Aerican Empire

Aerican Empire

The Aerican Empire is an imaginative micronation founded in May 1987, which has no sovereign territory of its own and has never been recognized by any other sovereign state as existing.

Territory

The current land claims include:

  • Chompsville: A square kilometer of territory in Australia near the region of Springvale, Victoria
  • Earth: A house-sized area in Montreal, Canada containing the Imperial capital and the site of the Aerican Embassy to Everything Else
  • Mars Colony: Approximately of the surface of the planet Mars at coordinates 10-11 degrees South by 220-221 degrees East
  • Northern Plutopia: The northern half of the dwarf planet Pluto
  • Parrwater: A water reservoir near Castor, Alberta
  • Psyche: Adjacent to Chompsville and covering the city of Dandenong
  • Retsaot Island: An island in the region of Ashburton, New Zealand
  • The Pasture: An ill-defined cow pasture located somewhere in the American midwest
  • Verden: The only wholly-invented claim, a non-existent planet

All of the Empire's claimed territories on Earth are currently controlled by other sovereign nations, and the extraterrestrial colonies are uninhabited.

As with most micronations, the Empire's population has fluctuated wildly with time. In March 2008, the Empire's population exceeded 280 citizens .

History and philosophy

The Aerican Empire was founded on 8 May, 1987 by Eric Lis, the current Emperor, and a core group of friends. The first ten years of the Empire's history were filled with wars, including battles with rival micronations. During this period, the Empire was almost wholly fictional, incorporating a vast galaxy of planets under its nationality. It was not until the signing of the Aerican Constitution that the micronation pledged only to use war as a last option.

With time, the goals and ideals of the Empire matured. The Empire slowly abandoned most fictional elements and worked towards becoming a political entity rather than a hobby. The prompt for this change was the growth and increasing accessibility of the Internet, through which the founders discovered other micronations similar to their own. In 1997, the Empire created a Web site and began attracting citizens from around the world.

In 2000, the first growth spurt in the Empire's population was triggered by an article in the New York Times. In the months following this, the Empire's membership rose to over five hundred people. This number slowly fell over the following years as members left, eventually stabilizing and rising again with time. The Empire's modern philosophy is summed up in its mission statement: "The Empire exists to facilitate the evolution of a society wherein the Empire itself is no longer necessary.

The Emperor calls the Empire a gateway to a better society, and hopes that the nation will one day influence the world for the better. “The realistic goal is to just try and make a difference in the world. Get out there and make some noise. Be noticed. Maybe someday—who knows—even persuade a couple of nations to recognize us as a nation. Stranger things have happened," he told the Montreal Mirror.

Government

The Aerican Empire is a parliamentary democracy. The primary elected body is known as the Senate, and is composed of seventeen individuals, two representatives from each area of the Empire as well as the head of state, the Emperor. This Senate serves as both the executive and legislative arm of the government. A President of the Senate moderates voting and discussion. The current President is Randy Walker. Senate elections are held every four years, with the next elections being in December 2009.

Overseeing the Senate is the Emperor, the elected head of state. Within the Empire, "Emperor" is a title rather than an accurate description, and the Emperor holds few powers beyond a single vote in the Senate and a second Senate vote in case of a deadlocked vote. The current Emperor is Eric Lis, a Canadian psychologist and one of the Empire's founders. The Emperor serves a life term.

Advising the Emperor is a cabinet known as the Inner Council. This Council consists of the Emperor and a group of appointed advisors, typically heads of various government ministries. The Council acts to ensure that the Emperor is informed about all aspects of the Empire, and Inner Council members serve their term as long as the Emperor that appointed them is still in office.

The Judicial branch of government consists solely of the Aerican Empire Supreme Court. Justices are up for reelection every two years. The court's four justices are next up for reelection in January 2010.

While not technically part of the government, the Empire additionally boasts a Figurehead Royal Family, which has no official powers. It consisted originally of a King, Queen, Princess, Prince, and Court Wizard, as well as three members of the Royal Court. The King, Queen, Princess and Prince each select a knight protector, and it is common for additional knights to serve the court as a whole. Members of the Royal Family are elected by the people for life. The current royal family can be found at.

Other micronations, including the Principality of Sealand and the Principality of Hutt River, have minted coins and printed passports. The Aerican Empire has never printed these documents on the grounds that they would be a waste of money until such time as another government recognized their validity. A downloadable "novelty passport" and ID card do exist, however and the first issued passport was exhibited in the Palais de Tokyo 2007 Micronational art exhibition.

Culture

The culture of the Aerican Empire has grown from the starting principle that it attracted individuals with strong senses of humour and a love of science fiction, fantasy, and games. As a result, modern Imperial culture is filled with references to Star Wars and the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and other such institutions. Annually, the Empire holds story-writing contests, role-playing and wargaming days, and such events as the Dog-Biscuit Appreciation Day Scavenger Hunt.

Side by side with the Empire has grown a modest religion, Silinism, the worship of the Great Penguin. Although created for primarily humorous purposes, the last decade has seen earnest converts to the faith, which now numbers roughly thirty practitioners worldwide. It is the primary teaching of this church that humour is holy and that living a good life means learning to laugh at the universe and share laughter with others.

As is appropriate for a body such as the Aerican Empire, the calendar is composed primarily of holidays and niftydays (holidays have a religious context). Nationally recognized holidays and niftydays within the Empire include 2 January Procrastinator's Day, 27 February *Oops* Day, 19 March What the Heck is That Day, 14 April Tempting Fate Day, 25 May Towel Day, 28 August Significant Historical Events Day, and 26 October Topin Wagglegammon, The Niftiest Day of the Year.

Possibly the single most widespread cultural activity within the Empire is gaming, particularly role-playing games and wargaming. The Aerican Empire's official gaming club (AEGIS) is associated with seven universities worldwide and has sponsored/funded/supported an annual gaming day on December 29th since 2003. AEGIS has funded the creation of several Aerican Empire-themed Warhammer 40K armies which have competed nationally in tournaments.

Offline activities

While Internet-based activities in the Empire are more well-documented and facilitate interaction between members in different countries, a major focus has always been local physical events. Members gather for weekly meetings in Montreal, Springvale, New York and other centers, and a twentieth anniversary convention was held in July 2007 .

References

External links

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