Adam I of Überstadt
|King of Überstadt, Duke of Washington, Earl of New Brabant, Baron of Gothenberg, Lord of Sealand, Baronet of Eliot
|Reign||18 November 2011 - present|
|Coronation||1 September 2012|
|In office||8 November 2014 - present|
|Predecessor||Gaius Soergel Publicola (acting)|
|In office||6 March 2010 - October 2011|
|Successor||Daniel Radcliffe de jure|
Himself as King de facto
|Spouse||Laurel, Queen of Überstadt|
|Father||Lord Michael, Baron Ballinger|
|Mother||Lady Kara, Baroness Rosewood|
|Born||Seattle, Washington, United States|
Adam I, also Adam von Friedeck in certain settings, is the King of Überstadt. He was the founder and first Chief Judge of Überstadt during the Kritarchy, appointed to that post by the original constitution. After attempts to invigorate the new nation through both democracy and autocracy, he led the November Revolution, the movement that established the Überstadti monarchy, and became king.
Throughout his reign, Adam has taken an active role in government, creating national policies and composing most legislation. He presided over several major political changes in the 2010s: the movement of power from Hawk City to Rosewood in early 2013, the rise of socialism and the establishment of direct democracy later that year, the abolition of the office of Prime Minister in favor of an executive monarch, and a turn toward Realist micronational theory and reinvigorated cultural development. Adam has prioritized building Überstadti identity, economic development, and friendly relations with the broader micronational community. As King, he also serves as Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Armed Forces and Moderator of Parliament.
Adam has helped strengthen the Social System as an intimate alliance between Überstadt and Sandus. He serves on its Commission for the Common Economy, which oversees Sandum-Überstadti economic integration, and is the Party Secretary of the Citizens' Party of Sandus.
Early life and education
Adam von Friedeck was born in Seattle and grew up in Mountlake Terrace, one of its suburbs. As a child, he demonstrated a great interest in both the natural world and human society. Among the games he played when young was one in which he pretended to rule a kingdom in his backyard. Von Friedeck started to become familiar with politics during the 2008 US presidential election when he was in middle school.
In Fall 2009, von Friedeck entered Mountlake Terrace High School. His freshman humanities teacher, Ryan Niman, encouraged Adam's interest in law and politics. Niman's use of a country simulation game to teach civics influenced the decision to found Überstadt. For the next few years, von Friedeck's high school experience would influence the nature of Überstadt. He graduated from the school in June 2013. During his final two years of high school, he was concurrently enrolled at Edmonds Community College. After one further year of study, he completed an Associate of Arts degree, equivalent to the first two years of undergraduate education in the United States.
Von Friedeck began attending Western Washington University (WWU) in January 2016 to complete his undergraduate studies. In December 2017, he graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor's degree in history and a minor in political science. He was named the 2017-18 Outstanding Graduate in History. While at WWU, he served terms as secretary and president of an environmentalist club and participated in the university's Model United Nations team.
Entry into micronationalism
Von Friedeck first learned about micronationalism by reading about Sealand in the 2008 edition of Guinness World Records, which described it as the world's smallest country claiming sovereignty. This led him to research the principality online, introducing him to the concept of micronations. Inspired by Prince Roy, he soon decided to start his own country.
Von Friedeck planned over more than a year and a half to start a country. He investigated several areas near his home as possible territorial claims, favoring vacant land at the time over claiming a residence. He invited many of his friends and acquaintances to support his new nation project. He began to organize people interested in supporting Überstadt by creating a national Facebook group. This group developed into a simple community interested in founding a new country on Edmount Island. During this period, known as the Proto-Überstadti Era, von Friedeck created the Department of the Navy, the first quasi-governmental organ and predecessor to His Majesty's Überstadti Navy.
Von Friedeck was the foremost leader of the foundation of Überstadt. In early 2010, he organized the Planning Committee to develop a framework for the new government. Because of the committee's inactivity, he designed the government himself, writing two rough drafts of the constitution. The Planning Committee approved the second draft, and von Friedeck adapted it into the final version for signatures from Überstadt's supporters. By planning the unique system of Überstadti judge-rule, Adam was the first micronationalist known to implement a kritarchy.
Chief Judge of Überstadt
Adopted 6 March 2010, the first Überstadti constitution named von Friedeck the first Chief Judge, head of state and the judiciary, with his term to end in an election in March 2013. Early in his tenure, several former supporters began speaking against the government in Überstadt's online venues, some claiming to secede or rebel. Some of his methods in dealing with online sedition were controversial. He censored dissident citizens' posts in the national Facebook group and appointed two security officials to investigate critics. Also controversial was von Friedeck's spurious prosecution of a citizen for treason based on a running joke between classmates. Von Friedeck personally argued the case in a trial court and later heard an appeal in his role as Chief Judge, upholding the defendant's conviction of resisting arrest but ruling that her sentence, a literal slap on the wrist, was unlawful.
