With the current political happenings in the United States, as well as the United Kingdom leaving the European Union, it has become a running joke to leave the country for another safer, more stable and sane country. However, no one has mentioned started their own country. This article will go over the process and limitation of starting you own country.
The first step, as defined in Article One of the Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States, is to have a permanent population. This means you must have a piece of land that you and your population are willing to live on permanently. The problem with this is you finding said land, which must be either unclaimed or worthless enough to the nation that has claimed it to let it go. The second problem is that all known land on the Earth has been claimed. There are areas on Earth called no-man-lands, which are often the result of two countries in dispute over its ownership or are uninhabitable because of natural and unnatural dangers. Conclusions: even if you found this land you probably don’t want it as a permanent residence.
The second step stated in the Montevideo Convention is to have a defined territory. This means the land you claim must have a defined border, which is hard to do among the massive forms of land which are already claimed. Thus, an island is your best bet. The problem with this is the same two problems listed before: it will probably be claimed and/or unwanted. Furthermore, at any time the country that has claim over it can decide they don’t want you to have it and can attack you. Conclusions: you should probably look for an island and be ready to defend yourself.
The third step to starting your own country is to have a government or ruling body in place or in development. This body will decide the countries goals, policy, economy, security, etc. A constitution must be drafted laying this all out.
The final step to starting your own country is having the capacity to enter into relations with the other states. This means you must set up a way to communicate to and among your population as well as outside of your borders.
The four steps seem simple, but there are more details of this venture I did not go into such as how far your land has to be from another already claimed land. I also did not go into the other 15 articles of the Montevideo Convention.
Some of the other agreed upon rules include declaring independence by announcing your leaders to the world, achieving international recognition from your peers by sending your leader to make nice and finally, joining the United Nations.
Well, what have we learned? Leaving your country is hard, and starting a country is even harder, but not as hard as one might think. Someone with a ridiculous amount of money, connections and a piece of land that no one cares about could very well start their own country.