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Old 02-06-2011, 04:55 PM
 
Location: Brooklyn
40,059 posts, read 20,017,663 times
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Andorra, which actually does not have a single head of state, but is ruled jointly by a French and Spanish official. Yet it is a sovereign nation.

Well, OK, for that matter, all the European microstates fascinate me, so I should mention San Marino, Liechtenstein and Luxembourg also.
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Old 02-06-2011, 08:58 PM
 
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How about Bermuda?
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Old 02-07-2011, 01:24 AM
 
Location: Houston, texas
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Uruguay is kinda interesting. The second smallest nation of South America in area. Uruguay's only land border is with Brazil to the north. Uruguay won its independence in 1811–1828 following a three-way struggle among Spain, Argentina and Brazil. Uruguay is one of the most economically developed countries in South America. Reader's Digest ranked Uruguay as ninth "Most livable and greenest" country in the world, and first in all the Americas. Between the years 2007 and 2009, Uruguay was the only country in the Americas which did not technically experience a recession. Uruguay has the lowest Income Inequality in South America, and second only to Canada in all the Americas.
Uruguay has an impressive legacy of artistic and literary traditions, especially for its small size. The contribution of its alternating conquerors and diverse immigrants has resulted in native traditions that integrate this diversity. Uruguay has centuries old remains, fortresses of the colonial era. Its cities have a rich architectural heritage and an impressive number of writers, artists, and musicians.
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Old 02-07-2011, 10:07 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
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The military history of Paraguay is mind boggling. It is said that every Paraguayan today is descended from a few crewmen on Argentine freighters that brought supplies to Paraguay, after the Triple Alliance war virtually extirpated every Paraguayan male of conceptive age. Then in the 1930's, the Chaco War provided material for almost every anthology of war at its worst.

Paraguay is also the only country in the Americas in which a European langauge is not the most widely used official language, as even people of European ancestry prefer the daily use of Guarani.

Last edited by jtur88; 02-07-2011 at 10:16 AM..
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Old 02-07-2011, 07:54 PM
 
Location: On the periphery
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This is not about an independent country in the true sense of the word, but I think it is of sufficient interest to be mentioned.

A few years ago I read a biography of physicist Richard Feynman titled "Genius" by James Gleick. Feynman had many interests, other than being one of the world's leading physicists. He was unconventional and unpretentious, loved to play bongo drums and indulged his whims. He probably best known for his explanation of the cause of the Challenger disaster.

One of his obsessions was to visit the autonomous republic of Tuva of the then Soviet Union, where they practice a type of singing called throat singing by striking the vocal chord area of the throat with their hands It's almost unique among Tuvans, although the distantly related Inuit are said to still do it to some extent.

Tuva has many interesting facts, one being that its capital, Kyzl, is the world's only one lacking a vowel. The next fact sounds unbelievable, but there are over 9000 rivers in Tuva! (I had to check that figure to believe it.) Tuva is very mountainous and probably every rivulet is counted as a river. It is also said to be the farthest point on earth from any ocean.

Unfortunately, Feynman spent years cutting through red tape and getting approval to visit Tuva, but by that time he was sick and dying of cancer. He passed away in 1988, but his best friend, Ralph Leighton, carried out his wishes and visited Tuva in his stead. Later Leighton wrote a book titled Tuva or Bust! It could almost be said that Feynman put Tuva on the map.

CAN YOU FIND TUVA ON A MAP? – If You Can, I Bet You Throat-Sing Its Praises! | Grounds for Appeal!
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Old 02-08-2011, 12:04 AM
 
Location: Turn right at the stop sign
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 6 foot 3
I'd also say ''Vichy France'' during it's short creation during WWII although i'm still a bit confused as to why didn't Hitler just let all of France become Vichy (Tony T ??)
As “MrMarbles” correctly pointed out, the administrative authority of the Vichy regime extended over the entirety of France (except Alsace-Lorraine) and all French overseas territories. Laws formulated in Vichy applied to both the occupied and unoccupied zones and were enforced by the French police, not the Germans. And unless their actions ran counter to Reich law or occupation policy, the Germans largely gave the French a free hand to run local affairs in both zones as they saw fit. However, there was one power Vichy possessed which it was not permitted to exercise within the occupied zone, that being any form of military authority. The armistice allowed Vichy to maintain an army of no more than 100,000 men which was to provide security in Vichy France proper as well as to defend against possible Allied attack. The so-called “Army of the Armistice” or “New Army”, was strictly forbidden from either crossing into the occupied zone or raising military formations within it. Despite this restriction and the existence of a demarcation line on a map that separated Vichy France from occupied France, technically speaking, all of France was Vichy.

Now with that being said, the reason why it was never officially declared or recognized as being one and the same by the Germans was very simple; Vichy as a state was never intended to be permanent. Hitler had planned from the start for France to be incorporated into the Greater German Reich once the war ended. But until that day arrived, the cost in manpower and equipment required to occupy France needed to be kept to a minimum. By allowing the creation of a new French “state” that would basically run itself, the Germans could concentrate their forces in the areas of the country (northern France and the Channel coast) which were of the most value economically and militarily to them. At the very least, Hitler reasoned, the gesture might ensure some degree of passivity and cooperation among the French populace who were not in the occupied zone.