In December 2010, von Friedeck encountered MicroWikia while searching online for lists of micronations. After another user directed him to the Referata MicroWiki, he began to document Überstadt's history, culture, and politics and gained his first diplomatic experience. In February 2011, he became the Überstadti delegate to the Organisation of Active Micronations.
In Spring 2011, von Friedeck became a citizen of Flandrensis. Upon naturalization, he was recognized by Grand Duke Niels for his anti-micronational war activism with the title Baron of Gothenberg. Von Friedeck later created the website of the Union Against Micronational War in consultation with Niels. Over the next three years, Adam would produce an official English translation of the Flandrensisian constitution and successfully campaign for government recognition of minority religions, eventually renouncing his citizenship in May 2014, citing isolation from Flandrensisian society.
Überstadt became almost completely inactive during the summer of 2011, primarily because summer vacation kept citizens away from the school where they usually gathered. Von Friedeck attributed this inactivity to the political system. In August, he initiated a period of autocracy by proclaiming himself to have absolute power over Überstadt, stating that he wished to revive the nation through political reforms. He composed a new law code, maintaining kritarchy but discarding liberal democracy. He appointed a cabinet that remained inactive.
At about the time of his power grab, von Friedeck assisted Gordon Freeman, then Secretary-General of the Organisation of Active Micronations in writing a resolution to establish a judicial organ of the OAM. He was one of the most vocal advocates for the proposed Intermicronational Court of Law, publicly debating against Bradley of Dullahan in support of the resolution. The OAM Council approved the court's formation by a significant margin, and von Friedeck ran in the September 2010 election for a seat on the first panel of justices. He received more votes than the other candidates, and thus became Chief Justice. The justices were close to completing the court's charter when the OAM became defunct, and the court never heard a case.
After school resumed in September 2011, internal inactivity in Überstadt persisted. Von Friedeck decided to pursue a complete reform of Überstadt with an entirely different political system and a more invested citizen base. Believing that this could not happen if he was still dictator, he resigned in October after a year and seven months as Chief Judge. He organized an election for his replacement, and the voters chose British actor Daniel Radcliffe, who was on the ballot due to citizens electing him to judicial office as a joke in 2010.
Early reign as king
Establishing the monarchy
After overseeing Radcliffe's election, von Friedeck started designing a constitutional monarchy to take charge of Überstadt. In November 2011, He started a movement called the November Revolution and recruited two high school classmates to form a Royal Army in symbolic support of a regime change. The two volunteer soldiers acclaimed him as King of Überstadt. Von Friedeck recruited a smaller, more dedicated group of supporters than in the 2010 foundation, and on 18 November, they signed the monarchist constitution he wrote, making him king.
Although the new constitution charged him with diplomatic, military, and ceremonial roles, King Adam almost immediately became active in domestic politics. He facilitated meetings of Parliament and personally wrote many bills. Among these was the Colony Act, which allowed for the creation of Creekbed Colony. The casual, judiciary-centered culture of the Kritarchical Era continued, but Adam tried to introduce more ceremony and order to the government. He also pursued diplomatic interests with new earnest, initially attempting to build relations in the Spokane Sector, the only other micronations he knew of in the US state of Washington. He began producing annual outlines of his foreign policy. In January 2012, he began to publish On the Sector, a blog providing commentary on events and issues in the MicroWiki sector. Community members generally praised the articles' writing and research, but he was sometimes criticized by members of organizations targeted by his commentary. Adam attributed Überstadt's abrupt rise on the MicroWiki Influence Survey in part to On the Sector. Adam served as the Überstadti delegate to the Grand Unified Micronational until his decision to withdraw Überstadt's provisional membership amid the GUM leadership scandal. During 2012, the king became active in the micronational Skype rooms and used Skype as a bilateral diplomacy tool. This led to the development of many diplomatic relationships.
In the first year of his reign, Adam strengthened the monarchy's cultural role and his direct involvement in the government. He became Secretary of the Treasury in January 2012 and has remained in for most of the time since then. On 1 September 2012, he held a coronation to celebrate his reign and Überstadt's continued existence, as well as to strengthen the monarchy's prominence. That December, he became Minister for Commerce, responsible for a government-facilitated trading forum called the Free Public Market, which he had designed. The market failed, and the ministry was not revived under Crown Prince Aaron's second government.
