the letter M

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Macaco, Cerca Real do- see Palmares.

Macanga- The prazero of Macanga was located upriver along the Zambezi. In 1840, the ruling Pereira clan attacked a local chief, who was under Portuguese protection. With the benefit of numbers and European weapons, the natives forced Macanga to sue for peace two years later. Weakened, Macanga soon found itself under attack again from the Da Cruz clan of Massangano. This conflict settled into a weary stalemate in 1853, and even a coalition of all the Zambezi prazeros and the Portuguese authorities failed to end the fighting. The Pereiras lost their pre-eminent position in Macanga with the onset of the First World War and the organization of modern export companies.

Madagascar, Kingdom of- James Plaintain was a former pirate, who retired to Madagascar around 1715. He soon made himself King of the harbor where he resided, named Ranter Bay. After a series of bloody wars, Plaintain managed to subjugate the entire island in 1725. He became corrupt and cruel, selling his own subjects into slavery. In 1728, he fled Madagascar, sensing the inevitable rebellion was near. There is no trace of Plaintain in history after then.

Madawaska, Republic of- Northern Maine and southern New Brunswick, while seldom mentioned today as a potential powderkeg, were hotly contested by the US and Great Britain until the current border was agreed upon in 1842. As a result of this compromise, a largely rural and French-speaking finger of New Brunswick, known as Madawaska, juts out above Maine. The residents have long felt ignored by the New Brunswick government, and while they have never openly declared independence, they do maintain a distinct identity as Madawaskans, complete with a flag, president (in his free time the Mayor of Edmundston) and knighthoods.

Madiun- Communist forces seized control of the city of Madiun in east Java in September 1948. Their leaders, Musso and Tan Malaka, called for the overthrow of the republican government. Local military forces crushed the uprising, which ended with Tan Malaka's capture and execution in February of 1949.

Maganja de Costa-Maganja de Costa was a prazo along the Mozambican coast, under the da Silva family. The da Silva brothers died in the attack on Angoche in 1858. In their absence, the native army formed a military-led republic. Maganja de Costa was slowly re-absorbed into Mozambique as the Portuguese governors asserted their authority over the coast.

Magdalena- see Cauca.

Mahabad, Free State of- During the Second World War, Persia was occupied by the Soviets and British. The Soviets encouraged the foundation of a Kurdish state, which was organized as the Free State in January of 1946. While Kurdish socialists (the Komala Party) were instrumental in forming the republic, tribal leaders soon muscled them out of most important government posts. These divisions were soon exacerbated by intertribal manuevering and frictions with the nominally friendly neighboring rebellion of the Autonomous State of Azerbaijan. The two nations soon patched up their differences, threatened by the looming deadline for Soviet withdrawal from northern Iran. In April, the Azerbaijanis caved in, agreeing to an autonomy deal with Tehran and ending their secession in June. Following skirmishes in late May, the Soviets pressured Mahabad to enter negotiations with the Shah. As the summer wore on, Mahabad's forces continued to melt away, with a crucial tribal leader swearing allegiance to Tehran in late September. With Kurds now fighting Kurds, the end drew near for Mahabad. The republic's leader, Qazi Muhammad, surrendered peacefully to Persian forces in December. He was hanged by the Persians the following March.

Mainz Republic- see Rhineland, Republic of the.

Majeerteens- see Mejertin Republic.

Makira- see Western Solomons, Republic of the.

Mali Federation- On June 30, 1960, the Mali Federation between Senegal and the Sudanese Republic (now Mali) became independent of France. On August 20, the two countries separated due to irreconcilable political differences.

Malta, Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of- also Knights of Malta, Sovereign Military Order of Saint John. The Knights of Malta are easily the most well known of the international chivalric orders of the Middle Ages. What is less well known is that they have not only maintained their existence but also their sovereign status to the present day. Although the Knights have lacked a territorial base since the fall of Malta to Napoleon in 1800, they retained their claim to recognition as a sovereign organization. This claim is recognized by most major nations, including the United States. The Knights of Malta have observer status at the United Nations. The possibility exists that the Hospitallers, who have extraterritorial enclaves in Prague, Vienna, and Rome, may gain territory under a treaty being negotiated with the Republic of Malta. Until then, the Order must remain satisfied with their revenues as the largest landowner in Italy.

