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Ubykhs- A small Muslim people, the Ubykh occupied land in the northern Caucasus. When the Russians swept through their lands in 1864, the Ubykh were driven into the Ottoman Empire. Determined that their people should not be discriminated against, the Ubykh elders decided to assimilate their culture completely into that of Turkey. The last speaker of Ubykh died in 1992.

Ukraine, People's Republic of the- Declared in January of 1918, the PRU was quickly absorbed by the Soviet Union, and the enclaves in the Ukraine it controlled became Bolshevik territory.

Ukrainian National Republic- The Ukraine declared itself autonomous in November of 1917, and declared its independence in January of 1918 after invasion by the Red Army. The UNR was unstable, and had great difficulty in maintaining the territory it claimed against intrusion by Bolshevik, White Russian, and Cossack factions. Its problems were magnified when a German-backed government called the Hetmanate claimed control of the Ukraine in April, 1918. The population's disgust with this continued chaos led to the uprising of the anarchist Greens. The UNR managed to finally suppress the Hetmanate in December of 1918, and annexed West Ukraine the following month, triggering war with the new state of Poland, which pushed back Ukrainian forces and annexed the region in June of 1919. These continuing pressures forced the collapse of the UNR, which fell to Bolshevik forces in the summer of 1920.

The Ukrainians of eastern Galicia, the region claimed briefly by West Ukraine in 1918, declared their independence again in June of 1941, hailing the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union as the beginning of their liberation. The Nazis quickly disabused the Ukrainians of these notions, and within a week the leaders of the new republic had all been arrested by the Gestapo. Ukrainian nationalists rose up against both Stalin and the Germans, and were not fully subdued until 1948.

Ulan Bator- see Urga.

Union of Arab Republics- see Federation of Arab Republics.

Union of Arab States- see United Arab Republic.

Union of Border States- A short-lived union between Poland, Latvia and the Republic of the Ukraine, and allied with the Caucasus Republics. The Union disintegrated in 1920 after the Red Army reconquered the Ukraine and Poland nearly went to war with Lithuania.

Union of Mountain Peoples- see Mountain Republic.

United Arab Republic- In 1958, Egypt and Syria were united under the leadership of Gamal Nasser and his Arab Ba'ath Party. The UAR was heavily dominated by the Egyptians, who instituted a program of centralization on the Egyptian model in Syria. Yemen joined the UAR soon afterwards, and the loose federation was retitled the Union of Arab States. Syria seceded from the UAR to protest Egyptian domination in 1961, and Yemen left soon after. Egypt retained the name for several years before grudgingly allowing the UAR to die.

United States, Empire of the- Joshua Norton, a resident of San Francisco, declared himself Emperor of the United States in 1859. He began issuing proclamations, which were promptly reported by the local press to attract readers. Shortly thereafter, he dissolved Congress. During the Civil War, he also declared himself Protector of Mexico against the French and summoned Lincoln and Davis to San Francisco to settle their differences. Arrested for lunacy, he was promptly released by the chief of police, who feared public outrage. He supported himself by selling bonds redeemable from the Imperial Treasury, which were demanded mainly for his autograph. Norton I was famous across the nation, and 10,000 people attended his funeral in 1880.

United Suvadiva Republic- The southern islands of the Maldives, the largest of which is Addu, long protected a certain degree of independence. Southern merchants traded directly with India and the East Indies, paying no taxes to the central authorities. Central authority began to make itself felt during the Second World War, when British authorities heavily regulated trade. The Sultan of the Maldives, on Mahe in the north, took advantage of the new restrictions to exert new power in the south. Tensions continued to simmer until New Year's Day, 1959, when the announcement of new taxes on shipbuilding sparked a riot on Addu. On January 3, Addu formally declared its independence. The Sultanate's response was sluggish and ineffective, a situation which encouraged two other islands to secede on March 19, joining with Addu in the United Suvadiva Republic. As the threat continued to grow, the Sultan leapt into action, sending the military south. The British (whose military base at Gan was the main employer in the south) had initially encouraged the rebellion, but had executed a diplomatic volte-face and now supported the Sultan. On September 30, 1963, with the Maldivian military occupying much of the south and the British actively assisting the Sultan in his efforts to end the rebellion, the President of the USR, Abdullah Afeef Didi, went into exile. The Sultan issued a general pardon to those who had rebelled, and the south has remained quiet to this day.

