Maryland micronations boom
Around roughly September 2004, Fabian Maximilian Schneider—going by Max Schneider in the United States—transferred to Chopticon High School in the unincorporated community of Morganza, St. Mary's County, Maryland, United States. He was studying abroad from Germany as part of a student exchange program, and was living with a host family in Ashburn, Loudoun County, Virginia—just southwest of Maryland. Schneider knew that he wanted to study aboard since he was young. Schneider, who held an interest in politics, first discovered micronationalism upon hearing about the Principality of Sealand. Intrigued, he later introduced Sealand to his other classmates. Richard Earl Conklin and Matthew McQuade, who were also interested in politics, thought it would be fun to attempt to simulate their own country. Thus, Schneider lead the foundation of the Sovereign Principality of Seraya that same year alongside Conklin and McQuade.
Schneider individually recruited several of his classmates to Seraya, resulting in its citizenship count expanded exponentially. At its peak before or around May 2005, Seraya had approximately 70 citizens according to Schneider in 2006. Seraya's success sparked the creation of several micronations at Chopticon. Conklin and McQuade both founded their own micronations—respectively the Holy Empire of Tritoniakamia in early May and Umoria on 12 May. Seraya's national website also listed diplomatic relations with three other micronations that may have been located in Maryland: the Empire of Endor, Free State of Mankera and Free State of Vietcong. It also listed two other micronations for which they were considering offering recognition—the Kingdom of Nestrea and the McQuade-Combinate—noting that the latter had its "name pending"; perhaps it was the previous name for McQuade's Umoria. Seraya, Endor and Tritoniakamia founded the League of Sovereign Nations, an intermicronational organisation, before c.26 May. Vietcong was also a member state. Outside of Seraya's national website, no other records of these micronations exist.
On 26 May, one Nihilus, a former advisor to Schneider, staged a coup d'état against Seraya by deposing the National Assembly and proclaiming himself empire of the newly declared Empire of Seraya in a series of six decrees. He set a bounty on Schneider and Richard Kruckow. Former Prime Minister of Seraya Arnold was appointed "Secretary of Sewage Cleaning". An organisation against the Empire was formed and called the Serayan Rebel Alliance.
End of the boom
Schneider, wanting to be able to conveniently record information relating to Seraya and these related micronations, founded MicroWiki on the wiki hosting service Wikicities (now Fandom) on 27 May 2005. However, after making only seven edits, Schneider permanently departed from the wiki that same day. He was still "trying to sell others on the idea" when "life happened" and prevented him from focusing on the wiki. Likewise, the enthusiasm of the micronations boom began wearing off in the succeeding months. Seraya also greatly declined and fell into a state of inactivity by June following the coup d'état by Nihilus.
In August 2005, Schneider attempted to reform Seraya into a democratic principality following a series of failed elections, though it only grew to 28 citizens—considerably less than the sovereign principality. In late 2005, Schneider returned to Germany after his exchange year in the United States concluded, which proved detrimental to Seraya as it made it problematic for Schneider to keep in contact with Conklin, McQuade or Seraya's other citizens who lived in the United States. As a result, Schneider dissolved Seraya's territorial claim in the United States, now only claiming territory in Lower Saxony, Germany. As of August 2006, 20 of the citizens were said by Schneider to be active. Eventually, Schneider turned Seraya into a political simulation game instead of a physical micronational entity.
Additionally, MicroWiki developed its own sector after the arrival of the September influx in September 2005 and development of talk page diplomacy in January 2006. Schneider briefly returned to the wiki on 18 August 2006 to write his now well-known "Word from the Founder" and to appoint Jeffrey Hodgson as an administrator. He has since made a handful of other appearances in the community. As of 2023, MicroWiki is the largest micronational wiki and encyclopaedia with over 39,734 articles.
- Official website of Seraya, archived