Early 2013 brought fears that Überstadt would decline when most of its citizens graduated from the high school that formed the national capital, Hawk City. Adam initiated a transition of cultural and political power from the school to Rosewood, site of the Royal Residency, which was annexed in February. Around this time, Adam gained by constitutional amendment the right to issue binding decrees. He soon began to legislate on territorial claims, electoral law, honors, military organization, and national symbols. He ceded the Barony of Terrace, site of the high school, to the United States and the Band Room Realms, which claimed a portion of the school after Adam unintentionally acknowledged the sovereignty of the Bandish king, Franklin.
In this period, Adam focused on economic development. In the summer of 2013, he oversaw an experimental public works program and began to advocate Theodorist reforms in Überstadt. On 2 September, he co-founded the Theodorist Party of Überstadt, becoming its leader and proposing a model he called "democratic Theodorism." He authored Überstadt's October 2013 constitution, which established direct democracy and a socialist state. He acted as Theodorist leader until 20 January 2014. Adam began to place a renewed emphasis on using diplomacy to facilitate domestic development and increased dialogue with other states interested in trade. As Minister for the Economy in Prince Aaron's third government, Adam drafted the Organizations Act, which made worker cooperatives Überstadt's main economic organs. He oversaw horticulture improvements and experimented with new artisanal industries, such as dyeing. Adam saw the new Saint Josephsburg Economic Pact (SJEP) as an opportunity to use trade to strengthen relations with other states, but he and the government opposed SJEP membership and sought other ways to become involved with the pact.
On 10 July 2014, Adam paid a state visit to Sandus, strengthening Überstadt's political, economic, and cultural relationship with the Sandum nation. It was the first state visit performed by an Überstadti leader and the first received by Sandus. Adam and Gaius Soergel Publicola signed a treaty granting Überstadt Socilivo (later Socius) statehood, a special alliance with Sandus which, among other provisions, gave Überstadtis the right to do business in Sandus. Überstadt therefore gained access to SJEP trade. Later that summer, Adam acquired the Socilivo/Socius rank of citizenship in Sandus, and in November 2014, he became the Chair of the Citizens' Party of Sandus.
On 30 September 2014, Parliament abolished the office of Prime Minister of Überstadt in favor of an executive monarch, reflecting the political status quo that had the king involved in all aspects of governance. Adam assumed all the responsibilities of a head of government.
Recent years of Adam's reign have been marked by a turn toward the Realist school of micronationalism developed by Gaius Soergel Publicola, emphasizing a practical, organic approach to nation-building. This has accompanied stronger cooperation with Sandus, but it has also been influenced by Adam's experience with pragmatic reforms in Überstadt, especially after he moved away from Rosewood in 2016 for university. Some of this Realist turn's impacts have included governing Überstadt more like a small community than a large, bureaucratic nation-state; trying to balance the practicality of a strong monarchy with the principle of direct democracy; moving away from MicroWiki sector diplomacy to prioritize the broader micronational community, especially at MicroCon conferences; and forging an intimate alliance with Sandus in the form of the Social System.
On 11 April 2015, Adam attended his first international conference, MicroCon 2015, hosted by Kevin Baugh in Anaheim, California. He traveled with ally Dictator Dorian Grimes of Doria and met many micronationalists. During the conference, he and gave a presentation on Überstadt, discussing the theme of citizen empowerment in its history. He later attended MicroCon 2019 and presented a paper called "Decolonizing Micronationalism," outlining the relationship between North American micronationalism and settler colonialism.
Involvement in politics outside Überstadt and the Social System
In September 2014, von Friedeck joined the Green Party of the United States. He held multiple posts in his county-level party, including facilitator (equivalent to chairmanship) in 2015. That summer, he managed a fellow Green's campaign for Everett City Council, winning 14% of the vote on a shoestring budget but not advancing to the general election. Von Friedeck worked as a fundraiser for Environment Washington in Fall 2015 and volunteered for its Go Solar Washington campaign and the Honest Elections Seattle initiative. In early 2016, he completed an internship for Fund for the Public Interest recruiting potential canvass directors. Von Friedeck was involved in the 2016 reactivation of the Green Party's branch in Whatcom County and its campaign efforts for Green presidential candidate Jill Stein and was quoted in a Seattle Times article about the youth vote. He later expressed disillusionment with Stein and the party, leaving in 2017.
