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Smallest viable countries

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Grasslands1 View Drop Down
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    Posted: 04 Dec 2014 at 18:15
What would make a hypothetical microstate viable?   How could any of these be plausible?

In our timeline, San Marino claims to have been independent since the days of the Roman Empire. I wonder what the Romans would have had to say about that? Why was it not incorporated into the Empire?

Could the city of Ravenna be a surviving outpost of the Roman Empire?

In the early and mid 15th century, the Byzantine Empire consisted only of the city of Byzantium and a few outlying towns.  Byzantium was on the European side of the Straits.  Whoever conquers it might feel a sentimental attachment to its history and decide to let it survive as a microstate.  He still has the other side of the straits, after all.  Is there any other reason to let it survive as a microstate to the present day?
Suppose Lenin decides he doesn't need or feel like fighting over all of Russia.  He settles for one port city and he will export socialism/communism later.    So the "Soviet Union" consists of just one city.  It wouldn't be called the USSR unless and until he or his successors manage to take more territory.

Suppose the Founding Fathers of the USA don't agree on a constitution, so Delaware is the only one which ratifies it.  So Delaware is the only state in the "United State of America."  

The southern states might take over Louisiana, New England takes over the Northwestern Territories, the Russians keep California and the rest of the West.  So Delaware would be a microstate.

Suppose at some point Japan gets Balkanized, and the Japanese Empire is just one small island. The other Japanese islands are either democracies, tyrannies under a military junta, socialist states or maybe a theocracy.

For whatever reason, California doesn't get into the Union right away.  Meanwhile the US Civil War gets worse and drags on longer.  The wealth of the Gold Rush makes it possible for many individuals to set up their own little countries which remain independent and stable.

If Italy never gets unified, there might be 10 or more independent countries on that peninsula.

The wealth in Africa might enable European-ruled microstates along the coast.

Could the Aztec, Inca and Mayan cultures have survived on one Caribbean island as a microstate?

Individual Pacific islands might be microstates dependent on tourism, banking, lotteries, adventure travelers.
Some of them are.

What would make these plausible?  Thanks.





























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fantasus View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fantasus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Dec 2014 at 18:28
Is there any universal og general answer? I doubt. If their neighbours let them exist, what should make them non-viable?
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toyomotor View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Dec 2014 at 05:47
Originally posted by fantasus fantasus wrote:

Is there any universal og general answer? I doubt. If their neighbours let them exist, what should make them non-viable?


I believe you're right. Many of the so-called "viable" small countries exist only because their bigger and more powerful neighbours allow them to. The reasons many and varied, but I suppose if a country has nothing its neighbours covet or can exploit, or if they don't pose a threat, why stir the pot?

If smaller countries like Lichtenstien were peremptorily annexed by one of its neighbours, I could see ructions in the UN.

It's not that I was born in Ireland,
It's the Ireland that was born in me.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fantasus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Dec 2014 at 08:27
Originally posted by toyomotor toyomotor wrote:

Originally posted by fantasus fantasus wrote:

Is there any universal og general answer? I doubt. If their neighbours let them exist, what should make them non-viable?


I believe you're right. Many of the so-called "viable" small countries exist only because their bigger and more powerful neighbours allow them to. The reasons many and varied, but I suppose if a country has nothing its neighbours covet or can exploit, or if they don't pose a threat, why stir the pot?

If smaller countries like Lichtenstien were peremptorily annexed by one of its neighbours, I could see ructions in the UN.

I suspect actually some of those in power love having such small states. Think about it. If You make something that does not turn well out for You, You may have a refuge. You also have a refuge for Your money. You have a place where to do all the things You don´t allow in Your own country. So I guess that some clever persons in power in big countries would invent miniputs if they did not already exist.
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Grasslands1 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Grasslands1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Dec 2014 at 04:29
Well, this is alternative history, and I wonder which alternatives are more plausible.  Is an independent Constantinople mini-state just as plausible as the Vatican city-state or a Tokyo
city-state?
Are the ones I listed likely to happen in some alternative history? Thanks.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Feb 2015 at 01:46
How about West Berlin twenty-five years ago, or the DMZ in Korea?  What about the Gaza strip or the West bank?  I always thought Hong Kong or Macao would have been interesting to visit before they were given back to China.  Let us not forget Taiwan or in a different way, Antarctica.  These are kind of places that due to weird political situations, are outside the nation-state model.
There is a micro-nation that is on a retired oil platform in the North Sea, it is recognized by Britain, only by Britain and has a defense treaty with it.  Of course, there is also South Ossetia which Russia took from Georgia and which is only recognized by Russia.  Eastern Ukraine may become that way too.  You have that area of Kalingrad, owned by Russia but separated from it by Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, which of course, used to be Prussian Konigsberg.
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