This article is about the Madison version of the Kingdom of Talossa. For other uses of the word Talossa, see Talossa.
The Kingdom of Talossa (Madison version, post-2005) was a micronation dedicated to the principles of the original (1979) Kingdom of Talossa, and to the Kingdom's founder, Robert Ben Madison, led by Marcus Cantelour. It coexisted with a competing Kingdom of the same name. The Madison faction dissolved itself in 2011.
Talossa was founded as a kingdom on December 26, 1979 by Robert Ben Madison, a 13 year-old resident of Milwaukee, shortly after the death of his mother. At that time the kingdom occupied Madison's bedroom, and he adopted the name "Talossa" for it after discovering that the word means "inside the house" in Finnish. Over the years, Talossa's territorial claims expanded from Madison's childhood bedroom to encompass most of Milwaukee's East Side, as well as the French island of Cézembre and a large chunk of Antarctica (called Pengopäts, which means Penguin-land in the Talossan language).
The Kingdom consists of seven provinces:
- Vuode, site of the national capital of Abbavilla
- Ataturk, named for Kemal Ataturk
- Cézembre, an island off the coast of France;
- Florenciâ, the smallest province, named for a former monarch of Talossa;
- Maricopa, second largest province.
- Renzistan, formerly (historically) named as Mussolini
- Maxhestic-Maritiimi, the province with the most coastline, also the largest province in terms of area.
There is also a South Polar territory, Pengopats, defined as the small parcel of land in Antartica that no other country had claimed.
Government of the Kingdom of Talossa
The constitution of The Kingdom is known as the Organic Law. The last major revision of it occurred in 1997, and is summarized here.
The Talossan parlaiment was called the "Ziu", and consisted of two houses. The upper house, called the "Senats", had an equal number of representatives per Province. While that number could have been increased, in practice it never exceeded one. Members were elected by the residents of their respective provinces.
The lower house, called the "Cosa", was apportioned to candidates of the various political parties by Kingdom-wide popular vote. The scheme for apportionment varied over the Kingdom's history, the longest-lasting versions being:
- the "Real Cosa", which had 20 members
- EM200, which had 200 virtual seats, distributed to however many candidates a given party was able to field. There were limits as to how many seats a single person could hold, which sometimes forced popular parties with insufficient candidates to coalition with smaller parties and bestow seats on them, in order to convene legally. This was the system in place in 2011.
The King's powers were fairly limited in terms of actually governing; he was the final arbiter of the legislative process, however, and had the ability to Veto any measure, a tactic rarely resorted to.
Day-to-day rule and operations were left to the Prime Minister (selected from the majority party of the Cosa) and the Cabinet (appointed by the PM)
Growth of Talossa
Madison maintained Talossa throughout his adolescence and college years. During this time, some 40 other people joined Talossa, mostly in the Milwaukee area but including several of Madison's friends and acquaintances in Europe. In 1996, Talossa's web page came to the attention of hundreds of thousands of readers via a series of stories published in such newspapers as the New York Times and Wired, which were subsequently republished by newspapers in many other countries. Several dozen new "citizens" joined Talossa as a result.
Schisms and Sunderings
Secession of the Republic of Talossa
In the early 2000s, some members of the Kingdom accused Madison, and the majority of citizens who supported him, as intolerably eccentric and autocratic. Led by Christopher Gruber, they responded by creating the "secessionist" Republic of Talossa on 1 June, 2004. As of 2007, the breakaway group claimed approximately 30 members. The Republic is not officially recognized by the (Madison) Kingdom of Talossa.
Abdication of Robert Ben Madison and Interregnum
An elected government, supported by Madison, continued to lead the Kingdom until 2005, when the Kingdom's immigration minister, Fritz Buchholtz, declared dozens of friends and relatives "citizens" in violation of Talossa's Organic Law (constitution) and election laws. Fearing a repeat of the destructive flame-wars that had accompanied the formation of the "Republic", Madison abdicated as King in favour of his wife's grandson Louis, who became King on 16 August. Of the 40 citizens of Talossa, eight supported Buchholtz while about 25 supported Madison, including Prime Minister Marcus Cantalour and six (of seven) Senators. Buchholtz declared his friend Dr Gregory Rajala as Regent, then proclaimed (on the grounds that Louis's legal guardian did not sanction his involvement, although this was not legal under Talossan law) that Louis had abdicated on 29 November 2006. An "interregnum" was in effect until 14 March 2007, when John W. Woolley was elected King of Talossa.
Reconstituting the Kingdom; From One Founder to Fourteen
In 2007, Madison and the original Talossans (including nine current and former Prime Ministers, as well as King Louis) accepted each other as Talossans and reactivated the government under Marcus Cantalour, drafting a new Constituziun which enshrined fourteen long-time Talossans as permanent "Founders." As a result of these actions, there were two groups calling themselves the Kingdom of Talossa. Both groups claim historical continuity; the Kingdom of Talossa (Woolley) claims it has an unbroken existance, even though it rejected many of the things associated with the original Kingdom and factually only existed since 2005. Each Kingdom regards the other King as a pretender and the other realm as illegitimate. No actual hostilities were recorded, each set of Talossans were more inclined to ignore the other.
The Madison kingdom's primary claims to legitimacy are the participation of Madison himself (the 1979 founder and creator of the Kingdom of Talossa), its possession of the trademarked name "Talossa" (which Madison owns), its non-profit corporation status in the State of Wisconsin, and the fact that the large majority of the 2005 citizenry, including most of the core group from the Kingdom's 1979 founding who were still active, followed Madison in exile from what would later become the Wolley Kingdom.
End of an Era
Talossans prided themselves on their level of activity within the Talossan framework; in fact, in the earlier days of the Kingdom (before any of the schisms), a minimum amount of activity was required to maintain one's citizenship. However, after the multiple splits, scant recruitment and aging population (typically mid to late 40's) with less time to spend took its toll. Activity dwindled to almost nothing, a fact that, while unavoidable, went against the Talossan grain. Even the legislative routines that were supposed to be the very purpose of having a Kingdom ground to a halt. In May of 2011, Robert Madison, the former King Robert, founder of the Kingdom, current Prime Minister and co-regent of King Louis I, placed a resolution before the Kingdom's parlaiment (and any Founders not currently in that body) to rescind Talossa's 1979 Declaration of Independance, dissolve the Kingdom, and officially return Talossa's citizenry to their native polities. The resolution passed, and took effect on July 4, 2011, on the United States of America's Independance day, giving the citizens of that nation something extra to celebrate; the return of citizenry and territory to the Union.
The Wolley Kingdom and Republic have not relinquished their respective claims.
- The Kingdom of Talossa (Madison) Official Website
- Ar Pats (Published history of Talossa)
- Talossa's Historical Outline
- The Republic of Talossa Official Website
- New York Times Article
- "It's Good to Be King" by Alex Blumberg. Wired 8.03 (March 2000).
- "Castles in the air." The Economist, 20 December 2005.
- "Shortcuts: Starting your own country" CNN.com, 27 September 2006.
- "Art in Review: We Could Have Invited Everybody" by Roberta Smith. New York Times 7/15/2005.
- The Octagon & Crown Online newspaper covering both the Kingdom and Republic of Talossa.
Adapted from the Wikipedia article, "Kingdom of Talossa (Madison)" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingdom_of_Talossa_(Madison), used under the GNU Free Documentation License.