Upingtonia- In 1885, a South African named William Jordan bought 50,000 square kilometers of land from Kambonde, king of the Ondongas in the interior of Namibia. Kambonde hoped to strengthen his position against his main rival for control of the Ongonda chiefdom, Nehale. Jordan declared the area the Republic of Upingtonia. After an influx of Boer settlers, the nascent state was renamed Lijdensrust. The growing power of the European settlement aroused Nehale's anger, and a raid led to the death of Jordan in 1887. Following this, the German government at Windhoek asserted control over the region and ended Lijdenrust's independence.

Urals, Republic of the- see Tatarstan.

Urga- also Independent Government of Outer Mongolia. One of the stranger White commanders during Russia's Civil War of 1917-22 was Baron von Ungern-Sternberg. A convert to Buddhism and fervent believer in the hollow earth theory, Ungern-Sternberg was also convinced he was the reincarnation of Genghis Khan. When he was forced by the Bolsheviks to retreat into Mongolia in 1920, he determined to establish a new Mongol Empire, with himself controlling a figurehead Emperor. Although he was repulsed at first, he returned in February of 1921 and defeated Manchuria's forces under Chang Tso-lin. After capturing Urga (now Ulan Bator), Ungern-Sternberg made it the capital of an independent Mongolia. He quickly alienated his subjects by purging thousands of Mongols, Chinese, Jews, and his own motley troops. After three months, he marched out on his first offensive, and was quickly beaten by Mongolian Communist troops. In July, Urga fell to the Mongolian People's Republic.

Urganchai Republic- see Tannu Tuva.


Val Ceno- see Ossola.

Val d'Enza e Val Parma- see Ossola.

Val Maira e Val Varaita- see Ossola.

Val Taro- see Ossola.

Valais, Republic of- also Rhodanic Republic. In 1801, Switzerland was under military occupation by the French Republic. Napoleon desired the annexation of the region of Valais, the four French-speaking cantons in western Switzerland. The Swiss Committee of Public Safety objected. Napoleon responded through a series of provocations, meddling in Swiss internal affairs. When Helvetic tempers were at their height, he withdrew his troops. Encouraged by this apparent wavering, the Swiss revolted, toppling the French-supported Helvetic Republic and invading southern France. After the Swiss had fallen into his trap, Napoleon crushed the rebels and set up a puppet Republic of Valais that would give France access to its vital Alpine passes. Napoleon formally annexed Valais in 1810.

Valli de Lanzo- see Ossola.

Valsesia- see Ossola.

Van Zandt, Free State of- There are about half a dozen explanations of how Van Zandt County in Texas got this nickname, but like those for the Free State of Jones, none of them are more than aprocryphal. One tale states that the county seceded from Texas to protest the Texan secession from the United States. Another states that the county seceded in 1867 to protest Reconstruction policies. Furthermore, the county militia whipped Philip Sheridan’s troops, but were too drunk to avoid capture the next morning. The wily militiamen managed to escape anyway under the noses of the crack Northern troops. Any grain of truth in either of these stories has long been buried under tale-swapping oneupmanship.

Varzi- see Ossola.

Vemarana, Republic of- see Espiritu Santo.

Venda- Venda was declared an independent Bantustan in 1979. It reverted to South African rule on January 1, 1994.

Venezia-Giulia, Republic of- 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.

Vermont, Republic of- also New Connecticut. Before the American Revolution, Vermont was part of New York. However, Vermonters never felt a great attachment to Albany. Accordingly, it took advantage of the Revolution to declare its independence in 1777. The newly established Committee of Public Safety guided Vermont through the Revolution, largely without commitment to either side.