As it turned out, Hitler got even more than he expected. With Petain and Vichy, he had a regime which was not only happy to help the German’s snap a collar around the neck of the French people, but was willing to hold the leash for them too. Many mistakenly believe this state of affairs ceased when German forces moved into the unoccupied zone in November 1942, but in truth, not much changed at all. Vichy officials still retained their authority over governmental affairs throughout France. The Army of the Armistice was disbanded but Vichy soon countered with the formation of the “Milice Francaise” and the “Franc-Garde” in January 1943. These paramilitary forces were designed to provide security for Vichy and its’ institutions, which at this point in the war meant assisting the Germans in rounding up Jews and stamping out the Resistance; two tasks the men of the Milice undertook with enthusiam and zeal. As Allied forces moved deeper into France in the wake of the D-Day invasion, Petain and his cabinet were finally evacuated to Germany in August 1944. And with that, Vichy France passed into history.
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Old 02-08-2011, 03:53 PM
 
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the three Baltic states. and Uruguay.
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Old 02-08-2011, 07:46 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
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I was going top mention Tuva earlier on. I remember, as a young stamp collector in the 50s, amazed by the haunting and stylistic beauty of the Tuva postage stamps, which had an almost hypnotic fascination to collectors. Those of us who looked it up found that explorers had described it as the most beautiful country in the world.

http://images-01.delcampe-static.net...85/746_001.jpg
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Old 02-09-2011, 06:28 AM
 
13,024 posts, read 24,432,188 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyT View Post
As “MrMarbles” correctly pointed out, the administrative authority of the Vichy regime extended over the entirety of France (except Alsace-Lorraine) and all French overseas territories. Laws formulated in Vichy applied to both the occupied and unoccupied zones and were enforced by the French police, not the Germans. And unless their actions ran counter to Reich law or occupation policy, the Germans largely gave the French a free hand to run local affairs in both zones as they saw fit. However, there was one power Vichy possessed which it was not permitted to exercise within the occupied zone, that being any form of military authority. The armistice allowed Vichy to maintain an army of no more than 100,000 men which was to provide security in Vichy France proper as well as to defend against possible Allied attack. The so-called “Army of the Armistice” or “New Army”, was strictly forbidden from either crossing into the occupied zone or raising military formations within it. Despite this restriction and the existence of a demarcation line on a map that separated Vichy France from occupied France, technically speaking, all of France was Vichy.

Now with that being said, the reason why it was never officially declared or recognized as being one and the same by the Germans was very simple; Vichy as a state was never intended to be permanent. Hitler had planned from the start for France to be incorporated into the Greater German Reich once the war ended. But until that day arrived, the cost in manpower and equipment required to occupy France needed to be kept to a minimum. By allowing the creation of a new French “state” that would basically run itself, the Germans could concentrate their forces in the areas of the country (northern France and the Channel coast) which were of the most value economically and militarily to them. At the very least, Hitler reasoned, the gesture might ensure some degree of passivity and cooperation among the French populace who were not in the occupied zone.

As it turned out, Hitler got even more than he expected. With Petain and Vichy, he had a regime which was not only happy to help the German’s snap a collar around the neck of the French people, but was willing to hold the leash for them too. Many mistakenly believe this state of affairs ceased when German forces moved into the unoccupied zone in November 1942, but in truth, not much changed at all. Vichy officials still retained their authority over governmental affairs throughout France. The Army of the Armistice was disbanded but Vichy soon countered with the formation of the “Milice Francaise” and the “Franc-Garde” in January 1943. These paramilitary forces were designed to provide security for Vichy and its’ institutions, which at this point in the war meant assisting the Germans in rounding up Jews and stamping out the Resistance; two tasks the men of the Milice undertook with enthusiam and zeal. As Allied forces moved deeper into France in the wake of the D-Day invasion, Petain and his cabinet were finally evacuated to Germany in August 1944. And with that, Vichy France passed into history.
Thanks Tony T !!!

Really interesting as i now understand as i guess it was kind of akin with the Vichy being the ''Prime Minister'' (running the gov) and the Nazi's being the ''Head of State'' (control of military) if that analogy is quasi correct?

O.k. another thought is that did the Nazi's allow an ''Vichy'' in Sweden, Denmark and/or the Low Countries also??
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Old 02-09-2011, 05:26 PM
 
Location: 30-40°N 90-100°W
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I used to be really interested in little countries. Many of the best choices (Andorra, Armenia, Malta) have already been named.

An interesting big/little country, if one counts it as a country, is Greenland. In area it's far from little, it's quite large in fact, but in population it's apparently around 56,000-57,000. That's apparently less than Andorra. It had an interesting, and doomed, Viking settlement in the Middle Ages. It's also the only majority Inuit country in the world.

If we go by population Iceland is also pretty interesting. It's the only European nation that had no permanent inhabitants before the eighth or ninth century. (There may have been some Irish monks before then, but it's disputed) They also never had a king of their own working instead by a kind of "council of all chiefs/land-owners." Chiefs being "thingi" it was therefore the "Althing." (I'm not describing the role of the thingi quite right, I might get my books out if necessary) And in the twentieth century they developed an obsession with language purity that makes the French look like rank amateurs. Even the word "telephone" was "too foreign" so they gave it a name that combines Icelandic words for "thread" and "talking." And they went bankrupt in what may be the most spectacular way any nation has ever went bankrupt in history.

Tonga is also kind of interesting. I guess they were never formally/fully colonized, but I think they were a British protectorate for a time. In the twentieth century they had Queen Salote who was 6 foot 3 inches tall so likely the tallest ruling Queen of her day. She was succeeded by Taufa'ahau Tupou IV, the twentieth century's fattest king. (He was also tall, 6 foot 5 it says) He ended up losing lots of money to his court jester. Tonga is maybe the most Methodist and the most Mormon country in the world. The Mormon minority represents like 17%, while the royal family tend to be die-hard Methodists.
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