Puppet state

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Puppet state is a term of political criticism, used to denigrate a government which is perceived as unduly dependent upon an outside power. It implies that government's lack of legitimacy, in the view of those using the term.

History of the term[edit]

In the Middle Ages vassal states existed which were based on delegation of rule of a country from a King to noble men of lower rank. Since the Peace of Westphalia of 1648 the concept of a nation came into existence where sovereignty was connected more to the people who inhabited the land than to the nobility who owned the land. The derogatory description "puppet state" became meaningful within that new meaning of sovereignty. The first recorded use of the term "puppet government" is from 1884, in reference to Egypt.[1]

19th Century[edit]

The Batavian Republic was established in the Netherlands under French revolutionary protection.

In Italian republics were created in the late 18th and early 19th centuries with the assistance and encouragement of Napoleonic France. See also French client republics.

In 1836 U.S. citizens allowed to live in the Mexican state of Texas revolted against the Mexican government to establish a U.S.-backed Republic of Texas, a country that existed less than 10 years (from May 14, 1836 to December 29, 1845) before it was annexed to the United States of America. However, in August 1837, Memucan Hunt, Jr., the Texan minister to the United States, submitted a first annexation proposal to the Van Buren administration.

In 1895, Japan detached Korea from its tributary relationship with China, giving it formal independence which was a prelude to Japanese annexation.

In 1896 Britain established a state in Zanzibar.

World War I[edit]

Republics of Soviet Russia[edit]

Imperial Japan[edit]

During Japan's imperial period, and particularly during the Pacific War (parts of which are considered the Pacific theatre of World War II), Japan established a number of dependent states.

Nominally sovereign states[edit]

Unrealized drafts for dependent states[edit]

Japan had made drafts for other dependent states.

The Provisional Priamurye Government has never got beyond the planning stages.[citation needed] In addition to the Japanese, the Germans supported the formation of this state.[citation needed] In 1943, the plans for a White Russian state died for good after the Battle for Stalingrad.

In 1945, as the Second World War drew to a close, Japan planned to grant independence to the Netherlands East Indies (Indonesia). These plans ended when the Japanese surrendered on 15 August 1945.

Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy[edit]

Several European governments under the domination of Germany and Italy during World War II have been described as "puppet régimes". The formal means of control in occupied Europe varied greatly. These states fall into several categories.

Existing states in alliance with Germany and Italy[edit]

Existing states under German or Italian rule[edit]

  • Albania under Italy (1940–1943) and Albania under Nazi Germany (1943–1944) - The Kingdom of Albania was an Italian protectorate and puppet régime. Italy invaded Albania in 1939 and ended the rule of King Zog I. Zog was exiled and King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy added King of Albania to his titles. King Victor Emmanuel and Shefqet Bej Verlaci, Albanian Prime Minister and Head of State, controlled the Italian protectorate. Shefqet Bej Verlaci was replaced as Prime Minister and Head of State by Mustafa Merlika Kruja on 3 December 1941. The Germans occupied Albania when Italy quit the war in 1943 and Ibrahim Bej Biçaku, Mehdi Bej Frashëri, and Rexhep Bej Mitrovica became successive Prime Minister under the Nazis.
  • Vichy France (1942–1944) - The Vichy French régime of Philippe Pétain had limited autonomy from 1940 to 1942, being heavily dependent on Germany. The Vichy government controlled many of France's colonies and the unoccupied part of France and enjoyed international recognition. In 1942, the Germans occupied the portion of France administered by the Vichy government and installed a new leadership, which ended much of the international legitimacy the government had.
  • Monaco (1943–1945) - In 1943, the Italian army invaded and occupied Monaco, setting up a fascist administration. Shortly thereafter, following Mussolini's collapse in Italy, the German army occupied Monaco and began the deportation of the Jewish population. Among them was René Blum, founder of the Ballet de l'Opera, who died in a Nazi extermination camp.

New states formed to reflect national aspirations[edit]

States under control of Germany and Italy[edit]

The Italian Social Republic[edit]

  • Italian Social Republic (1943–1945, known also as the Republic of Salò) - General Pietro Badoglio and King Victor Emmanuel III withdrew Italy from the Axis Powers and moved the government in southern Italy, already conquered by the Allies. In response, the Germans occupied northern Italy and founded the Italian Social Republic (Repubblica Sociale Italiana or RSI) with Italian dictator Benito Mussolini as its "Head of State" and "Minister of Foreign Affairs". While the RSI government had some trappings of an independent state, it was completely dependent both economically and politically on Germany.

