The concept of a new large micronational union was first thought of in October 2004 when the then leaders of the Republic of Aerlig and the Sovereign Order of Treesia (respectively Lachlan Powers and Sir Iain de Vembria) considered the state of the MCS micronational world, realised that it had been a long time since the last great micronational union, and looked at the possibility of trying something new and doing some proper empire-building of their own.
Treesia had also recently been restored to the MCS map following the earlier swift and controversial removal of the Apollo Foundation territories (of most of the former Apollo nations), so it was also considered an opportunity to try and restore as many of those territories as possible as part of a functioning micronation.
More details of this period can be read here: Beginnings of the Grand Commonwealth
Aerlig and Treesia soon invited the Empire of Lemuria to join them, the latter being the latest in a long line of micronations founded by Sander Dieleman, which led to one suggestion (later discarded) of creating most of the new empire out of all the former "Sandernations". A secret forum was provided by Lemuria in which to hold the discussions.
A citizen of Aerlig, Joe Sendler, stated that he would support it joining this new union if two other micronations could be persuaded to join, so after some research Antica and Arminy were approached and invited. However, by the end of the year, both had decided against the move, and the project was looking extremely dead. Ironically, Arminy later spent an unsuccessful few months as part of the Republic of Shireroth before fading away forever, while its leader, Johanns von Klosso, had already written the Articles that became the basis of the eventual Charter of the Grand Commonwealth.
In January 2005 inspiration struck Treesia, and the surprisingly moribund Kingdom of Babkha was invited to join. The initial response was enthusiastic, as the proposal was seen as a means of much-needed domestic revival, as well as an interesting new direction to head in. It led to a federal Babkhan-style government being used for the Grand Commonwealth, as it was the most complete system available of all the members' governments at the time. Babkha's Persian theme was also the inspiration for the Persepolis theme adopted for the forum and this site, as well as the later introduction of the Sol Invictus cult.
At around this time the Empire of Lemuria's forum experienced a fatal database failure, which led to a loss of most data, so a new secret forum was used, Failte House in Treesia. In March 2005, a close friend of Treesia, Alteria, agreed to join the union. The target number of five nations was thus finally achieved and preparations went ahead for the eventual launch of the Grand Commonwealth on 28th April 2005.
Incredibly, although the intelligence services of other potential micronational competitors had been aware of the initial involvement of Arminy and Antica, they were completely unaware of any later developments until less than a fortnight before the final launch, and only then thanks to the careless talk of an errant Babkhan.
The first few weeks and months of the new Grand Commonwealth were, to say the least, interesting. The new supermicronation was seen as a great enemy of most neighbouring established micronations, thanks mostly to an inspired propaganda campaign that was masterminded by Emperor Diga of Attera, and enthusiastically implemented by Scott of Hyperborea, a former Treesian and Apollonian, keenly followed by other old Apollonians such as Bill Dusch. This swiftly resulted in the Grand Commonwealth being called "The Great Satan".
Over the next year or so, the Grand Commonwealth gained new members and protectorates in the form of Calundy, Hurmu, Istvanistan, Karnali, Interland, Novaya Zemlya, Oscland and Treithar, while Lemuria left and Treesia and Aerlig merged, reviving the United Baronies name used by Treesia between 2001 and 2004.
The arbitary reduction of some of the Grand Commonwealth's territories on the MCS map as part of its infamous Atkins Plan in 2006 was the final catalyst in the sequence of events that led to the controversial establishment of the rival Geographical Standards Organisation.
For the most significant news stories about the Grand Commonwealth up to its second anniversary in April 2007, please read the Apollo Fireball V's Grand Commonwealth Archives.
Finally, in the summer of 2007, the new leaders of the United Baronies, Lachlan Powers and Liam Sinclair, decided that the Grand Commonwealth had served its purpose and withdrew, though not without a struggle. In parallel, a growing independence movement in Babkha, supported by Oscland, generated absurd levels of activity, and generally prospered through the simple expedient of mostly ignoring the federal government.
In September 2007, Powers and Sinclair, who still administered the federal forums, are believed to have taken advantage of the vacation period and closed the forum when no-one was looking, thus conveniently and immediately ending any realistic functioning of the Grand Commonwealth. The forum remained in that locked-down state until Powers closed the MN Centre hosting account about a year later, which also resulted in the loss of the by then neglected United Baronies forums and sudden closure of the long-standing and popular Micronations.Net forums, which have since reappeared as an archive hosted by Sinclair.
In the intervening months, the only former members of the Grand Commonwealth that has survived as recognisable micronation are Treesia, which, thanks to the loss of the United Baronies forum, has re-invented itself as the Imperium Incognita, and Istvanistan, which has survived mainly by continuing its traditional Off Topic Forum.
Babkha has reinvented itself somewhat differently, as a micronational monarchial members club of dubious repute and doubtful provenance. The remaining member nations have all seemingly faded away into obscurity and oblivion, although some of their former citizens have been seen trying to re-establish themselves in other nations.
One has to wonder though, what might have been if the Grand Commonwealth had not been brought to its untimely demise by the sabotage from within of those who had benefited from it the most.
Alteria, Kingdom of
Karnali, Republic of
Republic of Istvanistan
Confederate Rianates of Lemuria
Soviet Republic of Novaya Zemlya
Tahmaseb Shah Abakhtari (Babkha)
Lachlan Powers (Aerlig, Treesia)
Sir Iain de Vembria (Treesia, Aerlig)
Ardashir Khan (Babkha)
AirIM9X (Karnali, Treesia)
extreme007 (Karnali, Babkha)
Trevon Andarosel (Babkha)
Thomas Cutterham (Treesia)
Daniel Dreesbach (Interland)