History Profile: Gotzborg Divided – the Kingdom of Novasolum

On April 22, 2007, one of the Anglophone simulationist community’s most successful micronations, the Royal Kingdom of Gotzborg, was abruptly halted by its founder and king, August Charles II, to the disbelief of many, both citizen and foreigner alike. His decision, while controversial amongst Gotzborg’s citizens, was widely respected given the king’s popularity; however, there was dissension.

John Darcy, a recent immigrant to the micronation, commented that the halt was “wasteful,” and lamented that August Charles should have “abdicated and allowed his loyal subjects to continue the kingdom.” ((Abrupt Closure of Gotzborg Shocks Community, Coprieta Standard, May 1, 2007; accessed Nov 8, 2014)) Unsurprisingly, barely six weeks later, Darcy would found the Kingdom of Novasolum and offer it as a home to displaced Gotzers throughout the community. That offer would ultimately expose significant divisions in a group of micronationalists who had once worked harmoniously together to achieve incredible success.

Proclaiming his Kingdom on June 2, 2007, Darcy immediately announced that its primary purpose “was to provide a home and a cultural continuance for the citizens of … Gotzborg and Anthelia (which had been annexed by Gotzborg earlier in the year).” ((https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/novasolum/conversations/messages/2, accessed Nov 8, 2014))

Darcy made a significant time investment in the launch of the Kingdom, aiming to mirror Gotzborg in several areas, most notably heraldry, and chivalric orders, while providing it with a well-developed forum and a well-thought out bureaucratic structure. His efforts quickly allowed Novasolum to draw to its ranks a vast majority of former high-ranking Gotzers. These included such personalities as John de Cervantes, Thomas Maher, Charles de Montford, Hugh O’Neill, and Liam Sinclair. ((Kingdom of Novasolum Gazette, Vol. 1 No. 1, June 16, 2007. p. 9.)) Maher and O’Neill quickly found themselves holding the prominent positions of Chancellor and Secretary of State for External Affairs, respectively, adding to the legitimacy that Novasolum espoused as the heir of Gotzborg. ((Ibid. p. 5.))

Yet, not all Gotzers were so ready or excited to join the Darcy-led successor state to their former home. Those Gotzers who found themselves aligned primarily with Alexandria would prove to be least supportive of the founding of the Kingdom, as Alexandria had a particularly bitter opinion of Darcy. That opinion had formed in May of 2006 when Darcy, representing Anthelia, an ally of Alexandria within the Novasolum Regional Micronational Community, had labelled Alexandria an aggressor and refused aid to it during a diplomatic fall-out with Lovely. ((The End of the Novasolum Regional Community, RIMA Journal, December 13, 2009; accessed Nov 8, 2014.)) Thus, when Darcy declared the Kingdom, notable former Gotzers, and also Alexandrian citizens, Jüergen de Cautzburg and Augusto Benavides (Carlos Hernandez), were less than supportive.

Cautzburg was particularly hostile to his former compatriots, referring to those who joined the Kingdom as “title addicts,” i.e. merely joining to seek recognition by, and powerful positions from, Darcy. He further described it as a “lousy copy of Gotzborg,” and questioned Darcy’s ability to claim to be the King of a successor micronation to Gotzborg, noting that in Gotzborg, he was a “nobody”. ((“That new nation … Novasolum,” http://z10.invisionfree.com/alexandria/index.php?act=&f=182&t=3282, accessed Nov 8, 2014.)) His comments later drew a stern rebuke from Sinclair, who criticized Cautzburg. “You seem quite capable of turning your back on people you called ‘fellow Gotzers’ just to fit in with your new micronational crew,” said Sinclair.

The division that had erupted between the two camps of former Gotzers – those in Alexandria and those in Novasolum – would persist for as long as the Kingdom remained. With Novasolum’s end in the fall of 2008, a key point of tension between Gotzers would disappear from micronationalism and along with it many of the former Gotzers themselves. For those who remained in the community, true reconciliation over the fallout would not come until August Charles returned in the summer of 2010, bringing with him a renewed Gotzborg to which they quickly returned to forge a common agenda.

History Profile: Gotzborg Divided – the Kingdom of Novasolum