Instead of normal split of democratic countries. Are there democratic countries that joined to form another independent country? Example of independent union is European Union. My question is are there any independent countries so formed?

  • Would you accept examples of failed mergers? That is, democratic countries that sought to join another democratic country, but for some reason did not succeed in doing so. They may have been refused by the other country, invaded by a third country before the merger was completed, etc. Obvious examples of this are the Dominican Republic's failed attempt to join the USA, and Cyprus's "enosis" attempt to join Greece. Oct 25, 2018 at 10:50

3 Answers 3


Wikipedia has a list of state mergers. Many of the mergers are the result of war or were, at best, flawed democracies. Almost by definition, if a country is merging with another, they are not "stable".

From Wikipedia's list I offer some examples that you may consider:

  1. The merger of Newfoundland (a British dependency-dominion) with Canada (a fully sovereign dominion). Both countries were in some way democratic (Newfoundland had elected a national convention in 1946), but both had links to Britain.
  2. The merger of Tanganyika and Zanzibar. Certainly these were flawed democracies, having just become independent and didn't have stable governments. However both were, at least in theory, republics at the time of union.
  3. The merger of Sikkim into India. Although there was a lot of pressure from India, there had been a state council and limited democracy prior to merger. There was a referendum on whether to unite with India. Similarly India was broadly democratic, with an elected parliament.
  4. The re-unification of Germany. Following the first free elections in the DDR in the Spring of 1990, the country merged with West Germany in the Autumn. West Germany was clearly Democratic, and East Germany had just become Democratic also.
  • 1
    Note that apart from Tanzania and kind of Germany, these were not mergers that created a new country, but rather a country joining another one. Oct 25, 2018 at 7:00
  • @RadovanGarabík The difference between two countries forming a new one and one country joining another are more a point of view than a real difference. Usually one country "dissolves" into the other to make ease of the burocratic processes involving the merging: international treaties, external debt, seats on international organizations, etc... of the new country. But, even if they didn't change the name, nobody thinks of today's Germany as the FDR.
    – Rekesoft
    Oct 25, 2018 at 10:55
  • @Rekesoft FDR? Do you mean GDR or FRG? Oct 25, 2018 at 11:28
  • @Darkwing FRG, sorry, I mixed up the acronyms. :D
    – Rekesoft
    Oct 25, 2018 at 11:32

Germany in 1990. While presented as (re)unification, technically it was the German Democratic Republic voluntarily joining the Federal Republic of Germany. By that time, even though DDR still had "Democratic" in the name, it was a reasonably democratic country by all accepted standards.

There were other unifications throughout the history, but mostly the countries fell short of the current understanding of the term "democratic", or they were not really established countries as commonly understood.

  • 1
    What about Germany 1871 ? It was certainly not democratic per today's standards, but was kind of democratic for 1871 standards.
    – Bregalad
    Oct 25, 2018 at 6:44
  • 3
    @Bregalad Of course - without the OP specifying the level of "democracy", I went for more modern reference. Otherwise, there were quite a few mergers (some of them earlier, some of them later, some of them more successful than the others): the unification of Italy, Switzerland, United Arab Republic, Tanzania, Senegambia, Malaysia... Oct 25, 2018 at 6:59
  • It was a democracy since very shortly before the reunification. Before the election in 1990, the DDR was not democratic.
    – Roland
    Oct 25, 2018 at 10:48
  • Yes. If you look at the history of the DDR, you find that at the very end, there was a radical reformation where the old Communist politicians were largely ousted and replaced with very pro-Western advocates, who quickly arranged for their country to join the BRD (West Germany). Oct 25, 2018 at 10:49
  • 1
    That may be a special case because Germany was divided after WW2. One could also just see it as a temporary split for like 40 years. But I agree, it's an example. Oct 25, 2018 at 11:19

One could also claim that the Republic of Texas is an example (independence from Mexico as a sovereign state 1836, became a State of the USA 1846). It only existed for ten years, and already contained a very large percentage of US citizens, so merger with the USA might have been considered inevitable.

Wikipedia notes that:

After gaining their independence, the Texas voters had elected a Congress of 14 senators and 29 representatives in September 1836. The Constitution allowed the first president to serve for two years and subsequent presidents for 3 years. In order to hold an office or vote, a person needed to be a citizen of the Republic.[21]

However, it is important to note that citizenship was not granted to all previous inhabitants of Texas, and not all of them could even live legally within the limits of the Republic without the consent of Congress. In this regard, the Constitution of the Republic of Texas (1836) established major differences according to the ethnicity of each individual. Section 10 of the General Provisions of the constitution stated that all persons who were residing in Texas on the day of the Declaration of Independence were to be considered citizens of the Republic, excepting "Africans, the descendants of Africans, and Indians"

You could conclude that, because of legalized discrimination, the Republic of Texas was not truly democratic, but the USA at that time also had very similar laws, so it would probably unfair to single out Texas as un-democratic if you were to say that the USA was democratic at that time.

It looks like Texas's admission to the USA was voluntary and peaceful, not coerced. Wikipedia observes,

On October 13, 1845, a large majority of voters in the republic approved both the American offer and the proposed constitution that specifically endorsed slavery and emigrants bringing slaves to Texas.[30] This constitution was later accepted by the US Congress, making Texas a US state on the same day annexation took effect,

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