11 April 2010


Are there any recent (as in since 1900) examples of a country freely choosing to become part of another existing country, and thus giving up its own independence? In the 20th century, Egypt and Syria merged into the short-lived United Arab Republic, and Serbia joined with various other Slavic regions to become Yugoslavia. But I cannot think of anything comparable to the idea, floating around New Zealand, of attempting to become a formal part of Australia.

I'm fascinated by the idea, because I believe consolidation into larger units carries a lot of merit in certain parts of the world. (There are, however, limits.) What is the benefit of being a tiny country?

I think it would be a good thing, economically, for New Zealand, and it could be a model for others to move towards greater cooperation. Also, it will piss in the eye of realist theory, which I can't help but endorse.

(Side note: The last two occasions I can think of another country just up and becoming part of another country would be Hawaii and Texas with the US, and I'm not sure how well they count, since it was after an American coup in Hawaii and an American-led revolution in Texas.)


  1. Der Anschluss... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anschluss

    But you are right... its odd when a country decides to relinquish its independence and allow itself to be enveloped by another one. It takes a peculiar form of nationalism to say "we love self determination so much that we don't want to be self determinate anymore"

  2. Yeah, Anschluss is a good example. So, we have one for the whole 20th century?

  3. There was talk for a while of Russia annexing South Ossetia...


    And how about the Indian Annexation of Goa...


  4. Invasions like Goa don't count. And, South Ossetia and Abkhazia both aren't established states; they're already Russian protectorates. I"m talking about states with established sovereignty giving it up to another state.

  5. hmmm... would you count the re-unification of East and West Germany?