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A rump state is the remnant of a once-larger government, left with limited powers or authority after a disaster, invasion, military occupation, secession or partial overthrowing of a government.[1] In the last case, a government stops short of going in exile because it still controls part of its previous territory. For example, after the Qing government assumed control over most of China, the original Ming regime turned to resistance in the south until its eventual conquest.

The Seleucid Empire, which once controlled most of the Middle East, was reduced drastically in size by the rise of the Parthian Empire in its eastern provinces because of a regional rebellion. What was left of the once large empire was a rump state composed of little more than Antioch, Damascus, and an area roughly equal in size to modern Syria.

The Domain of Soissons, left after the downfall of the Western Roman Empire, was another example of a rump state.

Austria and Hungary have been rump states of the unified Austria-Hungary since the end of the First World War.

Another example of a rump state was Vichy France, founded after the Battle of France in 1940 when the Axis powers defeated France in World War II. Vichy France governed all three Axis occupation zones under the control of the Axis powers until France's liberation in 1944. Similarly, the Salo regime was a continuation of the fascist-governed Italy led by Benito Mussolini, re-established by Nazi Germany in 1943 in northern Italy, and persisting until 1945.

See also

  • List of rump states


  • Puppet state
  • Government in exile
  • List of historical unrecognized states


  1. Tir, J. , 2005-02-22 "Keeping the Peace After Secessions: Territorial Conflicts Between Rump and Secessionist States" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Studies Association, Hilton Hawaiian Village, Honolulu, Hawaii Online <.PDF>. 2009-05-25 from

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