Micronationalism in Antarctica
Antarctica is the only continent on Earth with no countries or governments. Only territorial claims divide the continent, although some of these claims are only recognized by their respective countries. Because of this, Antarctica has been a hot spot for micronationalism.
In 1959, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Chile, France, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States signed the Antarctic Treaty. It was agreed among members of the Antarctic Treaty that no nation shall lay claim to West Antarctica, a region bordered by the Argentine/British claim, New Zealand’s claim and the Ross Ice Shelf. A number of micronations, over many years, have incorrectly thought that a loophole exists in the Treaty, that individual claimants were not bound to this treaty. As a result, several micronations claim territory in West Antarctica.
The 'loophole' theory is thought to have originated from the establishment of Westarctica in 2001. Its founder, Travis McHenry, stated that the treaty only applied to countries. Hence, he claimed the land as an individual, something copied by most micronations claiming land in Antarctica today.
However, this incorrect premise is explicitly refuted by Article IV, Clause 2 of the Antarctic Treaty:
- "No acts or activities taking place while the present Treaty is in force shall constitute a basis for asserting, supporting or denying a claim to territorial sovereignty in Antarctica or create any rights of sovereignty in Antarctica. No new claim, or enlargement of an existing claim, to territorial sovereignty in Antarctica shall be asserted while the present Treaty is in force."
The clause does not make any distinction between individuals and countries, stating only that no new claims or expansion of claims at all are permitted under the Treaty. It also makes clear that nothing in the treaty should be interpreted as legitimising any claims to territory in Antarctica.
List of micronations
In addition, the Federated States claims areas that are within the claims made by the seven macronational states that claim territory on the continent, and is currently the only micronation to do so.
- Grand Duchy of Flandrensis (22 November 2008)
- Keep Watch (February 8, 2009)
- Marie State (2 July 2008)
- Federated States of Antarctica (January 25, 2009)
- Principality of Arkel (1 July 2009)
- Antarctic Community of Landashir (4th August 2009)
- State of the People of West Antarctica (10 December 2009)
- 25px Azusan Commonwealth
- Confederate Dorzhabadic colonies of Antarctica (15th January 2010)
- Antarctica's Elain of Atilnia
- Colony of Sterling (Charcot Island) (20 February 2010)
- Marxist People's Republic of Burkland (9 July 2011)
- Grand Duchy of the North Antarctic Peninsular Islands (25 July 2011)
Antarctic micronations with other claims
Several micronations with territorial claims outside Antarctica have also claimed territory in the continent.
- Republic of Atlantis
- Holy Salanian Empire (Salanian Antarctic Territory [Drygalski Island]) 1 November 2008
- Republic of Danesland (Grant Island) (30 November 2009)
- Kingdom of Domanglia (claimed since 31st October 2011)
- Soviet Republic of North America
- USLSSR (Antartican Soviet Socialist Republic) (13 August 2010)
Several micronations have existed in Antarctica, but have since been abandoned or reformed.
- Kingdom of Finismund (9 November 2008 - 2 December 2009)
- Socialist Federal Republic of Nemkhavia (31 July 2009 - 31 January 2010) - Claimed Balleny Islands - now a part of Socialist Union of Nemkhavia and Pristinia
- Republic of Varcetia (Varcetia Islands) (5th August 2009)
- Socialist Union of Nemkhavia and Pristinia (claiming sub-antarctic Buffalo - formerly Bouvet - island; and Dresner - formerly Gough - island; claiming antarctic Balleny Islands)
- Kingdom of Istoria (Victoria Land ) now the Republic of Kuhugstan
- United Antarctica Colonies
- Union of Oceania (Mawson Territory) (01 November 2009 and Reclaimed 21 January 2010) now the Commonwealth of Northern Australia
Antarctic Micronational Union
- Main article: AMU
The Grand Duchy of Flandrensis, the Kingdom of Finismund and Marie State signed the treaty “The Micronational Agreement Antarctic”. “The Micronational Agreement Antarctic” is written by H.R.H. Petrus Maximus, King of Finismund & Siple, Emperor of Antarctica and Baron of Flandrensis. On March 24, 2009, the Federated States of Antarctica acceded to the treaty.
The GAMA was founded so as to prevent illegal claims of other micronations. The former Grand Duchy of Westarctica that disappeared at the beginning of 2008, for instance, returned on 31 December 2008 and demanded that Finismund, Flandrensis and Marie State return their territories.
The administration of the GAMA was a mess so the organization needed changes. On 15th January 2010 Grand Duke Niels I of Flandrensis was elected as its first Secretary-General. The same day GAMA was renamed into the Antarctic Micronational Union (a name that has more clarity). The main goal of the AMU is to organize all Antarctic micronations and protect each other's territory and claims. The AMU also keeps records about all current claims in Antarctica to avoid misunderstandings and conflicts.