Manchuria, Republic of- Zhang Zuolin (formerly known as Chang Tso-Lin) was a general in the Chinese Republican Army during the early years of the twentieth century. Following what he perceived as a series of insults, he withdrew his troops to Manchuria and carved out his own state in 1919. In 1926, Zhang defeated his main opponent in northern China and declared himself Grand Marshal of the Chinese Republic. His aspirations soon began to clash with the Japanese designs on Mongolia and Manchuria. While returning from a visit to Beijing in 1928, he was conveniently killed during a Japanese bombing run. A formal apology was forwarded to the Chinese government.

Le Maniel- The Maroons of Le Maniel were first reported in the southeast of Haiti at the end of the seventeenth century. The tension between the French and the Spanish along the border dividing Hispaniola allowed the maroons to prosper, gaining arms from the Spanish to keep the French at bay. After decades of fighting, Le Maniel offered peace in exchange for a grant of freedom and recognition of its borders in 1784. While the French authorities never signed an actual treaty, they won a promise from the maroons to cease raiding. Their descendants have remained poorly assimilated into Haitian society.

Mangup- Mangup is a mountain in the center of the Crimean peninsula. When the Goths migrated west to the Roman frontier, a small remnant remained in the Crimea, centered around the fortifications at Mangup. Conquered by Justinian in the sixth century, the Crimean Goths converted to Christianity. Their expansion under Prince-Bishop John of Gothia was curtailed in the eighth century by the Jewish nomadic Khazars. In 1475, Ottoman forces took the mountain by force, and Gothia-Mangup came to an end. Gothic was spoken in the Crimea until the seventeenth century.

Manitoba, Republic of- In 1868, the province of Manitoba was still under the control of the Hudson's Bay Company, rather than the Confederation of Canada. Dissatisfaction with the HBC was widespread among the settlers, and on May 31, 1868, Thomas Spence of Portage La Prairie declared himself President of the Republic of Manitoba, which also comprised what would become the province of Alberta, and a good chunk of Saskatchewan and the Northwest Territories to boot. While there was some guarded enthusiasm at first, the citizens became angry when Spence attempted to collect "taxes", a large portion of which went to buy drinks for the President and his cronies. Spence attempted to have those who resisted arrested for treason. This proved too much, and following a brief frontier brawl, Spence was physically ejected from the Republic's makeshift courthouse. Spence and his Republic laid low from there on in, and Manitoba became a Canadian territory the following year.

Mapuche- see Araucania.

Maracassumé- Settled during the early 19th century, Maracassumé was a Maroon settlement in Brazil's Maranhão Province along the Amazon. The inhabitants of Maracassumé controlled a large mining area, and traded ores with surrounding villages to maintain themselves. The Brazilian government captured the mines in 1853, although most of the thousand inhabitants managed to escape to other quilombos.

Mariquita- Mariquita is a city in Colombia’s Tolima Province. Mariquita was one of the first communities to separate from Spain, declaring its independence in 1814. Mariquita joined the new republic of New Granada in 1819.

Marlborough, Principality of- George Muirhead was a farmer in central Queensland, Australia. In 1993, facing bankruptcy and the repossession of his farm by the Commonwealth Bank, Muirhead challenged the bank in Queensland's Supreme Court. Losing his case, Muirhead declared his property the independent Principality of Marlborough. A little over a week later, police forcibly evicted the Duke and his wife, who currently reside as Australian citizens in Brisbane.

Markovo Republic- Unlike the 1917 Revolution and the following Civil War, the Russian Revolution of 1905 was not marked by the emergence of nationalist movements. In several places, however, peasants seized control of local government. The Markovo Republic is the best-documented case. It was formed in the Volokolamsk area 100 miles outside of Moscow, and lasted from October 31, 1905 to July 18, 1906, when Czarist forces reestablished their authority.

