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Fantasies of escaping society’s issues often gas utopian movements, however just one bizarre–and mysterious–effort from the’70s to make a nation free of government intervention caused nothing but trouble and sparked an international relations dispute.

A coin collector and property agent, Oliver used a lot of his wealth to set up the Republic of Minerva. Shortly after sending a”statement of independence,” another creator, Morris Davis, built a tower of rocks on the reef and planted a flag–a golden torch set against a blue backdrop –for its brand new”nation” onto it.


Meanwhile, the neighboring countries were extremely upset about the job of their coral reefs along with the declaration of independence the Republic of Minerva shipped out and began to do it.

While The Republic of Minerva sounded like a fool’s errand from the beginning, the fantasy of setting micro-nations in the middle of the ocean still persists in the form of the Seasteading movement. Billionaire Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal and the software firm Palantir, after tried to make his own floating nation away from New Zealand.

“We Can Not have people setting up empires on our doorstep,” the prince of Tonga after said Concerning the Republic of Minerva

The Republic of Minerva was in the midst of an international dispute the moment it was”based” and eventually the initiative dropped after Oliver fired Davis out of his post as president. However, the micronation’s concept did finish. Oliver minted coins to get his”nation” and marketed them in order to increase funds. A 1975 ad from the Libertarian Review lured buyers together with the tagline:”The world’s most unusual new nation: inspiration for the most special metallic coin ever created.”
After inhabiting the coral reef, Minerva’s founders hired an Australian dredging ship and began satisfying the reefs with sand with the ultimate aim of property sitting eight feet over sea level. They intended to fill to show to investors he could eventually fill in 2,500 acres.

The sea has washed any sand that Oliver and his partners set on the Minerva Reef. Some of his coins, however, are still readily available for sale.

In 1972the”utopian” Republic of Minerva produced its first look from the New York Times at a story headlined”South Sea Reef Proclaimed a Republic 3 Americans.” Michael Oliver, among the three creators, explained that he wished to make an”escape out of high taxes, riots, drugs, and crime” and did it via an conservative colonial land grab.

According to some reports , the Tongan government retaliated by dropping a record of emergency materials labeled”provided and maintained by the Tongan government” to establish possession of these reefs. The Republic of Minerva’s creators showed no signs of backing off, so in June of 1972, the King of Tonga proclaimed that the reefs were part of the country and planted a Tongan flag around the reef.
Oliver and his partners chose the Minerva Reef–called after a ship that was wrecked at the 1820s–that’s 260 miles and about 450 kilometers south of Fiji east of Tonga. During low tide, it’s only partly submerged. They intended to build a 400-acre artificial island across the globe and then turn it into a hotel that would”sparkle like a gem in the blue South Pacific,” based on one of the Republic of Minerva’s self-published papers. They base their own government structure on no financial intervention, no welfare, no subsidies, and zero taxation and hoped to attract tens of thousands of residents.

“We can not have people placing up empires in our doorstep,” the prince of Tonga formerly said about the Republic of Minerva.