List of former sovereign states

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A historical sovereign state is a state that once existed, but has since been dissolved due to conflict, war, rebellion, annexation, or uprising. This page lists sovereign states, countries, nations, or empires that ceased to exist as political entities sometime after 1453, grouped geographically and by constitutional nature.[note 1]

Criteria for inclusion[edit]

The criteria for inclusion in this list are similar to that of the list of states with limited recognition. To be included here, a polity must have claimed statehood and either:

  • had de facto control over a territory, a population, a government, a capacity to enter into relations with other states, or
  • have been recognised as a state by at least one other state.

This is not a list for all variant governments of a state, nor is it a list of variations of countries' official long form name. For purposes of this list, the cutoff between medieval and early modern states is the fall of Constantinople in 1453.

Ancient and medieval states[edit]

Modern states and territories by geography[edit]


Morocco (Maghreb al-Aqsa)[edit]

Egypt, Sudan and Libya[edit]

Algeria (Central Maghreb)[edit]

Comoro Islands[edit]


Sub-Saharan Africa[edit]

Horn of Africa[edit]

Western Africa[edit]

African Great Lakes[edit]

Eastern Africa[edit]

Central Africa[edit]

Southern Africa[edit]


Central Asia[edit]

East Asia[edit]

Korean Peninsula[edit]

West Asia[edit]

Persia / Iran[edit]
Arabian Peninsula[edit]

South Asia[edit]

Southeast Asia[edit]


Nordic countries[edit]

In the Nordic countries, unions were personal, not unitary

Modern France[edit]

Modern Germany[edit]



Modern United Kingdom[edit]






Baltic countries and Belarus[edit]

Romania and Moldova[edit]



Czech Republic and Slovakia[edit]




Iberian Peninsula[edit]

North America[edit]



Dominican Republic[edit]




United States[edit]


South America[edit]











Modern states and territories by type[edit]

Dismembered countries[edit]

These states are now dissolved into a number of states, none of which retain the old name.

Nominally independent homelands of South Africa[edit]

Four of the homelands, or bantustans, for black South Africans, were granted nominal independence by the apartheid regime of South Africa. Not recognised by other nations, these effectively were puppet states and were re-incorporated in 1994.

  • Bophuthatswana – Declared independent in 1977, reincorporated in 1994.
  • Ciskei – Declared independent in 1981, reincorporated in 1994.
  • Transkei – Declared independent in 1976, reincorporated in 1994.
  • Venda – Declared independent in 1979, reincorporated in 1994.

Secessionist states[edit]

These nations declared themselves independent, but failed to achieve it in fact or did not seek permanent independence and were either re-incorporated into the mother country or incorporated into another country.

Annexed countries[edit]

These nations, once separate, are now part of another country. Cases of voluntary accession are included.

  • Regency of Carnaro in 1919 and Free State of Fiume 1920–1924, two short-lived states in the port city of Fiume/Rijeka proclaimed by Gabriele D'Annunzio. Following World War I, the city was disputed between Italy and Yugoslavia, and eventually captured by Italy in 1921. The city passed to Yugoslavia after World War II and is now in Croatia.
  • Couto Misto – Tiny 10th century border territory that was split between Spain and Portugal in 1864–8.
  • Crete – Autonomous under Ottoman suzerainty in 1898, unilaterally declared union with Greece in 1908, which was recognized in 1913.
  •  East Germany – Annexed by West Germany in 1990 and now part of Germany.
  •  England – Merged with Scotland to form the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707, now part of the United Kingdom.
  • Franceville (1889–1890) – Independent in 1889, later governed by France and Britain as part of the New Hebrides; now part of Vanuatu.
  • Hatay – Part of the Mandate of Syria that became part of Turkey; independent 1938–1939
  •  Hawaii – Annexed by the U.S. in the late 19th century.
  • Kalat (1638, 1666–1955) – 1666 to 1955, became part of Pakistan.
  • Free States of Menton and Roquebrune – Seceded from Monaco in 1848, under nominal protection of the Kingdom of Sardinia, then annexed by France in 1861.
  • Moresnet – 1816–1920, Tiny European territory that endured for a hundred years before definitively becoming part of Belgium.
  • Natalia Republic – 1839–1843, Was quickly made into a British colony
  • Islands of Refreshment – The islands of Tristan da Cunha were settled in 1810 and declared independence in 1811. Annexed by the United Kingdom in 1815.
  •  Scotland – Merged with England to form the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707, now part of the United Kingdom.
  •  South Vietnam – Occupied by North Vietnam in 1975 and annexed into it in 1976.
  • Republic of Tatarstan – Existed from 1992 until annexed by Russia in 1994.
  •  Transvaal – Now part of South Africa.
  •  Texas – Annexed by the U.S. in 1845.
  • Vermont Republic – Annexed by the US in 1791.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The asserted sovereignty of some states listed here was generally unrecognized; the list of historical unrecognized states and dependencies article may contain further information regarding such states.
  2. ^ The Nawabs of Bengal ruled the Bengal Subah – a province of the Mughal Empire which pretty much became independent from 1717.
  3. ^ Partially recognized state existed after WWII


Further reading[edit]

  • Berge, Bjørn. Nowherelands: An Atlas of Vanished Countries 1840–1975. New York: Thames & Hudson, 2017 ISBN 9780500519905 240p.
  • Harding, Les. Dead Countries of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries: Aden to Zululand. Scarecrow Press, 1998. ISBN 0-8108-3445-6