What was the only country in the world to have Esperanto as the national language? Neutral Moresnet.
Now that the pub trivia is out of the way, let’s get down and dirty with one of the most pointless countries ever to grace God’s green earth. Ever heard of Neutral Moresnet? Probably not, but it was a pseudo country that existed between Germany and Belgium way back before the Great War, it no longer exists, and thankfully no country speaks the Esperanto language.
What’s the story on Neutral Moresnet?
Basically after everyone’s favorite small man had been defeated they were having issues deciding who got what. The nation’s land was rich in Zinc, so it was decided that the Prussians (yes, those guys) and the Dutch would jointly administer it. This caused hilarity when Belgium became independent in 1830, which led to three countries claiming little Moresnet.
The Golden Years: 1830 – 1914
The Germans and the Belgians kind of ignored the area for the next 80, or so years, so they decide to do a load of country stuff; like making stamps and minting their own currency. In fact, the area was pretty much just controlled by the mini company. No one really cared though.
Esperanto as a tonal language
Esperanto is one of those geeky languages. Its proponents say it’s all about “world peace” and it is a “global language”. It’s not, it’s essentially based on Latin, sounds stupid and you’d be better off learning Klingon. And you’d be a lot less geeky. Yep less geeky than a Trekie.
Anyway, to make themselves “stand out”, Neutral Moresnet decided they would make it their national language. But, despite how erect Esperanto speakers get when you talk about the place, it was never introduced.
So, whatever happened to Neutral Moresnet?
World War I happened, Germany invaded, Germany lost and Neutral Moresnet was given to the Belgians. Fearing Neutral Moresnet might become a global power they duly incorporated the former state into Belgium. It now exists as a small insignificant part of Belgium. It does not get much more depressing than that does it!
Can you visit Neutral Moresnet?
You can visit Belgium, but to be fair we do give kudos for visiting former states, so yeah it does kinda count. Enjoy your chips with mayo.