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The Arían Empire was a U.S.-based child micronation that existed between 2001 and 2003, eventually spanning the whole of the continental United States and encompassing subjects dispersed between seven provinces and several territories. At its peak in 2002, the empire had a population of several hundred persons and dominated the group of micronations retrospectively known as the Maryland civilization (so named for the empire's origins in Maryland). Beyond its power base in the eastern U.S., Aria maintained formal territories in Colorado, California, and Pennsylvania, and claimed spheres of influence as far away as Tokyo and Rome. Following a period of serious political instability in late 2002, the empire transitioned into a democratic republic before its seven provinces were granted independence at the close of 2003. The fate of these post-independence entities is unclear.
Aria was significant for its status as a "bricks-and-mortar" micronation with no online presence, for its exceptional size, for its exclusively child and adolescent composition, for its sectional cleavages, and for the rigid class divisions (including an absolute monarchy and system of pseudo-slavery) that were its hallmark. Aria was the successor state to a micronation called Civalia, about which little is known. The empire's official history, the Arian Chronicle, dates from the opening years of the 21st century and is a valuable though incomplete portrait of micronationalism during the early years of the Internet, when new technology facilitated improved communication but did not allow for the instantaneous access provided by social media.