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”. Of course, there's also the Falkland Islands, which are a British territory. At its greatest extent, it included the northern two-thirds of modern Germany and western Poland. Burma officially changed its name to Myanmar in 1989. Even the United Kingdom is a somewhat strange case, Middleton says. The Court decided to compensate the Lakota Sioux (in nearly $600m) but they have refused to take the cash. In the early 20th century, it split into the states of Eritrea and Ethiopia. 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. We have our own sports teams and compete against each other – but we only have one shared seat in the UN. 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.” the Yemen Arab Republic) and South Yemen (a.k.a. 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. 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. Ethiopia and Liberia were the only two African countries that were not colonized. When I first see Nick Middleton, he is surrounded by globes and atlases showing the most exotic places on the planet. There are two countries in Africa considered by some scholars to never have been colonized: Ethiopia and Liberia. Prussia became a Duchy in 1660 and a kingdom the following century. Despite these more eccentric examples, Middleton wouldn’t consider trying to set up a country himself. If a nation has no independent judiciary, rights are merely 'empty promises' By Patricia Timmons-Goodson. Below are lists of the countries and territories formerly ruled or administered by the United … In 1972, it changed its name to Sri Lanka. Perhaps this is just the start. It remained independent from 1932 to 1934 and from 1936 to 1939. In fact, you’ve almost certainly visited one without realising. This small landlocked country has a long history of semi-autonomy. First, each ratified country has the right to nominate one candidate to be elected as a judge. Usually it can refer to either a sovereign state, meaning that the two could be used interchangeably, or a nation. “I could have filled the book several times over.”. In Libya, there are no independent broadcast or print media, an anachronism even by Middle East standards. Catalonia was an autonomous region of Spain. “They say if we take the money, it’ll be like saying the crime was alright,” says Middleton. 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. 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”. Dependencies that are not internationally recognized, or not in effect, are listed in italics. The outcome of any legal dispute in these countries is rarely in doubt. Sources do not always agree on the total number of countries in the world. 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. For decades, this country was the most powerful communist nation in the world. The globe, it turns out, is full of small (and not so small) regions that have all the trappings of a real country – a fixed population, a government, a flag, and a currency. In 1961, Syria abandoned the alliance, but Egypt kept the name United Arab Republic for itself for another decade. The EU will generally not consider candidates with open territorial issues, and currently, five EU members do not consider Kosovo as independent from Serbia. Matt Rosenberg is an award-winning geographer and the author of "The Handy Geography Answer Book" and "The Geography Bee Complete Preparation Handbook. A monarchy established in 1867, Austria-Hungary (also known as the Austro-Hungarian Empire) included not just Austria and Hungary but also parts of the Czech Republic, Poland, Italy, Romania, and the Balkans. Chinese Taipei should be on the list. Similar battles are being fought across every continent. It’s very possible that Belgium could split into two independent nations- Wallonia and Flanders. It’s actually pretty straight forward. Below is a list of sovereign states with the dates of their formation (date of their independence or of their constitution), sorted by continent.. 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 . But actually it is a self independent country. 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. “They have a thriving stamp business,” says Middleton (although initially, letters had to be flown through Canada). Consider Atlantium. Its capital, Concordia, for instance, is based in a remote rural province of Australia – it is occupied by more kangaroos than people. This is a list of all the independent countries or puppet states that existed between 1815 and the present day that no longer exist. Not happy with half, Denmark hopes to be 100% renewable by 2050. 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. South Vietnam existed from 1954 to 1976 as the anti-communist counterpart to North Vietnam. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and Instagram. However, it did represent China in the United Nations until 1971. Turkey, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia are also grouped with Europe even though each one is technically located mostly in Asia. Gran Colombia. 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… Yet for various reasons they are not allowed representatives in the United Nations, and are ignored on most world maps. The last pages of Middleton’s Atlas contain two radical examples that question everything we think we mean by the word ‘country’. It is now part of northern India. Gran Colombia was a South American country that included what is now Colombia, Panama, Venezuela, and Ecuador from 1819 to 1830. 