These lists of historical unrecognized or partially recognized states or governments give an overview of extinct geopolitical entities that wished to be recognized as sovereign states, but did not enjoy worldwide diplomatic recognition. The entries listed here had de facto control over their claimed territory and were self-governing with a desire for full independence; or if they lacked such control over their territory, they were recognized by at least one other recognized nation.
The criteria for inclusion in this list are similar to those of the list of states with limited recognition. To be included here, a polity must have claimed statehood, has not had recognition by at least one widely accepted state for a significant portion of its de facto existence, and either:
had a population and an organized government with a capacity to enter into relations with other states; or
had de facto control over a territory or a significant portion of the territory of an otherwise-recognized sovereign state
Historic unrecognized or partially recognized states with de facto control over their territoryEdit
The total number of countries in the African continent is unknown due to the instability throughout the region. At present there are 54 sovereign countries and around 90 countries, territories and regions not recognized by the UN. One needs to take into account the fact that some countries are independent nations, and while they have geopolitical borders they are protectorates or territories (for example the Islands of St. Helena, the Canary Islands etc.). Also, certain parts of Africa have a tendency towards political instability (more so than other continents); this means that from time to time countries split, merge and are renamed. Some examples include: The Republic of South Sudan, Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana and Burkina Faso. Since colonialism, African states have frequently been hampered by instability, corruption, violence, and authoritarianism. The vast majority of African states are republics that operate under some form of the presidential system of rule. However, few of them have been able to sustain democratic governments on a permanent basis, and many have instead cycled through a series of coups, producing military dictatorships.
Great instability was mainly the result of marginalization of ethnic groups, and graft under these leaders. For political gain, many leaders fanned ethnic conflicts, some of which had been exacerbated, or even created, by colonial rule. In many countries, the military was perceived as being the only group that could effectively maintain order, and it ruled many nations in Africa during the 1970s and early 1980s. During the period from the early 1960s to the late 1980s, Africa had more than 70 coups and 13 presidential assassinations. Border and territorial disputes were also common, with the European-imposed borders of many nations being widely contested through armed conflicts.
A variety of causes have been blamed for Africa's political instability, including Cold War conflicts between the United States and the Soviet Union, over-reliance on foreign aid, decades of corruption and mismanagement by socialist leaders, as well as the policies of the International Monetary Fund. When a country became independent for the first time, it would often align itself with one of the two superpowers in order to get support. Many countries in Northern Africa received Soviet military aid, while many in Central and Southern Africa were supported by the United States, France or both. The 1970s saw an escalation, as newly independent Angola and Mozambique aligned themselves with the Soviet Union, and the West and South Africa sought to contain Soviet influence by funding insurgency movements. There was a major famine in Ethiopia, when hundreds of thousands of people starved. Some claimed that Marxist/Soviet policies made the situation worse. The most devastating military conflict in modern independent Africa has been the Second Congo War; this conflict and its aftermath have killed an estimated 5.5 million people. Since 2003 there has been an ongoing conflict in Darfur which has become a humanitarian disaster. Another notable tragic event is the 1994 Rwandan Genocide in which an estimated 800,000 people were murdered. AIDS in post-colonial Africa has also been a prevalent issue.
In the 21st century, however, the number of armed conflicts in Africa has steadily declined. For instance, the civil war in Angola came to an end in 2002 after nearly 30 years. This has coincided with many countries abandoning communist style command economies and opening up for market reforms. The improved stability and economic reforms have led to a great increase in foreign investment into many African nations, mainly from China, which has spurred quick economic growth in many countries, seemingly ending decades of stagnation and decline. Several African economies are among the world's fastest growing as of 2011. A significant part of this growth can also be attributed to the facilitated diffusion of information technologies and specifically the mobile phone.
Enjoyed de facto independence since the founding of Griquatown in 1813, Griqualand West eventually proclaimed itself a British colony in 1873. It did not gain recognition by Britain nor the neighboring Cape Colony and was annexed in 1880.
A fort was established by a group of Voortrekkers under the leadership of Andries Hendrik Potgieter with the help of a Dutch merchant Gregorius Ohrig. The settlers arrived in 1845 and were decimated by malaria. Forced to abandon the area, the republic was officially abandoned in 1849.
