List of irredentist claims or disputes
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Not all territorial disputes are irredentist[clarification needed], although they are often couched in irredentist rhetoric to justify and legitimise such claims both internationally and within the country.
Prominent irredentist disputes (by area)
Prominent irredentist disputes during the past century have included:
|Armenia||Republic of Artsakh||Armenian claims to the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan on ethnic and perceived historical grounds. It is de jure part of Azerbaijan, but de facto an Armenian populated independent country where conflict started in 1988 and has the explicit long-term goal of rejoining Armenia. See also: Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.|
|Austria||South Tyrol||A desire to unify South Tyrol with Austria is held by nationalist groups in both Austria and South Tyrol, which is currently part of Italy.|
|Chechnya||Parts of:||Chechnya (currently part of the Russian Federation) has occasionally laid claims on a region called Akkia (roughly the Auhovskiy rayon, in Russian), part of neighbouring Dagestan. Prior to the 1944 Chechen deportation to Kazakhstan, the region was part of Chechnya (then an autonomous region within the Soviet Union), which was abolished. It was given to Dagestan, and included all of the modern Novolak district as well as parts of the Kazbek district and the Khasavyurt district (including the city of Khasavyurt itself). Following the repatriation in 1958, Chechen autonomy was not restored in Akkia, and the Chechens were barred from returning there. In spite of this, Chechens have returned to Akkia, and according to the census, in 2002 there were nearly ninety thousand Chechens in Dagestan, primarily in Akkia.|
|Russia||South Ossetia||In a move towards integration with the Russian Federation, President of South Ossetia Leonid Tibilov proposed in December 2015 a name change to "South Ossetia–Alania" — in analogy with "North Ossetia–Alania", a Russian federal subject. Tibilov furthermore suggested holding a referendum on joining the Russian Federation prior to April 2017, which would lead to a united "Ossetia–Alania.|
|Georgia claims the partially-recognised states of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as part of its territory.|
|Ingushetia||Parts of:||Ingush (part of the Russian Federation) claims of the eastern part of the Prigorodny District in North Ossetia as part of Ingushetia on historical and historical-ethnic grounds. See Ingush-Ossetian conflict.|
|Ireland||Northern Ireland||Irish nationalists, including republicans, and originally the Irish state itself, have long laid claim to Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom.|
|Portugal||Olivenza||Portuguese claim Olivença also known as Olivenza and surrounding areas of the city, which were ceded to Spain by the Treaty of Badajoz (1801) after the War of the Oranges, and argues its case since Spain broke the treaty by declaring war and invading Portugal in 1807, more arguments arose after the Napoleonic Wars ended, with Article 105, being the final act of Congress of Vienna, stating that the congress "understood the occupation of Olivença to be illegal and recognised Portugal's rights". Spain signed the treaty in 1817, therefore accepting Portugal's claims.|
|Serbia||Republika Srpska||Currently, there is a movement calling for the unification of Republika Srpska with Serbia. The area is current part of Bosnia and Herzegovina.|
|Spain||Gibraltar||Spanish claims to Gibraltar which was ceded in perpetuity to Britain in 1713 under the Treaty of Utrecht, and argues its case at the United Nations claiming its territorial integrity is affected.|
|Albania||Kosovo||The majority of Albanian population in both countries support the Unification of Albania and Kosovo, altogether with other parts of Balkans inhabited with Albanians, therefore, creating Greater Albania.|
Russian irredentism can be divided into three categories: broad, intermediate, and narrow.
- The broad sense includes all lands that historically made up the Russian Empire and/or the Soviet Union at their maximum extents. It may also extend to neighbouring countries or regions that are populated by peoples over which Russia ruled (e.g. Iranian Azerbaijan in Iran), or peoples which are closely related to them due to linguistic, ethnic or religious ties. Historically, Russia has pursued all of these avenues; examples include the Panslavism movement to put all of the Balkans (where there exists Slavic and Eastern Orthodox majorities) under Russian hegemony; the Third Rome philosophy, which focused on re-claiming the former Byzantine Empire regions (in particular the warm winter port of Constantinople, today Istanbul), and in addition establishing a hegemony over Greater Armenia and the Holy Land (Lebanon, Palestine etc.). Simultaneously, there were ambitions to continue expansion into Persia and even India (see The Great Game). The Russian Empire also planned to force Qing China to cede Xinjiang, Manchuria, Outer Mongolia, and Korea. While the Russo-Japanese War ended most of these prospects, the Soviet Union would eventually create a sphere of influence in this area in the form of the Mongolian People's Republic and the Tuvan People's Republic. Finally, in Russian America, Russia held claims extending from the Aleutian Islands to northern California, but these plans were cancelled after Alaska was sold to the United States in 1867.