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. The only possession on the mainland is French Guiana, a overseas French dependency. In Australia, meanwhile, the Republic of Murrawarri was founded in 2013, after the indigenous tribe wrote a letter to Queen Elizabeth II asking her to prove her legitimacy to govern their land. 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 Athletes from Taiwan can not compete under the flag of their nation. A good example of this reason is Spain, that is probably afraid for a split of Catalonia from Spain. (Such questions came to a head with Scotland’s recent referendum. Territories, such as Hong Kong, Bermuda, Puerto Rico, and Greenland that belong to other countries are not considered countries. 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. Sikkim was an independent monarchy from the 17th century until 1975. “Once I started looking into them, I was amazed by how many there are,” he says. Between 1881 and 1914, an invasion and occupation of Africa by European countries resulted in a mass colonization of most African countries. Only five countries were able to join while they were still under the control of other nations. Unfortunately, they hadn’t accounted for a gold rush – and the government soon forgot about its deal as prospectors swarmed over the sacred land. Taiwan does have an independent government and its own currency but can not compete as the Republic of China. (Although many of them are instead members of the “Unrepresented United Nations – an alternative body to champion their rights.). The country was annexed to the United States in 1898. The panel of judges will approve the prosecution in case an independent action wants to be made. Not even the UK. This parallel world even has its own international football league. The island regions of Martinique, Guadeloupe and the BES islands are not included here … Though a kingdom for hundreds of years, Hawaii wasn't recognized as an independent country until the 1840s. 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. We know what it is, but in reality, the concept of a country is a little more complex than just that. From 1907 to 1949, Newfoundland existed as the self-governing Dominion of Newfoundland. One of the possible reasons is that they are afraid that a certain part of their own country wants to break-up. Guyana and Suriname became independent over thirty years ago. 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. It peacefully split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1993. 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. March 1, 2018, 8:00 am CST The International Court of Justice found that Kosovo's declaration of independence did not violate international law . In this list, we’re taking a look at ten European countries that collapsed during this formative time. Modern Persia was founded in the 16th century and later became known as Iran. It’s an ambitious goal, but Denmark’s recent success proves they are up to the task. As countries merge, split, or change their names, the list of countries that no longer exist has grown. “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. Unless you don't count Taiwan… Taiwan is not considered an official country by many, which would bring the count down to 195 countries. Only sovereign nations are allowed to become members of the UN. However, in 1990 the two rejoined to form a unified Yemen. A kingdom established in the 7th century, Tibet was invaded by China in 1950. Independent Premium Comments can be posted by members of our membership scheme, Independent Premium. Dependent territories. However, many countries still have not recognized the change. Even so, he didn’t expect them to be quite so widespread. They eventually gained their independence in 1991 with the dissolution of the USSR. It is now part of unified Vietnam. (Palestinian territories and Taiwan are (until now) not recognized as sovereign states, Kosovo is partially recognized by 81 out of 193 United Nations member states. In the deep future, every territory we know could eventually become a country that doesn’t exist. This Sealand country is 13 Kilometer far from the British coastline and can be named as the world’s smallest sovereign country. “Having trawled through so many serious stories of yearning and oppression, I don’t think it’s appropriate to take it too light heartedly,” he says. Some countries allow a few privately owned outlets to operate but most of these are in the hands of regime loyalists. These include dependent territories and integral areas of primarily non-North American states. After all, the United Nations only recognizes 195. 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). Prussia, by World War II a federal unit of Germany, was fully dissolved at the end of World War II. In fact, you have almost certainly, unknowingly, visited one. In fact, you’ve almost certainly visited one without realising. 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. The area has since been divided into the states of Bangladesh and India. 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. It is an independent and neutral organisation. The Hapsburg monarchs had ruled Austria and Hungary since the 1500s. Every country has it’s own reason why they do not support the independence of Kosovo. The definition of “country” can be a little vague and is a prominent debate within political science. Located in Central Asia, this country sits between China and Kazakhstan and has a stunningly beautiful landscape with a rich nomadic tradition. Gran Colombia ceased to exist when Venezuela and Ecuador seceded from the union.