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Kingdom of Araucanía and Patagonia
| Kingdom of Araucanía and Patagonia|
Reino de Araucanía y Patagonia
Royaume d'Araucanie et de Patagonie
Independencia y Libertad
(Spanish: "Independence and Freedom")
|Southern Chile and Argentina |
|Capital city||Perquenco (claimed)|
Paris (in exile)
|Official language(s)||Mapudugun • Spanish • French|
|- King (1860–1878)||Orélie-Antoine I|
|Established||17 November 1860|
|Disestablished||5 January 1862|
The Kingdom of Araucania and Patagonia, also called New France, was a micronation founded by a French lawyer and adventurer named Orelie-Antoine de Tounens in southern South America in the mid 19th century. At the time the local indigenous Mapuche population were engaged in a desperate armed struggle to retain their independence in the face of hostile military and economic encroachment by the governments of Chile and Argentina, who coveted the Mapuche lands for their agricultural potential.
While visiting the region in 1860, Orelie-Antoine came to sympathise with the Mapuche cause, and the Mapuche leaders in turn elected him to the position of King — possibly in the belief that their cause might be better served with a European acting on their behalf. Orelie-Antoine then set about establishing a government, created a blue, white and green flag, and had coins minted for the nation under the name of Nouvelle France
His efforts at securing international recognition for the Mapuche were thwarted by the Chilean and Argentinian governments, who captured, imprisoned and then deported him on several occasions. King Orelie-Antoine I eventually died penniless in France in 1878 after years of fruitless struggle to regain his perceived legitimate authority over his conquered kingdom.
The first Araucanian king's present-day successor, Prince Felipe, lives in France and has renounced his predecessor's claims to the Kingdom, but he has kept alive the memory of Orelie-Antoine, and lent continued support to the ongoing struggle for Mapuche self-determination by authorising the minting of forty or so coins in cupronickel, silver, gold and palladium since 1988.
- King Orélie Antoine I (1860-1878)
All monarchs after Orélie-Antoine have been claimants of the Araucanian throne.
- King Aquiles I (1878-1902)
- King Antonio II (1902-1903)
- Queen Laura Teresa I (1903-1916)
- King Antonio III (1916-1952)
- Prince Felipe (1952 - present)