Marquetalia- In the wake of the Second World War, Communist groups made headway throughout Latin America. Cuba's government was overthrown in 1959, but before that a Socalist was elected president of Guatemala (before a CIA-organized coup overthrew him) and Communist groups separated themselves from Colombia. In 1955, Communist organizers formed the Republic of Marquetalia, a commune in the mountainous back country. Over the next ten years, six more communes were founded. After the existence of these communes was exposed in 1964, the Colombian government ejected the inhabitants by force. Inspired by the Sumapaz experiment, the Marquetalians retreated into the jungle. The remnants of the Marquetalia activists were instrumental in forming the leftist guerrilla group FARC.

Massangano- Massangano was a prazero along the Zambezi River. Over the course of the early 19th century, the ruling Da Cruz clan gathered enough power to threaten Portuguese power in Mozambique. As the prazo's war against Macanga ground into stalemate, the Portuguese government allied with a number of other prazeros to fight Massangano. The attack ended in chaos. Over the course of 1867 and 1868, four further Portuguese expeditions were fought off. A war with the resurgent prazero of Gorongosa in 1880 ended in disaster, and the da Cruz army was annihilated. A minor rebellion in 1888 was the last spark of da Cruz defiance. The coming of the First World War and the growth of organized export companies marked the end of the prazero era.

Massingire- A prazero under the rule of the dos Anjos clan. Involved in the disastrous war against Massangano in 1853, a second attack from Massangano in 1858 led to the abandonment of the capital of Shamos. Another attack in 1861 destroyed the remnants of dos Anjos power.

Matuna- see San Basilio.

Maryland-in-Africa- The nation of Liberia was founded by settlers sent by many different groups. One was the Maryland Colonization Society, which founded the settlement of Harper in eastern Liberia. In 1838, the separate colonies were formed into a Commonwealth, and Liberia declared its independence in 1847. The Maryland colony remained apart, as the MCS wished to maintain its trade monopoly. In 1854, Maryland-in-Africa declared its independence. Shortly thereafter, the local Grebo and Kru tribes attacked Maryland in retaliation for interference with the slave trade. Beseiged, the Maryland government appealed to Liberia for help. Liberian militia troops repelled the indigenes, and Maryland-in-Africa applied for admission as a county of Liberia in 1857.

Mauretania- In 429 AD, the first Vandal forces landed in Roman Africa, sweeping west and south from Carthage in modern Tunisia. A decade later, the Vandals held sway from the Atlantic to Libya. The traditional view is that the conquest shattered Roman power completely, and that outside Vandal control, north Africa fel into the hands of minor Berber chieftains. However, a recently excavated tablet from western Morocco, in an area far outside either Roman or Vandal territory, refers to a "king of the Moors and Romans", dating from 508 AD. Radiocarbon dates show that the cemetery site continued in use for another century. It is impossible to know whether the region was a settlement of Roman refugees, whether a local leader appropriated the mantle of Roman authority, or whether the inscription is Vandal propaganda. The Kingdom of Roman Mauretania is one of North Africa's great mysteries.

Mecklenburg County- In 1819, a Federalist newspaper announced the discovery of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence, a document which declared Mecklenburg County in North Carolina independent of Great Britain, and which was resolved in May of 1775. The ancient John Adams latched on to the Mecklenburg Declaration and called the Declaration of Independence irrelevant. Adams saw it as a way to dismiss the work of his two most bitter political enemies; Tom Paine and Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson, equally old and equally bitter, dismissed the Mecklenburg Declaration as a patent forgery.

As it turns out, neither was terribly close to the truth. Mecklenburg County's government passed a series of resolutions that declared itself "independent of the Crown of Great Britain," but left it subject to the Provincial Congress of North Carolina.

See also Watauga Association.

Meekamuii- see Bougainville.