Congress was doubtful of Vermont's legitimacy, and refused to acknowledge the new state, under pressure from New York. Ethan Allen and his brothers quickly assumed a major role in Vermont's government. Fearing a dilution of their power, they denied admission to a cluster of New Hampshire towns that wanted annexation. The disgruntled inhabitants talked for a while of seceding from New Hampshire anyway. The Allen party's strength eroded, and by 1781, their opponents had managed to annex a good part of New Hampshire and a county in New York as well. In 1782, Vermont renounced its claims in return for recognition by the United States.

As Vermont's government consolidated its power, many inhabitants grew weary of increasing state interference. The southern town of Guilford rebelled, asking New York for annexation. Ethan Allen quickly deployed several hundred militiamen, who ended the rebellion with only two deaths. In 1791, Vermont decided to join the United States, and ratified the Constitution.

Vigan- During the Seven Year's War, Spain fought as a French ally against Great Britain. She fared poorly, and in 1762, Britain captured Manila. While control of the city was returned to Spain in 1764, this demonstration of Spanish weakness ignited rebellions throughout the archipelago. In December of 1762, Diego Silang seized control of the port of Vigan, in northern Luzon. The Spanish were unable to dislodge Silang, as he had the support not only of the local inhabitants, but also of the British Navy. However, a Spanish agent managed to assassinate Silang in May of 1763, and Vigan surrendered to Spanish forces.

Vilcabamba- After the Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire, Inca nobles were set up as puppet rulers to keep the Indians content. One of these rulers, Manco Cúpac, rebelled against the Spanish in 1536. When it became clear that the Incas could not reclaim Peru's coast, Manco Cúpac retreated to Vilcabamba in the Andean interior. There, he set up a new Inca kingdom, complete with a miniature imperial court. Although Manco Cúpac was assassinated, his successors held out against the Spanish until 1572, when the forces of Tupac Amaru I were defeated. Tupac Amaru and most of his followers were executed.

Villarica- see Marquetalia.

Vladivostok- see Priamur, Provisional Government of.

Volga Bulgars- Split by the advance of Khazar armies in the latter half of the seventh century, the Bulgars regrouped in two areas- one in the location of present-day Bulgaria, the other along the Volga east of Moscow. The eastern Bulgars established several cities and converted to Islam. The Volga Bulgars and Russian states had tense relations which spilled over into conflict several times. The Mongols destroyed their capital in 1237 and conquered the remnants of the Bulgars in 1241, allowing them to remain semi-autonomous. The Bulgars were finally reduced to subjection by the Russians in the 1430s.

Vorarlberg, Republic of- The Tyrol is a region divided between Italy and Austria. Following intense fighting along the Italian-Austrian border during the First World War, the Tyroleans declared their independence under the Republic of Vorarlberg in November of 1918. The Allies blocked the move, and forced the Tyroleans to rescind the declaration. A second attempt to form a Tyrolean Free State in April of 1919 was also stopped by the Allies.

Vorio-Epirus- also Republic of North Epirus. The Epirus region straddles the present Greek-Albanian border. During the First Balkan War, the entire region came under Greek control. However, when Albania gained its independence in 1913, northern Epirus was taken from Turkish troops by the Albanians. Despite the fact that Greeks made up only a small percentage of the area's population, Greece immediately began agitating for its return. Despite the official absence of the Greek government, Greece supplied money to a puppet "Provisional Government of Vorio-Epirus". When the minor German princeling Wied was awarded the Albanian crown by the European powers, he initiated talks that gave Vorio-Epirus autonomy in March of 1914. His erstwhile subjects rose in rebellion and forced Wied into exile. In response, Vorio-Epirus declared itself independent in October, 1914. Greece gallantly sent troops to defend the region and a quarter of Albania into the bargain. These troops and the Greek irredentist claim were withdrawn under Allied pressure during the First World War.

Voortrekker Republic- see Natal, Republic of.


Wake Island- see Enenkio Atoll.