Allied forces During and Post WWII[edit]

Further information: List of WWII puppet states

Soviet Union[edit]

  • Tuvinian People's Republic[disputed ], also Tannu Tuva (1921–1944) Achieved independence from China by means of local nationalist revolutions only to come under the domination of the Soviet Union in the 1920s. In 1944, Tannu Tuva was absorbed into the Soviet Union.
  • Mahabad Republic (January 22, 1946 - December 15, 1946) officially known as the Republic of Kurdistan and established on several provinces of northwestern Iran, or what is known as Iranian Kurdistan, was a short-lived Soviet puppet government that sought Kurdish autonomy within the limits of the Iranian state. Iran re-took control in December and the leaders of the state were executed in March 1947 in Mahabad
  • Finnish Democratic Republic (1939–1940) - The Finnish Democratic Republic (Suomen Kansanvaltainen Tasavalta) was a short-lived Soviet puppet regime in those minor parts of Finland that were occupied by the Soviet Union during the Winter War. The Finnish Democratic Republic was also known as the "Terijoki Government" (Terijoen hallitus) because Terijoki was the first town captured by the Soviets.
  • Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic (1940) - In June 1940 the Republic of Estonia was occupied by the USSR and in July a puppet government proclaimed Soviet power.[8][9] In August 1940, Estonia was illegally annexed by the USSR.[10]
  • Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic (1940) - In June 1940 the Republic of Latvia was occupied by the USSR and in July a puppet government proclaimed Soviet power,[8] In August 1940, Latvia was illegally annexed by the USSR.[10]
  • Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic (1940) - In June 1940 the Republic of Lithuania was occupied by the USSR and in July a puppet government proclaimed Soviet power,[8] In August 1940, Lithuania was illegally annexed by the USSR.[10]
  • Second East Turkestan Republic (1944–1949) - The Second East Turkestan Republic, usually known simply as the East Turkistan Republic (ETR), was a short-lived Soviet-backed separatist republic which existed in the 1940s in what is now the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China.
  • Azerbaijan People's Government (1945-1946)- A short-lived puppet state in Iranian Azerbaijan after WWII.[11]

As Soviet forces prevailed over the German Army on the Eastern Front during the Second World War, the Soviet Union supported the creation of communist governments in Eastern Europe. Specifically, the People's Republics in Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, and Poland were dominated by the Soviet Union. While all of these People's Republics did not "officially" take power until after World War II ended, they all have roots in pro-Communist war-time governments. For example, Bulgaria's pro-Communist Fatherland Front seized power in Bulgaria on September 9, 1944. The Fatherland Front government was Soviet dominated and the direct predecessor of the People's Republic of Bulgaria (1946–1990). On the other hand, keeping with the Bulgarian example, it could be argued that the People's Republic of Bulgaria under Prime Minister Georgi Dimitrov (1946–1949) was far from being a Soviet puppet. On yet another hand, an argument for co-belligerence status could also be made for these states.

United Kingdom[edit]

The Axis demand for oil and the concern of the Allies that Germany would look to the oil-rich Middle East for a solution, caused the invasion of Iraq by the United Kingdom and the invasion of Iran by the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union. Pro-Axis governments in both Iraq and Iran were removed and replaced with Allied-dominated governments.

  • Kingdom of Iraq (1941–1943) - Iraq was important to the United Kingdom because of its position on the route to India. Iraq also could provide strategic oil reserves. But, due to the UK's weakness early in the war, Iraq backed away from the pre-war Anglo-Iraqi Alliance. On 1 April 1941, the Hashemite monarchy in Iraq was over-thrown and there was a pro-German coup d'état under Rashid Ali. The Rashid Ali regime began negotiations with the Axis powers and military aid was quickly sent to Mosul via Vichy French-controlled Syria. The Germans provided a squadron of twin engine fighters and a squadron of medium bombers. The Italians provided a squadron of biplane fighters. In mid-April 1941, a brigade of the 10th Indian Infantry Division landed at Basra (Operation Sabine). On 30 April, British forces at RAF Habbaniya were besieged by a numerically superior Iraqi force. On 2 May, the British launched pre-emptive airstrikes against the Iraqis and the Anglo-Iraqi War began. By the end of May, the siege of RAF Habbaniya was lifted, Falluja was taken, Baghdad was surrounded by British forces, and the pro-German government of Rashid Ali collapsed. Rashid Ali and his supporters fled the country. The Hashemite monarchy (King Faisal II and Prime Minister Nuri al-Said) was restored. The UK then forced Iraq to declare war on the Axis in 1942. Commonwealth forces remained in Iraq until 26 October 1947.
  • Imperial State of Iran (1941–1943) - German workers in Iran caused the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union to question Iran's neutrality. In addition, Iran's geographical position was important to the Allies. So, in August 1941, the Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran (Operation Countenance) was launched. In September 1941, Reza Shah Pahlavi was forced to abdicate his throne and went into exile. He was replaced by his son Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. Mohammad Reza Pahlavi was willing to declare war on the Axis powers. By January 1942, the UK and the Soviet Union agreed to end their occupation of Iran six months after the end of the war.

