Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Thank You Wikipedia

You can find anything on Wikipedia, right? One of my new favorite things is WikiHow, where you can learn to do just about anything. I was looking up how to make a ballet bar out of PVC pipe (odd to many of you, but the Dance Team I advise wants a ballet bar and we're on a budget), and came across this article. Who's with me!?

How to Start Your Own Country

from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit

Anyone can start their own country. That doesn't mean that people will recognize it, but hey, they generally won't stop you from trying--as long as they don't see it as a threat. So if you'd like to do your own thing in your own country, here's how to establish a micronation.


  1. Find territory for your micronation. Most micronationalists use their houses, land no one wants, or land on other planets. Some micronations exist on land unclaimed by other countries because of a loophole in a treaty. The Republic of Indian Stream, for example, was on land between the U.S. and Canada but is not under the jurisdiction of either because of ambiguous terms in the Treaty of Paris.[1] If you can't find land, though, make some! One millionaire activist piled sand onto a reef located in the Pacific Ocean south of Fiji and created an artificial island to start the Republic of Minerva.[2] But if you're not rich enough to make land, then just make it up--some of the more lighthearted micronations claim land on imaginary continents or planets.
  2. Declare your independence. If you have land, a declaration of independence will serve to claim that territory. Keep in mind, however, that actually sending your declaration of independence to gain recognition can lead to legal or military action if anyone disputes that claim. For example, when The Republic of Minerva issued a declaration of independence in letters to neighboring countries, the neighbors were very perturbed, and one of the countries decided to send their people to the island to take down the Minervan flag.[2] Besides, you can still function like an independent nation without actually declaring independence, like Taiwan does![3]
  3. Set up a government and constitution. This is a good time to consider why you're starting a country, and how you would like it to turn out. Here are some examples:
    • Recreating the past - e.g. Nova Roma, dedicated "to the restoration of classical Roman religion, culture and virtues".[4]
    • Just for fun - e.g. the Aerican Empire, based on strong senses of humour and a love of science fiction, fantasy, and games.[5]
    • To promote an agenda - e.g. Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of the Coral Sea Islands, on the uninhabited Coral Sea Islands off the coast of Queensland, in response to the Australian government's refusal to recognize same-sex marriage.[6]

  4. Acquire citizens. You can have only yourself, if you want, or anyone who wants to join. Setting up a website, however, will help publicize your micronation to potential citizens around the world. You must also decide what you require of your citizens. Do they have to pass a test? Abide by certain laws? And what will they have to identify themselves as citizens of your country - A passport? Driver's license? Badge?
  5. Decide on symbols for your country. You should have a flag, a coat of arms, and any other way to represent yourself. Once you have symbols chosen, you can issue stamps, medals, and currency, if you'd like. Some micronations go as far as inventing their own culture and language. Of course, you might be content to create your own letterhead. After all, it's your country!


  • If you want to stand a chance of being recognized, your country should have territory, a government, a permanent population, and be able to host diplomatic relations (the Montevideo Convention's requirements for statehood).
  • Study existing and well-established micronations. What has led to their success? What can you learn from them?
  • If your intent is to have a functional and independent country, you will ultimately need some sort of basic infrastructure (e.g, roads, school, buildings, hospital, fire station).

Related wikiHows

Sources and Citations

  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republic_of_Indian_Stream

  2. 2.0 2.1 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republic_of_Minerva

  3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republic_of_China

  4. http://www.novaroma.org/

  5. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aerican_Empire

  6. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gay_and_Lesbian_Kingdom_of_the_Coral_Sea_Islands

Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Start Your Own Country. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.


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