Talk:List of former sovereign states/Archive 1

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Way to distinguish countries that have re-appeared[edit]

Should there be a way to distinguish countries and empires that have re-appeared?

I have said something like this on another page, but many of "former states" on your list are completely wrong. In a lot of cases, you are referring to a former regime. Even after a revolution and a complete change in the governmental system, the same state continues to exist. Please! Eleanor1944 (talk) 18:49, 6 December 2011 (UTC)


Someone who knows the history of Africa could add many ancient and colonial countries.


If you can think of a better description, have at it. "Political entity" is too broad. "State" isn't quite right, it seems (some empires weren't what we ordinarily think of as "states," though strictly I suppose they were). "Realm" might be used tongue-in-cheek...

Explain/link what happened after[edit]

When possible, we should link to and explain what a particular country/territory became/merged into.

This allow readers to see the formation of modern day countries.

Ancient civilizations[edit]

LA2 says: This page refers to states of some form, and so leaves no room for ancient civilizations that were more loosely held together. I'm not sure of the terms here. For example, what was the "Athenian empire"?

The "Athenian Empire" was the Delian League. Argyriou 04:02, 30 June 2006 (UTC)
Now see List of pre-modern states. -- Beland (talk) 19:59, 15 June 2013 (UTC)

Republics of San Marino and Venice[edit]

wait a minute - the Republic of San Marino is one thing (and still exists, see countries of the world and Venice is another. The Venetian Republic is gone.

  • Since fixed. -- Beland (talk) 19:59, 15 June 2013 (UTC)

British Empire[edit]

Does the British Empire belong on this page? --Robert Merkel

It's speciated into the Commonwealth, guv.  :-)
Seems like a borderline case; I added a note about it. -- Beland (talk) 19:59, 15 June 2013 (UTC)

Name changes[edit]

Do name changes, like Zaire (back) to Congo, count?

We now have a section on name changes. -- Beland (talk) 19:59, 15 June 2013 (UTC)


I'm skeptical of including Tuvalu. Any Tuvaluans want to comment?

I'm not Tuvaluan, but I suspect Tuvalu may outlast a number of nations not on that list. Vicki Rosenzweig
Actually, I think it is Nauru, not Tuvalu, that is considering moving the country because they are running out of phosphates and the island is an ecological disaster
Tuvalu is considering emigrating--at something like 50 people a year, whom New Zealand is welcoming--because rising sea levels may drown the country. Vicki Rosenzweig
Since removed. -- Beland (talk) 19:59, 15 June 2013 (UTC)


I've re-organised this page, creating a number of categories, in stead of historical groups based on the period, because I found the list mostly uninformative. Maybe there should be an alphabetic list as well, since this is mostly a reference table. As with most categorisations, some items will fit into more than one box (maybe we should also put them in both boxes) and it could be debated which boxes to create. Please do!

I've also included some short comments on each name, making the list useful, also for not (yet) existing articles.

I have not yet included all countries, and I have put the remaining countries at the bottom. The really ancient countries will be difficult to classify, and I'm not really sure about its usefulness either, since this list is far from exhaustive, and it tends to only list some of the well-known empires from times where there wasn't even a notion of nations - One could easily make big lists of small semi-independent or autonomous counties, duchies, principalities, and other territories for most of the European countries in the period between the end of the Roman Empire and the end of, say, the Renaissance.

Finally, I think the title of this page really stinks. An article with "etc." in the title... Any good suggestions? jheijmans

Weimar Republic[edit]

Was "Weimar Republic" really the name of the country, or just a description? How does that differ from "Vichy France"? -- Zoe

Weimar Republic was the name of an era, not of a country. Nor was East Germany or West Germany the official name. The two did not merge to Germany. The German Democratic Republic joined the Federal Republic of Germany. The later kept its name. -- JeLuF

This is just one example of confusing regime change with state change! Eleanor1944 (talk) 18:52, 6 December 2011 (UTC)

Former parts of Canada[edit]

If we're going to include all of the former components of Canada in this list, shouldn't we include the Thirteen Colonies? -- Zoe

The Thirteen Colonies were part of the British Empire, and then they declared independence as a group and formed the United States of America. It was never 13 separate states independent of one another. Vermont and a couple of other similar exceptions are noted on the list. ~~Listmeister

and another thing to do with Canada, the Iroquois confederacy is not extinct, it is alive and well and is thriving in Southwestern Ontario, that is why it should be removed. It goes by teh name of the Six nations now, as they have accepted another tribe into their confederation.

