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If: A Mind-Bending New Way of 
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Name Changes Since 1990: Countries, Cities, and More

An admittedly incomplete and imperfect list of new countries and cities, and various name changes

1. "New" Countries Since 1990

2. Country and City Name Changes:

    • In October, 2010, Netherlands dissolved the Island Nation called Netherlands Antilles, and Curacao and Sint Maarten became constituent countries within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, while Bonaire, Saba, and Sint Eustatius became "special municipalities".
    • The capital of Guam, Agana, is now also called by its Chamorro name, Hagåtña and the governor recently sought the adoption of the indigenous name for the territory, GUAHAN
    • The city name of Pretoria, South Africa changed 26 May 2005 to: Tshwane.
      It is the name of a pre-colonial local chief. The word means "we are the same"
    • New Territory of Canada:  Nunavut (cap: Iqaluit)
    • Many long-form changes, such as:
      • Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela
    • Democratic Republic of the Congo
      • The two Congos now known as:
        • Dem. Rep. of The Congo (cap: Kinshasa)
          • New Provincial Names:
            • Maniema
            • Nord-Kivu
            • Sud-Kivu
            • Bas-Congo (form. Bas-Zaire)
            • Equateur
            • Orientale (form. Haut-Zaire)
            • Kasai-Occidental
            • Kasai-Oriental
            • Katanga (form. Shaba)
        • Republic of Congo (cap: Brazzaville)
    • Greenland to Kalaallit Nunaat (cap: Nuuk [Danish: Godthab])
    • Alma-Ata, Kazakhstan renamed
        Almaty, Kazakstan; capital then moved to
        Akmola, Kazakstan renamed
        Astana, Kazakhstan (note H reinstated!)
    • Republic of Fiji to Republic of the Fiji Islands
    • [In the works: Republic of the Solomon Islands to Republic of the Solomons]
    • Western Samoa to (Independent State of) Samoa
    • Special Administrative Regions of China:
      • Hong Kong is now semi-autonomous, and exists pursuant to international
        agreement and maintains its own government apart from the People's
        Republic of China (PRC). The U.S. Board on Geographic Names has
        approved the names Hong Kong, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region,
        or Hong Kong (S.A.R.).
      • Macao (Macau) is also semi-autonomous, with approved names
        Macao, Macao Special Administrative Region, or Macao (S.A.R.)
    • New Provinces within Poland
      • Dolnoslaskie
      • Kujawsko-Pomorskie
      • Lodzkie
      • Lubelskie
      • Lubuskie
      • Malopolskie
      • Mazowieckie
      • Opolskie
      • Podkarpackie
      • Podlaskie
      • Pomorskie
      • Slaskie
      • Swietokryzskie
      • Warminsko-Mazurskie
      • Wielkopolskie
      • Zachodniopomorskie
    • New Provinces Within Czech Reublic
      • Hlavni Mesto Praha * [Capital City Prague]
      • Brnensky Kraj
      • Budejovicky Kraj
      • Jihlavsky Kraj
      • Karlovarsky Kraj
      • Kralovehradecky Kraj
      • Liberecky Kraj
      • Olomoucky Kraj
      • Ostravsky Kraj
      • Pardubicky Kraj
      • Plzensky Kraj
      • Stredocesky Kraj
      • Ustecky Kraj
      • Zlinsky Kraj
    • Regions (iqlim) Within Sudan Replaced By Provinces (wilayat):
      • A?ali an Nil
      • Al Bahr al Ahmar
      • Al Buhayrat
      • Al Jazirah
      • Al Khartum
      • Al Qadarif
      • Al Wahdah
      • An Nil al Abyad
      • An Nil al Azraq
      • Ash Shamaliyah
      • Bahr al Jabal
      • Gharb al Istiwa?iyah
      • Gharb Bahr al Ghazal
      • Gharb Darfur
      • Gharb Kurdufan
      • Janub Darfur
      • Janub Kurdufan
      • Junqali
      • Kassala
      • Nahr an Nil
      • Shamal Bahr al Ghazal
      • Shamal Darfur
      • Shamal Kurdufan
      • Sharq al Istiwa?iyah
      • Sinnar
      • Warab
    • New Counties [supanija] within Croatia
      • Grad Zagreb [Capital City]
      • Bjelovarsko-Bilogorska
      • Brodsko-Posavska
      • Dubrovacko-Neretvanska
      • Istarska
      • Karlovacka
      • Koprivnicko-Krizevacka
      • Krapinsko-Zagorska
      • Licko-Senjska
      • Medimurska
      • Osjecko-Baranjska
      • Pozesko-Slavonska
      • Primorsko-Goranska
      • Sibensko-Kninska
      • Sisacko-Moslavacka
      • Splitsko-Dalmatinska
      • Varazdinska
      • Viroviticko-Podravska
      • Vukovarsko-Srijemska
      • Zadarska
      • Zagrebacka
    • New Divisions of Bangladesh
      • Chittagong
      • Dhaka
      • Khulna
      • Rajshahi

