Fyi. Would the Philippines soon be included in this list? 😈
A map of Ceylon, now known as Sri Lanka. After Napoleon's fall in 1815, Europe had to rethink its borders. Also known as the Italian Social Republic, Salò was essentially a Nazi satellite state in Italy and run by Mussolini. Many believe that Tibet should become an independent country once more.
(Wikimedia) There's nothing quite like the bragging rights of a new, exotic stamp in your passport. However, that won't be happening with the following countries, which, as of astonishingly recently, no longer exist.
Whether they lost wars, were adopted by other countries, or simply got forgotten, here are nine countries that ceased to exist in the 20th century.
Neutral Moresnet, 1816 to 1920
After Napoleon's fall in 1815, Europe had to rethink its borders.
This small piece of land, less than 1.5 square milesthat used to be wedged between present-day Germany and Belgium, fell through the cracks when Europe's borders were redrawn, and became a "co-dominium," meaning that Belgium and what was then Prussia shared custody of it: Both had their eye on a profitable zinc mine.
The tiny territory was Dutch-Prussian prior to Belgium's 1830 independence, briefly German when annexed during World War I, and finally formally annexed by Belgium in 1920. Today, it essentially amounts to the Belgian city of Kelmis.
Republic of Salò, 1943 to 1945
Also known as the Italian Social Republic, Salò was essentially a Nazi satellite state in Italy and run by Mussolini. Or rather "run" by Mussolini, as it was really only officially recognized by Germany, Japan, and the rest of the Axis powers, and depended heavily on German troops to maintain control. While it claimed Rome as its capital and northern Italy as its territory, it really centered on the small town of Salò, which is near Lake Garda and east of Milan. The rickety regime came to an end in 1945 — on what's now known as Liberation Day — when, thanks to the Allied forces, every last German was removed from the country.
Tibet, 1912 to 1951
(Wikimedia/Medill DC) Of course Tibet has a history predating 1912 by thousands of years, but 1912 marks the year it officially became a recognized independent country, proclaimed as such by the Dalai Lama. Under a chain of Dalai Lamas, Tibet was a peaceful country. Communist China invaded in 1951, occupying Tibet until it rebelled in 1959, leading China to annex it. Ever heard the chant "Free Tibet"? Tibet is still calling for its independence to this day, and it has many outspoken advocates.
United Arab Republic, 1958 to 1971
Mostly a political union between Egypt and Syria that hoped to thwart Israel, among other things, the UAR didn't last long, as Syria seceded from the republic after only three years. (The fact that Egypt and Syria don't even share a border didn't help with cohesion.) While Egypt continued to be known as the United Arab Republic for another decade, it was dissolved in 1971.
Sikkim, 1642 to 1975
(Shutterstock) Once a tiny Himalayan monarchy (the kingdom of Sikkim was established in 1642 when Phuntsog Namgyal was crowned the firstking), Sikkim was absorbed into India as its 22nd state in 1975. Before becoming part of northern India, Sikkim sat along the Silk Road route to China and was bordered by Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan, and India's West Bengal state.
Ceylon, 1505 to 1972
(Wikimedia/Charles T. Scowen) This South Asian country, better known as Sri Lanka, has a pretty international history, having been a trading hub for Arabs in the 7th century before the Europeans took over. After that Ceylon was ruled by the Portuguese, then the Dutch, and finally the British from 1815 until 1948, when Ceylon gained its full independence.
In 1972, it changed its name to Sri Lanka.
Czechoslovakia, 1918 to 1993
Once a sovereign state in central Europe (surrounded by Austria, Germany, Poland, Ukraine, and Hungary) that declared its independence from the defunct Austro-Hungarian Empire, what was Czechoslovakia peacefully split into two countries — the Czech Republic and Slovakia — in 1993.
After the Austro-Hungarian collapse in 1918,Czechoslovakia was created by combining Austro-Hungarian leftovers — mostly Czech and Slovak lands. It was one of the more prosperous European countries, as well as one of the few with a peaceful, functioning democracy — at least until WWII, when it became occupied by Germany. It was then occupied by the Soviets until that nation disappeared, too. Czechoslovakia thrived once more, but since the Czechs and Slovaks had separate histories, cultures, and values, their split was somewhat inevitable.
East Germany, 1949 to 1990
(Wikipedia/Frits Wiarda) The wall that separated Berlin and divided East Germany from West Germany was created after WWII, when the Soviets founded the German Democratic Republic in response to the creation of the Federal Republic of Germany by the US, UK, and France in 1949. The 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall meant the end of East Germany, essentially a Soviet satellite state. It was absorbed into the democratic Federal Republic of Germany when Germany reunified in 1990. East Germans had previously lived under strict communist rule.
Yugoslavia, 1918 to 1992
(Wikimedia/Cartographer of the United Nations) Like Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia was a remnant of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, created after WWI by combining bits of other countries, mostly Hungary and Serbia, and by throwing together a smorgasbord of around 20 different ethnic groups, along with their different cultures, traditions, and values. A kind of democratic monarchy, it was annexed by Germany in WWII until Nazi Germany collapsed. Then Josip Tito, leader of the partisan army during WWII, took over, creating a socialist Yugoslavia under his dictatorship in 1946. Yugoslavia remained socialist until 1992, when it split into Croatia, Bosnia, Slovenia, Serbia, Macedonia, and Montenegro.