Friday, May 22, 2009

Worldwide Hypothetical Nations

Across the world, there are many groups who yearn for independence. Many of these are unlikely. Let me list all of the ones I could get decent research for:

Currently part of: United States of America
Population: 24,326,974
Economics: $1.09 trillion
Military Strength: Moderate
Most likely fates: Reconquest by America, Economic languishing, Conquest by Mexico.
Prestige: Independent nation

Conservatives around the US, unhappy about Obama's election, have repeatedly bounced around the idea of Georgia or Texas succeeding the union, giving them a new playground to express their hatred of taxes, welfare, and whatever the hell it is that they're mad about this time. Georgia isn't happening: It's wedged between several other states, and would start surrounded, outnumbered, and could be choked to death easily with a dam or two.

Texas's chances of survival aren't great either. The US is going to want its territory back. Texas was originally Mexican, and Mexico would ALSO like it back. Texas would have to very quickly raise a very large fighting force, as both nations would likely attack at the same time.

* Wales
Currently part of: United Kingdom
Population: 3,004,600
Economics: $85.4 billion
Likely Fates: Obscurity
Prestige: Independent Nation

Wales was once an independent kingdom, but was conquered by England in the 1300s, and was incorporated into the successor state the UK. The heir to the throne of the UK is styled as "Prince of Wales" by tradition.

* Basque
Currently part of: Spain
Population: 3,007,661
Economics: $93 billion
Military Strength: Very Low
Most likely fates: Reconquest by Spain, Obscurity
Prestige: Independent nation

The Basques are an ethnic group that has fought Spain for independence, so far unsuccessfully.

* Kurdistan
Currently part of: Iraq, Turkey, Iran
Population: 28 million
Economics: $ 29 billion
Military Strength: Bad
Most likely fates: Conquest by Turkey
Prestige: Joke nation

The Kurds are an ethnic group living in the border zone between the three countries. They have a bad reputation in the area and have done very poorly militarily in the past.

Also, the declaration of independence would lead to all Kurdish regions in the area attempting to join, which would lead to a declaration of war by Turkey within the end of the day. They are unlikely to survive that.

* The Confederacy
Currently part of: United States of America
Population: 89 million
Economics: $900 billion
Military Strength: Good
Most likely fates: Reconquest by America
Prestige: Joke nation

In 1860, southerners angry with the election of Lincoln declared themselves to be an independent country, and attacked the American fort at Fort Sumter. Although initially it did well in the ensuing civil war, it continuously lost military, moral, and economic ground in a series of increasingly moronic blunders.

It would today be despised as a symbol of American racism (as the first incarnation insisted on keeping numerous African-Americans as slaves), a symbol of backwardness (the original confederacy was completely agricultural, and strongly Luddite), and the United States would clearly resent the large loss of territory in a way that it might forgive from Texas, California, or Alaska. War would be declared certainly, and while the confederates were very tough fighting people, they sucked at diplomacy, naval warfare, and economics. A repeat of the original American civil war would ensue, complete with the humiliation of the confederates for a second time. All involved would certainly be put to death, and the involved states disenfranchised until all memory of the confederacy was forgotten.

Also, they would not enjoy the prestige they had from England and France last time, as both nations would remember both the racism and the loserishness.

* Quebec
Currently part of: Canada
Population: 7,782,561
Economics: $243 billion
Military Strength: Unknown, presumed poor
Most likely fates: Conquest by Canada, Languishing in Obscurity
Prestige: Independent Nation

Quebec is the subsection of Canada with the most French speakers. Though numerous groups itch for independence, this would be a clear and obvious disadvantage to the people in the region. Canada would resent the loss of territory, it's surrounded by Canada and the United States, and Quebecois (That is, the people of Quebec) are stereotyped as having the combined negative traits of French people and Canadian people, so little respect would be forthcoming. Independence would also impoverish the region economically.

