Contributed by Staff Writers.
Anthelia was a democratic micronation founded in July 2004 by John Darcy. It survived two and a half years, being most active in the period April 2005 to September 2006 and having a total of ten citizens across its lifetime.
During May and June 2004, John Darcy had become involved in an internet micronation named “Republic of Deseret.” That nation had consisted of a small core of Mormon founders, along with an Australian (Jason Landless). Landless and Darcy encountered a number of problems in the supposedly democratic Deseret, and by July the activity level from the leaders of the nation had fallen to nothing. At this point, Darcy acted.
On 27 July 2004, Darcy published a “Declaration of Independence” on Micronations.Net, and established a Yahoo!Groups forum for the new nation named Republic of Anthelia. Landless joined him, followed by Freddy Warren who was a past associate of Darcy’s in earlier online RPG projects. Rather than put an entire government structure in place at once, Darcy appointed himself Interim Administrator and instigated a Constitutional Convention process. Within a couple of weeks, however, Landless had left the project and soon after the activity of the nation fell to nothing.
The “Warren Communiqué” of 11 April 2005 was possibly the most significant event in the history of the nation, as it led to an instant revival of activity and the attraction of new citizens. On May 4th a Constitution was enacted, by referendum, and Darcy became the first President of the Republic, governing in partnership with Warren as an Executive Council. Four other citizens – Ashley Feanix and Neil Spall from England, Darius Banting from Canada, and Mark Marks from Australia – formed the population at this time. In June, the Republic’s forums were moved to a phpBB forum – there was also a brief time on an Ezboard forum – and a domain name and website were established.
The second significant event of this period was the involvement of Anthelia in the Micronational Cartographic Society, and the way in which this drew the Republic into association with other micronations. Anthelia had claimed, and been granted, certain land by the MCS in August 2004, but the ensuing period of inactivity resulted in that land being declared vacant again. The Kingdom of Gotzborg joined the MCS late in 2004 and its land allocation covered that which was previously given to Anthelia. Following the April 2005 revival, Warren opened a diplomatic dialogue with Gotzborg to resolve a brief misunderstanding over the land clash; this was dealt with amicably and Anthelia subsequently took a new land allocation as a neighbour of Gotzborg. This neighbouring relationship directed much of Anthelia’s policy and development for the rest of its days.
The depth of Anthelian involvement in the mapped simulation, controlled by the MCS, led to multilateral diplomacy between Anthelia, Gotzborg, Alexandria, Rio Grande, Natopia and Lavalon, as these nations shared a continent on the MCS map. Anthelia led an initiative to develop a more detailed geographical simulation for that continent, drawing the ire of certain long-standing figures in the MCS including Bill Dusch. Dusch asserted his rights over the naming of the continent, but was outnumbered and the continental name “Novasolum” (coined by Warren) was adopted. Warren’s diplomatic efforts also led to the Novasolum Treaty, a treaty of cooperation and non-aggression, amongst most of the nations named above. Rio Grande had been absorbed into Alexandria, and Lavalon declined, but the others became “the Novasolum Treaty group”. There was no assembly or forum for this treaty group – it was not a supranational body. The Kingdom of Paulovia was a later addition to the group.
Anthelia’s other contribution to the micronational community in this period was in economics, as Mark Marks became the Governor of the Central Bank of Anthelia and set about administering finance and monetary controls to mirror real-world models. An intermicronational currency exchange, the MX2, had been established and Anthelia joined this for the transaction of its own currency, the Star. Marks, however, published several papers and speeches critical of the MX2 systems and methods, and advocated a full free-market banking system across micronational economies. One free market bank was given a licence in Anthelia but the operator, Austi Scot (a known figure in micronationalism), became inactive after only a few weeks. In 2006 Anthelia changed its laws to allow its own Central Bank to offer services to the public, and as such it did begin to offer deposit and loan services. By taking up banking licences in Gotzborg and Paulovia, the Central Bank was also able to offer currency exchange. By August 2006, however, the limitations of the economic model and the predominance of real-world commitments had led Marks to abandon Anthelia, and the banking system died with his departure.
Politically, Anthelia achieved something rare in small micronations – the founder of the nation voluntarily relinquished power whilst staying involved. On 9 December 2005, upon re-election along with Warren, Darcy agreed to hand over the Presidency to Warren. Darcy became President again during 2006, and Darius Banting became the third and last President of Anthelia in October 2006 upon Darcy’s resignation.
When John Darcy chose to reduce his involvement in micronations after August 2006, Anthelia was in trouble. Only three active citizens remained at that time, and this rendered impossible the detailed simulation which had been designed and partly implemented for the nation. Diplomatic negotiations were undertaken with Gotzborg in late 2006, which resulted in the Gotzborg-Anthelia Agreement. This treaty, which supplanted the Anthelian Constitution on 15 January 2007, made Anthelia a wholly-incorporated part of the Kingdom of Gotzborg, and provided for the protection of the Anthelian legacy and the future restoration of Anthelian sovereignty under certain conditions. The Kingdom duly absorbed the Republic on February 2nd, but the legacy protection of Anthelia was rendered moot on 22 April 2007 when Gotzborg itself was placed in hiatus.
Following the hiatus of Gotzborg, Anthelia survived as a Duchy of the Kingdom of Novasolum until that micronation ceased in October 2008. The monarch of that Kingdom, King John, was the same John Darcy who originally founded Anthelia, and he himself was the Duke of Anthelia. The Kingdom of Novasolum had also founded the Order of Aquila Solis exclusively for former citizens of Anthelia and Gotzborg, to preserve the cultural legacy of those micronations. Through the Order, it was presumed that the history and character of Anthelia would be preserved in years to come, short as the life of the actual micronation turned out to be.