- The intermediate sense includes some or all of the independent countries and/or territories that made up the historical Russian borders. These may include Moldova, Ukraine, eastern Poland, Belarus, the Baltic states, and Finland in Europe, Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Georgia in the Caucasus, and Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan in Central Asia. Some narrower definitions include only the pro-Russian breakaway states of Abkhazia (Georgia), South Ossetia (Georgia), and Transnistria (Moldova), as well as Kars Oblast in Turkey and Batum Oblast partly in Turkey also (Ardahan Province) and Adjara in Georgia.
- The narrow sense of Russian irredentism focuses only on regions that are populated by ethnic Russians that are outside the Russian Federation, such as: Narva in Estonia; lands around Daugavpils and Riga in Latvia; Sloboda Ukraine, Novorossiya, and Crimea from Ukraine (the latter of which has de facto joined the Federation); Gagra district in Georgia (also claimed by Abkhazia); and lands between the Russian border and the rivers of Ural and Irtysh in Kazakhstan, as well as parts of Semirechye.
Historical and fringe disputes
Many fringe and opposition groups in various countries maintain their own set of territorial claims, which are given below:
|Albania||Kosovo||Albanian irredentists claim Kosovo, & parts of Serbia, Montenegro, the Republic of Macedonia and Greece (on grounds of ethnic affiliation, this claims are as old as the proposal of the Vilayet of Albania which was never formed).|
||Armenian irredentists have also laid claim (on perceived historical, historical ethnic, modern ethnic and also juridical grounds) to territories up to the Pontic coast of Turkey near Trebizond, and south past Lake Van (sometimes far enough to incorporate the historical Subterranean region of Cilician Armenia, though this claim has now been abandoned for the most part), as well as Nakhichevan in Azerbaijan, Javakh in Georgia, and areas of Northwest Iran near Maku. See United Armenia concept for more information.|
||Some Belarusian nationalists claim the region of Podlaskie from Poland as; the border region, of Lithuania which includes the capital Vilnius; parts of Smolensk and Bryansk Oblasts from Russia. Historically the listed regions belonged to the Grand Duchy of Lithuania a predecessor to modern Lithuanian state, and the borders were drawn during the short-lived Belarusian Democratic Republic.|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||Parts of:
||Bosniak claims to Sandžak and large areas of Montenegro due to a large historical Muslim population.|
|Bulgaria||Macedonia||Bulgarian irredentists have claimed the Republic of Macedonia based on the idea that the Macedonians are actually Bulgarians; this was an important factor in Bulgarian foreign policy between Bulgarian independence and World War 2; other claims include Northern Dobruja, Eastern Serbia, Aegean Macedonia, Thrace (Eastern and Western) and parts of Albania (Mala Prespa, Gollobordë and Gora).|
||Croatian nationalists claim parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina, most recently manifested as the Croatian Republic of Herzeg-Bosnia (1991–1994), or the whole Bosnia and Herzegovina the whole of Syrmia which is a part Serbia's province of Vojvodina and Serbia, Sandžak, Bačka which is part of Serbia's province of Vojvodina, the bay of Boka Kotorska part of Montenegro.|
|England||Monmouthshire||The English Democrats Party are irredentist in regards to Monmouthshire (since 1974 part of Wales).|
||After Estonia was re-occupied in 1944, the Petseri County and parts of Ingria were transferred from the Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic to Russia. After Estonia regained its independence, these areas, which are still de jure part of Estonia, have remained occupied. The government has given up claims to these territories, however, the Conservative People's Party of Estonia and some other nationalists still support the claim.|
|Finland||Karelia||The Soviet Union annexed Petsamo, parts of Finnish Karelia, Northern Bukovina and Bessarabia after World War II. The question of the status of ceded Karelia was revived in Finland after the end of the Cold War.|
|Greece||Cyprus||Greece's claims on areas of the former Ottoman Empire. After World War I Greece claimed what is now the Aegean coastline of Turkey based on the Greek-majority there and historical rule (Ancient Greece and Byzantine Empire). Other Greek claims under the "Greater Greece" policy (Megali Idea) included southern Albania (Northern Epirus) and Cyprus. Today, border changes are not a key topic of political discussion in Greece.|
||Georgian irredentists claim Tao-Klarjeti (a part of Turkey) as historic Georgian territory, due to the fact that the region has a large Georgian population and has been under Georgian rule for long periods of history. today Tao-Klarjeti territories are called Ardahan Province, Artvin Province, Rize Province, Uzundere, Oltu and Olur. Despite the big claim on a noticeable chunk of Turkey, most of the Tao-Klarjeti Georgian population is located in Ardahan and Rize (Georgians and Laz people). Irredentists also claim territories in Azerbaijan, specifically claiming Saingilo or Hereti as its historical territory, due to the fact this territory was part of Georgia for a long period of time and was also populated by a now "dying" subdivision of Georgian people Ingiloy. Today most of its territories are called Qakh Rayon, Balakan Rayon and Zaqatala Rayon. Georgia sometimes claims territories in Russia, like Sochi (one of the most important territories in Russia). Georgians claim that it is a historical part of Abkhazia (not to be confused with the disputed Abkhazia controlled by Separatists). Georgians also mention the fact that Sochi is named after the pine tree Fir, also called "Sochi (სოჭი)" in Georgian, due to the fact that lots of Firs are growing in the region. Georgia claims north part of Armenia also called Lori. The claims come from the fact that Georgians controlled this territory for a long time period and it was one of the main territories which formed the Kingdom of Georgia. The territory during this time was called Tashir-Dzoraget.|
