Barbary States

Barbary States

Barbary States, term used for the North African states of Tripolitania, Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco. From the 16th cent. Tripolitania, Tunisia, and Algeria were autonomous provinces of the Turkish Empire. Morocco pursued its own independent development. The corsair Barbarossa and his brothers led the Turkish conquest to prevent the region from falling to Spain. A last attempt by Holy Roman Emperor Charles V to drive out the Turks failed in 1541. The piracy carried on thereafter by the Muslims of North Africa began as part of the wars against Spain. In the 17th and 18th cent., when the Turkish hold on the area grew weaker, the raids became less military and more commercial in character. The booty, ransom, and slaves that resulted from attacks on Mediterranean towns and shipping and from occasional forays into the Atlantic became the main source of revenue for local Muslim rulers. All the major European naval powers made attempts to destroy the corsairs, and British and French fleets repeatedly bombarded the pirate strongholds. Yet, on the whole, countries trading in the Mediterranean found it more convenient to pay tribute than to undertake the expensive task of eliminating piracy. Toward the end of the 18th cent. the power of the piratical states diminished. The United States and the European powers took advantage of this decline to launch more attacks. American opposition resulted in the Tripolitan War. After the Napoleonic wars, European opinion clearly favored destroying the pirates. In 1816 Lord Exmouth with an Anglo-Dutch flotilla all but ended the naval power of the dey of Algiers. An ultimatum from the European Congress of Aix-la-Chapelle (1819) compelled the bey of Tunis to give up piracy. The Tunisian fleet was subsequently sent to help the Ottomans in Greece and was destroyed (1827) at the battle of Navarino. In 1830, France, after a three-year blockade of Algiers, began the conquest of Algeria. The Ottoman Turks were able to reassert (1835) direct control over Tripolitania and end piracy there. About the same time the sultans of Morocco, who had occasionally encouraged piracy, were forced by France, Great Britain, and Austria to give up plans to rebuild the Moroccan fleet, and North African piracy was at an end.
This page attempts to list the many extinct states, countries, nations, empires or territories that have ceased to exist as political entities, grouped geographically and by constitutional nature.

Ancient and medieval states

States and realms that disappeared in ancient history.

Europe, North Africa and the Near East



Following the collapse of the Roman Empire there followed a period where the Romano-British political entity fragmented caused mainly by the Celtic system of dividing a realm between the sons of a king on his death. This situation was made worse after c.449 when Jutes and later Anglo-Saxons began colonising the eastern and southern seaboards and driving inland. Eventually the Romano-Britons (now known to the Anglo-Saxons as "Welsh") were assimilated or driven into the highlands of Cambria (Wales) or Caledonia (Scotland). Wales and Scotland will be considered separate from what once existed in England.

Sub-Roman Brythonic kingdoms in England

Anglo-Saxon kingdoms in England

Kingdom of England

Sub-Roman and Medieval Brythonic kingdoms in Wales Wales experienced a similar history during this time, although the Welsh population successfully resisted the influx of Anglo-Saxon settlers into the British Isles. The country was home to a number of princedoms until England's ultimate conquest of the region in the later medieval period.

Sub-Roman Cumbric kingdoms in Scotland

Pictish kingdoms in Scotland

Gaelic kingdoms in Scotland

  • Dál Riata, the proto-state that became Scotland. (this kingdom spanned western Scotland and northeastern Ireland)


Extinct kingdoms in Ireland Ireland during the early medieval period consisted of some two hundred tuathas or minor kingdoms, which were in turn vassals of the rulers of an over-kingdom, called a cóiced (usually translated as a portion, a fifth, or a province). The most prominent of these kingdoms were

Between the 8th and 12th centuries, various Ard Rí attempted unsuccessfully to impose their rule over all the kingdoms in Ireland. Among those whose efforts almost made this a reality were Flann Sinna, reigned 877-916); Niall Glúndub mac Áedo (916-919); Brian Bóruma mac Cennétig (1002-1014); Toirdhealbhach Ua Briain (1055-1086; and Toirdhealbhach Ua Conchobhair (1119-1156). The last of these kingdoms ceased to exist in the early 17th century. Further Irish kingdoms included:

For further information see Irish kings.


