So there are country codes not just for actual countries, but also for nearly-independent states, overseas territories, uninhabited islands, and even Antarctica! This would make it one of the first advanced countries in the word to be 100% renewable. Middleton points to Hutt River, in Australia, a small “principality” set up by a family of farmers hoping to escape the government’s strict grain quotas; they soon developed their own royal titles, currency and postal service. Czechoslovakia was a country in eastern Europe. “I could have filled the book several times over.”. Republic of Kosovo is recognized as an independent and sovereign country by 110 UN member states, including the U.S., 23 out of 28 EU members, etc. One of the most troubling histories, he says, concerns the Republic of Lakotah (with a population of 100,000). An article on the blog Jamyco claims 21 African countries have declared support for the independence of Biafra, a disputed territory in southeast Nigeria.. Although Taiwan operates as an independent country, many countries (including the U.S.) do not officially recognize it as one. As countries merge, split, or change their names, the list of countries that no longer exist has grown. Instead, these regions are typically called States, which can be defined by a less-strict set of criteria, all of which are met by England. Scotland does not have external recognition, nor does Scotland have its own embassies in other independent countries. Guyana and Suriname became independent over thirty years ago. This parallel world even has its own international football league. At its greatest extent, it included the northern two-thirds of modern Germany and western Poland. They count Holy See and Palestine as UN observers but also consider Taiwan and Kosovo to be self-governed territories that both have substantial economic resources of their own.. However, it did represent China in the United Nations until 1971. Gran Colombia was a South American country that included what is now Colombia, Panama, Venezuela, and Ecuador from 1819 to 1830. Turkey, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia are also grouped with Europe even though each one is technically located mostly in Asia. In Europe, you can find Forvik, a tiny Shetland Isle founded by an Englishman (from Kent) to promote transparent governance, Sealand, off the British coast, and Christiania, an enclave in the heart of Copenhagen. The others are less famous, but they are by no means less serious; Middleton discusses many examples of indigenous populations hoping to reassert their sovereignty. David Robson is BBC Future’s feature writer. Nick Middleton examines the notion of nations and borders, creating an atlas of countries, states and republics that may not officially exist but that strive for legitimate political recognition After all, the United Nations only recognizes 195. It is now part of unified Vietnam. The Republic of Texas gained independence from Mexico in 1836. Ethiopia and Liberia were the only two African countries that were not colonized. There really is a secret world of hidden independent nations, with their own populations, governments – and football leagues. Something about the whimsy appealed to Middleton. New change, since previous list STATE Short-form name Long-form name GENC 2A Code (see Note 2) […] This list includes the 195 states which are currently full member states or observer states of the United Nations.This does not include extinct states, but does include several states with limited recognition. Catalonia was an autonomous region of Spain. It's that the state they may be separating from, the United Kingdom, is actually OK with the whole idea of an independent Scotland. It is now part of northern India. “So is England a country? New York, May 2, 2006 –North Koreans live in the most censored country in the world, a new analysis by the Committee to Protect Journalists has found.The world’s deepest information void, communist North Korea has no independent journalists, and all radio and television receivers sold in the country are locked to government-specified frequencies. There are 196 countries in the world today. Sikkim was an independent monarchy from the 17th century until 1975. Another interesting case was granting the European Commission the observer status and later on full rights, although it is not allowed to present candidates during a vote. The United Nations Security Council may also refer an investigation to a prosecutor.Technically, the ICC has global jurisdiction because even if a nation isn’t a party, it would be compelled to cooperate with the court i… This Mediterranean island was ruled by various nations over the course of its history but had several brief periods of independence. Sources do not always agree on the total number of countries in the world. The island regions of Martinique, Guadeloupe and the BES islands are not included here … This section contains areas that are not sovereign states but, also, are not integral parts of the sovereign states listed above. Definition and Examples, not always considered an independent country, M.A., Geography, California State University - Northridge, B.A., Geography, University of California - Davis. They eventually gained their independence in 1991 with the dissolution of the USSR. But actually it is a self independent country. It allows our most engaged readers … Below are lists of the countries and territories formerly ruled or administered by the United … Between 1881 and 1914, an invasion and occupation of Africa by European countries resulted in a mass colonization of most African countries. It’s an ambitious goal, but Denmark’s recent success proves they are up to the task. Their plight began in the 18th Century, and by 1868 they had finally signed a deal with the US government that promised the right to live on the Black Hills. The EU will generally not consider candidates with open territorial issues, and currently, five EU members do not consider Kosovo as independent from Serbia. In the deep future, every territory we know could eventually become a country that doesn’t exist. New countries are always being born, while old ones vanish. There are two countries in Africa considered by some scholars to never have been colonized: Ethiopia and Liberia. “No one my age thought that the Soviet Union would fall to bits – there can be big unexpected changes,” he says. As its website proclaims: “In an age where people increasingly are unified by common interests and purposes across – rather than within – traditional national boundaries, Atlantium offers an alternative to the discriminatory historic practice of assigning nationality to individuals on the basis of accidents of birth or circumstance.”