Mejertin Republic- also Majeerteen Republic. The Mejertin clan of northeastern Somalia reacted to the Somaliland Republic's secession by declaring themselves independent of both Somalia and Somaliland. Neither government recognizes Mejertin independence, and only their remoteness has prevented military intervention.
Melchizedek, Dominion of- see Enenkio.

Meng Chiang- Meng Chiang, with its capital at Kalgan, was organized by the Japanese in 1937. Meng Chiang was a Mongol puppet state along the same lines as Manchukuo. The leader of the Meng Chiang government, Tê Wang, later led the secessionist Alashan Republic.

Mérida- In 1813, the city of Mérida in central Colombia declared its independence. The city came under the control of the aristocrat Don Vicente Campo Elias, who declared, "I shall destroy all Spaniards and then shoot myself so that not a single man remain of this accursed race." In 1814, Spanish forces overran the city. Don Vicente died of old age a few years later.

Mexico, Protectorate of- see United States, Empire of the.

Métis- For most of the colonial era, Canada west and north of Ontario was seen by its French and British rulers not as a land ripe for settlement, but as a vast preserve for beavers, whose pelts fetched ridiculous prices in Europe. As a result, for decades on end the only permanent European residents of the area were Quebeçois trappers. They settled down with Native American women, and gradually their mixed children formed a common culture, called the Métis. The Métis, although spread throughout Canada and the Mississippi watershed, were strongest in numbers and in self-awareness in the open plains west of Ontario.

The nemesis of the Métis people was the Hudson’s Bay Company, which governed their lands. The Métis trade network, carrying furs from the Rockies along a canoe route to Montreal, was in direct competition with the HBC’s royally granted monopoly. The North West Company, which employed a great number of Métis trappers and guides, was nearly in open warfare with Hudson’s Bay by the beginning of the 19th century. The flashpoint proved to be the founding of the Red River Colony in Manitoba by the Scottish Lord Thomas Selkirk, under a charter from the HBC. Their governor, Miles MacDonnell, was determined to rule by the letter of the law. Accordingly, he forced the abandonment of NWC trading posts and threatened the lifeblood of the Métis people; access to the fur trade. The Métis responded by rebelling, and the frightened Red River settlers fled in 1815. The following year, a new group of settlers arrived. This time, the HBC burned down the main NWC post in the area. Outraged, the Métis declared their independence under the leadership of Captain-General Cuthbert Grant. After a guerrilla war that flared the length of Canada, the fighting subsided, and the Métis returned to work for the NWC.

In 1869, the Métis, deprived of their traditional livelihood by the advance of farming and industry, rebelled again as the Republic of the Northwest (Nord-Ouest) under the leadership of Louis Riel. In negotiations with the Canadian government, the Métis won the right to organize a new province, Manitoba. In 1870, President Riel executed an English soldier, and Ottawa declared Riel an outlaw. Riel went into exile in Montana. He returned and organized a new provisional Métis government in Saskatchewan in March of 1885. Unfortunately, Riel's earlier failure had eroded his mental stability. Raving and hallucinating, Riel unwisely abandoned his spectacularly successful guerrilla tactics and concentrated his forces in a single fort. Outgunned and outnumbered, the Métis forces were quickly compelled to surrender. Riel was hanged for treason in November, 1885. The Métis were not recognized as a legitimate Native American group by the Canadian government until the 1970s.

Mindanao- see Moros.

Minerva- In the wake of the artificial island craze, Michael Oliver's Phoenix Foundation announced plans to build a platform in the south Pacific, declare it independent, and use it as a tax shelter. Construction began in 1971, and Minerva was declared independent on January 19, 1972. The only nation which responded to Minerva's application for recognition was Tonga. The kingdom sent out a convict work detail to haul down the Minervan flag and build over the platform. Tonga later annexed Minerva to ensure the upstart nation would not re-emerge. Undaunted, Oliver later attempted to set up the nations of Abaco in 1973 and Espiritu Santo in 1980.

