Seacoln, officially the Free City of Seacoln, is a proposed independent sovereign city-state claiming a parcel of Dogger Bank in the North Sea, where it hoped to build floating structures to create a seasteading settlement. It is commonly referred to as a micronation and/or a political project by external observers. Its nearest neighour is the United Kingdom to the west and southwest, with further neighbours including the Nordic countries to the east and northeast. The city planning proposes 112 inhabited seasteading platforms, including a densely populated grassland platform for nature reserve as instructed by Seacoln's greening policy. Seacoln has been nicknamed as the "New Venice", attributed by the design proposal of floating structures which creates a large number of canals throughout the city.
Inspired by the Seasteading Institute's Floating City Project, the proposed city-state was established as a provisional government on 31 May 2020, headquartered in York, to create a sustainable eco-friendly seasteading project-nation in the North Sea in response to climate change, such as global warming. The floating micronation proposed to locate a floating city in the North Sea, ideally anchored in Dogger Bank. The government of Seacoln claimed that doing so would have several advantages by placing it within the international legal framework and making it easier to engineer and easier for people and equipment to reach. The constitution soon was adopted on 15 June 2020, in which the proposed city-state was named "Seacoln", a republic with a ceremonial mayor as head of state.
It is a unitary, parliamentary republic. The lawmaking body, the Council serves as the legislature. The Mayor of State serves as the largely ceremonial head of state, but with some important powers and duties. The head of government is the Chief Executive, who is elected by the Council and appointed by the Mayor of State; the Chief Executive in turn appoints cabinet members.
Seacoln is a diverse multicultural society encompassing a wide variety of cultures and religions. The state is also often referred to as the "rainbow micronation" to describe its support for the LGBT community. Its pluralistic makeup is reflected in the constitution's recognition of same-sex marriage. Seacoln's economy is based on the Nordic model, which comprises the economic and social policies as well as typical cultural practices common to the Nordic countries. It includes a comprehensive welfare state and multi-level collective bargaining based on the economic foundations of free-market capitalism, with a high percentage of the workforce unionised.
What is a micronation?
A micronation is a political entity whose members claim that they belong to an independent nation or sovereign state lacking legal recognition by world governments or major international organizations. Most are geographically very small, but range in size from a single square foot to millions of square miles. They are usually the outgrowth of a single individual.
A micronation expresses a formal and persistent if unrecognized claim of sovereignty over some physical territory. Micronations are distinct from true secessionist movements; micronations' activities are almost always trivial enough to be ignored rather than challenged by the established nations whose territory they claim. Several micronations have issued coins, flags, postage stamps, passports, medals and other state-related items, often as a source of revenue.
Some of what might now be considered micronations began in the 20th century. The advent of the Internet provided the means for people to create many new micronations, whose members are scattered all over the world and interact mostly by electronic means, often calling their nations "nomadic countries". The differences between such "Internet micronations", other kinds of social networking groups and role-playing games are often difficult to define.
The term "micronation" to describe those entities dates at least to the 1970s. The term micropatriology is sometimes used to describe the study of both micronations and microstates by micronationalists, some of whom refer to sovereign nation-states as "macronations".
Micronations contrast with microstates, which are small but recognized sovereign states such as Andorra, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, San Marino and Vatican City. They are also distinct from imaginary countries and from other kinds of social groups (such as eco-villages, campuses, tribes, clans, sects and residential community associations).
Prehistory - the North Sea
North Sea has provided waterway access for commerce and conquest. Many areas have access to the North Sea because of its long coastline and the European rivers that empty into it. The British Isles had been protected from invasion by the North Sea waters until the Roman conquest of Britain in 43 CE. The Romans established organised ports, which increased shipping, and began sustained trade. When the Romans abandoned Britain in 410, the Germanic Angles, Saxons, and Jutes began the next great migration across the North Sea during the Migration Period. They made successive invasions of the island.
The Viking Age began in 793 with the attack on Lindisfarne; for the next quarter-millennium the Vikings ruled the North Sea. In their superior longships, they raided, traded, and established colonies and outposts along the coasts of the sea. From the Middle Ages through the 15th century, the northern European coastal ports exported domestic goods, dyes, linen, salt, metal goods and wine. The Scandinavian and Baltic areas shipped grain, fish, naval necessities, and timber. In turn the North Sea countries imported high-grade cloths, spices, and fruits from the Mediterranean region. Commerce during this era was mainly conducted by maritime trade due to underdeveloped roadways.
In the 13th century the Hanseatic League, though centred on the Baltic Sea, started to control most of the trade through important members and outposts on the North Sea. The League lost its dominance in the 16th century, as neighbouring states took control of former Hanseatic cities and outposts. Their internal conflict prevented effective cooperation and defence. As the League lost control of its maritime cities, new trade routes emerged that provided Europe with Asian, American, and African goods.
The 17th century Dutch Golden Age during which Dutch herring, cod and whale fisheries reached an all time high saw Dutch power at its zenith. Important overseas colonies, a vast merchant marine, powerful navy and large profits made the Dutch the main challengers to an ambitious England. This rivalry led to the first three Anglo-Dutch Wars between 1652 and 1673, which ended with Dutch victories. After the Glorious Revolution in 1688, the Dutch prince William ascended to the English throne. With unified leadership, commercial, military, and political power began to shift from Amsterdam to London. The British did not face a challenge to their dominance of the North Sea until the 20th century.
Tensions in the North Sea were again heightened in 1904 by the Dogger Bank incident. During the Russo-Japanese War, several ships of the Russian Baltic Fleet, which was on its way to the Far East, mistook British fishing boats for Japanese ships and fired on them, and then upon each other, near the Dogger Bank, nearly causing Britain to enter the war on the side of Japan.
During the First World War, Great Britain's Grand Fleet and Germany's Kaiserliche Marine faced each other in the North Sea, which became the main theatre of the war for surface action. Britain's larger fleet and North Sea Mine Barrage were able to establish an effective blockade for most of the war, which restricted the Central Powers' access to many crucial resources. Major battles included the Battle of Heligoland Bight, the Battle of the Dogger Bank, and the Battle of Jutland. World War I also brought the first extensive use of submarine warfare, and a number of submarine actions occurred in the North Sea.
The Second World War also saw action in the North Sea, though it was restricted more to aircraft reconnaissance, and action by fighter/bomber aircraft, submarines, and smaller vessels such as minesweepers and torpedo boats.
In the aftermath of the war, hundreds of thousands of tons of chemical weapons were disposed of by being dumped in the North Sea.
After the war, the North Sea lost much of its military significance. However, it gained significant economic importance in the 1960s as the states around the North Sea began full-scale exploitation of its oil and gas resources. The North Sea continues to be an active trade route.
Free City of Seacoln
The flag raising in York, at the Government of Seacoln headquarters, was performed by Luke Walker and some of his associates on the same day the micronation was proclaimed. Walker is a member of the British Labour Party, which bases its values on democratic socialism, social democracy and trade unionism.