Alexander the Great's Empire[edit]

Wasn't it called the Macedonian Empire? Tokerboy 16:49 Oct 8, 2002 (UTC)

yes and Macedon is stil la country today —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 18:42:22, August 19, 2007 (UTC)

Yes, Macedonia is a country again, but the two are scarcely related. Macedon was a Greek state, but Macedonia is a Slavic one.Wwm101 02:37, 3 July 2010 (UTC)


I strongly question the premise of this list. All the various shades of "conquered", "experienced revolution", "changed governments", "split", "merged", etc, etc, etc, etc make this list basically meaningless. Let's rethink this.

I find it interesting, and am moved to work on it; I think it's worthwhile User:Fredbauder

But: What goes here and what doesn't???

I also think this article needs a name change and a clearer purpose. I would say delete, but something along these lines would be useful. Unfortunately, the idea of a state is a relatively modern. Were there any "states" north of Mexico before Columbus? Kinda, but not really in the same sense that Canada or Belgium are modern states. Tokerboy 04:10 Dec 7, 2002 (UTC)

I wonder why "Tang China" is included in the list. Tang is just a dynasty (or period) in Chinese history, and should not be regarded as an "extinct" country. --Lorenzarius


Shouldn't the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (the state that was formed by Turkish citizens in Northern Cyprus in 1983) be listed under the Secessionist states heading? -hoshie

I don't think so; it's still around. -- Beland (talk) 19:59, 15 June 2013 (UTC)


Why Taiwan? Is the Republic of Taiwan worth mentioning? --Jiang 13:00 14 Jul 2003 (UTC)

errr... Why Hong Kong? Hong Kong never ever was an independent country. And I don't think anyone would refer to the colonial government of Hong Kong before 1997 as an extinct country.
Republic of Taiwan (May 25, 1895 - October 21, 1895) looks sensible to me though. --Lorenzarius 09:56 17 Jul 2003 (UTC)
That's listed under Republic of Formosa. -- Beland (talk) 19:59, 15 June 2013 (UTC)


I thought Poland was part of the Russian Empire, not Austria-Hungary - Lee M 12:43, 14 Sep 2003 (UTC)

It was spilitted between them. For example Krakow was part of Austria. Bogdan 13:00, 14 Sep 2003 (UTC)


In response to a number of points:

Adam 14:29, 9 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Also, re States in Medieval Britain - the English counties were never countries or states, and don't belong in this article. Adam 15:17, 9 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Placement of medieval city states[edit]

The medieval city states along the Adriatic, notably Venice and Dubrovnik, seem to belong both in the sections on medieval civilizations and in "countries now part of other countries". I'm ambivalent about which to pick. The latter section is perhaps too generic. --Shallot 15:52, 9 Nov 2003 (UTC)

I've moved most of the stuff that was extinct by the 19th/20th century into the section that starts in the middle ages. The sections after colonies mostly talk about the more recent periods, perhaps they should be grouped somehow? Post-industrial-revolutions era? Post-colonial period? Modern ages? I'm worried that my terminology is Euro-centric and may not be universally applicable/acceptable. --Shallot 17:05, 9 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Redirects from old to new[edit]

Would it be a good idea to add in REDIRECT articles for those names which map directly to the succeeding name? Picking an example out of the ether gives me "Spanish Guinea - became Equatorial Guinea": should someone make Spanish Guinea into a REDIRECT to Equatorial Guinea? Phil 16:24, Dec 9, 2003 (UTC)

Yes. --Jiang | Talk

Poll on move[edit]

I propose to move it to List of extinct states. Optim 09:16, 5 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I agree[edit]

I disagree[edit]

  • your name here

I don't care[edit]


  • your comments here


  • I moved the page to List of extinct states. You may continue voting above, of there is opposition we can move it back to were it was. Optim·.· 18:22, 5 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Merge from List of past countries in Europe[edit]

INFORMATION TO BE MERGED FROM List of past countries in Europe which now redirects here

Below is a list of countries in Europe that no longer exist:

See also history of Europe and list of extinct countries, empires, etc.