* Lakotah
Currently part of: United States (regions with high populations of Lakotah native americans)
Population: ~27 million
Economics: $270 million
Military Strength: Nonexistent
Most likely fates: Conquest by United States, Joke nation
Prestige: Joke Nation

The Lakotah were a tribe that inhabited the regions around what is now Montana, North Dakotah, South Dakotah, Nebraska, and Wyoming. Like most of America's native tribes, they were first promised peace by the coming United States, and then promptly booted from their lands when they became inconvenient. While they had a few impressive victories against the US army, they ended up just as conquered as all the other tribes.

Some tribe members want to declare independence to return to their traditional way of life, but that would mean a great loss in economic standards, and likely military loss. Probably not happening, and likely resented by both sides if it somehow did.

* Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
Currently part of: Cyprus
Population: 265,100
Economics: $2.85 billion
Military Strength: Unknown
Likely fates: Absorption by Turkey, Absorption by Cyprus
Prestige: Bad

The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is de-facto independent, but this is only recognized by Turkey. So in the eyes of the world, it's still legally part of the southern half of the Island, which is culturally Greek. This kind of diplomatic insanity happens all the time, unfortunately. No solution would satisfy all parties, which is why the status quo continues.

While Cyprus is nearer to Turkey than to Greece, both parties are easily capable of interfering militarily.

* Åland
Currently part of: Finland
Population: 27,210
Economics: $1.08 billion
Military Strength: Weak
Likely Fates: Micronation
Prestige: Unknown

Åland is legally part of Finland, but is halfway between Finland and Sweden, speaks Swedish, and is already "autonomous" and divorced from Finish law. I'd have to ask a number of Finnish people to be sure, but I don't think Finland would care very much if it left.

However, the people of Åland are growing increasingly Finnish themselves, and increasingly want to remain part of Finland.

* Chechnya
Currently part of: Russia
Population: 1,103,686
Economics: $1 billion
Military Strength: Low
Likely Fates: Certain reconquest by Russia
Prestige: Bad

Chechnya is a Muslim-majority federal subject of Russia. It's made two attempts at independence, both abject failures that decimated their male population and left them with immense polygamy. There's some noises about making a third, but I doubt it would go any different this time.

* Korea
Fusion of: North Korea, South Korea
Population: 71,044,737
Economics: $1.35 trillion
Military Strength: Strong
Likely Fates: Prosperity
Prestige: Respected Independent Nation

Korea is currently divided into a Stalinist North Korea and a democratic South Korea. However, the citizens of both consider themselves part of one nation, and there is pressure to combine the two. This is foiled so far mostly by the completely incompatible forms of government that the two have chosen.

Also, the US insists that the South government be dominant, China insists that the North government be dominant, Japan despises North Korea for abducting citizens, and North Korea insists that the interference of outside parties is sabotaging the entire process.

* Khalistan
Currently part of: India
Population: 15 million
Economics: $1.5 billion
Military Strength: Bad
Likely Fates: Conquest by India, unpopular nation
Prestige: Bad

Khalistan would be made of the parts of India that are majority Sihk. It's strangely popular with right-wing US politicians (who perhaps see it as a way to weaken India, which loves socialism).

Though the Sihks are unpopular in India itself, they're respected elsewhere in the world, and the separation would likely damage that, as the extremist Sihks's preferred tactic is terrorism. Most Sihks prefer to stay in India, as their prestige is rising. The current prime minister is a Sihk, the first in recorded history.

* East Turkestan
Currently part of: China
Population: 19,630,000
Economics: $61.6 billion
Military Strength: Poor
Likely Fates: Certain conquest by China
Prestige: Hated Joke Nation

Currently China's Xinjiang province, it has an independence movement that dislikes that Chinese for not being fundamentalist Muslims like they are.

China considers this region a core part of their country, and would immediately declare war. In addition, the independence movement is far too aligned with Al Quida to have any sympathy with the rest of the world. (Not even the most radical Muslims give Al Quida credence anymore, as they've caused too many Muslim deaths.) Lastly, that "Economics" figure would go way, way down.