Mirditë- also Mirdita. Amid the chaos surrounding Albania’s war for independence, a warlord of the Mirditë region along the Albanian-Serbian border, Prenk Pasha, declared himself leader of the autonomous government of Mirdita. Supported largely by Serbian subsidies, he and his Catholic followers gave lip service to the central government but were effectively independent of it. Prenk was killed by a jealous rival in 1920. Shortly thereafter, Yugoslav troops occupied several strategic points inside Mirditë, and on July 17th, the Republic of Mirditë was proclaimed. Echoing the claims of North Epirus, Mirditë denied any cooperation with the Yugoslavs. When Albanian troops arrived, they were met by troops firing Yugoslav artillery and machine guns. When the Albanians proved unable to resist this firepower, the Yugoslavs threw caution to the wind and openly moved troops to the front, advancing rapidly through the region. After denunciation by the League of Nations, Yugoslavia halted its advance and the Mirditë leaders reaffirmed their allegiance to Albania, while making no move to disband their government. In late October, following an Albanian mobilization, Yugoslavia launched a full-scale invasion of Mirditë. Faced with this final provocation, the League of Nations issued an unequivocal threat to the Yugoslavs, who were compelled to retreat. Without Yugoslav support, Mirditë quickly and meekly returned to the Albanian fold.
Miskito Coast- see Mosquito Coast.

Missy-aux-Bois- By 1917, most of the people involved in the First World War were heartily sick of the whole deal. No one was more disenchanted than the troops stuck in the trenches, and mutinies often occurred. The most serious mutiny on the Western Front (before the collapse of the German Army in 1918) occurred at the town of Missy-aux-Bois in northeastern France. On May 27, 1917, over 30,000 French troops refused to go forward to the trenches. Some of the mutineers tried to get back to Paris and force the government to make peace. One infantry regiment seized control of the town on June 1 and established an anti-war military government for the area. Marshal Pétain intervened personally, and the military justice system responded promptly with mass arrests and the organization of a huge court martial. More than 23,000 convictions for mutiny were handed out. Fifty soldiers were shot, and 250 more sent to Devil's Island.

Misurata, Republic of- see Tripolitania, Republic of.

Mizoram- The Mizo are a people of northern Assam In eastern India. In February of 1966, the Mizo National Front declared Mizoram independent. The Indian government reacted harshly, driving the MNF into the countryside. Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi began peace negotiations, and agreed in 1986 to give Mizoram state status within India.

Mohawk Nation- see Ganienkeh, North American Indian State of.

Moheli- also Mwali. See Anjouan.

Moldavia, Autonomous Republic of- After the Provisional Government took power in 1917, Moldavian nationalists took control of Moldova, then called Bessarabia. In December of 1917, they declared themselves autonomous. The Bolsheviks responded by invading. Two weeks after it arrived, the Red Army was expelled. Bessarabia was declared independent. A referendum in March of 1918 approved annexation by Romania. The Bolsheviks grudgingly acquiesced, thinking that they could easily seize the area back.

Mompos- A port city in northern Colombia, Mompos was the first city in South America to declare independence from the Spanish Empire, on August 6, 1810. Mompos joined the government of New Granada a few months later.

Mon- The Mon of southern Burma declared their independence soon after the Karens, hoping to regain some of the lands taken by the Burmese centuries earlier. The Mon accepted an offer of amnesty in 1958. However, they took up arms again in the 1970s. The Mon spent much of the 1980s at war with the Karens, a fatal mistake which allowed Burma to take the Mon capital at Three Pagodas in 1990.

Mong Hsat- In 1948, Kuomintang forces retreating from the advance of the Communist Red Army regrouped at Mong Hsat in northeast Burma. With heavy aid from the United States and Taiwan, the Chinese Irregular Forces established themselves as a guerrilla army. In 1951, the CIF began drafting local men, and numbered over twelve thousand by the end of the year. In November, the American Central Intelligence Agency organized the front company Air America to send supplies and airlift in regulars from Taiwan's Republican Army. More than six thousand troops were withdrawn in 1953 after the Burmese protested.