Watauga Association- The Watauga Valley of northeastern Tennessee was first occupied by English settlers in the late 1760s. Most of the settlers were Regulator sympathizers fleeing North Carolina. By 1770, several hundred settlers had moved into the region, effectively beyond the reach of the colonial authorities. In 1771, North Carolina sent a surveying party into the region and reached a settlement with the Cherokee of southeastern Tennessee. The settlement placed the Watauga settlement within the Cherokee reservation, and North Carolina’s government ordered the Wataugans to vacate the valley. Deeply alarmed, the settlers appointed a team of negotiators to meet with the Cherokee, who agreed to lease the Watauga Valley to the colonists. After this action, the colonists drafted and ratified Articles of Association, adopted Virginia’s legal code, and effectively became the first independent republic on American soil. The Watauga Association formally accepted North Carolina’s jurisdiction in October of 1775, rallying to the cause of American independence.

Welsh Colony- see Y Wladfa Gymreig.

Wends- see Sorbs.

West Florida, Republic of- West Florida was a Spanish province, stretching from the present Florida panhandle to the eastern bank of the Mississippi River. By the time of the American Revolution, the majority of West Florida's inhabitants were English-speaking settlers. These settlers were very interested in joining the United States. The most vocal groups were the owners of large plantations and the Kemper brothers, who were described at the time as "drunken frontier rabble." The Kempers led an abortive rebellion in 1803, but were shortly driven into the bayou, where they resumed their earlier exuberant lifestyle.

A more serious threat to Spanish dominion occurred at Baton Rouge in 1810. Following Napoleon's invasion of Spain, the Spanish dominions fell into turmoil, and the American settlers at Baton Rouge formed a Committee of Public Safety. After a short period of pretended cooperation, the Committee ousted the provincial government. On July 25, the Committee, headed by a John Rhea, asked the United States for annexation and a loan to finance the Committee's government. President James Madison refused. The Committee, dismayed, applied itself to the dreary work of organizing a more permanent authority, and a republic was declared under the presidency of Fulmar Skipwith, a prominent local planter and former American diplomat, on September 26. The Republic of West Florida then formally applied for statehood. President Madison was annoyed with the planters' action, since it threatened his ongoing negotiations to take all of Spanish Florida. Balancing the gain against European disapproval, Madison accepted the fait accompli and American troops moved south to take possession in October.

Westerwold- see Ditmarschen.

Westmoreland- The Wyoming Valley of Pennsylvania was largely settled by farmers from Connecticut. In 1782, the contested valley was awarded to Pennsylvania by the Supreme Court, provided the Connecticut settlers were confirmed in ownership of their land. However, several members of the Pennsylvania legislature had their eyes on the land. They declared the settlers to be squatters and mobilized state troops to evict them. The Connecticuters hastily organized a militia to oppose the Pennsylvanians, and declared themselves the State of Westmoreland. Many people sympathized with the settlers' plight, and Ethan Allen set off with a detachment of Green Mountain Boys to assist them. Anxious to avoid armed conflict, Connecticut cut a deal with Pennsylvania behind the back of the settlers. They were allowed to remain on their land but John Franklin, the militia leader, was arrested for insurrection.

West Kansas- Western Kansas is overwhelmingly rural, and the distance from Topeka is therefore as much a matter of culture as geography. In 1992, at the height of the Perot-inspired populist backlash which gave Clinton the presidency (), a referendum was placed on the ballot in a number of western Kansas counties calling for their secession, due to the tax burden from the state government. The referendum passed overwhelmingly and approaches were made both to Congress and the United Nations, but neither body proved much help. Western Kansas appears to be fairly resigned to their current government for the moment.

West Papua, Republic of- West Papua was governed by the Dutch separately from the Dutch West Indies, and remained under the control of the Netherlands following Indonesia's independence. In 1969, Indonesia invaded West Papua and annexed it. The native Papuans, angered by Indonesian arrogance and imperialism, declared their independence in December of 1975. The Indonesian government instituted a program of brutal repression. Over a hundred thousand Papuans have been killed in the conflict, and nearly a million Javan settlers now constitute the vast majority of the island's population.

