Talossa

The Kingdom of Talossa is a micronation originated by Robert Ben Madison in 1979 (as a child) and subsequently developed in great detail by Madison and other Talossan citizens. Talossa considers itself an independent sovereign nation occupying part of the western shore of Lake Michigan and also claiming the island of Cezembre off the coast of Brittany, France, as well as the "Pengöpäts" Antarctic Territory. Despite claiming territory that overlaps with that of other nation-states (notably the United States), Talossan history describes the 1979 founding event as a peaceful secession from the United States. Talossa has its own language and political system (a constitutional monarchy), as well as such symbolic markers of nationhood as a flag. In the mid 1990s, Talossa extended onto the internet, drawing in new cybercitizens through its website.

In 2004, a splinter group dissatisfied with the monarchy seceded from the Kingdom of Talossa and founded the rival Republic of Talossa. The Republic has a semi-presidential system of government and claims the same territory minus "Pengöpäts".

The main differences between nation-states and micronations like the two Talossas are generally taken to be the lack of recognition by any other nation-state, and the lack of a military arm that could enforce territorial claims and/or reciprocal recognition. This begs the question of how much validity such tests continue to have in the era of cybercitizenship. If the territorial claims of the two Talossas are understood as vestigial rather than normative, both Talossas can be seen more clearly as fully functioning entities. The lack of recognition by other nation-states then becomes a practical matter of power relations (powerful nation-states choose whom they deal with) rather than a fundamental test of nation-statehood. Rather than seeing micronations as deficient in the standards of nation-statehood, it might be more accurate to understand them as full nation-states that have opted not to pursue a policy of territorial aggrandizement, just as other nations have opted not to pursue interstellar travel or free-market economies.
 

Sources:

The Kingdom of Talossa website

The Republic of Talossa website