||German nationalists claim westernmost and northern parts of Poland (including Stettin, Gdańsk, Poznań and Wrocław), southern part of Denmark (South Jutland County), eastern Belgium (Eupen-Malmedy), eastern France (parts of Alsace-Lorraine), Memel in Lithuania, and Kaliningrad Oblast, Russian Federation (including Kaliningrad), former parts of the German Empire. Some also claim the Sudetenland from the Czech Republic, Sopron from Hungary, Bratislava from Slovakia, northern parts of Slovenia and South Tyrol from Italy, all areas which are former or current German-speaking regions, as well as unification with German-speaking Austria, Luxembourg and/or Liechtenstein.|
||Hungarian claims to parts of the neighbouring countries inhabited by the ethnic Hungarians (including parts of Slovakia, Romania, Serbia, Ukraine, etc.). The claim is based on historic criteria for some regions (such as Transylvania, where Hungarians are a majority in two out of sixteen counties), and ethnic for other regions. The former Kingdom of Hungary lost 2/3 of its territories as a result of the Treaty of Trianon in 1920. Nowadays, irredentists are split between a group which wishes to reclaim all former regions of Hungary, and those only desiring ethnic Hungarian regions that are contiguous to current-day Hungary.|
|Italian claims to Dalmatia after World War I. The whole establishment of Italy originally, however, itself involved much irredentism, as it unified areas belonging to various states one-by-one with the growing proto-Italian state. Gabriele D'Annunzio's occupation of Fiume (now Rijeka) from 1919–1921 — proclaimed as the Italian Regency of Carnaro, the original irredentist dispute (when the term was first popularized).|
||Irredentists from the Republic of Macedonia have expressed land claims to the entire region of Macedonia out of which only 40% lies within the Republic of Macedonia, the rest being in Greece, Bulgaria and Albania, on the purported ethnic, historical and geographic grounds.|
|Norwegian nationalists claim Norway's former homeland of Bohuslän, Jämtland, Härjedalen, Idre and Särna from Sweden, former possessions of Greenland and Faroe Islands from Denmark, and former possessions of Shetland and Orkney from Scotland. (See: Norwegian irredentist claims and Greater Norway)|
||Polish nationalists claim westernmost parts of Belarus (including Grodno and Brześć), Ukraine (including Lwów, Stanisławów and Tarnopol), eastern Lithuania (including the capital Vilnius) and Zaolzie, now part of the Czech Republic. All these regions were part of the interwar Poland.|
|Portugal||Galicia||A minority of Portuguese and Galician nationalists support the unification of the Spanish autonomous community of Galicia into a hypothetical state called Portugalicia, based on a shared ethnic, cultural, and linguistic heritage.|
||The Greater Romanian goal was achieved in 1918, but Northern Bukovina and Southern Dobrudja were lost again in 1940. The goal of Romanian irredentism is the re-establishment of Greater Romania as advocated by the Greater Romania Party, thus claiming territories from Ukraine and Bulgaria.|
|Serbia|| Bosnia and Herzegovina
|Greater Serbian claims to large areas of Bosnia,Kosovo, Croatia, Republic of Macedonia and Montenegro, on grounds of ethnic affiliation; still promulgated by the Serbian Radical Party.|
||Slovenian nationalists claim the Italian city of Trieste and the easternmost parts of Friuli-Venezia-Giulia county, as there is a significant Slovenian minority; Croatia's part of the southern bank of the Dragonja river in Istria and the whole of the Piran bay, with the corresponding sea. Austria's northern Styria with the city of Graz, and upper Carniola with the cities of Klagenfrut and Villach.|
||Some Ukrainian nationalists claim a multitude of bordering regions where there was or is mixed population. The Transnistria strip of land, presently a non-recognised breakaway republic from Moldova; parts of southern Bukovina and Maramureş from Romania; the Rusyn-populated Prešov Region from Slovakia; the historic Lemkivshchyna province, now part of Poland; the upper San River valley; land to the left-bank of the Bug River (Chełm and Podlaskie), all from Poland; the Polesian lands in Belarus, including the city of Brest; parts of Bryansk Oblast, including the city of Starodub; parts of Belgorod, Voronezh and Kursk Oblasts (historically part of Sloboda Ukraine); parts of Rostov Oblast including the cities of Shakhty and Taganrog; the historic region of Kuban and parts of Stavropol Kray (Ukrainian nationalists see Kuban Cossacks as Ukrainians), all from Russia.|
- In the 1955 referendum, Saarland, a previous French protectorate territory, voted to reunite with Germany.
