of faith of Christianity, Judaism and Islam are generally depicted on the flag. The first territory to enter the Dominion was Clipperton Reef, a French possession. Later, several islands, shallow waters, parts of the Carpathian region, and even Antarctica were declared part of the state. Naturally, no one has ever confirmed such claims. The country has its own constitution, the current legislative and executive branches have been announced. Only now all citizens live outside the dominion - in Israel and the United States. The sovereignty of the state was used as an offshore haven for fake banks and various fraud. The Dominion even sold their country's passports for $ 10,000. According to some sources, the country was even recognized by a number of African states, as well as by the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and a number of American states. The Dominion has been repeatedly seen trying to cash out funds from the account of a state bank (naturally existing on paper), in attempts to manipulate weapons. For conducting nuclear tests near its territories, the Dominion declared a spiritual war on France, and later the same "punishment" overtook Serbia for actions in Kosovo. During this conflict, the Dominion even threatened with its nuclear weapons, which were in Rusinia (western Ukraine). However, at that time, he was no longer in Ukraine, and he never was in Transcarpathia. As a result, most experts agree that the true purpose of an organization without any legal basis is purely global fraud.
The size of the Baldoni principality is only 0.00626 square miles. The state was proclaimed by the publicist and eccentric Russell Arundel. While sport fishing off the coast of Nova Scotia in Canada, he spotted the island and acquired it. A small fishing house was built there, where Russell retired with his friends for the weekend. During one of these men's drinking bouts, the Constitution was invented (the main articles are devoted to fishing and rum) and the Declaration of Independence. All members of the company received posts in the government, while the one who caught the largest tuna was declared a prince and was entitled to a fee in his own, of course, currency. Later, the Charter was issued, which prohibited the appearance of women in the country and the abolition of all taxes. The main export item was named empty beer bottles. Arundel followed up on the joke by talking about his country being asked to join the UN. A private stamp was also issued, which quickly became a rarity among philatelists. Baldoni even managed to declare war on the USSR and brought her fleet out of fishing vessels to sea. But most likely the fishermen went to have fun, not to fight.
Frestonia. In the late 1970s, the small, abandoned island of Frestonia in the Notting Hill area of London gained worldwide fame after declaring its independence from the rest of the UK. The area of the new state was only 0.0028 square miles, and the population was 120 people. The local city council was going to evict the settlers who, in a referendum, declared themselves a separate state on Halloween night. Applications were submitted to join the EU and the UN with a warning about the possibly necessary introduction of blue helmets in the event of a forced eviction of residents. Public opinion in London took the side of an unexpected formation, thereby giving micronation the right to exist. The inhabitants of Frestonia happily seized the opportunity to create their own people - their own newspapers and stamps and as many as 3 hymns appeared. Its own film institute regularly showed footage from the Sex Pistols' concerts. The country adopted the Bill of Rights and ratified the UN Declaration on Human Rights. It even had its own minister of state (its head) and minister of foreign affairs. Frestonia even acquired a dozen embassies. Curiously, all local residents bear the middle name Brumley as a sign of unity. The country became one of the attractions of London, tourists were taken on a ten-minute excursion along the borders, offering to purchase passports. However, in the end, the destroyed area still had to be restored - an agreement had to be reached with London. Thus, Frestonia had to give up part of her freedom. So the organization of the small country failed, but the local community is still extremely close-knit.
The land of Talossa is of indeterminate size, as it includes most of the state of Milwaukee, some of the French islands, and even Antarctica. In 1979, 13-year-old Robert Ben Madison declared his nursery independent from the United States. The very word "Talossa" comes from the Finnish "inside the house". In 1981, the country expanded significantly - it included 5 childhood friends of Robert, as well as some of his relatives. The first elections were also held, a language of 25 thousand words was developed. For a long time Talossa was considered a joke, but with the advent of the Internet, a lot has changed. In 1996, the country had its own website, which contributed to the recruitment of cyber citizens. Madison declared Talossa the world's first micronation. In 1997, some disaffected citizens decided to secede and created their own micronation, the Penguinea. However, that quickly faded into oblivion. Madison himself was declared by many to be either a tyrant or simply crazy. In 1998, Kirish dal Nava emigrated to the country via the Internet, who began to actively fight the king. As a result of internal squabbles in 2004, the country was again divided in two. King Robert I handed over power to his young successor and the new ruler of Talossa in 2005, Louis I. However, a year later he was removed from the throne by decrees of the State Council of the country. The era of change ended in 2007 with the accession to the throne of King John. The country is a constitutional monarchy. Today, by the way, there is the Republic of Talossa, led by dal Nava.