West Ukraine, People's Republic of the- The PRWU was declared in November of 1918, and took control of the former Austrian province of Galicia. West Ukraine had strong ties to the short-lived Hungarian Soviet Republic, as both nations shared common enemies. Following the Ukrainian National Republic's defeat of the Hetmanate, the PRWU joined the UNR in January, 1919. In June of that year, the Poles annexed Galicia and expelled most of the Ukrainian inhabitants. A small Ukrainian population remained in Galicia and in Ruthenia.

Western Australia- Throughout most of the early twentieth century, Western Australia's pivotal export was wheat. In the wake of the Crash of 1929, wheat prices plummeted, and unemployment in Perth reached 30 percent. As populist demands for a solution to the stagnant economy came to a head, Liberal Premier James Mitchell's government held a referendum on secession from Australia in April of 1933. Two-thirds of the voters voted for secession, but at the same time, Mitchell's Liberals were voted out of office. The new Labour government dithered long enough for Great Britain to declare in 1935 that it could not legally grant a secession.

In 1974, the mining millionaire Langley George Hancock founded the Westralian Secession Movement, which aimed to revive Western Australia's independent spirit by opening vast new mineral riches to mining with nuclear demolitions and poisoning the water supplies of Aboriginal tribes. Hancock failed to make much of an impression. Since then, his most notable contributions to Western Australia have been contracting to supply Ceaucescu's Romania with steel in the 1980s and dying in 1992.

Western Bosnia, Autonomous Province of- Bihac, a Muslim enclave in western Bosnia, came under the control of the Muslim warlord Fikret Abdic early in the Bosnian Civil War. Abdic chafed under the control of Bosnia's central government, and declared independence in late 1993, concluding a separate peace with the Serbs. Outraged, the Bosnian government attacked Abdic and forced him and his followers to evacuate Bihac. Abdic joined the Serbs, and controlled one of Bosnia's more contemptible "militias". In 1998, Abdic ran for President of Bosnia, garnering a well-deserved drubbing. Still wanted for war crimes against the Serbian population, Abdic remains in hiding in Croatia.

Western Solomons, Republic of the- When the Solomon Islands gained their independence in 1978, they were rocked almost immediately by a major political crisis- the western provinces announced their intention to secede as the Republic of the Western Solomons. The situation was not helped when a civil servant published a poem containing ethnic slurs against westerners. The situation was resolved a year later, when the government paid $7,000 to the Western Solomons Council, the association of traditional chiefs behind the secession drive. The payment, however, did not defuse the crisis; it merely deferred it. In 1999, Guadalcanal was the flashpoint of a civil war, when a militia group demanded the removal of all Malaita from the island (the Malaita are the most numerous ethnic group in the Solomon Islands). Although Australian peacekeepers now occupy the region and peace talks are proceeding, the western provinces have stated their intention to secede. One province, Makira, has declared its determination to proceed with secession alone if necessary. The outcome of this crisis is far from clear.

Westralia- see Western Australia.

Wexford Republic- see Ireland, First Republic of.

Whiskey Counties- In July of 1794, farmers in Western Pennsylvania revolted against a tax on whiskey, which was used as a form of exchange in the poor Erie hinterlands. Federal tax collectors were expelled, and a flag with six stripes was raised, for four Pennsylvania counties and two counties in Virginia that had joined the revolt. In December, a federal army occupied Pittsburgh, and many of the rebels migrated west into frontier Ohio.

Winburg- see Afrikaner Republic.

Winneconne- In 1967, the state of Wisconsin published a set of official road maps. Unfortunately, the town of Winneconne (west of Oshkosh) was somehow omitted. The citizens went into an uproar, and when Wisconsin Governor Warren Knowles assured the town the omission was merely an oversight, they made him chairman of a contest to put Winneconne back on the map. Two girls from Washington, D.C. urged the town to secede from the United States and declare war. On July 22, village President James Coughlin did just that. To raise revenues, a tollbooth was erected at the Wolf River, which collected $7. Just before the close of business hours, Governor Knowles called President Coughlin and urged him to rejoin the Union. After negotiations, Winneconne repealed its secession at noon on July 23.