Decolonization and Cold War[edit]

In some cases, the process of decolonization has been managed by the decolonizing power to create a neo-colony, that is a nominally independent state whose economy and politics permits continued foreign domination. Neo-colonies are not normally considered puppet states.

Congo Crisis[edit]

Following Belgian Congo's independence as the Republic of the Congo (Léopoldville) in 1960, Belgian interests supported the short-lived breakaway state of Katanga (1960–1963).

East Asia during the Cold War[edit]

During the 1950–1953 Korean War, South Korea and the United States alleged that North Korea was a Soviet puppet state. At the same time, South Korea was accused of being an American puppet state by North Korea and its allies. Additionally, in 1951 Dean Rusk, the Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs, branded the People's Republic of China a "Slavic Manchukuo", implying that it was a puppet state of the Soviet Union just as Manchukuo had been a puppet state of the Empire of Japan. This position was commonly taken by American propaganda of the 1950s, despite the fact that the Chinese communist movement had developed largely independently of the Soviet Union.

Following the victory of the Viet Minh in the First Indochina War, the 1954 Geneva Accords stipulated that Vietnam would be divided for two years only, until national elections could be held. However, the Americans along with Ngo Dinh Diem feared that Ho Chi Minh and the Communists would win the election. The State of Vietnam and the United States didn't sign the Geneva Accords, citing that it was impossible to hold free and fair nationwide democratic elections in the communist North, and this was later expressed by UN observers monitoring the partition of Vietnam. As a result, South Vietnam and the U.S. were not bound by its terms. In 1955 the Vietnamese president Ngo Dinh Diem, supported by the United States, declared the independence of the Republic of Vietnam in the southern half of Vietnam. Over time, Diem grew increasingly uncomfortable with the role of the U.S. in his country, complaining that they were increasing the conflict with North Vietnam. Diem's complaints became more vocal as American soldiers, called "advisors", continued to pour into the country, and some began calling Diem an uncooperative client and a puppet pulling his own strings.[12] After he became seen more as a liability than an asset to America, Diem was assassinated in 1963 with the complicity of the CIA and John F. Kennedy.[13]

During the Vietnam War, South Vietnam was allied with the U.S. and other anti-communist states in Asia and the West, whereas North Vietnam was allied with China, and particularly the Soviet Union, and with other socialist and communist nations. The Paris Peace Accords were preceded by months of intensive negotiations over whether the National Front for the Liberation of Vietnam (Viet Cong) should be treated as an independent party or as a puppet of North Vietnam.

South Africa's Bantustans[edit]

During the 1970s and 1980s, four ethnic bantustans, some of which were extremely fragmented, were carved out of South Africa and given nominal sovereignty. Two (Ciskei and Transkei) were for the Xhosa people; and one each for the Tswana people (Bophuthatswana) and for the Venda people (Venda Republic).

The principal purpose of these states was to remove the Xhosa, Tswana and Venda peoples from South African citizenship (and so to provide grounds for denying them democratic rights). All four were reincorporated into South Africa in 1994.

After the Cold War[edit]

Republic of Kuwait[edit]

The Republic of Kuwait was a short-lived pro-Iraq state in the Persian Gulf that only existed three weeks before it was annexed by Iraq.

Republic of Crimea[edit]

The Republic of Crimea, a short-lived pro-Russian state before it was annexed by Russia in 2014.

Current[edit]

Northern Cyprus[edit]

Due to Northern Cyprus' isolation and heavy dependence on Turkish support, Turkey has a high level of control over the country's decision-making processes. This has led to some experts stating that it runs as an effective puppet state of Turkey.[14][15][16] Few political decisions in Northern Cyprus are taken without the approval of the Turkish National Security council in Ankara.[17]

Abkhazia[edit]

Republic of Abkhazia is sometimes considered a puppet state that depends on Russia.[18] The economy of Abkhazia is heavily integrated with Russia and uses the Russian ruble as its currency. About half of Abkhazia's state budget is financed with aid money from Russia.[19] Most Abkhazians have Russian passports.[20] Russia maintains a 3,500-strong force in Abkhazia with its headquarters in Gudauta, a former Soviet military base on the Black Sea coast.[21] The borders of the Republic of Abkhazia are being protected by the Russian border guards.[22]

South Ossetia[edit]