The Hutt River Province self-proclaimed in 1970, separating from Australia. Then the farmer Leonard Kasley, who lived near Perth, was in a difficult economic situation due to the introduced quotas for growing wheat. A protracted dispute with the authorities led to the farmer's family deciding to simply secede from Australia. For this, a loophole was found in British law. When the long inactive authorities tried to arrest Kasli, he declared himself "His Royal Highness Prince Leonard the Hutt", taking advantage of the ancient law under which monarchs have immunity from arrest. Since then, the province, later renamed a principality, has existed in a gray legal area. Local residents do not pay taxes, but the Australian government has not recognized the growth. Kasli took action to strengthen independence. His 28.9 square miles country had a Bill of Rights. Flag, monetary reform carried out and its own stamp issued. The principality is very popular today with tourists who can buy local coins here and even take pictures with the prince, even if he is in old age. Back in the 80s, the Province began to conduct commercial operations. Its business was taken up by businessman Kevin Gale, who promoted the coins of an exotic country on the US numismatic market. But the authorities shut down a large campaign, the last time the jubilee gold 100 dollars were published, marking the 30th anniversary of the state.
Seborg. The history of the state of Seborga, with an area of 4 square miles, dates back to the 10th century, when a small plot in Northern Italy was granted independence so that local monks could build a monastery in peace. After 700 years, this land was included in the Kingdom of Sardinia. However, historians of Seborga claim that officially their principality was never part of Italy. In fact, Seborga became a member of modern Italy in 1946, but in 1960 the authorities of the unrecognized principality began to struggle for their independence. Local florist Giorgio Carbone began to argue that Seborga never formally lost its autonomy. He was able to win over to his side many townspeople, who elected him as the unofficial head of the country, Prince Giorgio I. However, despite the declaration of his independence, little changed until the mid-90s, when 300 residents of the city voted for final secession from Italy. Carbone became the official ruler, remaining so until his death in 2009. He managed to create a flag of the state, his own money, stamps and even a motto that sounds like "sit in the shadows." At the moment, there is also Seborga's own army, consisting, however, of one single person - Lieutenant Antonello Lakalo. The Italian government did not recognize the sovereignty of Seborga, and the conflict turned into a legal plane. Meanwhile, the locals pay taxes like everyone else and go to regular public schools.
Principality of Sealand. Of all the tiny nations in the world, the most famous is the Sealand Principality, at just 0.0002 square miles. The state is "spread out" on an offshore platform in the North Sea off the coast of Great Britain. The Rafs Tower platform appeared here in 1942, when anti-aircraft guns and a garrison of 200 people were installed on it. After the end of the war, the place was abandoned.In 1966, retired Major Paddy Roy Bates and his friend Ronan O'Reilly decided to build an amusement park on the platform. However, soon as a result of a quarrel, Bates remained the only owner. A year later, Ronan tried to recapture the place, but the gallant military man managed to fight back with weapons. Bates planned to create a pirate radio station here, but this project never materialized. But on September 2, 1967, the creation of an independent state was announced with Prince Roy I at its head. In 1968 the British tried to occupy the platform, but they were rebuffed. As a result, the court made an important decision - this is a case outside British jurisdiction. By 1975, it had its own flag, anthem and currency, as well as passports and a church. Unlike other micronations, Sealand is relatively quoted in the international community, thanks to that very fateful decision of the authorities. However, the state has not yet been recognized by anyone, although formally all the signs of a full-fledged state are present. In 1978, a coup took place, during which power in the country was seized by the prince's associate, Prime Minister Alexander Achenbach. But the deposed monarch managed to return to power. The rebels were treated according to international law, but the fate of the main conspirator, a citizen of Germany, became interested in the FRG. Since the British Foreign Office only threw up its hands, German diplomats had to negotiate directly with Sealand. This was the pinnacle of the actual recognition of Sealand by other countries. In 1990, the mini-country announced the expansion of its territorial waters. At the same time, residents were not afraid to fire at British ships that violated the borders. Recently, Sealand is increasingly becoming a business project, and not always clean on hand. For example, in 1997, Interpol arrested about 150 thousand fake passports of this country, sold in Hong Kong. After this incident, the Sealand authorities, who assisted the investigation, canceled the passports altogether. From 2008 to 2008, it hosted the internet hosting company HavenCo, seeking to evade English laws. In 2006, a massive fire broke out on the platform, which destroyed almost all buildings. But within a year, hardworking citizens have already restored everything. In 2007, the sale of Sealand was announced, and the figure was soon announced - about 750 million euros. Now Sealand is a tourist attraction, and a feature film was even made about the country.