Today, we’re seeing several countries — or prospective countries — willing to pay the price for independence. There are independence pushes happening all around the world and even within the U.S. as we speak. Here are 7 of them.
We’ll start with Catalonia, which is the proposed new country that has set off all this talk about independence. If you’ve been following the news, you know Catalonia is a part of Spain. The people there, however, are fighting to break away from Spain and form their own sovereign country.
But the Spaniards, as you’d expect, aren’t willing to let a hunk of their country go quietly into the night. We don’t know what will happen yet, but it could get ugly.
Scotland, along with Wales, Britain, and Northern Ireland, form the U.K. There is a lot of support for the idea of Scotland formally breaking away and forming its own sovereign nation — inspired by what’s happening in Catalonia.
The Scots did vote against this very idea not too long ago, but it was only a matter of time before it bubbled back up, especially with the U.K. voting to leave the European Union, which puts Scotland in a tough position.
Officially referred to as Iraqi Kurdistan, Kurdistan is an area in northern Iraq, which is populated with one major group: the Kurds. It’s situated along the border with Syria, Turkey, and Iran, putting it right in the middle of the fracas with ISIS and the Syrian civil war.
The Kurds want to make it their official homeland, but their neighbouring countries are dead set against it. Again, we’ll have to wait and see what happens. But when it comes to the Middle East, things are hardly ever clear cut.
The would-be nation of Biafra is actually an offshoot of Nigeria, which itself only declared independence from Britain in 1960. Back in the late 1960s, one of the country’s major ethnic groups did break off and establish the Republic of Biafra in southern Nigeria.
This caused a civil war, which ended with Biafra’s defeat and reabsorption back into Nigeria. Support for Biafra is still alive, and the fighting — mostly political these days — rages on.
Many people would be surprised to learn a Canadian province has made serious threats about splintering away from its mother country. That’s the case with Quebec, which is home to Montreal and Quebec City, two major metropolises.
Culturally, Quebec is different from the rest of the country, with a huge French-speaking population being the most obvious difference. The groundwork has already been laid, so to speak, but it’s hard to think Quebec will actually attempt to pull the trigger and leave Canada.
Few cities are more iconic than Venice, Italy. But Venetians are evidently fed up with some of Italy’s policies and are threatening to break away and start their own country.
There have already been referendums, including one in 2014 during which 2.1 million people voted to annex Venice into its own nation. Those 2.1 million people represented 89% of the voters, so it’s safe to say sovereignty is a very popular idea in Venice. Whether it happens, though, is another question.
Many people would be surprised to learn a new country might be born right between Belgium and the Netherlands. Flanders is one of Belgium’s three primary regions, in which the majority speaks Dutch. And Belgium being a very politically divided nation, there’s serious talk about Flanders declaring independence from the rest of Belgium.
Flanders is a relatively rich part of Belgium, and many residents there don’t like seeing their money spent in other regions — on people they don’t know, they can’t speak with, or who lack their cultural customs.