Low Countries


Spain and Portugal


Russia and Ukraine

Balkan States


South Asia


The many Chinese states had an influence on surrounding regions; from the Song Dynasty period alone, this includes:

A number of now-extinct states formed under Chinese influence along the Silk Road in the Tarim Basin, including:


The early history of Korea was as complex as that of neighbouring China. A number of Korean states existed on the peninsula and reached up into Manchuria before the formation of the modern state of Korea. These included:


The country of Vietnam in the past was very different to the modern day. The first Vietnamese kingdom occupied only present-day northern Vietnam. In the 10th century, Vietnam began to push to the south for the next 1000 years which was called Nam Tiến (southward expansion) in Vietnamese. It conquered other kingdoms and was split by civil war. All the kingdoms that united to form Vietnam are:

Southeast Asia

Pre-Columbian America

The Americas have historically been home to a number of indigenous states, civilizations and societies of great complexity. Those indigenous states which were still in existence by the time of the first permanent European colonizations from the late fifteenth century onwards were soon substantively destroyed and/or absorbed. The list below includes both those which had ceased to exist before this European arrival, and those which ceased to independently function as a result of this impact.

In addition, there were a wide variety of pre-Inca cultures, few of which developed into organised states.


See List of Indigenous Australian group names

Modern states

States and territories grouped by geographical location


For the hundreds of feudal states of various size (mainly Kleinstaaterei) and nature that were part of the non-centralised Holy Roman Empire (mainly in Germany, Austria, Benelux countries and various neighbouring regions), see List of states in the Holy Roman Empire


North America

Note: This list includes only nations which formerly existed within the current United States and Canada; for nations in present-day Mexico and Central America, see above at Pre-Columbian America and below at Mexico and Central America.
Name Location Origin Fate Notes
Indigenous peoples of the Americas The whole of North America Native Americans in the United States and the First Nations of Canada had established varying levels of governmental organization before contact with Europeans; in many cases, these were equivalent to contemporary European levels of government organization. All the native peoples were eventually incorporated into the United States and Canada, but many retain various levels of self-government and autonomy within those two nations.
Cahokia Illinois, Missouri The population of the town at Cahokia exploded circa 1050 AD, indicating the establishment of a large "chiefdom" The population of Cahokia dispersed in the 14th Century, indicating the decline of the Cahokia chiefdom Other political bodies existed in the Mississippian culture; the Mississippian culture article has a list of Known Mississippian Chiefdoms
Iroquois Confederacy Upstate New York and surrounding areas. Formed before European contact; arguably as early as 31 August 1142, though also likely sometime in the 15th to the 17th Century The Treaty of Canandaigua, signed in 1794, established relations between the United States government and the Iroquois; the treaty is still in force, though the Confederacy is no longer effectively an independent nation.
Cherokee Nation Originally in the southeastern United States, primarily Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. Part of the nation (and its government structures) ended up in present-day Oklahoma. The Cherokee nation was unified from an interrelated society of city-states in the early 18th century under the "Emperor" Moytoy The Cherokee Nation and several smaller nations which broke off are still federally recognized tribal entities, somewhat autonomous within the United States, but having similar powers to states.
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.
State of Franklin Easternmost Tennessee Seceded from North Carolina 23 August 1784 Voluntarily re-incorporated into North Carolina in 1788 Applied for admission to the United States as a separate state. Whether Franklin considered itself independent of the United States is unclear.
State of Muskogee Western Florida, near Tallahassee Creek and Seminole Indians under English adventurer William Augustus Bowles declared independence in 1799. Annexed by Spain in 1803.
West Florida Gulf Coast of the United States, parts of present-day Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. Rebelled and declared independence on 3 September 1810. The Republic lasted only 90 days. Formal reannexation was complete by 10 December 1810. Applied for admission to the United States as a separate state, but the U.S. refused to recognize it as such.
Republic of Indian Stream Pittsburg, New Hampshire Formed 9 July 1832 in territory claimed by both the United States and Great Britain, where the treaty description of the border was unclear. Voted to annex to the United States in 1835, Britain relinquished claim in January 1836, and U.S. jurisdiction was acknowledged around May 1836.
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
Republic of the Rio Grande Mexican states of Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas withdrew from Mexico on 17 January1840 General Canales, commander of the forces of the Republic of the Rio Grande, accepted a command in the Mexican Army on 6 November 1840. The Republic of the Rio Grande claimed territory north to the Nueces River and the upper Medina River, territory also claimed by the Republic of Texas
California Republic California American settlers declared independence from Mexico in June 1846. Claimed by U.S. Navy for the United States of America in July 1846, and admitted as a state in 1850.
Alta California Southern California After U.S. occupation of Los Angeles in 1846, the Californios revolted and defeated an American force on 30 September 1846, and organized a government and an army. Signed the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo accepting American sovereignty over California on 2 February 1848. By November 1846, the Californios had gained back control of all the territory south of San Francisco, leaving America in control of just San Diego and Monterey.
Confederate States of America Southeastern United States of America, from Texas to Virginia. Seceded from United States of America in 1861. Reintegrated into United States of America in 1865. South Carolina was the first state to secede.
Republic of Manitoba Manitoba Founded in June 1867 by Thomas Spence at the town of Portage la Prairie in Rupert's Land By late spring 1868, the Republic had been informed by the Colonial Office in London that its government had no power. The Province of Manitoba was organized within Canada on 12 May 1870
Dominion of Newfoundland Newfoundland and Labrador A former Crown Colony which had rejected confederation with Canada in 1869, the Dominion of Newfoundland was established on 26 September 1907. Newfoundland entered into confederation with Canada on 31 March 1949, becoming a province. In 1934, Newfoundland voluntarily gave up self-government and reverted to direct control from London.