As American aid began to decline, some Kuomintang commanders began involvement in the opium trade. They were aided by CIA officials (most of the opium was exported via Air America) and corrupted elements in the Thai government. Following a series of raids in 1961, the Chinese Red Army struck several Kuomintang positions. Although the number of the CIF troops had swelled back to almost ten thousand, nearly half were withdrawn. Many of the rest had native wives and children, and refused to leave. These troops were repudiated by Taiwan, and migrated to new bases in Thailand. The Irregulars cooperated first with France and then with the United States throughout the wars in Southeast Asia, mainly through the CIA’s Air America contacts. When the Vietnam War ended, the Kuomintang remnants became a liability to their CIA sponsors. Cut off from Western aid, the Kuomintang was easy prey. The last groups were destroyed by the new Shan drug lords in 1984.

Mongolian Federation- also Southern Mongolia. Inner Mongolia has been under Chinese control for several centuries. In 1934, the southern Mongols took advantage of the chaos of the Chinese Civil War to proclaim independence as the Mongolian Federation. The Japanese took control of the region in 1937, effectively ending the nation's bid for independence.

Montagnards- see Dega-Cham High Plateaus.

Montefiorino- see Ossola.

Morac-Songhrati-Meads- This nation is located in the uninhabited Spratly Islands. Morton F. Meads, an American businessman, claims sovereignty, since an ancestor, George Meads, claimed the islands in the 1870s. Following his application for admission to the United Nations, the Philippine Air Force conducted a search of the islands, in order to find out if Meads planned any actions which would subvert the Filipino government.

Moresnet- After the fall of Napoleon, one of the most important tasks of the Congress of Vienna was redrawing the borders of Europe. One particular point of contention was the region of Moresnet along the border of the Netherlands and Prussia. Neither nation wanted to give up access to the area's zinc mine. Accordingly, a small area of 644 hectares surrounding the mine and the village of Kelmis was awarded to neither nation, and administered along much the same lines as Andorra or the Saarland would later be. Like Andorra, the inhabitants became adept at playing their neighbors off each other and becoming terribly well off in the process.

This state of affairs lasted for over a decade, and Moresnet's leading industry became the production of bootleg liquor, which was smuggled out under the nose of the nation's single policeman. In 1830, the newly independent Belgian state annexed the region, sharing it in a condominium with first the Prussians and then the Germans, although the Dutch government did not officially relinquish its claim until 1919. This lack of backbone so dismayed the Dutch-speaking inhabitants that a faction tried to declare Moresnet independent again with Esperanto as its official language. Neither Esperanto nor the independence movement gained much of a foothold, and Moresnet appears resigned to Belgian rule today.


Mosquito Coast- also Miskito Coast, Mosquitia, Yapti Tasba. During the 17th century, several thousand English settled along the eastern coast of Central America. The area extended from Campeche in Mexico to Panama. The colonists were allied with the Sambo and Miskito tribes, which formed a buffer between the million Spanish colonists in the west and themselves. In 1687, the first King of Mosquitia was crowned under English urging. In 1740, a British protectorate was declared. This spurred a series of clashes during the constant British-Spanish warfare of the eighteenth century. During the American Revolution, the British were expelled. One of the terms of the Treaty of Paris in 1783 called for the Mosquito Coast settlers to withdraw to Belize. The Miskitos were reduced to subjection by a Spanish army soon afterwards.

With the collapse of the Spanish Empire and the division of Central America into mutually distrustful states, Britain regained much of its influence. In the wake of the U.S.-Mexican War, the British became concerned that its protectorate might fall to the Americans. Accordingly, British troops were sent to occupy the Mosquito Coast, and expelled the last Nicaraguans in February, 1848. The Clayton-Bulwer Treaty of 1850 between the United Kingdom and the United States announced that neither state had territorial ambitions in Central America. Both nations hoped to prevent a repeat of the Tigre Island situation. However, Britain continued to occupy the Coast through the 1850s, with a brief interruption by Henry Kinney at Greytown. It was only in 1860 that Great Britain signed a treaty with Nicaragua renouncing all claims on the Mosquito Coast.

