Creating Micronations, Lesson Plan Ideas for Politics, Geography, History and Economics

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Forming a micronation is an excellent opportunity for teaching about the world and how it operates. Lessons can be learned in Government, politics, geography, economics and philosophy. Micro nations may be contested and destroyed or disabled but many are

A Micronation can exist anywhere from your own home to outer space or in the confines of your own imagination. Many people have created micro nations and declared themselves to be sovereign nations. Of course, a citizen living within a country or sovereign state cannot actually be an independent and officially recognized sovereign nation. You may, however, still create one.

There are places which exist that are not under the ownership or sovereignty of any nation or state. These are sometimes referred to as Terra nullius or No Man’s Land. It may be possible to create a micronation in such a place. They exist usually in remote places such as the Antarctic. One such land is Bir Tawil, a small triangle of land between Egypt and Sudan. Although land may be designated as Terra nullius, it doesn’t necessarily mean that someone can occupy it and declare it their own. Some lands are governed and controlled by international treaties and laws. Additionally, some micronations have been built on platforms in international waters.

Examples of Micronations

Rose Island and the Principality of Sealand are two micro nations built on international waters. Sealand is still operational and has a flag, currency and a website. Rose Island, a micronation founded in 1968 with Esperanto as it’s official language, was destroyed by the Italian government.

A list of Micro nations along with information concerning their formation and status can be found at Atlas Obscura.

Lesson Plan Ideas

Mapping

Create a territory where your micro nation will exist. Consider your home, a room, a body of water a wilderness area, underground, in the sky or even a tree house. Think outside the box. A micro nation might even exist under a bed or in a toy box or on a table top. Map out the location and describe the environment. What are the borders of your nation and what other environments or nations surround your nation. Is your nation being formed in a No Man’s Land?

Choose a recognized nation or sovereign state and describe the territory and borders. Identify the countries that border the nation you have chosen.

Symbols, Flag and Name

Create a flag and a name for your micronation. Select images and symbols that represent your micronation. Choose additional symbols for your nation that will be represented on stamps, medals, national seal or coat of arms.

Discuss the symbols and flag of your own country or the flags of other nations and what the symbols mean. Identify when the flag was created and how or by whom the flag was created. Discuss the idea of symbols and identify what they are for. Identify particular medals or insignias and why they are given.

 Sovereignty and Founding Documents

Discuss the ideas of sovereignty and citizenship. What is the principle under which your micronation is founded? Does the micronation have a declaration of independence? Do you have a national motto?

Some countries write a Declaration of Independence but they are still not recognized as a sovereign state. Discuss what happens when a new country wants to separate from the country who claims sovereignty over the area or people. Discuss the reasons a people might want to form their own country or seek freedom from another country. Identify the founding documents of your own country and discuss why it was formed.

Rulers Titles and Heads of State

Does your micronation have a King, Queen, President or Grand Poobah? You can make up any title you want. What are the responsibilities of the leader of your micronation.

Governing Bodies

What type of government will your micronation have; a republic, a democracy, a theocracy, a dictatorship? Will you have judges, advisors, a congress? What is your justice system?

Identify these elements in your own country and discuss their roles and responsibilities. Discuss the need for a justice system.

Citizenship

What is required for citizenship of your micronation? How many citizens are there in your micronation? Do you have passports, travel visas, identification papers? Can people leave your country?

What are the required documents that people in your own country have to have in order to live and work in your country?  What are other documents that are helpful but not necessarily required? For example; a driver’s license is helpful but is not necessary unless you want to drive.

Economics, Currency and Trade

Will your micronation economy have money? What will your currency look like? Design and make currency. What about banks? What will your currency be based upon?

Will your micronation be barter society, a capitalist, socialist or other form of economic structure?

Decide on a product to use for trade or for sale. Will you import or export goods? Discuss the trade agreements that your own country has with other countries. What is a trade imbalance? What happens when there is a trade imbalance? 

Micronations take their cue from real nations and from other Micronations or might possibly be an outward expression of some other philosophy or creative idea that one might have. You might find ideas for your micronation in novels or movies. Science fiction, dystopian and utopian literature often has a structured society based on some principle or philosophy that might be a good source for ideas for creating a micronation.

Resources and Additional Reading:

A New Land: Creating a Real Micronation 

List of Declarations of Independence 

Atlas Obscura 

Principality of Sealand

Micronations News Network 

What Does Citizenship Mean: Can You be a Citizen of the World?

3 comments

Lauren Axelrod
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Posted on Mar 25, 2012
Abdel-moniem El-Shorbagy
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Posted on Mar 21, 2012
Roberta Baxter
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Posted on Mar 20, 2012