Mexico and Central America

Name Location Origin Fate Notes
Indigenous peoples of the Americas The whole of Mexico and Central America
Olmec nation In and around Veracruz and Tabasco Arose approximately 1200 BC Decline through approximately 400 BC First people to use zero
Toltec kingdom/empire Central Mexico sometime after 750 Destroyed by Chichimeca ("barbarian") invasions around 12th Century
Aztec Empire Central Mexico 1325, founded Tenochtitlan 1521, conquered by Hernán Cortés
Tlaxcala nation Tlaxcala, Mexico unknown Absorbed by Spanish conquest into New Spain Never conquered by Aztec Empire, assisted Hernán Cortés in his campaign against the Aztecs.
Zapotec kingdom Oaxaca and surrounding areas unknown Submitted to Spain in 1551
Maya civilization Southern Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and Belize Political structures formed by about 250 AD Last Mayan kingdom conquered on 13 March 1697 Mayan political structures tended to center around the person of the king; even when one king conquered another, the result was usually a tributary arrangement, and the identity of the conquered kingdom persisted.
Republic of the Rio Grande Mexican states of Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas Withdrew from Mexico on 17 January1840 General Canales, commander of the forces of the Republic of the Rio Grande, accepted a command in the Mexican Army on 6 November 1840. The Republic of the Rio Grande claimed territory north to the Nueces River and the upper Medina River, territory also claimed by the Republic of Texas
Republic of Yucatán Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico (The states of Campeche and Quintana Roo were later separated from the state of Yucatán. Declared independence 1840 and 1845, due to dislike of centralization of Mexican government. Resolved differences with central government and rejoined Mexico in December 1843. Rejoined Mexico to obtain assistance against Mayans in the Caste War of Yucatan, treaty signed 17 August 1848 Republic of Yucatán declared neutrality in Mexican-American War
United Provinces of Central America Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica Formed in aftermath of independence from Spain in 1823 Confederation dissolved civil war in 1840 Attempts were made to reunite in 1842-44, 1852, the 1880s, 1896-98 and 1921-22
Chan Santa Cruz Quintana Roo Formed during the Caste War of Yucatan, named about 1850 The eponymous capital was conquered by Mexico on 5 May 1901, though low-level fighting persisted for another 10 years. Withdrawal of British recognition and end of trade with Belize in 1893 led to eventual reconquest by Mexico