A small Boer Republic that joined with the South African Republic in 1864. The white settlers in Zoutpansberg had for many years a reputation for lawlessness, and were later regarded as typical "back velt Boers". Zoutpansberg contained a larger native population than any other region of the Transvaal.
Founded by Adam Kok III as a final resting place for Griqua people. The State suffered from a secret deal signed between the British Empire and Orange Free State causing unceasing instability. Although the reasons for its annexation are still debated, it was eventually integrated with the Cape Colony in 1880.
Created on August 16 of 1884 with land donated by the Zulus through a treaty. The territory was part of the old Boer Republic of Natalia. The republic enjoyed independence until it was annexed by the South African Republic by its own request.
Latham Leslie-Moore, a retired civil servant, declared the secession of the "Sultanate of M'Simbati" from the then colony of Tanganyika. The "secession" was suppressed in 1962 by Tanzanian government troops.
Following the 17 January 1964 coup which deposed the Sultan of Zanzibar, the revolutionary group purporting to represent the island's Negro majority proclaimed a Peoples' Republic of Zanzibar and Pemba. It immediately made an offer of union with the government of Tanganyika.
Former apartheidBantustan homeland, formed and recognized only by each other and South Africa. Israel extended marginal recognition to Bophuthatswana by allowing both polities to build trade missions in Tel Aviv. In 1993 Bophuthatswana opened an information center in Latvia, so that the Latvian song festival was also attended by a chorus of this country (Bop Arts Council Chorus).
Joined with Comoros, then seceded twice to gain independence. Anjouan rejoined Comoros after talks during the first secession. After the second event, the secessionist government was forcefully removed.
Haiti declared its independence in 1804 under Jean Jacques Dessalines. That same year, Dessalines declared himself Emperor. After his assassination in 1806, Haiti was divided between the Republic of Haiti in the south and the Kingdom of Haiti, under Henry Christophe, in the north. The situation was further complicated by the secession of South Haiti in the southwest corner of the country under André Rigaud in 1810. His own republic contained the former Maroon enclave of La Grande'Anse under Goman, who was allied with King Henry. A few months after Rigaud seized power, he died, and South Haiti rejoined the Republic. In 1820, Henry Christophe committed suicide. Haiti was reunited soon afterwards.
Now part of Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Paraguay, Ecuador and Peru
The Peru–Bolivian Confederation (or Confederacy) was a confederate state that existed in South America between 1836 and 1839. Its first and only head of state, titled "Supreme Protector", was the Bolivian president, Marshal Andrés de Santa Cruz. The confederation was a loose union between the states of Peru (by this time divided into a Republic of North Peru and a Republic of South Peru, which included the capital Tacna) and Bolivia.
The United Provinces of Central America were riven by strife for much of their existence. Guatemala’s ruling class was appalled by the thought of an illiterate and brutish peasant Governor Rafael Carrera, and led the six western provinces into secession. The new state of Los Altos, under Liberal leadership, appealed for recognition to the UPCA. In January 1840, Carrera reconquered Los Altos, and then defeated the UPCA’s army in March, sounding the death knell for the United Provinces. Los Altos rebelled again when Carrera declared Guatemala an independent republic in 1847, but was again rapidly crushed.
A state from 1841 to 1848, it was proclaimed after the Mexican government tried to centralize and tried to join the US during the Mexican–American War; it was rejected and joined a federal Mexico after the war ended. A revolt in Yucatán in 1916, led by Felipe Cerillo but with active Mayan involvement, effectively separated the region from the weak Mexican state. On 3 April 1916 Carillo declared the independence of the Socialist Republic of Yucatan, but the Republic failed to garner much support, and was quickly overrun by Mexican forces.
Formed during an Anglo-American revolt in Mexican California during the Mexican–American War. This "state" never actually possessed a high level of organization, and was only in existence for a matter of weeks before the rebels deferred to the US government and American troops.
The State of Deseret was formed by Mormons(Latter-Day Saints) in 1849 before becoming Utah Territory in 1850. Advance Parties of Mormon Pioneers entered the Great Basin Area in 1846, and Vanguard Companys arrived in 1847. Believing they were leaving the borders of the United States. After the establishment of the Utah Territory in 1850, the Latter-day Saints did not relinquish the idea of a "State of Deseret". From 1862 to 1870, a group of Mormon elders under Young's leadership met as a shadow government after each session of the territorial legislature to ratify the new laws under the name of the "state of Deseret". Attempts were made in 1856, 1862, and 1872 to write a new state constitution under that name based on the new boundaries of the Utah Territory.
The filibuster William Walker took control of La Paz, the capital of the sparsely populated Baja California, and 200 more men joined him. Walker declared La Paz the capital of a new Republic of Baja California, with himself as president and a constitution copied from that of Louisiana. Although he never gained control of Sonora, less than three months later, he pronounced Baja California part of the larger Republic of Sonora.
Secessionist state established on December 20, 1860 when South Carolina became the first state to secede from the United States. It lasted a month and a half before being a founding member of the Confederate States of America.
Set up by a French adventurer who tried to gain legitimacy for his state, only to be denied. The self-proclaimed kingdom was mostly a legal fiction and did only loosely control a small portion of the territory it claimed. In fact the Mapuche warlords that submitted to it were totally autonomous, and used the kingdom only as pretext to obtain foreign support. It was conquered and partitioned by Chile and Argentina.
American James Harden-Hickey divorced his wife in 1893 (1894?) and announced his intention to move to India and take up a life of Hindu asceticism. On the trip there, a storm forced his ship aground on the island of Trinidad (no relation to the Caribbean Trinidad) in the South Atlantic. Seeing that the island was uninhabited, Harden-Hickey declared himself Prince James I of Trinidad and advertised for settlers in the London Times. The following year, the United Kingdom annexed the island in order to anchor a transatlantic telegraph cable. Prince James was encouraged, hoping that the cable would bring the attention he needed to start his reign. However, the plan was scrapped and Brazil annexed the island again in 1897.
Relations between Costa Rica and Nicaragua have traditionally been strained. This situation was not improved when the Costa Rican government granted land rights to settlers along the San Juan River, which forms part of the border between Costa Rica and Nicaragua. A dispute ended with Costa Rica acknowledging that the territory in fact belonged to Nicaragua, and promised to remove the settlers. The settlers, however, refused to leave. In June 1993, they declared their independence as the Republic of Airrecú, which means "friendship" in a local Indian language. The Nicaraguan Army immediately descended upon the area and escorted the Republic into Costa Rica.
Charles David Mayréna was born in France in 1842. He stopped in Vietnam 1884 and started a plantation. In 1888, the King of Siam began claiming territory west of French territory. Anxious, the Governor of the Indochinese Union agreed to Mayréna's proposed expedition to the interior. When Mayréna reached the central highlands, he organized the local tribes into the Kingdom of Sedang, and declared himself King Marie I. He offered to cede his kingdom to France in exchange for monopoly rights. When the French government became understandably chilly, Mayréna approached the English at Hong Kong. When he was rebuffed there, Mayréna went to Belgium. In 1889, a Belgian financier named Somsy offered arms and money to Mayréna in exchange for mineral rights. Unfortunately, the French Navy blockaded Vietnamese ports to prevent his return, and his arms were seized as contraband at Singapore.
Existed as an unrecognized independent sovereign state from its declaration on June 12, 1898, up to the surrender of Géneral Miguel Malvar. It was formally established with the proclamation of the Malolos Constitution on January 23, 1899, in Malolos, Bulacan, and pursued a protracted war against the invasion by United States leading to the Philippine–American War.
Formed following the Fuijian Incident, when the former 19th Route Army of the National Revolutionary Army broke with commander Chiang Kai-shek and declared a new government. Although originally enjoying popular support, the government lost favour and was crushed by Kuomintang forces in 1934.
The Second Philippine Republic, officially known as the Republic of the Philippines or known in the Philippines as Japanese-sponsored Philippine Republic, was a puppet state established on October 14, 1943, during the Japanese occupation.