Winston, Free State of- Winston County, Alabama was like a lot of Southern counties before the Civil War; its inhabitants were not plantation owners and their slaves, but rather poor white landowners who could not afford slaves. As a result, Winston County had little enthusiasm for the fight- they stood to gain little, and to lose much through the draft and new taxations. For this reason, Winston County's state representative, Christopher Sheets, threatened during a debate that if Alabama could secede from the Union, then Winston County could secede from Alabama. The "Free State of Winston", as it was mockingly called by Alabamans, almost made good on this threat on July 4, 1861. Around 3,000 people showed up for a county convention to discuss a declaration of independence. After a short discussion, cooler heads prevailed- Winston County could not possibly go it alone. A Declaration of Neutrality was instead produced. Although Winston County remained within the Confederacy, even this limited document produced difficulties and several near-riots before the Civil War came to a close.

Wounded Knee- see Oglala Sioux Nation.

Wyoming Valley- see Westmoreland.




Yakutia- also Sakha. Yakutsk was a center of White Russian resistance to the Bolshevik Revolution. In February of 1918, a coalition of Social Revolutionary socialists, Yakut nationalists, and local officials declared the Yakut region independent of Russia. The Bolsheviks overran Yakutsk on July 1, and the nascent republic quickly dissolved. Admiral Kolchak, who later expelled the Bolsheviks, was not inclined to reinstate Yakut independence. A second rebellion under the guidance of SR politicians at Okhotsk proclaimed a Provisional Yakut Government in the spring of 1922, but the Bolsheviks controlled the centers of population and industry, and expelled the Yakut nationalists within a matter of months. The remnants of the Yakut nationalists were heavily involved in the later Tungus rebellion.

Yanga's Palenque- In 1609, escaped slaves had reduced much of rural Mexico to desperation. One of the largest groups was that of Yanga, who ruled a village in the vicinity of Veracruz. In that year, the Viceroy of New Spain dispatched troops to subdue Yanga. When Yanga eluded the detachment for several months, the Spanish commander granted Yanga's followers their freedom in exchange for an end to the constant raids in the area, and aid in tracking down other escaped slaves.

Yapti Tasba- see Mosquitia.

Yucatan Republic- The Yucatan has long regarded itself as distinct from the rest of Mexico, and its Mayan population has resisted integration into the Mexican polity. Yucatan declared independence from Spain separately in 1821, and did not join the Mexican Empire until November of that year. The peninsula was again briefly independent in 1823 upon the fall of Emperor Agustin Iturbide. Local landowners engineered the peninsula's secession in 1839, but the Mayan peasants rebelled against the new government in what became known as the Caste War. The divided Yucatan was defeated by government forces in 1843. The Mexican government promised autonomy, but when it broke that promise, the Yucatan seceded again in January of 1846. The Yucatan contracted with the Republic of Texas to provide naval support.

In July of 1847, Mayans rebelled against both the Mexicans and the white government of Yucatan. Within a year, the Mayans controlled 80% of the peninsula. The Mayan army advanced on the city of Mérida, but stopped short, in order to plant the maize crop. Internal dissension fragmented the Mayan forces in the mid-1850s. However, a part of the Yucatan remained under Mayan control until 1902.

After a brief revolution in February of 1915 (stirred up by local landowners to stymie land reform), which was crushed within two months, the Mayans again launched a coordinated bid for independence, declaring a renewed Yucatan Republic in 1924, with Mayan as its official language. The Mexican government, no longer occupied with civil war and bandit raids, quickly put down the revolution.

Yucatan, Socialist Republic of- Declared in 1915 by Felipe Carillo, the Socialist Republic failed to garner much support, and was quickly overrun by Mexican forces.

Yunnan Great Han Military Government- Yunnan was one of the first provinces to declare its independence of the Qing Dynasty during the Chinese Revolution of 1911, doing so in early November of that year. The new government spent much of 1912 pacifying the province, launching expeditions to quell Qing counterrevolutionary troops and bandits in Szechwan and Kweichow. In 1912, Yunnan joined the new Chinese Republic. Yunnan seceded again in March of 1916 after President Yuan Shih-k'ai declared himself Emperor, and rejoined the reformed Chinese Republic.