South America

Name Location Origin Fate Notes
Republic of Acre present-day state of Acre, Brazil Created 1899 declaring independence from Bolivia Annexed by Brazil in the Treaty of Petrópolis. Three attempts at independence in 1899, 1900, and 1903
Kingdom of Araucania and Patagonia present-day Patagonia and Araucanía Region in Chile and Argentina Created 1860 by the French lawyer Orelie-Antoine de Tounens who was appointed king by indigenous Mapuches. It never controlled its vast territory and was an unrecognized state. Lost the last portion of land under its control in 1862 to Chile.
Kingdom of Chimor Incorporated into the Inca Empire in the 1470s
Confederation of the Equator States of Pernambuco and others in the northeast of Brazil Incorporated into the Brazilian Empire in November 1824
Greater Colombia present-day Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador and Panama Created 1819 during wars for independence from Spain Broke apart in 1830, formally dissolved in 1831. Successor states were Colombia, which included present-day Panama, Venezuela, and Ecuador Its official name was República de Colombia: there never was a state called "Greater Colombia" or "Gran Colombia"; this is an addition by later historians in order to distinguish it from the present-day Republic of Colombia. Although the literal translation is "Great Colombia", historians have traditionally chosen to translate it as "Greater Colombia".
Inca Empire large parts of modern Ecuador, Peru, western and south central Bolivia, northwest Argentina, north and north-central Chile, and southern Colombia. Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire
Juliana Republic present-day Santa Catarina state of Brazil Created as a separatist state from the Empire of Brazil in July 24 1836 Dissolved as a result of the War of the Farrapos in November 15 1839
Liga Federal present-day Uruguay and the Mesopotamia region of Argentina
Peru-Bolivian Confederation Approximately present-day Peru and Bolivia, plus some of northern Chile and other territories. Created 1836 through union of Republic of North Peru, Republic of South Peru, and Bolivia Dissolved as a result of the War of the Confederation, 1839
Riograndense Republic present-day Rio Grande do Sul state of Brazil Created as a separatist state from the Empire of Brazil in 1836 Dissolved as a result of the War of the Farrapos in 1845

Pre-colonial Africa

See also: List of Great Lakes kingdoms and East African City-States

States and territories grouped by type

Former colonies, possessions, protectorates and territories

These were all colonies, most of which were renamed after their independence.

Dismembered countries

These states are now dissolved into a number of states, none of which retain the old name.

Renamed countries

These country names have been replaced. Only major and/or famous cases are listed, there are thousands of relatively obscure former names.

Nominally independent homelands of South Africa

Four of the homelands, or bantustans, for black South Africans, were granted nominal independence from South Africa. Not recognised by other nations, these puppet states were re-incorporated in 1994.

  • Bophuthatswana - Declared independent in 1977, reincorporated in 1994.
  • Ciskei - Declared independent in 1981, reincorporated in 1994.
  • Transkei - Declared independent in 1976, reincorporated in 1994.
  • Venda - Declared independent in 1979, reincorporated in 1994.

Secessionist states

These nations declared themselves independent, but failed to achieve it in fact or did not seek permanent independence and were either re-incorporated into the mother country or incorporated into another country.

Annexed countries

These nations, once separate, are now part of another country. (At present cases of voluntary accession are included)

See also


Harding, Les. Dead Countries of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries: Aden to Zululand. Scarecrow Press, 1998. ISBN 0-8108-3445-6

Search another word or see Barbary Stateson Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2015, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature