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Independent State of Hessenburg
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The Independent State of Hessenburg, commonly called Hessenburg, is a Democratic-Republican micronation that has claims on land straddling the border of the United States and Canada - specifically along the Maine-New Brunswick border. The country was founded on September 3, 2003, on the anniversary of the Treaty of Paris which ended the American Revolutionary War. Although a young micronation, Hessenburg traces its roots back to 1776 and the American Declaration of Independence which resulted in war between the U.S. and Great Britain.
In the latter days of the Revolutionary War the English army came to rely more and more on imported mercenary units known as Hessians. Nearly 30,000 soldiers were brought in from the Holy Roman Empire to help quell the American rebellion. Although Britain paid a fee for hiring these mercenaries, nearly all of the money went instead to the Royal Houses of the HRE; little, if any, actually went to the soldiers themselves. By the end of the war, 8,000 Hessians had either been killed or died of illness, mostly due to maltreatment by their American captors after the war. Of the remainder, some 5,000 settled in North America, while another 18,000 returned chose to return to Germany. Yet the Hessians who remained were held in contempt by the predominantly-English population of America, and many fled to New Brunswick in Canada, where they would be free from persecution. Yet the British government did little to alleviate the pains inflicted upon the Hessians after the war, or to make recompense for their mistreatment of the soldiers. To this day, neither the American, Canadian, or British governments have made any attempt to apologize or compensate the families of those Hessian soldiers who served most honorably.
Hessenburg was founded as a state in which these descendants of the Hessian-American population could congregate and settle, embracing their heritage and culture, without fear of persecution, and to enjoy and share in the richness of American soil that was so lucrative to all those who migrated to North America. Although unrecognized by any major government or world body (such as the U.N.), Hessenburg nonetheless strives to attain statehood through legal and political action.
In 2003 Hessenburg was first established by a small group of Americans who shared German heritage and sought to make right the wrongs committed during the Revolutionary War. The first steps: Establish a safe haven from which to operate, establish a legal precedent by which to support our actions, and determine an appropriate for of recompense on behalf of the British/Canadian and American governments. The town of Forest City, which straddles the border of Maine and New Brunswick, was chosen as the epicenter of Hessenburg, and would be renamed by government decree to New Kassel. Initially Hessenburg was designed along monarchist lines and was indeed called the Kingdom of Hessenburg in the beginning. This form of government was, however, later rejected and abolished by a quorum of citizens who felt that secession was not the solution to the problem.
In 2005 a government decree stated that Hessenburg would no longer actively seek secession from the United States and Canada and that it would instead seek joint condominium status as a shared entity under the protection of both nations, and equally sharing in the responsibilities and heritage of the Hessian-American community. It was also stipulated in the decree that this peaceful coexistence could only happen if the Canadian and American governments formally recognized Hessenburg. Until such time as that recognition is granted, Hessenburg will continue to lobby for support and, naturally, continue its efforts to bring together the Hessian-American people, and to restore their lost heritage and status.
The government of Hessenburg is Democratic-Republican and follows closely the system of administration carried out by the states of the United States of America and the provinces of Canada. This is a drastic step away from the older monarchy in which Hessenburg was an absolutist state with very immovable objectives. The Governor is an elected position in which any candidate meeting the prerequisites for state leadership can run for office; the position is elected once every five years. Hessenburg also has a unicameral legislature which serves most of the state's day-to-day functions.
The Hessenburg military is confined to a small militia-type unit used only for security purposes, akin to a small police force. These are known as the Freikorps (Free Corps in English) and are voluntarily organized.
Hessenburg also invests a great deal into its re-enactment military, which attempts to bring together a detailed account of the Hessian role in the Revolutionary War from an unbiased perspective (since historians have often held a bias against Hessians) and to document in detail the uniforms, weapons, names, paraphernalia, and activities of Hessian mercenaries during and after the war.
At this time, Hessenburg has not established formal ties with any other micronations.