Scramble for Finismund
|The Scramble for Finismund|
|Date: December 2009|
Opening of the continent
In 1959, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Chile, France, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States signed the Antarctic Treaty. It was agreed among members of the Antarctic Treaty that no nation shall lay claim to West Antarctica, a region bordered by the Argentine/British claim, New Zealand’s claim and the Ross Ice Shelf. Realizing a loophole, that individual claimants were not bound to this treaty, several micronations have claimed territory in West Antarctica. Micronationalist exploration and exploitation of the Antarctican continent had begun at the end of the 1980s, when micronationalism started to grow. By 2000, micronations had mapped most of the continent. Among the most famous of the micronational explorers were Travis McHenry of Westarctica.
However, due to the fact that a lot of micronations became inactive after several years, it is impossible to determine whether territories are already claimed by a certain micronation, or if two micronations already control the same piece of land. This resulted in several conflicts, for instance, the Siple War.
Technological advancement facilitated more intermicronational recognition. Internet in the 1990s and in the beginning of the 21st century brought about rapid advancements in recognition and communication between Antarctic micronations, especially via forums and message boards.
Death of Finismund
For several months, Finismund lowered its presence in the British sector. It was present a few times in GUM meetings and was almost entirely absent in November of 2009. After this short moment of absence, the Kingdom was officially declared disestablished on the 29th of November, 2009, although most of the micronational community became aware of the news only in the first days of December.
The end of the Kingdom resulted in several micronations claiming and annexing its territory. While some of the micronational governments were given the full right to take parts of land, such as Flandrensis, Arkel, the Federated States of Antarctica and the Crown Principality of Landashir, other Antarctic-based micronations started publicly communicating their desire to control a small part of the previous Finismundi Antarctic claims.
Particularly, with the intention to protect the land of Byrda against illegal claims, and to retain stability between the Antarctic micronations, the GAMA decided to establish a protectorate in Byrda.
Following the death of Finismund, several other territories were annexed by other Antarctic micronations or organizations:
- The land of Byrda was succeded by Byrda Autonomous Community, under control of the GAMA
- The Bir Tawil Autonomous Community was claimed by NottaLotta Acres , and it became a protectorate. They however removed their claim. It has since been claimed by several other nations.
Grand Duchy of Flandrensis
There are rumors that Flandrensis already claims big parts of land of Finismund, but this isn't true. On 10th November 2009 (see our forum) the Government of Flandrensis already made plans to expand Flandrensis with four small islands around Siple Island: Maher Island, Pranke Island, Cherry Island and Carney Island (from which I’m the Duke). Normally we would contact Finismund next week, so the end of Finismund has no influence on our decision to expand! We recognized that the land of Byrda is now a protectorate of the GAMA and we will negotiate with this organization and all Antarctic micronations to remain the stability and to be assure that these claims would be legal and peaceful.— Grand Duke Niels of Flandrensis, Grand Duke Niels
Democratic People's Republic of Erusia
The Democratic People's Republic of Erusia has denounced all micronations making claims on Finismund's former territory. Robert Lethler, the de facto leader of that nation, has accused nations participating in the scramble as being "decadent imperialists" and has called on the intermicronational community to condemn them. The DPRE has offered its support for the GAMA in its bid to prevent the territory from being carved up by various nations, though it has insisted that there should be no sole Protector of the land, but that the territory should become an international neutral zone under the GAMA's collective control.
The Erusian intervention in the affair resulted in negative comments from GAMA member states. David Powell, FSA, described the matter as something "between the GAMA and the Antarctic micronations". “The Federated States, Flandrensis, and Arkel have all made their proposals for expansion of territory. Each territorial expansion has been mutually recognized. This article looks to me like an attempt on Erusia's part to stir up conflict where none exists” he later said. The accusations made by the DPRE mainly to Flandrensis, Arkel, Landashir and the Federated States of Antarctica were ignored.
The Republic of Egtavia
On the grounds that Antarctica cannot sustain human life without support from other continents, the President of Egtavia declared that Egtavia will not recognise any micro- or macro-national territorial claims in Antarctica, unless the said nation can prove that the area claimed can support human life without the need for supplies to be flown in. The President agreed with Erusia's proposals, but stated that Egtavia will not condemn micronations that claim Antarctic territory.
The President of Egtavia later clarified that he was referring exclusively to Antarctic territory, which has never seen any indigenous peoples or other human habitation until the second half of the twentieth century. The President then pointed out that the Inuit and other Arctic tribes have been living inside the Arctic Circle for centuries without support, and this therefore proves that the Arctic region can support a small human population, albeit only in certain areas. No such proof exists for Antarctica that the Republic was aware of, and the President maintained his view that making territorial claims to areas which cannot support human life is ultimately pointless.
The Federation has declared "national interest" in Finismundian territory as a potential future homeland for a Isocratic Federalist government. Ambassador Flaherty requested the name of the Island shown as Finismundian territory, which he has of yet been unable to locate. The Federation considered claiming the said island and if successful, it would have joined GAMA.