Tannin 09:00, 8 Mar 2004 (UTC)


Err. Is it just me or did several parts of the article get repeated without anyone noticing? --Shallot 15:01, 20 Mar 2004 (UTC)

History of Netherlands/Belgium[edit]

Something to add:

Mikko Paananen 19:14, 18 Jun 2004 (UTC)

medieval and modern[edit]

perhaps we could be more specific and list the states from the medieval and modern ages instead of having them in one supercategory

Michael Hardy wrote: Medieval Ages - Minor edit. But I wonder why the Papal States are in this section, since they did not become fully extinct until 1870.

I think it's wrong to fairly wrong to separate the Middle Ages from the modern ages like this because most of the states listed didn't cease to exist between the two periods, or in the early modern period. I had intentionally named the original section "Middle ages to modern times", but someone undid that. --Joy [shallot] 18:14, 16 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Republic of Texas[edit]

I was looking at this list and noticed that the Republic of Texas is under Secessionist States. I don't believe this is correct - it should be under Annexed Countries. While the Mexican government never recognized the Republic of Texas, it was recognized as a soverign nation by France, England, and the United States.

Does anybody else have an opinion on this? I was thinking we could either a) move Republic of Texas to Annexed Countries or b) In addition to listing it under secessionist states, list it under annexed countries.

--Mr. Brown 08:12, Dec 12, 2004 (UTC)

I'm new in the page, but I will try to make a good point of view. :D
I Think that The Republic of Texas was considerate by the Mexican Government (and several of the independent countries in Latin America) as a seccesionist stated (it was part of the State of Coahuila-Texas under the federal Mexican System). I believe that becouse of his short-lived existence and the fact that it was not fully recognise as an independent state, It is Ok to leave it in the current status. Messhermit 05:24, 16 Feb 2005 (UTC)
It appears that Texas would qualify as both secessionist and annexed, and then again during the War Between The States. Invmog (talk) 00:02, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
Now listed under both. -- Beland (talk) 20:31, 15 June 2013 (UTC)

Some Facts[edit]

I just realice that this article is missing another country: the Peru-Bolivian Confederacy, in the part of America. An Article about this exist, but you are missing the link.

Also, Tacna and Arica where integral part of Peru until the War of the Pacific. After the war, they were transfered to chilean jurisdiction, wich was not completely sovereign (only the peruvian province of Tarapaca was annexed inmediatly). A plesbicite was due to decide the fate of the territory, but was never enforced by chilean authorities. Arica was still considerated part of Peru until the final and definitive division of the territory. Messhermit 05:24, 16 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Since fixed. -- Beland (talk) 20:31, 15 June 2013 (UTC)


This list has begun to get disorganized. Would it be possible to sort by overarching period or geographic region, and then group related items together (like European colonies, kingdoms of China, etc.?) Currently the various subcategories seem to overlap in an untidy fashion. -- Beland 01:31, 14 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I believe that it should be divided on different topics, like "Africa Region" or "European Region" and state each one of those in different periods of time, something like this:
  • List of Extinct states: (main article)
  • European Region (another Aricle)
  • Former Empires (subdivission)
  • Austro-Hungary Empire: Disolved on 1918

Messhermit 05:19, 15 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Since organized. -- Beland (talk) 20:31, 15 June 2013 (UTC)

pre- unification of italy[edit]

would it be better to move such entities as the papal states to "annexed countries"?

also while were talking about the papal states, can we include the list of states that were the papal states?

