|Kingdom of Talossa
|Motto: "Miehen Huone on Hänen Valtakuntansa" (Finnish)
Man's Room Is His Kingdom
|Anthem: Stand Tall Talossans|
|Location||Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA|
|Organizational structure||Constitutional monarchy|
|-||Prime Minister||Lüc da Schir|
|-||Declared||26 December 1979|
5 sq mi
|Claimed GDP (nominal)||estimate|
|Purported Currency||Talossan Louis (1 Louis = 1.50 USD )|
Talossa is the name of a micronation founded in 1979 by 14-year-old Robert Ben Madison of Milwaukee. It is one of the oldest micronations still in existence. It was also one of the first to create a Web presence (in November 1995) and remains one of the most famous. Its exposure in the internet and media since the late 1990s contributed to the appearance of many later internet micronations.
The micronation claims several places on Earth as its territory, especially a portion of Milwaukee, calling it the Greater Talossan Area, but neither Talossa nor its claims are officially recognized by the UN or any ordinary nation. The current population of this micronation is 239.
Talossa is a constitutional monarchy. It has a Prime Minister and cabinet, a monarch, and a bicameral legislature called the Ziu (lower house is called the Cosa and the upper house, the Senäts), in many respects organized like an ordinary nation, with laws, government institutions, and so on. Members are considered "citizens" and have historically been admitted through a formal "immigration" process.
Like most governmental nations, Talossa has parties. They create policy and submit bills for consideration in the Ziu, the legislature. The August 25, 2014 election to the Cosa returned a four-party coalition government including the Moderate Radical Party of Talossa and the Defenders of Talossan Republicanism, while the major opposition party is the conservative-monarchist RUMP. The supreme law, the 1997 Organic Law, is the current basis of all civil rights and governance.
Talossa, like other nations, has a culture. Many agree that the language is the most expansive part of the culture, although other aspects (such as an emphasis on science fiction) have also been prominent in the past. Wargaming is the national pastime and even has a holiday.
Modern Talossan culture even has an effect on politics: two popular strains of thought in Talossa about the nature of the group - is it a "real" country (derivativism) or is it something new (peculiarism) - are represented by different political parties and compete to promote their views.
Talossa was founded as a kingdom on December 26, 1979 by Robert Ben Madison, a 14 year-old resident of Milwaukee, shortly after the death of his mother. At that time the kingdom occupied Madison's bedroom, and he adopted the name "Talossa" for it after discovering that the word means "inside the house" in Finnish.
Talossa has a very detailed "official history". However, due to the nature of the institution, most of its details can only be corroborated by testimonials of members and former members, and appear to be disputed.
In 2004, a group of dissident members of the Kingdom of Talossa seceded, and these former citizens created the Republic of Talossa. This group returned to the Kingdom in 2012, uniting once more into a single nation.
Growth of Talossa
Madison maintained Talossa throughout his adolescence, which included publishing a handwritten newspaper and designing the nation's flag and emblem (which displays the Finnish motto Miehen Huone on Hänen Valtakuntansa, "A Man's Room Is His Kingdom"). During this time its only other members were about a dozen relatives and acquaintances. This changed in the mid 1990s, when Talossa's web page came to the attention of hundreds of thousands of readers via a series of stories published in such publications as the New York Times and Wired, which were subsequently republished by newspapers in many other countries. Several dozen new "citizens" joined Talossa as a result. Around this time, Madison began to claim that he was the inventor of the term "micronation".
Madison registered the trademark "Talossa"  and created Talossa, Inc., a not-for-profit corporation registered in the State of Wisconsin (but as of March 2013 has been administratively dissolved).
In the ensuing years the Kingdom of Talossa continued to function as an enduring politico-cultural role-playing game, complete with parties, elections, laws and government institutions, and several online newspapers. For some time, yearly get-togethers ("Talossafests") were held in Milwaukee. During that period Ben Madison and other Talossa members wrote a detailed history of the kingdom, including a mythological pre-history that traces its purported origins to the Berbers of North Africa; invented a Talossan language for which a grammar and a 28,000-word dictionary have been written; and composed a musical anthem Chirluscha àl Glheþ ("Stand Tall, Talossans"). According to the official history, over the years Talossa's territorial claims expanded from Madison's childhood bedroom to encompass most of Milwaukee's East Side, as well as the French island of Cézembre and a large chunk of Antarctica (called Pengöpäts, Talossan for "Penguin-land").
Schisms and "Reunision"
After a long and bitter political dispute, which culminated in King Robert attempting to expel the leader of a major party from the Kingdom, a significant number of active members of the Kingdom created a separate Republic of Talossa on 1 June 2004. As of 2011, the secessionist micronation claimed about 16 members. The population of the republic was 18 when it voted to rejoin the kingdom.
Ben Madison remained on the throne of the Kingdom of Talossa until August 2005, when, after a dispute about immigration procedures, he abdicated in favour of his wife's eight-year-old grandson, who assumed the throne as King Louis I.
King Louis I abdicated his position in November 2006, and was succeeded by John W. Woolley, elected (per the procedures of Talossa's constitution, the 1997 Organic Law) as King John on 14 March 2007 and still monarch (as of 2012). While Talossa still and will always claim to be based in Milwaukee, its website states that "today most of our active citizens live in other parts of the United States and Canada, Europe, South America, Asia, and Africa".
Intermittently from 2007 until 2011, Madison disputed the claim of historical continuity made by the Kingdom of Talossa, and reorganized a separate Kingdom with a new Constitution. According to its website, it was ruled by King Louis, with Ben Madison acting as Prime Minister. The group officially disbanded in 2011.
In December 2011, representatives of the Republic and the Kingdom agreed that the two groups would reunite under the Kingdom banner in 2012, once again becoming a single micronation. A referendum was sent out in the republic on March 29, 2012 concerning the "Reunision" (as the reunion is known). The results were published on April 5, 2012. Thirteen out of the republic's eighteen citizens voted: ten in favor, three in abstention, and zero against. The republic formally dissolved on April 19, 2012, and its citizens who wished were made citizens of the Kingdom. The readmission of the republic resulted in the creation of an eighth province, Fiôvâ, from a western portion of Maritiimi-Maxhestic Province, and a southern portion of Maricopa Province.
Since the closure of the Madison group and unification with the Republic, there has been a single and undisputed Talossa.
- Alex Blumberg, "It's Good to Be King". Wired, March 2000, 8.03.
- "Castles in the air." The Economist, 20 December 2005.
- "Shortcuts: Starting your own country" CNN.com, 27 September 2006.
- Stephen Mimh (2000) Utopian Rulers, and Spoofs, Stake Out Territory Online. New York Times, May 25, 2000
- Roberta Smith, "Art in Review: We Could Have Invited Everybody". New York Times July 15, 2005.
- "Talossan Database".
- "List of Talossan Parties".
- R. Ben Madison (2008), Ár Päts: The Classic History of the Kingdom of Talossa Partial online edition accessed on 2010-01-01.
- Talossa entry in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Accessed on 2010-01-01.
- Talossa entry in the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions register. Accessed on 2010-01-01.
- La Mha, M.; A Complete Guide to the Talossan Language, Second English Edition (2008). ISBN 978-1-4537-7729-9.
- Republic of Talossa website. Accessed on 2011-01-20.
- King John page from the Kingdom of Talossa website. Accessed on 2011-01-20.
- Courtroom: Erni v. Talossa
- The Kingdom of Talossa home page. Accessed on 2011-01-20.
- The Claimant Kingdom of Talossa home page (2007-2011), now defunct.
- Kingdom of Talossa Facebook page.