3. New Capital Cities, or New Spellings:

    • Tanzania
      • Dar es Salaam - administrative
      • Dodoma - legislative
    • Cote D'Ivoire -- Yamoussoukro
    • Nigeria -- Abuja
    • Swaziland
      • M'babane administrative
      • Lobamba -- legislative
    • Mongolia -- Ulaanbaatar (Not really new sp; more correct local form)
    • India Place Names:
      • India widely known as Bharat (local-language name)
      • Calcutta to Kolkata
      • Madras to Chennai
      • Bombay to Mumbai
      • Bangalore to Koramangala
      • Calicut to Kozhikode
      • Trivandrum to Thiruvananthapuram
      • New state, Telangana, created from part of Andra Pradesh
      • State of West Bengal to Bangla
      • The Delhi area is being divided into 4 new states and a Capital
        Territory; Uttaranchal appears closest to emerging. States of
        Bihar and Madhya Pradesh must vote concerning Vananchal and
        Chattisgarh, and Delhi State requires a constitutional change:
        • UTTARANCHAL (also known as Uttarakhand) Capital: Nainital
        • VANANCHAL (also known as Jharkhand) Capital: Ranchi
          • This new State carved from a section of Bihar
        • CHATTISGARH Capital: Raipur
          • This new State carved from a section of Madhya Pradesh
        • DELHI Capital: Delhi
        • NCT: Natl Capital Territory
        Places where strong self-determination efforts may result in new states:
        • Bodoland in Assam
        • Bundelkhand (UP & MP)
        • Gorkhaland (West Bengal)
        • Harit Pradesh (UP)
        • Kodagu (Karnataka)
        • Telangana (Andhra)
        • Vidarbha (Maharashtra)
        • Vindhyanchal (MP)
    • South Africa's New Provinces:
      • Eastern Cape
      • Free State
      • Gauteng
      • Kwazulu Natal
      • Mpumalanga
      • Limpopo Province (formerly Northern Province)
      • North-West
      • Northern Cape
      • Western Cape

4. The Next Forthcoming Countries?
    Places on the verge of self-determination.

    • Somaliland (cap. Hargeisa)(from Somalia)
      • decl. Ind. 1991; unrecognized
    • Sahrawi Rep. (Western Sahara) (cap. Laayoune or El Aaiun)
      • (Morocco refers to it as their Southern Province)
      • U.N. referendum planned but not scheduled
    • Palestine (Israel)
      • Parts of Gaza and West Bank are under Palestinian
        Authority. Final status still under negotiation between Israel and
        Palestine National Authority.
    • Nargorno-Karabakh (Armenian enclave within Azerbaijan)
      • The Republic of Mountainous Karabagh (also known in the U.S. as Nagorno Karabagh Republic)
      • Attached to Azerbaijan by Stalin in 1921
      • Declared itself independent of Azerbaijan in 1991 as the
        Republic of Mountainous Karabagh by near-unanimous popular referendum
      • Democratically elected president since 1994.

5. A Sampling of Regions/Nations With Strong Independence Movements, Many Approaching Self-Determination:

    • Abkhazia (Georgia), Chechnya (Russian Republic)
    • Asturias, Galicia, Leon, Catalunya, Cantabria, Aragon (Spain)
    • Euskadi [Basque Country] (Fr and Sp)
    • Breizh [Bretagne], Savoie (France)
    • Corsica (France)
    • Tahiti/Fr. Polynesia (France)
    • Vlaanderen [Flanders] (Belgium)
    • Wallonie [Wallonia] (Belgium)
    • Ausonia (Southern Italy)
    • Padania (Northern Italy)
    • Azores (Portugal)
    • Bavaria (Germany)
    • Cymru [Wales], Ulster, Scotland (UK) [Occasional separatist activity also in Cornwall]
    • Saami [Samiland] (Northern Scandinavia & NW Russia)
    • Kosovo, Vojvodina (Serbia)
    • Montenegro (Fed. Rep. Of Yugo.)
    • Kurdistan (Iraq, Turkey, Iran, Syria)
    • Anjouan Island (Comoros)
    • Bougainville (PNG)
    • Kanak Nation (New Caledonia)
    • Karen (Myanmar)
    • Kashmir (India)
    • Okinawa/Rep. of the Ryukyus (Japan)
    • Republik Maluku (Indonesia's Moluccas)
    • West Papua (Indonesia)
    • Aceh [NW Sumatra] (Indonesia)
    • Tamil Elam (Sri Lanka)
    • Tibet (China)
    • Uyghuristan/E. Turkistan/Xinjiang (China)
    • Pampas (Brazil)
    • Puerto Rico (US)
    • Hawai'i (US)
    • Quebec (Canada)
    • Nevis (St. Kitts and Nevis)
    • Nuevo Leon, Chiapas (Mexico)

6. Other Notes:

    • United Kingdom: Far-reaching revisions
      • Reversion to local authority in Wales and Scotland, 1996-1998
      • Abolition of Avon, Hereford, Worcester, Berkshire, and others
    • Russia: Seven new "super-regions"
      1. Central Region. This region includes Moscow, its suburbs and a
        handful of smaller nearby cities in the heartland of European Russia.
        (Capital: Moscow)
      2. Northwestern Region. This region includes St Petersburg, the
        Arctic ports Murmansk and Arkhangelsk, as well as the outlying Baltic
        enclave Kaliningrad. (Capital: St. Petersburg)
      3. Volga Region. This region surrounds the Volga river and the north
        coast of the Caspian Sea. It includes many of Russia's ethnic
        semi-autonomous republics, including oil-rich Tatarstan and
        Bashkortostan.(Capital: Nizhny Novgorod)
      4. North Caucasus. This region includes breakaway Chechnya, the
        Caucasus mountains, Europe's highest range, and the wide steppes
        beneath their northern slopes. (Capital: Rostov-on-Don)
      5. Urals Region. The resource-rich region of the Ural mountains.
        (Capital: Yekaterinburg)
      6. Siberia Region. The vast, resource-rich region of Siberia.
        (Capital: Novosibirsk)
      7. Far East. This region includes the Pacific coast, Sakhalin
        Island, the Kamchatka peninsula, the huge, diamond-rich ethnic
        republic of Yakutia, the port of Vladivostok and the remote
        Arctic north. (Capital: Khabarovsk)

7. The Name Of The Highest Mountain In The World

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