Adam became the Empire of Austenasia's Consul in Washington on 26 April 2014 and founded the Crown Dependency of Oregonia on 30 June, becoming Governing Commissioner. He and Prince Aaron initially intended for Oregonia, adjacent to Creekbed Colony, to be a diplomatic gesture to Austenasia, but Adam decided to also use Oregonia as a way to boost trade relations between Austenasia and Überstadt. Later that year, on 19 September, the Austenasian Parliament granted Adam non-residential subjectship with an agreement that it did not affect Überstadt's status as an independent state, and Emperor Jonathan I knighted him a Knight of Virtue in the Glorious Order of St. John.
In the run-up to the March 2015 Austenasian general election, Adam helped lead the campaign of Brooklyn Hewitt, contributing to her campaign website and social media. Upon Hewitt's election as Prime Minister on 5 March, Adam was appointed her Chief of Staff and Communications Director. He was appointed a Privy Counsellor on 5 August 2015 and granted the peerage Duke of Washington on 19 September 2015. Jonathan I appointed him a Counsellor of State from 31 August - 31 December 2016, able to jointly exercise the powers of the Throne with the Hewitt due to temporary constraints on the Emperor's time. He served as one of the two Consuls both in 2017 and 2018. His activity in Austenasia declined over time, and he renounced his citizenship in February 2020, at which time Oregonia was dissolved.
Adam has lived in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle since November 2018. He has previously lived in the Washington state cities of Mountlake Terrace, where he grew up, and Bellingham, where he attended university. Since completing his undergraduate education, he has been a volunteer staffer for Model United Nations conferences throughout the Pacific Northwest.
On 18 March 2022, Adam's office officially announced that he and Laurel, Countess McAleer will marry in August 2022. They had been engaged since 4 December 2021. Following their marriage, Laurel become Queen consort of Überstadt.
Adam was raised a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints but converted to Anglican Christianity in adulthood. He identifies as a "heritage Mormon." He was baptized and confirmed in the Episcopal Church of the United States on 3 April 2021. He serves as an acolyte at Saint Mark's Cathedral in the Diocese of Olympia and as a hospitality minister for the Compline Choir.
Titles, styles, and honors
Titles and styles
- 1995 - 6 March 2010: Mister Adam von Friedeck
- 6 March 2010 - October 2011: The Honorable Adam von Friedeck, Chief Judge of Überstadt
- October 2011 - 18 November 2011: Mister Adam von Friedeck
- 18 November 2011 – present: His Majesty The King of Überstadt
The King's style and title in full: His Majesty Adam the First, King of Überstadt, Duke of Washington, Baron of Gothenberg, Sovereign of the Order of the Fir, Sovereign of the Most Excellent Order of the Seagull, Sovereign of the Most Noble Order of the Hawk, Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Armed Forces, Moderator of Parliament, Secretary of the Treasury, Minister for the Economy, Minister for the Environment
- Überstadt: Sovereign of the Order of the Fir
- Überstadt: Sovereign of the Most Excellent Order of the Seagull
- Überstadt: Sovereign of the Most Noble Order of the Hawk
- Überstadt: Service Medal (as Secretary of the Treasury)
- Flandrensis: Knight of the Order of Flandrensis
- Austenasia: Imperial Knight of the Austenasian Order (IKA)
- Florenia: Commander of the Order of the Founder (COF)
- Sandus: Kchaia of the Most Honourable Order of the Throne of Sandus (EOTS)
- Doria: Commander of the Dorian Order of Virtue
- Doria: Dorian Award of Cordiality
- Myrotania: Knight of the Order of the Yellow Dragons (EODF)
- Austenasia: Knight of Honour in the Glorious Order of St. John (KHJ)
- Flandrensis: Commander of the Holy Military Order of Saint Polycarpus
- Ruritania: Knight of the Royal Order of King Henry the Lion (KROHL)
- Letzembourg: Grand Cross of Letzembourg
- Austenasia: Knight of the Order of Saint Constantine
- New Nicaea: Knight of the Order of the Nicaean Eagle
- Sandus: Agnomen "Camillus" for charity tax contributions
- Esse: Officer of the Essian Order (OEO)
- Flandrensis: Knight Grand Cross in the Order of the Melting Mountain
- Sandus: Member of the Order of Athena Pronoea
- Uskor: Officer of the Order of Uskor
- Adammia: Member of the Order of the Meerkat
- Molossia: Desert Palm
Foreign titles of nobility
- Austenasia: Duke of Washington
- Natal: Earl of New Brabant
- Flandrensis: Baron of Gothenberg
- Sealand: Lord of Sealand
- Sandus: Baronet of Eliot