- French claimed Alsace-Lorraine before World War I, after which the territory was returned to them.
- Bulgaria, Serbia, Greece and Montenegro claimed various European parts of the Ottoman Empire and Albania (both of which the four divided among themselves) before the First Balkan War, where they took these claims to the battlefield, and won.
||Afghanistan's claims to all Pashtun areas of Pakistan.|
||Cambodia has claimed parts of the Mekong Delta that lie in present-day Vietnam on the basis that the area, which was formerly part of the Khmer Empire, was artificially carved up by the French during the Colonial Period and given to South Vietnam upon French withdrawal. The area still is home to at least one million ethnic Khmers (the Khmer Krom) who claim to be persecuted by the Vietnamese.|
|People's Republic of China||Republic of China||The People's Republic of China claims to the territories under the control of the government of the Republic of China (Taiwan).|
|People's Republic of China||Arunachal Pradesh
|The People's Republic of China's claims over Arunachal Pradesh under Indian administration (claimed by the PRC as part of Tibet).|
|North Korea||South Korea||The Democratic People's Republic of Korea claims to the territories under the control of the government of the Republic of Korea (South Korea).|
|India|| Azad Kashmir
|India's claims to Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan currently administered by Pakistan. India also claims Aksai Chin and Shaksgam Valley, which are currently administered by China.|
|Japan's Kuril Islands dispute with the former Soviet Union (now Russia), most recently over the loss of the southern four islands in the Kuril Islands chain in the closing days of World War II under the Treaty of San Francisco.|
|Pakistan||Jammu and Kashmir||Pakistani claims to all of Jammu and Kashmir (on grounds of ethnic and religious affiliation of the people of the Kashmir Valley) versus Indian rule (the 1947 partition of India led to the accession of Kashmir to India). Pakistan does not claim the portions of the original Kashmir that are now governed by China.|
||The Philippines has a territorial claim on eastern Sabah (formerly known as North Borneo), which is now a state of Malaysia. It claims on the eastern part of the territory was through the heritage of the Sultanate of Sulu.|
|Republic of China||People's Republic of China||The Republic of China's claims to mainland China ruled by the People's Republic of China, and most of the PRC's territorial claims.|
|Republic of China|| Tuva
|The Republic of China's claims to Tannu Uriankhai, now roughly corresponds to Tuva, a republic of Russia; and Outer Mongolia (i.e. the independent country of Mongolia).|
|South Korea||North Korea||The Republic of Korea's claims to North Korea ruled by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.|
||Azeri claims on parts of Northwestern Iran, based on ethno-linguistic grounds.|
|Iraq||Kuwait||Iraqi claims to Kuwait (esp. since the emirate's independence from Britain in 1961) before the Gulf War.|
|Iraq||Khuzestan||The Iran-Iraq border dispute, includes Khuzestan populated by Iranian Arabs.|
|Iraqi Kurdistan||Iraq||The government of Iraqi Kurdistan seeks to incorporate part or all of several neighbouring provinces.|
|Israel||Palestine||Some Israeli political factions claim Israeli sovereignty over the entire West Bank (also known as Judea and Samaria) and under partial military occupation since 1967. Under Israeli military administration since Operation Defensive Shield.|
||Lebanese claims of the Shebaa Farms, an area (formerly part of Syria) annexed by Israel.|
|Palestinian: Hamas and other Palestinian factions claim the entire territory of the state of Israel.|
During Black September and its aftermath, Palestinian factions claimed Jordan as part of the Palestinian homeland.
