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Technology & Innovation

Become Master of Your Domain, Establish a Micronation

In your darker moments, you’ve considered several drastic ways to keep your neighbors off your lawn. It might be a lot of work just to keep your neighbors in line, but establishing your own personal micronation might not be completely out of the question. You could name it whatever you want and declare yourself supreme ruler. Or you could just file a complaint with local officials. But back to the micronation idea.

While they generally last no more than 90 days or so, hundreds of tiny micronations (population usually no more than one) can exist at any given time. A recent survey by the Smithsonian sheds some interesting light on the phenomenon. According to President Kevin Baugh (pictured), who established the 6.3-acre micronation of Molossia in 1998 within Nevada and California, a number of these new supreme rulers are teenagers, but there is a unique history to these nations within a nation.

Last year, activist Stuart Hill named his home in Scotland’s Shetland Islands the Crown Dependency of Forvik, naming himself leader. While he has since been in a number of disputes with neighbors and the UK government, Hill is accepting applications for Forvik citizenship, which entitles Forvikians to a square meter of land and the payment of annual taxes. On the surface, this is a bizarre stunt of sorts but these micronations can actually grow into something.

One of the most compelling examples of an emerging micronation is the Freetown of Christiania. A commune established by hippies near Copenhagen in 1969, this 85-acre car-free hub has becoming something of a tourist attraction in the area. While similarly-established contemporary micronations include Florida’s Conch Republic and Australia’s Principality of Hutt River, some micronations are downright historic.

Established in 954 as something of a lordship from the Holy Roman Empire, Seborga remains nestled along the Italian Riviera. The 2.8 square-mile area has roughly 362 inhabitants and now issues its own stamps and currency and even has delegates stationed in Indonesia throughout Europe. So while establishing a nation in your name may seem half-baked, there is a precedent for micronations becoming an idyllic enclave that even occasionally receives tourist dollars. Now go show those neighbors who’s boss.


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