During the Second World War the Japanese support in Inner Mongolia was established, and a new puppet state was created, named Mengjiang. In August 1945 it was destroyed by Soviet and Mongolian troops. On September 9, 1945, the Sunid Yutsi held a Congress of People's Representatives and aimags khoshuns of Inner Mongolia. Held for three days, the Congress proclaimed the establishment of the People's Republic of Inner Mongolia and elected an interim government. In November the Chinese Communist Party managed to bring the situation under control, and reorganized the Provisional Government of the People's Republic of Inner Mongolia in the Mongolian Autonomous Government.
One of the largest client rulers during British India. At independence in 1947 the UK allowed the local rulers of the princely states to choose between joining India, Pakistan or to become independent. The Nizam of Hyderabad chose independence declaring Hyderabad a free, self-governing independent state but the Government of India, desirous of ending marginalization of the population under Nizam, refused to accept his point of view citing as reasons: Hyderabad being surrounded by India on all sides and not having an access to the sea. After extensive attempts by India to persuade the Nizam to accede to India failed, the Indian government finally launched a military operation named Operation Polo to overthrow his rule.
Kalat was a princely state in Baluchistan Agency, the one of the agencies of British India. The Khan of Baluchistan declared his nation's independence on August 15, 1947, one day after India and Pakistan declared independence. From 15 August 1947 to 27 March 1948, the region was de facto independent before acceding to Pakistan on 27 March 1948. After intense diplomatic pressure, the Khan relented and acceded Baluchistan to Pakistan in 1948.
The Moluccas formed part of the United States of Indonesia (27 December 1949 – 17 August 1950), but declared independence in April 1950 in reaction of centralizing tendencies from Jakarta. It was quickly conquered by Indonesian troops, but maintains a government in exile in the Netherlands.
In early 1961 the Battle Office for the Liberation of Timor (Bureau de Luta pela Libertação de Timor) was formed under the leadership of Maoclao and backed by Indonesia. A republic was proclaimed in the border town of Batugade on 9 April 1961. It was quickly put down by Portuguese troops.
In 1976, as a result of the ongoing civil war, the Lebanese army began to break up. Major Saad Haddad, commanding an army battalion in the south which had been part of the Army of Free Lebanon, broke away and founded a group known as the Free Lebanon Army (FLA). The FLA fought against various groups including the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), the Amal Movement and (after the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon) the emerging Hezbollah. The 1978 Israeli invasion allowed the Free Lebanon Army to gain control over a much wider area in southern Lebanon. On April 18, 1979 Haddad proclaimed the area controlled by his force "Independent State of Free Lebanon" (Dawlet Lebnaan El Horr El Mest’ell) with the capital Beirut, though his actual headquarters were in Marjayoun. In May 1980, " Free Lebanon Army" was renamed "South Lebanon Army". The statehood claim was downplayed following the death of Haddad in 1984, though his successor Antouan Lahed continued to exercise some authority in Southern Lebanon until the year 2000. On 24 May 2000, following Israeli withdrawal and final collapse of the SLA, Lebanese forces occupied the small town Marjayoun, which was the "capital" of southern Lebanon.
Following 1848 unrests, the republic was proclaimed in 1848 in the territories of Venetia with the capital Venice. Allied with the other Italian states against Austrian Empire, it eventually voted to federate under Kingdom of Sardinia, but it went back to independence after piedmontese defeat. Remaining only Venice and its lagoon under control, the republic surrendered after almost 5 months of siege and after 17 months of existence.
In 1873 Cartagena was proclaimed as an independent canton, called the Canton of Cartagena. This proclamation started the Cantonal Revolution in Spain, during the First Spanish Republic. It was the beginning of the cantonalism, a movement that tried Spain become a federal state composed by cantons. Some cities and territories joined the cantonal cause and were declared independents too, but they surrendered a few days later. The only canton with an organized government as state, control on its territory and military power was Cartagena, which declared war and faced the Spanish central government during six months, until it was invaded.