Moss Lake- see Ganienkeh, North American Indian State of.

Mountain Republic- also Republic of the Mountaineers, Union of Mountain Peoples. After the fall of the Terek government in 1918, the victorious Bolsheviks formed a federation of several North Caucasian ethnic territories, including Dagestan, Chechnya, Karachai-Balkaria, Ingushetia, and Ossetia. Although the Mountain Republic was necessarily independent of Moscow, since communications were difficult at best across Cossack lines, the leadership maintained close contact with the Communist leadership. After the consolidation of Soviet power in 1921, the Mountain Republic was made an autonomous republic within the Russian SSR and partitioned between its various groups.  

Mountainous Armenia, Republic of- see Syunik Republic.

Mount Athos- Mount Athos is the site of a complex of monasteries in the Chalcidice peninsula of northern Greece. Occupied by monks since the 10th century, the area has remained in monastic hands for the last millenium. Its current status as a semiautonomous republic within Greece was ratified in Greece’s 1975 constitution. A Greek governor appointed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs holds jurisdiction, but the work of administration and government is done by a council of representatives from each monastery. The current population is just over 2,000.
Mucajubá- Mucajubá was a Maroon settlement about fourteen miles north of Belém on the mouth of the Amazon. It's population was between one and two thousand, and consisted of a series of compounds along seven miles of lakeshore. After three months of fighting in 1855, Brazilian forces broke into the settlement and torched dozens of buildings. The Maroons retreated down the Amazon to other settlements.

Mugeres Island- see Galveston.

Muscongus Island- Muscongus Island is located off the shore of Maine. In 1860, the island was inadvertantly left off the state’s official maps, and the residents were therefore not allowed to vote. In retaliation, Muscongus Island declared its independence. Like many respectable residents of rural America, they enforced this by firing their rifles at any tax collectors sighted on the island. The Muscongans decided not to press the point after the Civil War began, although the declaration of independence was not formally withdrawn until 1934.

Muskogee- Muskogee is the name given to northern Florida and southern Georgia by the indigenous tribes, dominated by the Creeks. The Creek nation progressed rapidly towards the formation of a state after relations were established with English traders; a few generations after the English arrived, a great deal of political and economic power had been concentrated in the hands of métis traders, half-Creek and half-English. The most influential of these was Alexander McGillivray. In the 1780s, McGillivray's growing power combined with uncertainty over the intentions of the new government of the United States to create unrest in the Creek nation. McGillivray skillfully managed to avoid the threat of civil war while maintaining Muskogee's precarious independence. This delicate balance was upset by growing American immigration, and in 1787 four Creeks were killed by trespassing Georgians. McGillivray travelled to Washington, where he finally managed to draw up a treaty acceptable to both sides in 1790. However, McGillivray was dead three years later, and Muskogee's new leaders were unable to continue his delicate tightrope act.

William Bowles was a British trader from the Bahamas, who dreamt of carving a Creek nation out of Spanish Florida and re-establishing a British beachhead in the American South. He smuggled arms to McGillivray's followers, but was deserted by most of his followers and imprisoned. In 1799, Bowles returned and declared himself King of Muskogee. In May of 1803, however, the Spanish government arrested Bowles and Muskogee came to a quick end. The end of Bowles took quite a bit longer; he was exiled to Manila and died years later, penniless and absolutely forgotten.

Mustang- The Principality of Mustang sits within the Kingdom of Nepal, along the border with China. When the modern state of Nepal was taking form in the 1780s, Mustang managed to maintain its autonomy (it was only in 1991 that the region was opened to foreign tourists). The Raja of Mustang pays tribute to Nepal and recognizes its authority in external matters, but carefully guards its sovereignty over internal matters.

Footnote- Mérida And not by suicide, presumably since there were still a few Spaniards running around.

Footnote- Moldavia The USSR did annex the region again during the Nazi-Soviet partition of Eastern Europe in 1940. Back.

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