Gotzborg closes latest chapter

LONENBERG – More than seven years after it returned from a three-year hiatus, Gotzborg will again enter an official, indefinite, period of dormancy.

One of Micras’ older micronations, Gotzborg had a history of spurts of activity – first, from its founding in March 2004 until April 2007, when it went on hiatus, and then from 2010 to 2013, upon its return. Since 2013, Gotzborg’s activity waned to the minimal levels it sees today, consisting of at-most a few largely administrative-related forum posts each month.

That lack of cultural and government development and ideas is largely a consequence of the micronation’s demographics. When Gotzborg was first active from 2004 to 2007, its citizens were mostly in university. Those who returned post-hiatus had long since graduated and embarked on their careers, limiting their participation further. The key leaders in recent years – Sinclair and August Charles II, Gotzborg’s founder and king – have also become increasingly busy with their macronational commitments.

To that end, both decided that the upcoming expiration of Gotzborg’s web hosting package was a natural end point for the micronation. While a return in the future is not impossible, no such eventuality is openly expected.

The micronation’s Micras territory, which largely encompasses its constituent realm of Victoria, is planned to be transferred for safekeeping to Stormark, which already protects other Victorian historical entities. Stormark will remain the protector of Gotzborg’s Micras territory until any return to activity.

Work to secure Gotzborg’s archives and facilitate the Micras territory transfer will continue between now and when the web hosting package expires in mid-December.

Editor’s Note: The Coprieta Standard was founded, and named after a city, in Gotzborg; however, it will continue to publish despite its home micronation being inactive, much as it did during Gotzborg’s first hiatus.

History Profile: Gotzborg Divided – the Kingdom of Novasolum

On April 22, 2007, one of the Anglophone simulationist community’s most successful micronations, the Royal Kingdom of Gotzborg, was abruptly halted by its founder and king, August Charles II, to the disbelief of many, both citizen and foreigner alike. His decision, while controversial amongst Gotzborg’s citizens, was widely respected given the king’s popularity; however, there was dissension.

John Darcy, a recent immigrant to the micronation, commented that the halt was “wasteful,” and lamented that August Charles should have “abdicated and allowed his loyal subjects to continue the kingdom.”1 Unsurprisingly, barely six weeks later, Darcy would found the Kingdom of Novasolum and offer it as a home to displaced Gotzers throughout the community. That offer would ultimately expose significant divisions in a group of micronationalists who had once worked harmoniously together to achieve incredible success.

Proclaiming his Kingdom on June 2, 2007, Darcy immediately announced that its primary purpose “was to provide a home and a cultural continuance for the citizens of … Gotzborg and Anthelia (which had been annexed by Gotzborg earlier in the year).”2

Darcy made a significant time investment in the launch of the Kingdom, aiming to mirror Gotzborg in several areas, most notably heraldry, and chivalric orders, while providing it with a well-developed forum and a well-thought out bureaucratic structure. His efforts quickly allowed Novasolum to draw to its ranks a vast majority of former high-ranking Gotzers. These included such personalities as John de Cervantes, Thomas Maher, Charles de Montford, Hugh O’Neill, and Liam Sinclair.3 Maher and O’Neill quickly found themselves holding the prominent positions of Chancellor and Secretary of State for External Affairs, respectively, adding to the legitimacy that Novasolum espoused as the heir of Gotzborg.4

Yet, not all Gotzers were so ready or excited to join the Darcy-led successor state to their former home. Those Gotzers who found themselves aligned primarily with Alexandria would prove to be least supportive of the founding of the Kingdom, as Alexandria had a particularly bitter opinion of Darcy. That opinion had formed in May of 2006 when Darcy, representing Anthelia, an ally of Alexandria within the Novasolum Regional Micronational Community, had labelled Alexandria an aggressor and refused aid to it during a diplomatic fall-out with Lovely.5 Thus, when Darcy declared the Kingdom, notable former Gotzers, and also Alexandrian citizens, Jüergen de Cautzburg and Augusto Benavides (Carlos Hernandez), were less than supportive.

Cautzburg was particularly hostile to his former compatriots, referring to those who joined the Kingdom as “title addicts,” i.e. merely joining to seek recognition by, and powerful positions from, Darcy. He further described it as a “lousy copy of Gotzborg,” and questioned Darcy’s ability to claim to be the King of a successor micronation to Gotzborg, noting that in Gotzborg, he was a “nobody”.6 His comments later drew a stern rebuke from Sinclair, who criticized Cautzburg. “You seem quite capable of turning your back on people you called ‘fellow Gotzers’ just to fit in with your new micronational crew,” said Sinclair.

The division that had erupted between the two camps of former Gotzers – those in Alexandria and those in Novasolum – would persist for as long as the Kingdom remained. With Novasolum’s end in the fall of 2008, a key point of tension between Gotzers would disappear from micronationalism and along with it many of the former Gotzers themselves. For those who remained in the community, true reconciliation over the fallout would not come until August Charles returned in the summer of 2010, bringing with him a renewed Gotzborg to which they quickly returned to forge a common agenda.

  1. Abrupt Closure of Gotzborg Shocks Community, Coprieta Standard, May 1, 2007; accessed Nov 8, 2014 []
  2. https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/novasolum/conversations/messages/2, accessed Nov 8, 2014 []
  3. Kingdom of Novasolum Gazette, Vol. 1 No. 1, June 16, 2007. p. 9. []
  4. Ibid. p. 5. []
  5. The End of the Novasolum Regional Community, RIMA Journal, December 13, 2009; accessed Nov 8, 2014. []
  6. “That new nation … Novasolum,” http://z10.invisionfree.com/alexandria/index.php?act=&f=182&t=3282, accessed Nov 8, 2014. []

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