. States That Are Not UN Members or Observers There are other entities that have the observer status but are not recognized as states, such as the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. Prussia, by World War II a federal unit of Germany, was fully dissolved at the end of World War II. After all, the United Nations only recognizes 195. He calls them the “countries that don’t exist”, but although their names may seem fantastical – Atlantium, Christiania, and Elgaland-Vargaland – they are all real places, occupied by fervidly patriotic citizens. Last change was with the ending of the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro in June 2006, Montenegro and Serbia came into existence as independent states. The International Court of Justice found that Kosovo's declaration of independence did not violate international law . Republic of Kosovo is recognized as an independent and sovereign country by 110 UN member states, including the U.S., 23 out of 28 EU members, etc. In 1958, non-neighbors Syria and Egypt joined together to form the United Arab Republic. Yet many countries that meet these criteria aren‘t members of the United Nations (commonly accepted as the final seal of a country’s statehood). A handful of the names will be familiar to anyone who has read a newspaper: territories such as Taiwan, Tibet, Greenland, and Northern Cyprus. Now they only admit recognized independent countries (with a few exceptions), but teams that became members in the past are allowed to stay on regardless of their sovereignty status. Also known as the Turkish Empire, this empire began around 1300 and expanded to include parts of contemporary Russia, Turkey, Hungary, the Balkans, northern Africa, and the Middle East. The list below is far from comprehensive, but it includes the most notable former countries. When I first see Nick Middleton, he is surrounded by globes and atlases showing the most exotic places on the planet. Middleton, however, is here to talk about countries missing from the vast majority of books and maps for sale here. At the start of the 20th century, there were only a few dozen independent sovereign states on the planet; today, there are nearly 200! Note 2: Geopolitical Entities, Names, and Codes (GENC) Standard two-letter and three-letter codes. Taking advantage of this loophole, in the year 196… This small landlocked country has a long history of semi-autonomy. Completely independent in 1994, yes, so to be technically correct it ought to say independent from the US, not the UN. The truth, however, is that brief periods of varying levels of foreign control during their early histories have left the question of whether Liberia and Ethiopia truly remained fully independent a subject of debate. Though a kingdom for hundreds of years, Hawaii wasn't recognized as an independent country until the 1840s. He is @d_a_robson on twitter. As far as independence movements go, Scotland has it made — the Scottish National Party, the country's largest political party, already has cleared out its calender for a September 18, 2014 referendum. It remained independent from 1932 to 1934 and from 1936 to 1939. We know what it is, but in reality, the concept of a country is a little more complex than just that. Other sources claim there are 197 countries. So far, the Danish government has turned something of a blind eye to the activities; smoking cannabis, for instance, is legal in Christiania, but outlawed in the rest of the Denmark (though the Christianians themselves have decided to ban harder drugs). One thing’s certain – the world is in constant flux. As there are different coronavirus restrictions in place, we outline what some countries are doing for Christmas during the outbreak Not all the countries featured in Middleton’s book have such deep historical roots – often, they are established by rather eccentric individuals hoping to set up a new, fairer state. Turkey is a great destination too. Even the United Kingdom is a somewhat strange case, Middleton says. But that’s just its administrative quarters – Atlantium is “non-territorial”, meaning that anyone, anywhere, can become a citizen. This Sealand country is 13 Kilometer far from the British coastline and can be named as the world’s smallest sovereign country. “They have a thriving stamp business,” says Middleton (although initially, letters had to be flown through Canada). The “Montevideo Convention” declares that to become a country, a region needs the following features: a defined territory, a permanent population, a government, and “the capacity to enter into relations with other states”. Yes, you read that right. That means FIFA recognizes Chinese Taipei as a province of the People's Republic of China and not the independent Republic of China. Liberia was founded by freed slaves and Ethiopia resisted Italian attempts at colonization. But what makes the Scottish case unique isn't just the planning ahead. This is a list of all the independent countries or puppet states that existed between 1815 and the present day that no longer exist. Some can even issue