The Chita Republic was a workers and peasants' dictatory republic in Chita during the Russian Revolution of 1905, installed by actual seizure of power in Chita RSDLP Committee and the Council of Soldiers 'and Cossacks' Deputies in November 1905 – January 1906. The Krasnoyarsk Republic – government, organized by the Joint Board of Workers 'and Soldiers' Deputies in Krasnoyarsk during the First Russian Revolution. Lasted from 9 to 27 December 1905. The Novorossiysk Republic – the worker-peasant self-government established by the Council of Workers' Deputies in Novorossiysk December 12, 1905 lasted until 26 December of the same year. The Sochi Republic – political education social democratic sense, arising from the modern city of Sochi as a result of the revolutionary uprisings of 1905. Lasted from December 28, 1905 to January 5, 1906 (i.e., about 9 days). The Starobuyanskaya Republic – peasant self-government established during the First Russian Revolution in the village of Stary Buyan. Lasted from 12 to 26 November 1905.
The Gurian Republic or the Gurian peasant republic was an insurrection that took place in the western Georgian province Guria (then part of the Imperial Russia) prior to and during the Russian Revolution of 1905. Republic existed from the November 1905 to January 10, 1906.
The Lyubotinskaya Republic – proclaimed in December 1905, independent workers' state in the armed insurrection of the workers and railwaymen in Lyubotin during the Russian Revolution of 1905. Republic existed from the December 26 to 30, 1905. The Shuliavka Republic was an early 20th-century worker-based quasi-government organization in the city of Kiev, Ukraine, whose main task was self-defence. The uprising lasted a total of four days, from December 12–16 (o.s., in the Gregorian Calendar, 26–29), 1905.
Markovo Republic was a self-proclaimed peasant state, located in Russia, in the Volokolamsk area. It was proclaimed on October 18, 1905, when during the Russian Revolution of 1905 peasants took control of the local government in the village Markovo and 5 other villages. It had existed until July 18, 1906.
The Ostrovetskaya Republic (Republika Ostrowiecka) – government set December 27, 1905 during the First Russian Revolution in cities Ostrowiec, Iłżę, Ćmielów and locality. Republic fell in the middle of January 1906.
Republika Zagłębiowska Republika Zagłębiowska and Republika Sławkowska
A small, short-lived republic from August 31 to October 25, 1913, at the end of the Second Balkan War when Western Thrace was then occupied by the Ottoman Empire. It was founded as a state with Ottoman support, in order to avoid Bulgarian rule after the Treaty of Bucharest, in which the Ottomans had not taken part. Under British pressure, the Balkan powers and the Ottomans signed the Treaty of Constantinople, which satisfied the Turkish claims to recognition of Eastern Thrace. The Ottomans withdrew their forces and by 25 October, the area was annexed by Bulgaria.
The Republic of Central Albania was a republic declared following the pullout of Ottoman forces from the former Albanian Vilayet. Declared by Essad Pasha Toptani, the republic's existence came to an end when the troops of Wilhelm of Wied took control of the country.
An independent republic covering the entire island of Ireland declared on 24 April 1916; sent out a radio broadcast to the nations of Europe: "Irish Republic declared in Dublin today. Irish troops have captured city and are in full possession. Enemy cannot move in city. The whole country rising." The rebels surrendered on 29 April.
Amidst the chaos in collapse of the Austro-Hungarian empire the Vorarlbergers proclaimed themselves a separate non-Austrian, Germanic people and declared on 3 November 1918 the independence as Republic of Vorarlberg. The secession was blocked by the alies and the new Austrian republican government. In April 1919, over 80% of the Vorarlbergers voted to secede from Austria and attach themselves to Switzerland, but they were again blocked.
Centered on the port of Fiume, now called Rijeka by the Croatian inhabitants, Venezia-Giulia was an important staging area for the Austro-Hungarian Empire's Adriatic trade. After the war, both Yugoslavia and Italy claimed the area. The inhabitants refused to join either nation, preferring to remain independent and retain the cosmopolitan, multi-ethnic nature of the area. After Fiume's seizure by Italian nationalists in 1919, the Republic was partitioned.
In the chaos after World War I, responding to such situation the locals established a self-governing parish committee, often called the Republic of Perloja. The Republic of Perloja had its own court, police, prison, currency (Perloja litas), and an army of 300 men.
The Bavarian Soviet Republic, also known as the Munich Soviet Republic was, as part of the German Revolution of 1918–1919, the attempt to establish a socialist state in the form of a democratic workers' council republic in the Free State of Bavaria. Another Republic that existed was the Bremen Soviet Republic.
