What does the term puppet government mean

What is a puppet government?

Puppet governments, defined

Throughout history, it appears that many countries have all of their movements dictated by another foreign power. In this way, a "puppet state" is a government that has little will of its own as it needs financial or military support. Thus it is a matter of submission to another power in exchange for its own survival. The puppet government still has its own facade of identity that persists by maintaining its own flag, name, national anthem, law and constitution. However, these types of governments are not considered legitimate under international law. Some puppet states are completely independent on paper, but in practice they are controlled by other nations or even multinational corporations that have big interests in that state. A "puppet state" is a condescending term used by the press to describe countries that are supposedly controlled by another.

Historical examples

In ancient times, some nations oppressed other states and were forced to submit to their style of governance, but these vassal states still appeared to be independent. Homeric Troy once faced the Hittites. Greek city-states and Persia were among the powerful states that practiced this type of submission. Republican Rome was also a creator of vassal states, a practice that continued when it became the Roman Empire. One of Rome's notorious puppet rulers was Herod the Great in Judea. Philip of Macedonia also controlled several vassal states. In China, the Yuan Dynasty made Korea a puppet state of the Goryeo Dynasty. In medieval England, the king held minor rulers as puppet rulers over their own domains.

20th and 21st century puppet states

The Ottoman Empire controlled many puppet states as tributaries and vassals. Some of them were buffer states, namely Wallachia, Crimea, Transylvania and Moldova. The vassals included Serbia, Bosnia, Eastern Hungary and Bulgaria. Poland was a puppet state under the Central Powers from 1916 to 1918. Germany made Lithuania a puppet state in 1918. Finland was in Russia under 1918. Belarus in 1918-1919 was controlled by Germany. Russia in the early 20th century controlled many puppet states on its borders. During World War II, Japan had many puppet states under its control. Two well-known are Manchuria and Inner Mongolia. At the same time, Italy and Germany once controlled Hungary, Albania, Vichy France and Monaco. In the 20th Century Australia controls the islands of Nauru and Papua New Guinea.

Living in a puppet state

The superior country that controls a puppet state is usually responsible for building new infrastructure in that state. In some cases the economic benefit is there, but sometimes the relationship doesn't work at all. People's standard of living can be increased or remain the same. On the other hand, if an army occupies a puppet state, life could tumble and create resistance that creates a rebellious civilian population eager to recapture their former sovereignty. Many other factors also play a role in determining the standard of living of the population. Two of these factors are industrialization and autonomy.

International recognition and preventive measures

Boutros Boutros Ghali, the sixth Secretary-General of the United Nations, said during his tenure: "If every ethnic, religious or linguistic group claimed statehood, there would be no limit to fragmentation and peace, security and economic well-being would become increasingly difficult to achieve .. .. "According to the Montevideo Convention, a state must have a specific territory, government, permanent population and the ability to relate to other states. The United Nations also draws between a sovereign state and a puppet state. A puppet state is not recognized under international law. Therefore, international organizations need to take preventive measures to respond willingly in cases where puppet states arise.


Author: Merle Vasquez

Merle Vasquez is a 46 year old journalist. Typical coffee specialist. Food Maven. Music pioneer. Zombie fanatic. Web practitioner. Internet geek. Entrepreneur.