* Ossetia
Currently part of: Russia, Georgia
Population: 140,000
Economics: $15 million
Likely Fates: Conquest by Russia, Conquest by Georgia
Prestige: Unknown

Georgia has gone to war with Russia over South Ossetia. The Ossetians seem to prefer independence, but lacking that, prefer Russia over Georgia.

* Bosnia
Currently part of: Bosnia and Herzegovina
Population: 1,500,000
Economics: $20,000,000,000
Likely fates: Perpetual war
Prestige: Unknown

The former Yugoslavia is a powder keg of angry nationalists.

* Alberta
Currently part of: Canada
Population: 3,632,483
Economics: $220.83 billion
Likely fates: Conquest by Canada, absorption to United States
Prestige: Bad

Various Canadian tracts that I've read give me the idea that Albertans are thought of in Canada as what would be a cross between a Mississippian and a Texan in the US: Basically an oil-powered hick.

While people advocate the independence, the details are very unclear. Albert by itself, with British Columbia, or with Saskatchewan and Manitoba, and if it should be independent, absorbed by the US, or some other fate.

Probably not going to happen.

* Cornwall
Currently part of: United Kingdom
Population: 531,600
Economics: $39 billion
Military Strength: Unknown
Likely Fates: Obscurity
Prestige: Forgotten

Cornwall is that little peninsula on the southwest corner of the British Isles. It was conquered by England in the 1100s, and has been part of England and its successor state, the UK, ever since. Cornwall is famous for its tiny chickens.

In other news, the traditional pirate accent is actually Cornish. ("Yar, me hearties, fetch me a flask o' grog! We gots us a landlubber, let him walk the plank!")

* California
Currently part of: United States of America
Population: 36,756,666
Economics: $1.812 trillion
Military Strength: Laughable
Most likely fates: Reconquest by America, Economic decrease, Reconquest by Mexico
Prestige: Independent nation

Most declarations of Californian independence have been jokes. However, it does have the capability, if it somehow raises a very large army before being attacked, to survive. It has the world's 7th largest economy or so, loads of people, and lots of universities.

* Tibet
Currently part of: China
Economics: $20 million
Military Strength: Nonexistent
Most likely fates: Immediate reconquest by China
Prestige: Joke Nation

Tibet is the darling of media-celebrities and disaffected college radicals. But what's its real history?

Tibet has had periods of independence, periods of Chinese rule, and periods that could be described as both, or neither. The most recent independence was in 1912, taking advantage of the 1911 collapse of the Qing government. The subsequent Republic and other Chinese forces refused to recognize the independence. So when the dust finally settled in 1949, no time was wasted. China successfully reasserted itself on Tibet in 1950.

Since then, all kinds of accusations fly. Each side accuses the other of being a barbarous abomination. Credibility, from the outside, is very low, as both sides are incredibly secretive and propaganda prone. The Tibetan authorities allowed maybe 5 outsiders total in their entire independence, and asking the Chinese authorities for access tends to be about as successful as asking the US authorities to please give you a billion dollars. (They'd laugh at you. To your face.)

I'd say that independence just isn't happening. The ostensible leader, the Dali Lama, is outright against independence, preferring to lobby for local autonomy within the government structure of China. The young people of Tibet are the driving force for independence, more out of some sort of nationalist pride than anything else. This independence would pretty much end the economy (Tibet's main industry is Yak farming), Tibet has little to no infrastructure, and an independent Tibet's only real friend would be Mongolia, which they have religious ties with. Not to mention that unless China somehow magically ceased to exist, they'd steamroll the place in about a week.

* Ryukyu
Currently part of: Japan
Population: 1.1 million
Economics: $ 900 million
Military Strength: Nonexistent
Most likely fates: Reconquest by Japan, Conquest by China
Prestige: Forgotton

The Ryukyus are a chain of islands connecting Japan and Formosa. At one time, they were a kingdom, but an expanding Japan conquered them all in 1879. Briefly taken by the US in World War II, they've been returned to Japan. There's a few noises about independence, but it would probably be better both for economics and reputation to be linked to Japan.

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