The Free State Bottleneck (German: Freistaat Flaschenhals) was a short-lived quasi-state that existed from 10 January 1919 until 25 February 1923. It was formed out of part of the Prussian province of Hesse-Nassau as a consequence of the occupation of the Rhineland following World War I.
Carpatho-Ukraine was an autonomous region within Czechoslovakia from late 1938 to March 15, 1939. It declared itself an independent republic on March 15, 1939, but was returned to Hungary between March 15 and March 16, 1939, remaining under Hungarian control until the Nazi occupation of Hungary in 1944. On June 29, 1945, a treaty was signed under pressure of USSR between Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union, ceding Carpatho-Ruthenia officially to the Soviet Union. In 1946 the area was forced to become part of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, as the Zakarpattia Oblast (Transcarpathian Region).
On 3 July 1944 the Free Republic of Vercors was proclaimed, the first democratic territory in France since the beginning of the German occupation in 1940. The republic ceased to exist before the end of the month.
Independence declared by British ResidentJames Busby and northern Māori tribal leaders as an attempt to safeguard British claims against French territorial expansion. Led to a formal treaty (the Treaty of Waitangi) between Māori leaders and the British crown in 1840.
Following the second coup, when Fiji left the British Commonwealth of Nations, a segment of the Rotuman population, known as the "Mölmahao Clan" of Noa’tau rejected the council's decision to remain with the newly declared republic. Arguing that Rotuma had been ceded to Great Britain and not to Fiji, these rebels declared in 1987 independence of Republic of Rotuma and were charged with sedition. It did not have any substantive support, majority opinion appears to favor remaining with Fiji, but rumblings of discontent remain.
^Dambisa Moyo (2009). Dead Aid: Why Aid Is Not Working and How There Is a Better Way for Africa. Farrar, Straus and Giroux
^"Africa’s crisis is of modern socialist making and stems from the misrule, mismanagement and corruption of the elite." "Betrayal: Why Socialism Failed in Africa," adapted from a speech economist George Ayittey delivered at “Evenings at FEE” in April 2005; accessed 01 January 2017
^Smith, Warren, "Tibetan Nation", p. 186: "The validity is often questioned, mainly on grounds of the authority of Dorjiev to negotiate on behalf of Tibet...the fact that Dorjiev was a Russian citizen while ethnically Tibetan somewhat compromises his role; the treaty had some advantages to Russia in that it could be interpreted as extending Russia's protectorate over Mongolia to encompass Tibet."
^Goldstein, Melvyn C., A History of Modern Tibet, 1913–1951, University of California Press, 1989, pp812-813, saying: "After a lengthy discussion...the assembly recommended to the Dalai Lama that the agreement be approved. On 24 October, the Dalai Lama sent an official confirmation to Mao Tse-tung."
^Thrasher, Peter Adam (1970). Pasquale Paoli: An Enlightened Hero 1725–1807. Hamden, CT: Archon Books. p. 117. ISBN0-208-01031-9.
^Thrasher, Peter Adam (1970). Pasquale Paoli: An Enlightened Hero 1725–1807. Hamden, Connecticut: Archon Books. p. 282. ISBN0-208-01031-9.
^Gregory, Desmond (1985). The ungovernable rock: a history of the Anglo-Corsican Kingdom and its role in Britain's Mediterranean strategy during the Revolutionary War, 1793–1797. London: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press. pp. 81–82. ISBN0838632254.
^Geremia, Ernesto Carlo, and Gino Ragnetti (2005), Tavolara – l'Isola dei Re, ISBN88-425-3441-2
^Constantinos Vacalopoulos (2004). Ιστορία της Μείζονος Θράκης, από την πρώιμη Οθωμανοκρατία μέχρι τις μέρες μας, History of Greater Thrace, from early Ottoman rule until nowadays. Thessaloniki: Publisher Antonios Stamoulis. p. 282. ISBN960-8353-45-9.
^Koçak, Yalçın; Özyiğit, Ertan (2014). Batı Trakya Türk Cumhuriyeti - 100. Yıl Anısına (Western Thrace Turkish Republic - In Commemoration of the 100th Anniversary). WizArt. ISBN9786056466717.