you a biometric passport. In fact, you’ve almost certainly visited one without realising. One of the most beautiful places to visit in the country is Lake Sary-Chelek, which is wedged within a lush green valley. In 1961, Syria abandoned the alliance, but Egypt kept the name United Arab Republic for itself for another decade. There is a growing political, cultural, and social rift between these two Belgian regions. The Lakota would have to wait more than a century for an apology, when, in 1998, a judge at the Supreme Court concluded that “a more ripe and rank case of dishonest dealings may never be found in our history”. International law does not dictate who is a member of the UN. Only five countries were able to join while they were still under the control of other nations. The country was annexed to the United States in 1898. That means FIFA recognizes Chinese Taipei as a province of the People's Republic of China and not the independent Republic of China. Gran Colombia. However, many countries still have not recognized the change. After decades of struggle, the government gave up the fight and the family no longer have to pay Australian taxes. Below is a list of sovereign states with the dates of their formation (date of their independence or of their constitution), sorted by continent.. The countries are ranked as free, partly free or not free. (Lifespan of each is based on that country's sovereignty. Not even the UK. In this list, we’re taking a look at ten European countries that collapsed during this formative time. The Murrawarri gave her 30 days to reply – and with nothing but a deafening silence, they formally reasserted their claim to rule their ancient homeland. The Verdict As you can see, Scotland is not an independent country or state, and neither are Wales, Northern Ireland, or England itself. And there are now fewer countries in the world which can be considered truly at peace – in other words, not engaged in any conflicts either internally or externally – than there were in 2014. Chinese Taipei should be on the list. The headline reads: “Breaking: 21 Africa Countries declared support for Biafra republic”.The article was published on 17 September 2019.. Several Facebook pages and groups have shared the story. All of the 193 sovereign states have an equal amount of power and representation within the UN General Assem… the Yemen Arab Republic) and South Yemen (a.k.a. Today, Corsica is a department of France. There’s Barotseland, an African kingdom with a population of 3.5 million that has mounted a case to leave Zambia, and Ogoniland, which is attempting to disengage from Nigeria; both declared independence in 2012. Not all the countries featured in Middleton’s book have such deep historical roots – often, they are established by rather eccentric individuals hoping to set up a new, fairer state. •Total control.Print and electronic media in all 10 countries are under heavy state control or influence. “Co-operation can’t mean that everybody has a veto.” Guy Pratte, partner at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP who is representing the federal government, said the provinces’ appeal to federalism contrasted strangely with their suggestion that Parliament use the criminal code, a power that is “a lot more intrusive, and a lot less efficient.” Athletes from Taiwan can not compete under the flag of their nation. Athletes from Taiwan can not compete under the flag of their nation. He points to Antarctica, a continent shared peacefully among the international community, as a sign that we don’t necessarily have to slice up land as if it were a giant pizza. Though the average size of a US state (78,000 square miles) is larger than a huge chunk of European countries, the individual pearls of our union might not fare so well out on their own. Bang in the centre of the United States of America (just east of the Rocky Mountains), the republic is an attempt to reclaim the sacred Black Hills for the Lakota Sioux tribe. While Taiwan still exists, it is not always considered an independent country. Other Non-EU Countries Currently, 23 European countries, including the candidates and potential candidates, are not part of the EU. The latter country was formed by a group of squatters occupying a former army barracks in 1971. Conde Nast Traveller An elevated barge right in between the United Kingdom and Europe might look like a disused oil rig but it is actually a country of its own. After all, it’s only a short hop from Istanbul to Abkhazia and Nagorno-Karabakh. Since then, it has been known as the Xizang Autonomous Region of China. NOTES Note 1: In this listing, the term “independent state” refers to a people politically organized into a sovereign state with a definite territory recognized as independent by the US. Christiania is a country within a city (Credit: Raymond Brooke / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0), Middleton’s quest began, appropriately enough, with Narnia. Flicking through its pages, it feels like you have entered a parallel world with a vibrant, forgotten history and a rich culture. Even so, he didn’t expect them to be quite so widespread. ), In the end, England and Scotland didn’t make it into the pages of his Atlas. Gran Colombia ceased to exist when Venezuela and Ecuador seceded from the union. South Vietnam existed from 1954 to 1976 as the anti-communist counterpart to North Vietnam. Of course, there's also the Falkland Islands, which are a British territory. Consider Atlantium. On 26 September that year, they declared it independent, with its own “direct democracy”, in which each of the inhabitants (now numbering 850) could vote on any important matter. The United Kingdom has constituent "countries" (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) that for some purposes are considered independent, mostly for sporting events like football and the Commonwealth games (but not the