South Ossetia has declared independence but its ability to maintain independence is solely based on Russian troops deployed on its territory. As South Ossetia is landlocked between Russia and Georgia, from which it seceded, it has to rely on Russia for economic and logistical support, as its entire exports and imports and air and road traffic is only between Russia. Former President of South Ossetia Eduard Kokoity claimed he would like South Ossetia eventually to become a part of the Russian Federation through reunification with North Ossetia.[23]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Harper, Douglas. "puppet (n.)". Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved 1 June 2014. 
  2. ^ Jowett, Phillip S. , Rays of The Rising Sun, Armed Forces of Japan’s Asian Allies 1931-45, Volume I: China & Manchuria, 2004. Helion & Co. Ltd., 26 Willow Rd., Solihul, West Midlands, England, pg.7-36.
  3. ^ Jowett, Phillip S. , Rays of The Rising Sun, Armed Forces of Japan’s Asian Allies 1931-45, Volume I: China & Manchuria, 2004. Helion & Co. Ltd., 26 Willow Rd., Solihul, West Midlands, England, pg.49-57,88-89.
  4. ^ Jowett, Phillip S. , Rays of The Rising Sun, Armed Forces of Japan’s Asian Allies 1931-45, Volume I: China & Manchuria, 2004. Helion & Co. Ltd., 26 Willow Rd., Solihul, West Midlands, England, pg.44-47,85-87.
  5. ^ Jowett, Phillip S. , Rays of The Rising Sun, Armed Forces of Japan’s Asian Allies 1931-45, Volume I: China & Manchuria, 2004. Helion & Co. Ltd., 26 Willow Rd., Solihul, West Midlands, England, pg.63-89.
  6. ^ ...managed to see the puppet Greek Prime Minister Ioannis Rallis through @ Sephardi Jewry: A History of the Judeo-Spanish Community, 14th-20th Centuries - Page 168
  7. ^ Serbia also had a Nazi puppet regime headed by Milan Nedic @ The Balkanization of the West: The Confluence of Postmodernism and Postcommunism - Page 198
  8. ^ a b c The Baltic States: Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania (Postcommunist States and Nations) David J. Smith from Front Matter ISBN 0-415-28580-1
  9. ^ Estonia: Identity and Independence: Translated into English (On the Boundary of Two Worlds: Identity, Freedom, and Moral Imagination in the Baltics) Jean-Jacques Subrenat, David Cousins, Alexander Harding, Richard C. Waterhouse on Page 246. ISBN 90-420-0890-3
  10. ^ a b c Mälksoo, Lauri (2003). Illegal Annexation and State Continuity: The Case of the Incorporation of the Baltic States by the USSR. Leiden – Boston: Brill. ISBN 90-411-2177-3. 
  11. ^ Reza Shah Pahlavi :: Policies as shah. - Britannica Online Encyclopedia
  12. ^ Kinzer, Stephen (2006). Overthrow: America's Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq. New York, New York: Times Books. pp. 153–156. ISBN 0-8050-7861-4. 
  13. ^ Heller, Henry (2006). The Cold War and the New Imperialism. New York, NY: Monthly Review Press. p. 168. ISBN 1-58367-139-0. 
  14. ^ James, A. Sovereign statehood: The basis of international society." p. 142 [1]. Taylor and Francis, 1986, 288 pages. ISBN 0-04-320191-1.
  15. ^ Kurtulus, E. State sovereignty: concept, phenomenon and ramifications. p. 136 [2]. Macmillan, 2005, 232 pages. ISBN 1-4039-6988-4.
  16. ^ Kaczorowska, A. Public International Law. p. 190 [3]. Taylor and Francis, 2010, 944 pages. ISBN 0-415-56685-1.
  17. ^ C. Cockburn. The line: women, partition, and the gender rols in Cyprus. p. 96 [4]. Zed Books, 2004, 244 pages. ISBN 1-84277-421-2.
  18. ^ Luke Coffey (2010-06-01). "Georgia and Russia: The occupation too many have forgotten". 
  19. ^ Nikolaus von Twickel (26 Aug 2011). "No Clear Frontrunner as Abkhazia Goes to Poll". The Moscow Times. 
  20. ^ "BBC News – Regions and territories: Abkhazia". BBC News (London: BBC). 22 November 2011. Retrieved 19 January 2012. 
  21. ^ "Russian Troops in Abkhazia to Get Air-Conditioned APCs". RIA Novosti. 2013-04-19. 
  22. ^ "Abkhazian border to be guarded by Russian troops". The Voice of Russia. 2009-09-15. 
  23. ^ Times Online (11-Sep-2008). Retrieved on 21-Dec-2008. (subscription required)

Further reading[edit]

  • James Crawford. The creation of states in international law (1979)