look here for more countries

Category:Historical Indian empires

Category:Former countries in Chinese history

Why show Iraq?[edit]

Why do the Kingdom of Iraq and the Republic of Iraq show up on the list? They all occupy the same land and are all identified as "Iraq" in common usage. The links to the older country names don't even point to their own articles because the history is all covered under the name of "Iraq". Knowing that a country changed its government is not very interesting in an article called "List of extinct states" --Beirne 11:54, Apr 9, 2005 (UTC)

So Brazilian Empire and Mexican Empire should be removed too? José San Martin 17:29, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
Yes. 22:26, 18 June 2006 (UTC)


I've reorganised things a bit, to try and put a bit of structure in place. A lot more work needs doing to really get things right, though, including a decision as to whether the listing should be geographical, chronological, "thematic", or specific combinations of the three. Perhaps the real solution is to have two or three different list pages, eg, one just a simple A-Z, one grouped by geographical region, and/or one grouped by annexed states, secessionist states, etc. Or maybe even annexed states should be on a page by their own, seceeded states should be on a page of their own, and so on. But at the moment, we have a sort of mishmash of different systems. I think there is some sense in having a division between ancient, mediaeval, and modern states; I think most names that would be on the list can be easily assigned to one of those three categories without causing any real problems. This sort of broad chronological grouping is also likely to be meaningful to anyone actually using the list. Anyway, I've sorted out the alphabetization somewhat, and moved a couple of items to more appropriate locations. Cheers, Silverhelm 03:38, 15 September 2005 (UTC).

Also, to know if a "state" has become "extinct", we need to decide what those two terms mean. Ignoring the more difficult definition of "state" (since in a way it's easier to know what's meant than to explain it), I'd propose the following types of change that can be sensibly be said to cause extinction:
  • Territorial extinction:
    • Annexation by another state
    • Merger with another state
  • Fundamental change in the nature of the state:
    • Change from a unitary to a federal state (or vice versa)
    • Change from a secular to a non-secular state (or vice versa)
    • Change from a formally dependent to a formally independent state (or vice versa)
    • Change to or from a formally socialist/communist state - NOT SURE ABOUT THIS ONE
    • Change from a monarchy to a republic (or vice versa)
Changes of name are also of two types which should be separated (sub)lists of their own:
  • Formal change of name, typically due to a constitutional change
  • Informal change of name, including change to conventional translation (eg, Union of Burma to Union of Myanmar)
Thoughts? Silverhelm 04:10, 15 September 2005 (UTC).
Hm. Perhaps a geographical listing, by continent, and then by smaller areas, for example, "Former independent states within the territory of Portugal and Spain", with some attention paid to history. Inside that geographic listing, perhaps a table with name, location, origin of state, and fate of state, and perhaps more notes, like diplomatic recognition, at the end.
For example:
Name Location Origin Fate Notes
Confederate States of America Southeastern United States of America, from Texas to Virginia. Seceded from United States of America in 1861. Surrendered to United States of America in 1865. South Carolina was the first state to secede, the entire existence of the Confederacy was occupied by the American Civil War
Republic of Texas Texas and some surrounding territory. Seceded from Mexico in 1836. Voluntarily annexed to the United States of America and admitted as a state in 1845. Annexation to the U.S. triggered the Mexican-American War
Vermont Republic State of Vermont Organized by Ethan Allen and others in 1777 from territory claimed by New York and New Hampshire. Admitted as a state to the United States of America in 1791 Originally known as Republic of New Connecticut, it had the first written national constitution in North America.
Argyriou 17:54, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
I also disagree with some of your criteria for "extinction". In particular, changes in the nature of the government of the state are not really extinctions of the nation-state, but of the government, which is a different beast. The only one I'd consider plausible is the change from practical dependence to practical independence, and even that is questionable, except in cases where the dependent relationship was formally independent, and either the dependency was incorporated into the "parent" country, or the dependency was split up. So the Kingdom of Ireland was arguably made extinct by the Act of Union of 1808, and if French West Africa was considered technically a separate nation, then its breakup at independence would count as its extinction. Argyriou 04:00, 30 June 2006 (UTC) 07:06, 17 August 2006 (UTC)
I don't think this table should be in here. The page is meant to be a list, all that is needed is the name of the state with a link to the page about it.
I'll leave it for 1 week, if there are no objections I will remove the table and put a list back in.
Do not remove the table contents - that information does not occur elsewhere in the article. I created the table to organize the information that was being added to the list. All the information included in it has been included in other sections, but in a much more haphazard way. It would be better to create similar tables for the rest of the sections in this list. Argyriou 15:42, 17 August 2006 (UTC)
Best to keep a structured approach; unlike printed media, we don't habe much use for alphebetical order, every browser provides a search Fastifex 07:31, 18 August 2006 (UTC)
  • I think that this page needs to be trimmed significantly..