Olympics). Some countries allow a few privately owned outlets to operate but most of these are in the hands of regime loyalists. For decades, this country was the most powerful communist nation in the world. It’s actually pretty straight forward. The International Court of Justice found that Kosovo's declaration of independence did not violate international law. Dependencies that are not internationally recognized, or not in effect, are listed in italics. If you’ve never heard of them before, it’s quite possibly because they don’t yet exist as countries in the eyes of much of the world. FIFA members that aren't independent countries You might have noticed that 211 is more than the number of actual independent countries in the world. Taiwan does have an independent government and its own currency but can not compete as the Republic of China. The Hapsburg monarchs had ruled Austria and Hungary since the 1500s. Then there’s Elgaland-Vargaland, which was thought up by two Swedish artists – and is meant to consist of all the areas of “No Man’s Land” across the world, including the land marking the borders between other nations and any bits of the sea outside another country’s territorial waters; any time you have travelled abroad, you have passed through Elgaland-Vargaland. Unfortunately, they hadn’t accounted for a gold rush – and the government soon forgot about its deal as prospectors swarmed over the sacred land. Every year, more than 100 nations celebrate their independence day, however, Independence Day is not always a popular event, sometimes associated with regime change in these countries. “Once I started looking into them, I was amazed by how many there are,” he says. A kingdom established in the 7th century, Tibet was invaded by China in 1950. a more ripe and rank case of dishonest dealings may never be found in our history, declare their formal withdrawal from the US. A good example of this reason is Spain, that is probably afraid for a split of Catalonia from Spain. Once a nation is established, they tend to stick around for awhile, so a nation disappearing is quite uncommon. Burma officially changed its name to Myanmar in 1989. In the early 20th century, it split into the states of Eritrea and Ethiopia. A South Sudanese man celebrates his country's independence. The Ottoman Empire ceased to exist in 1923 when Turkey declared independence from what remained of the empire. I have been to England seven times and the Isle of Man once. Middleton, a geographer at the University of Oxford, has now charted these hidden lands in his new book, An Atlas of Countries that Don’t Exist (Macmillan, 2015). Usually it can refer to either a sovereign state, meaning that the two could be used interchangeably, or a nation. The Persian Empire extended from the Mediterranean Sea to India. First, each ratified country has the right to nominate one candidate to be elected as a judge. The only possession on the mainland is French Guiana, a overseas French dependency. In fact, you have almost certainly, unknowingly, visited one. Unless you don't count Taiwan… Taiwan is not considered an official country by many, which would bring the count down to 195 countries. As a geographer, he realised that you don’t have to use magic to visit a country that “doesn’t exist” in the eyes of most other states. In 1991, it broke into 15 new countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldovia, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan. Provinces are not independent states,” Morley said. The definition of “country” can be a little vague and is a prominent debate within political science. In 1972, it changed its name to Sri Lanka. In the Arab Republic of Egypt, a married woman “can leave the house only for purposes allowed by law or custom, otherwise she needs her husband’s permission or she loses her right to financial support.” But given our difficulties even defining what a country is, perhaps we need to rethink the concept of the nation-state altogether? Yemen split in 1967 into two countries, North Yemen (a.k.a. If one or more of these requisites are not met, the country cannot be considered fully independent and does not factor into the total of 196 independent countries around the world. The panel of judges will approve the prosecution in case an independent action wants to be made. Gran Colombia was a South American country that included what is now Colombia, Panama, Venezuela, and Ecuador from 1819 to 1830. The Court decided to compensate the Lakota Sioux (in nearly $600m) but they have refused to take the cash. That's because, much like the Olympics, FIFA used to allow dependent territories to … Located in Central Asia, this country sits between China and Kazakhstan and has a stunningly beautiful landscape with a rich nomadic tradition. The three most serious human rights problems in DR Congo is the armed conflict in the East, the lack of an independent and an effective judiciary and no punishment is administered throughout the country for many serious abuses, which include killings, abduction, and the use of rape as a weapon of war. In fact, of all the countries Middleton has looked at, this is the closest to his starting point, Narnia – since the artists claim that any time you enter a dream, or let your mind wander, you have also crossed a border and temporarily taken a trip into Elgaland-Vargaland. the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen). Not to split hairs, but I do not believe Palau was a UN Trust - it was a "free association" with the United States though an independent republic since 1981. Prussia became a Duchy in 1660 and a kingdom the following century. Built during World War II, it stood six Kms beyond British marine territory without anyone’s legal claim over it. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and Instagram. Every country has it’s own reason why they do not support the independence of Kosovo. Similar battles are being fought across every continent. We have our own sports teams and compete against each other – but we only have one shared seat in the UN. Sovereign States of America: 10 States That Started as Free Countries & How They Joined the Union America's Sovereign States: The Obscure History of How 10 Independent States Joined the U.S. You're free to republish or share any of our articles (either in part or in full), which are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License . The globe, or the atlas for that matter, is full of little regions that should ideally be recognised as a country, yet for various reasons they are not recognised by the United Nations and are ignored on most world maps. Attaining independence is one of the most important milestones in the history of a territory or a country.Although it is not clearly highlighted in international law, a country effectively becomes a sovereign state when the United Nations recognizes its independence. Dependent territories. Disputes often arise when a territory claims to be a country, but is not recognized by any other countries. There's a secret world of hidden independent nations, with their own populations, governments – and football leagues. Perhaps this is just the start. If a nation has no independent judiciary, rights are merely 'empty promises' By Patricia Timmons-Goodson. Read about our approach to external linking. It is an independent and neutral organisation. Territories, such as Hong Kong, Bermuda, Puerto Rico, and Greenland that belong to other countries are not considered countries. Take a country, for instance. Also known as the Ethiopian Empire, Abyssinia was a kingdom in northeast Africa. Most nations in Africa were colonized by European states in the early modern era, including a burst of colonization in the Scramble for Africa from 1880 to 1900. For his shortlist, Middleton focused on the countries that meet the Montevideo convention, with a fixed territory, population, and government, but which have no representation in the General Assembly. Source: AP Photo/Jason Patinkin.There are 196 countries in the world today.Unless you don't count Taiwan…Taiwan is not considered an official country by many, which would bring the count down to 195 countries. But a fight for independence has been ongoing for a long time in may parts of the world. Atlantium and Elgaland-Vargaland may be a little too fanciful for most people to take very seriously – Middleton admires them more as an attempt to provoke wider debate on international relations. 10 Austria-Hungary. “They all raise the possibility that countries as we know them are not the only legitimate basis for ordering the planet,” he wrote in his book. These include dependent territories and integral areas of primarily non-North American states. This is important, because organizations might need an option for every place that any person can be located, and dependent territories often aren't technically part of the countries they belong to. This South American country was part of Gran Colombia from 1819 to 1830 and was an independent country from 1830 to 1858. As a result, the world may see the formation of new countries and borders. In Libya, there are no independent broadcast or print media, an anachronism even by Middle East standards. Instead, in 2007 a delegation marched to Washington to declare their formal withdrawal from the US, and they continue to mount a legal battle for their independence. It's only occurred a handful of times in the last century. Within our law, England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are considered individual states. Definition and Examples, A List of Current Communist Countries in the World, The Complete Story of Venezuela's Revolution for Independence, Countries in Africa Considered Never Colonized, What Is a Failed State? Only sovereign nations are allowed to become members of the UN. The last pages of Middleton’s Atlas contain two radical examples that question everything we think we mean by the word ‘country’. I have not been to Wales, but I was close to it in Liverpool and Portsmouth. Ceylon was an island country located off the coast of India. Fact Sheet BUREAU OF INTELLIGENCE AND RESEARCH Washington, DC July 16, 2020 See also: Dependencies and Areas of Special Sovereignty Total count of independent states: 195 * Diplomatic relations with the United States + Member of United Nations ! Presided over by the Bates family, this fortress island is almost 13Km away from the British coastline and is perhaps world’s smallest sovereign entity. But this condition was reversed over the course of the next century by independence movements.Here are the … Its capital, Concordia, for instance, is based in a remote rural province of Australia – it is occupied by more kangaroos than people. From 1907 to 1949, Newfoundland existed as the self-governing Dominion of Newfoundland. Every year, more than 100 nations celebrate their independence day, however, Independence Day is not always a popular event, sometimes associated with regime change in these countries. The outcome of any legal dispute in these countries is rarely in doubt. Prime Minister David Cameron signed off on a legal framework for referendum to take place alongside First Minister o… We are in the basement of Stanfords, London’s largest travel bookshop, visited by such intrepid explorers as Florence Nightingale, Ernest Shackleton and Ranulph Fiennes. The United Kingdom has constituent "countries" (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) that for some purposes are considered independent, mostly for sporting events like football and the Commonwealth games (but not the Olympics). In 1949, Newfoundland joined Canada as a province. Some cite a treaty signed in 1933, during the International Conference of American States in Montevideo, Uruguay. 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