Zacatecas- In 1823, Mexico had gained its independence from Spain under Agustin Iturbide. Itrubide had declared himself Emperor Agustin I, setting off chaos throughout the new nation. He abdicated and fled into exile in June, as several provinces declared their independence. The new Free States of Oaxaca, Jalisco, and Zacatecas joined the Yucatan and the United Provinces of Central America in rebelling against Iturbide's rule. With the exception of the UPCA, these states accepted the Constitution of 1824, which set up a federalist system. Zacatecas seceded again in 1835, when President Santa Anna imposed a new centralist constitution. His military occupation of the state heightened tensions over the loss of local control elsewhere in Mexico, helping to spark renewed rebellion in the Yucatan and the secession of Texas.

Zanj- During the 9th century, a number of landowners in southern Iraq imported African slaves to drain the salt marshes around Basra. The slaves, who often spoke no Arabic, were subjected to back-breaking labor with little food or water. In 869, the Persian 'Ali ibn Muhammad began exhorting the slaves to seize their freedom. He joined the Kharijite sect, which said that any Muslim could be elected Caliph. Slaves flocked to join the revolt, and the Zanj (from the Arabic for "black") forces defeated the governor of Basra in several battles. After cutting the lines of communication throughout southern Iraq, the Zanj sacked Basra itself in 871, and defeated the 'Abbasid Caliph's brother al-Muwaffaq in 872.

The Zanj consolidated their rule and expanded into southern Iran over the next few years, while the Caliph was absorbed in fighting the Persian Saffarid dynasty. In 879, the 'Abbasids began a counter-offensive, and rapidly expelled the Zanj from Iran. By the spring of 881, the Zanj were besieged in their capital on the Tigris. After the arrival of Egyptian reinforcements in 883, the Zanj revolt finally collapsed, and Ali's head was brought to Baghdad for display.

Zanzibar- The Sultanate of Zanzibar was granted independence by Great Britain in December of 1963. The Sultan was unfortunately abysmally unpopular, and was overthrown a month later. In March, the Republic of Zanzibar was merged with Tanganyika to form the Federation of Tanzania.

Zaporozhian Host- During the early 17th century, the Zaporozhian Cossacks of the central Ukraine were under Polish sovereignty. They served as a buffer between Poland and the hostile Ottoman and Muscovite empires. Tension between the Catholic Poles and the Orthodox Cossacks led to unrest, which culminated in the 1648 revolt of the Cossacks under Bohdan Khmelnyetsky. The revolt ended in the creation of the Zaporozhian Host in August of 1649, which was granted control over what is now the central third of the Ukraine. Fighting with the Poles continued, and Khmelnyetsky accepted an offer of protection by Muscovy in 1654. The Cossacks chafed under Russian rule, and allied themselves with Sweden during the Great Northern War of 1709. The Russians retaliated by razing the Zaporozhian capital and replacing autonomy with direct Russian rule.

Zaragoza- A Maroon settlement in Colombia's Antioquia province; Zaragoza was founded in the 1690s and its inhabitants scattered soon after.

Zoutpansberg- The Portuguese presence in Mozmabique was never a very well-organized affair. For the most part, the Portuguese maintained their position through an aristocracy of semi-independent representatives, who basically ruled their sections of Mozambique as feudal fiefs. On occasion, these local powers, while maintaining a veneer of respect for Lisbon, pursued independent goals. João Albasini was an excellent example. In the early 1850s, he and a group of African followers established a settlement on the Zoutpansberg, near the Boer settlements of the South African veldt. After consolidating his rule, Albasini attempted to overrun a small chiefdom which paid tribute to the powerful Gaza kingdom. When the Gaza defeated Albasini in battle, he was forced to relinquish his army, and his settlement soon collapsed. It was not until Albasini's fall that the area became Portuguese territory.

Zulus- see KwaZulu.

Footnote: West Kansas You know, I was so gleeful over the third-party spoiler in 1992. You'd think I'd be okay with Nader running this last time around. But heck, if politics was about rational thought and accepting loss gracefully, you wouldn't be reading this site. Back.

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