Sunday, December 30, 2012

Principality of Hutt River

The Principality of Hutt River or Hutt River Province was created on 21 April 1970 by Prince Leonard Casley because he disliked how the Australian government wanted to control his production of wheat on his own farm. The Principality of Hutt River has many of the same factors as nations much larger including government, population, currency (link), and even economy. For a video and transcript of an interview with Prince Leonard, see this link. To watch another, different video regarding the Principality of the Hutt River, see below. Both give an insight into what it is like creating and maintaining a micronation.

The Principality of Hutt River is a micronation. Micronations have a very small population, usually only a family or two, and a relatively small territory (although the Hutt River actually has a territory larger than some widely recognized nations). Micronations exist in various levels of legality, some are simply seen as silly games played by zealous individuals, some strive for legal recognition, but a select few ever achieve it to the degree that Prince Leonard has. Prince Leonard has achieved his initial goal and more: he has followed many of the necessary steps found in my guide to creating a nation (link here). Prince Leonard pays no taxes to the country of Australia, and has received recognition by the Australian government as a separate legal entity. What does this mean? That he has effectively and peacefully seceded from the country of Australia and that both countries have recognized this. In this respect, Prince Leonard has gained one highly sought after prize of new nations: recognition by outside nations. It is rare for a macro- (or large) nation to recognize a micronation because the latter are often thought of as nonserious attempts at publicity.

Against a Previous Government

The Principality of Hutt River is a shining example of a successful micronation which has been established for a reason: to combat what Prince Leonard believed were unfair government policies. Leonard was intelligent in his creation of his nation in that he did not try to physically combat a stronger force, but instead stuck to his (and their) morals to win a legal battle.

For Control of One's Own Life and Fate

Another reason often seen in creating nations (both macronations and micronations) is for greater control of the life of the individual. It seems that many humans inherently wish to be free and able to have control over their lives (some also wish to not have this freedom; no judgments are being made). Leonard was smart enough to find the most effective way of controlling his life when he realized it was previously being controlled for him. In a similar manner, many people could learn from Prince Leonard. On a lesser scale, many people could seek to bring about change in their lives and communities by using their influence allowed to them by their government (if they live under a government that allows this). Of course not everyone is lucky enough to be allowed a voice, and many have to struggle for it. For these people, may Leonard be a hero with his creation of a new nation. 

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