The best option would be to seperate each area (Asia/Australasia/Americas/Europe/Africa etc) and just have a link to a page about those states

  • I personally prefer the table--tables are lists too. The table allows us to follow the general history, location, etc, and have good idea of where it is.

Yes, there should be a separate page with tables for each continent. I think the word "fate" should be changed to something else. Sounds weird. Htmlqawsedrftg (talk) 17:41, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

Europe should be separated[edit]

All European state should be separate from Asian and Middle Eastern States.

Q1:Why? and Q2:Where does Europe start and Asia/Middle East start?-- 01:58, 9 December 2006 (UTC)


Tibet: " still under control by the Republic of China."

I believe it is the PEOPLE'S Repub of China, not the latter (Taiwan)!!! Too lazy to edit though. Benlisquare 11:58, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

Russian Civil War States abound![edit]

Would someone put the hundreds of states that sprung up during the Russian Civil War on this page? Here's a really good site I'd do it myself, but I'm really lazy.-- 06:31, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

Too long?[edit]

Perhaps we should break down this article by continent? That might make it easier to use. --Hemlock Martinis 21:37, 7 June 2007 (UTC)

I agree. I also think that we shouldn't put states that have been annexed, dismembered, etc at the bottom of the page, which I find annoying. --BlarghHgralb 00:20, 20 June 2007 (UTC)
Agreed Htmlqawsedrftg (talk) 17:42, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

Southern Ireland[edit]

Should Southern Ireland go on the list under modern extinct states?

Borderline case; added a note about it. -- Beland (talk) 20:31, 15 June 2013 (UTC)

Geographical Areas[edit]

Part of this article is written from a British POV, which describes Europe as being in two parts - the British Isles and Continental Europe, and also lumps the rest of the world into one heading, Elsewhere. I've changed this article in an attempt to remove the British POV. I've included the British Isles as part of Europe, and I've given each country equal priority, where possible. --Bardcom (talk) 22:05, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

The crux of the matter here is whether or not one considers the term British Isles to be POV. It clearly isn't. It's widely used throughout the world, but obviously some people take exception to it. We can't help that. Such people are in the minority. It's only valid to remove the term when its geographical use is factually incorrect. Is that the case here? If not, there's maybe not a good reason for its removal, but let's get other views. It's no good two editors bickering on this important issue. We need a broad consensus at this article before the term is eliminated. (talk) 22:09, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
The article is discussing extinct states, but the article was written as if a radial pattern emerges from the British Isles. That is what is termed a British POV. I provided a better structure and gave each country it's own deserved priority. --Bardcom (talk) 22:12, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
OK, I'm not going for 3RR on this one. Anyway, I'm off to bed. I'll pick up on this tomorrow, and if necessary I'll revert pending broader agreement. (talk) 22:18, 27 April 2008 (UTC)


Should this kingdom be listed in both england and scotland as it has been theorized to be in both? If there's no objection, I'm putting it there. ---G.T.N. —Preceding undated comment was added at 02:07, 28 July 2008 (UTC)

New Discussion[edit]

A discussion has been started at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Countries/Lists of countries which could affect the inclusion criteria and title of this and other lists of countries. Editors are invited to participate. Pfainuk talk 11:53, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