|Syrian claim for the remaining portion of the Golan Heights, occupied by Israel since the 1967 Arab-Israeli war and de facto annexed by it in 1980. The de facto annexation is not recognised by the international community.|
|Syria||Hatay||Syrian claims to Turkey's Hatay Province. The Syrian Social Nationalist Party and Levantine nationalists furthermore claims southeastern parts of Turkey, Israel, State of Palestine, Jordan, Cyprus, Iraq, northern parts of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, southwestern parts of Iran, Lebanon and Egypt's Sinai Peninsula as Greater Syria.|
South and Central America
|Argentina|| Falkland Islands
||Argentina's claims to the Falkland Islands, a British Overseas Territory. In 1982, Argentina unsuccessfully attempted to annex the Islands militarily.|
||Bolivian claims to coastal regions of Chile annexed after the War of the Pacific. More recently, president Evo Morales expressed disgust with the secession of Acre (1902), which later become a Brazilian state, saying that the Brazilians provoked the unrest and later paid Bolivia only "a horse's price" for the priceless land.|
||Guanacastecan claims to the Nicoya Peninsula, currently under neighbour Costa Rican province of Puntarenas's administration.|
|Guatemala||Belize||Guatemalan claims to Belize and parts of Mexico, the later nullified in 1995.|
||Nicaraguan claims to Guanacaste and the Colombian Islands of San Andres, Providencia and Santa Catalina.|
||Venezuelan claims to most of Guyana west of the Essequibo River, as Guayana Esequiba.|
||Claims among Mexicans to the Southwestern United States, conquered by the United States from Mexico in the Mexican–American War and later purchased (Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo) for a sum of 15 million dollars; and the Gadsden Purchase for 10 million dollars.|
|Quebec||Labrador||The Quebec government claims that the territory of Labrador belongs to the province of Quebec. Labrador is officially part of the province of Newfoundland and Labrador.|
|Comoros||Mayotte||The Comoros claim Mayotte from France after 2009 referendum.|
||Madagascar claims the Scattered Islands in the Indian Ocean after France gave them independence in 1960.|
|Mauritania|| Western Sahara
|Mauritania claims the Western Sahara and the Azawad region of Mali before France gave them independence in 1960.|
|Morocco|| Western Sahara
|Morocco's claims, initiated in 1963 by King Hassan II, to a claimed "Greater Morocco" (an area comprising Morocco, parts of Algeria, Western Sahara, Mauritania, Madeira and the Canary Islands as well as the Spanish cities of Ceuta and Melilla). This led to a border war with Algeria and the Moroccan military annexation of Western Sahara in 1976 and 1979.|
||Within Somalia, the self-declared Puntland and Somaliland conflict over Sanaag and Sool, based on the Puntland desire to unite areas of the Darod clan.|
||Somalia lays claim to the Northeastern Region of Kenya and the Ogaden Region of Ethiopia, based on historically being part of Somali lands and currently being inhabited by Somalis.|
- Ethnic nationalism
- Ethnic cleansing
- Identity politics
- Status quo ante bellum
- Manifest Destiny
- Historical powers
- Bell, Bethany (8 December 2012). "South Tyrol's identity crisis: Italian, German, Austrian...?". Bolzano, Italy: BBC News. Retrieved 27 April 2016.
- "South Tyrol heading to unofficial independence referendum in autumn". nationalia.info. 3 July 2013. Retrieved 27 April 2016.
- Marchetti, Silvia (31 May 2014). "The South Tyrol identity crisis: to live in Italy, but feel Austrian". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 April 2016.
- Socor, Vladimir (25 March 2014). "Putin's Crimea Speech: A Manifesto of Greater-Russia Irredentism". Eurasia Daily Monitor. 11 (56). Archived from the original on 27 April 2016. Retrieved 27 April 2016.
- Saideman, Stephen (18 March 2014). "Why Crimea is likely the limit of Greater Russia". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 27 April 2016.
- "Manifesto of the English Democrats: Putting England First" (PDF). bbc.co.uk. 2005. Retrieved 25 April 2016.
- Monteiro Coelho da Costa, Antonio Luiz (23 May 2006). "O Acre por um cavalo?" [An acre for a horse?] (in Portuguese). Terra Magazine (Brazil). Archived from the original on 11 February 2012.
- "La question du Labrador" [The question Labrador]. Estrien Movement for French (in French). 2 May 2001. Archived from the original on 26 April 2005.