The map of the world has gone a long way from the collapse of ancient empires to the renaming of exotic places. Moreover, some of them have gone through crucial changes in terms of physicality, economy, and overall condition – many of them, however, has just been dissolved. In this article, we will be discussing fifteen countries that existed 100 years ago that most of you don’t have a clue about it anymore.
An Arab and European moniker for Ethiopia a hundred years back. Italy tried to snatch it at the end of the 19th century but failed to overthrow its monarchy. They were not able to colonize it; it remained an independent state in Africa until the late 1930s – when the Italians under Mussolini briefly occupied the country. Nonetheless, after World War II, it became one of the founding countries of United Nations; its rich history also claims the world’s oldest human fossil ever found and allegedly the biblical Ark of the Covenant. Moreover, Ethiopia’s surreal landscape of lava lake belongs to one of the most remote places on earth.
Basutoland is located in present time’s South Africa. Out of the hundred countries we have, it is part of the group where three countries surround one another. In the 19th century, it was united as a nation under King Moshoeshoe I. After its liberation from Britain in 1996, Basutoland was renamed Lesotho. Additionally, the country now runs a constitutional monarchy.
People knew the island south of India, currently Sri Lanka, as Ceylon until 1972. This is the name that the Europeans gave when they colonized it centuries earlier. However, it eventually became an independent nation after the British’s control of the area which was present until 1948. Moreover, the area is stable now after the civil war in the early 21st century. The country changed the title of any state institutions holding the name Ceylon in 2011 to remove traces of colonialism.
This nation melded different ethnic groups at the end of World War I in 1918. It was part of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire and was made up of three historical regions: Moravia, Slovakia, and Bohemia. The Nazi occupying an area of the country propelled Europe into World War II. Nonetheless, Czechoslovakia became an Eastern Bloc nation in the late 20th century. However, the country peacefully split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1993.
A minuscule of a country born out of an agreement between the Dutch and Prussians in 1816. It was so both countries could access its zinc mine. In addition, the country had its own flag and even made its own coins. It became part of Belgium after World War II even with efforts of turning it into a utopia. To this day, residents of Neutral Moresnet still celebrate the anniversary of its creation.
This was a previous British colony but its isolation led to the creation of a unique culture. The country went back to being a colony after the Great Depression even when it became a self-governing independent nation before. Nonetheless, in 1949, Newfoundland became a Canadian province; we now know it as Newfoundland and Labrador.
Persia is one of the oldest civilizations in history and yes, it’s part of the fifteen countries that existed 100 years ago. Most of us know this through games and through its rich history but there actually is more than what we know of it. The country was often fought over but retained its name until 1935 when it was officially renamed Iran. Moreover, the culture is still alive and well up to this day. However, the unstable international relations keep Americans from visiting.
The kingdom of Prussia indulged in its success in the 18th century until it started losing territory a century after due to the unification of the German empire in 1871. World War I extinguished Prussia’s influence after their defeat and the abolishment of their monarchy. However, Prussia persisted to exist as a German state until after World War II permanently erased it from the map altogether.
Adventurer James Brooke created Sarawak as a kingdom in which his descendants ruled until World War II; to when Japan took control of the land which was later given to Britain. Sarawak later became part of Malaysia in 1963. Despite Brooke being English, he resisted British imperialism and therefore gained a positive image in the country.
Siam, known as present-day Thailand, adopted its new name in 1939. The country was never colonized by Europeans and remained as an absolute monarchy. However, after unrest in the 20th century, Thailand became a constitutional monarchy even in present time.
Snow-covered mountains dominate most of Sikkim. These mountains are both a god and the home of gods the people revere to. The country was previously a sovereign monarchy until 1950 when it became an Indian protectorate and a state of India in 1975.
The Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire survived World War I, unlike the Austro-Hungarian empire. Unfortunately in 1923, it became the Turkish Republic after losing most of its other territories. Nevertheless, prior the Great War, the empire ruled over lands for more than 600 years; we can still see their influence in today’s architecture and culture of Turkey.
An independent country of its own from 1912 to 1951; it was made part of China later on. Despite Tibet’s association with Buddhist monks and its spiritual leader Dalai Lama, this region of India was fought over for centuries. However, efforts to “free Tibet” are still present to this day and Dalai Lama still resides in exile in India. In present times, Tibet is a popular tourist destination for housing the gigantic Mount Everest lying on the border of Nepal. Although it’s still currently known as Nepal, Tibet is still part of the fifteen countries that existed 100 years ago that most of us do not know.
A southeastern European country born out of World War I, who wreaked on the borders of Europe. At first, people knew it as “the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes,” it was renamed Yugoslavia a decade later. The new nation housed a multitude of diverse territories which were once part of the former Austro-Hungarian empire. However, the country would later be under more strife in the 20th century; broken up and occupied in World War II; reunited under a communist leader post-war; and a lot of fighting during the 1990s.
Zanzibar is an archipelago off of Africa’s east coast. It once played an essential role in the trading locale industry. Prior to becoming a British protectorate, it was established as an independent sultanate in the 19th century; the sultan even continued to rule until 1964. Zanzibar merged with mainland Tangaynika to form present-day Tanzania after gaining its full independence the previous year.
These are just some of the countries that existed before that most of us are unaware of. Although some of you might have had the slightest idea that these were legitimate, a majority of us were still filled with awe that such nations dwelled on the face of the Earth.
In this list of fifteen countries that existed 100 years ago, some of them changed their names, some were acquired by a different nation; nevertheless, they still contribute to the rich world history that we have now.
Source: Readers Digest