Germany still exists, and the GDR was not annexed[edit]

Germany may have been defeated and occupied, and territories were annexed by others after both World Wars, but many countries share a similar fate without being declared "Dismembered countries". Also, the Saarland and the German Democratic Republic joined as a result of free elections, it is misleading to list them under "Annexed countries". -- Matthead  Discuß   02:58, 16 October 2009 (UTC)

Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms of Britain[edit]

Should these not be added aswell? --Kurtle (talk) 19:43, 29 January 2010 (UTC)


As a historian, I acknowledge all of these former states as having been valid states under whatever definitions of statehood existed at the time. But there of course those who come from an international law perspective, and who have very particular ideas about what does and does not count as a state. For example, the Kingdom of Hawaii was apparently formally recognized by the United States in 1826, and so has a certain formal status of (former) statehood under current 21st century international law that, for example, Baekche would lack, since it was never formally recognized under the same system of laws and understandings (though of course T'ang China and the Yamato state, i.e. Japan, and numerous other polities did recognize it in their own fashions as appropriate to that historical time and place).

I think it would be useful to see a breakdown of which former and current states are considered to have been officially recognized under the current system of international law, and when they were recognized and thus formally became states in the eyes of today's international law experts.

LordAmeth (talk) 06:50, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

Criteria for inclusion[edit]

I've boldly added a Criteria for inclusion section, stating criteria similar to the criteria of the List of states with limited recognition, Considering the title of this list, though, it seems to me that the inclusion criteria here should be tighter than this. I don't believe that all the currently-listed "former sovereign states" meet these criteria.

I've questioned the meaning of the "control over the territory" criteria here, but the question drew no response. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 00:17, 5 January 2011 (UTC)

It shouldn't include "lacked recognition from at least one state", though, should it? Bagunceiro (talk) 14:41, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
It shouldn't (at least that is my opinion), and it doesn't.
It does include "have been recognised as a state by at least one other state." In that regard, I see that this article lists República Filipina (First Philippine Republic) (note: the República Filipina article is currently a redirect to the First Philippine Republic articel) and Katagalugan (which is currently a redirect to Tagalog Republic#Sakay). Neither of these, as far as I know, pass the inclusion criteria as stated, and I'm removing them from this list. An article named List of states with limited recognition exists which has entries including the following:
  • [[First Philippine Republic|Philippine Republic]]
  • [[Tagalog Republic#Sakay|Sovereign Tagalog Nation]]
Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 02:09, 4 February 2011 (UTC)
I raised that because it says does and I didn't understand why. I've now removed it. Bagunceiro (talk) 09:31, 4 February 2011 (UTC)
Ah. Having seen your edit, I realize that you were right. Thank you very much for the correction. I've lately had too much on my plate both in WP and in real life, and have been making too many mistakes like this in WP. I hadn't planned to get into this area but I've been involved in discussions re a little corner of it it previously (though not in this and the closely-related list articles, I think), and when it came up again as a spinoff of something else I was doing I dived back in without paying close enough attention. Thanks again, and cheers. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 11:17, 4 February 2011 (UTC)


Yugoslavia was under the "other former Comecon countries" heading, but it was never part of Comecon. I've split it off and added some more stuff. I'm not entirely sure if I understand the criteria for inclusion correctly, so I'd appreciate it if someone had a look at the added countries to see if they fit the criteria or not. Also, I wonder if kingdoms, marches and the like that were under direct Austro-Hungarian or Holy Roman rule count? If so, some more stuff can be added. Here's my dif. TomorrowTime (talk) 23:58, 10 February 2011 (UTC)

The Australian Empire[edit]

Why is the Australian Empire not on this list? It declared independence from New South Wales (British Empire) in 1804 and was later violently destroyed at the Second Battle of Vinegar Hill? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:51, 5 June 2012 (UTC)

The Castle Hill convict rebellion was never recognized by any other sovereign state, and only lasted two days. It's on List of revolutions and rebellions. -- Beland (talk) 20:31, 15 June 2013 (UTC)