List of U.S. state secession proposals
This is a list of official or otherwise noteworthy proposals for dividing existing
U.S. statesinto multiple states. It does not specifically address statewide proposals for secession from the United States, though parts of states which want to secede from the U.S. (and thereby their state) are valid subject matter.
Article IV of the
United States Constitutionprovides for the creation of new states of the Union, requiring that any such creation be approved by the legislature of the affected state(s), as well as the United States Congress.
Since the formation of the current Constitution, only two states have technically seceded from another existing state:
Maineand West Virginia. In the latter case, West Virginia formed itself as the legitimate government of Virginia within the Union, then essentially gave itself permission to leave Virginia. West Virginia was then admitted by act of President Abraham Lincoln, not by consent of the federal Congress, as required by Article IV).
Many cases of state secession attempts in U.S. history likewise stem from internal state divisions over the formation of the Confederacy. While majorities of states may have voted to secede and join the Confederacy, or remain in the Union, regional and cultural ties, even in those years, moved portions of those states to strongly favor the other side.
An earlier crop of state secession sentiments appear in the period between the signing of the
Articles of Confederationin 1781, and the signing of the Constitution in 1789, often related to internal differences in preference of one over the other.
In nearly all recent cases of efforts at state secession, the impetus for the proposal comes partially from strong regional identities within the state, coupled with a frustration from one region that the state government, in the other region, is out of touch with and underserving the disgruntled area. Conversely, more urban regions may mull secession ideas over tax flow issues, where the urban side disproportionately subsidizes government spending on the rural side. Often these regions also hold distinct political values from each other, usually with rural/conservative areas seeking to split from urban/liberal areas or vice versa.
Though technically not an attempt to secede from a bona fide state, in 1923, some persons in the Southeastern Division of the
Territory of Alaska, headquartered at Juneau, openly agitated for a completion separation of and statehood for the Southeast. [cite web|url=http://xroads.virginia.edu/~cap/BARTLETT/49state.html|title=A Brief History of Alaska Statehood|author=Gislason, Eric|accesseddate=~~~~~] This was actually in response to some comments made by President Warren G. Hardingon his visit to the region.
There have been at least 27 attempts to split up the state of California since it acquired statehood in 1850. [cite web|url=http://phrelin.com/3Cals/History.htm|title=History of Proposals to Divide California|work=Three Californias|accessdate=2008-07-11]
*In 1854, the
California Assemblypassed a plan to trisect the state. The southern counties as far north as Monterey County, Merced County, and part of Mariposa County, then sparsely populated but today containing two-thirds of California's population, would become the State of Colorado, and the northern counties of Del Norte County, Siskiyou County, Modoc County, Humboldt County, California, Trinity County, California, Shasta County, Lassen County, Tehama County, Plumas County, and portions of Butte County, California, Colusa County(which included what is now Glenn County), and Mendocino County, an area which today has a population of little more than half a million, would become the State of Shasta.
*In 1859, the legislature and governor approved the Pico Act splitting the area south of the
36th parallel northoff as the Territory of Colorado. [http://books.google.com/books?id=WCMLAAAAIAAJ&pg=RA2-PA230 Two Californias: The Truth about the Split-state Movement]
*Since as far back as the mid-19th century, the mountainous area of northern California and parts of southwestern
Oregonhave been proposed as a separate state. In 1941, some counties in the area ceremonially seceded, one day a week, from their respective states as the State of Jefferson. This movement disappeared after America's entry into World War II, but the notion has been rekindled in recent years.
*In the late 19th century, there was serious talk in Sacramento of splitting the state in two at the
Tehachapi Mountainsbecause of the difficulty of transportation across the rugged range. The discussion ended when it was determined that building a highway across the mountains was feasible; this road eventually became the Ridge Route.
*In 1992, State Senator
Stan Stathampassed a proposal in the state House that would have allowed 58 counties to put the question of state secession on their ballots. The bill as passed promoted splitting the state into three new states: North, Central, and South California. The proposal died in the state Senate. [cite web|url=http://www.newsreview.com/sacramento/Content?oid=10287|title=Upstate, downstate|author=Evans, Jim|date=2002-01-03|accessdate=2008-07-11|publication=Sacramento News & Review] [cite web|url=http://phrelin.com/3Cals/1992.htm|title=1992|work=Three Californias|accessdate=2008-07-11]
*In the wake of the
California recall, some peopleFact|date=June 2008 have proposed that the state should split into as many as four new states, dividing distinct geographically and politically defined areas as the Bay Area, North Coast, and Central Valley, as well as the historic Jefferson area, into their own states. [ [http://www.the-tidings.com/2002/1025/secession.htm] Dead link|date=March 2008]
* A proposal to make the Colorado River basin of easternmost California (Imperial, parts of Riverside and San Bernardino) and three western Arizona counties (Mohave, Yuma and La Paz) into a separate state known as "Riviera" and the possible state capital would be either in
Blythe, Californiaor Yuma, Arizonathe area's largest city in population.
*Two counties have, in the past, proposed leaving Colorado and joining with
New Mexico: the San Luis Valleyin the 1950s, and Costilla County in 1973.
*Also, in ca. 1935, the "Walsenburg World-Independent" proposed that Huerfano County secede from the state. [ [http://www.cozine.com/archive/cc1999/00670372.html Colorado Central Magazine September 1999 Page 37 ] ] [waybackdate|date=20050529080717|site=http://campuspress.colorado.edu/cpa/BOOK/huerfano.html|title=Huerfano County: Land of Legend & J. F. Coss] This was a pet project of Sam T. Taylor, sports editor, who went on to become a long-serving state senator [cite web|url=http://www.leg.state.co.us/lcs/leghist.nsf/dc30a93df92d56cb87257003006a6378/bdfca61f881b4b4d87257004004c49f0?OpenDocument|accessdate=~~~~~|title=Legislator Record for Taylor, Samuel Tesitore|author=Colorado Joint Legislative Library|accessdate=2008-07-11] where he also unsuccessfully pushed the idea. [cite web|url=http://www.ucar.edu/communications/staffnotes/9904/here.html|accessdate=2008-07-11|title=NCAR and UCAR: History in short, Part II|author=Rabson, Diane]
Prior to the American Revolution, the three counties of Delaware were known as the
Lower Countieson Delaware, part of the Province of Pennsylvania, and had its own tax structure and court system. In 1776, after being granted "independence" from Pennsylvania control, Delaware declared independence from Great Britain as an outright state.
*Various non-serious "proposals" have been made for portions of Florida to secede from the state, usually to join other nearby entities with which they have stronger cultural ties, such as
Alabama, Georgia, or even Cuba.
*There have also been occasional noises about the
Florida Panhandleforming its own state, due to its differences with the peninsula section and joining with counties and Parishes in Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana to form the state of West Florida.
*There has recently been a move by two cities in South Florida, Margate and North Lauderdale, to split the area roughly consisting of the South Florida metropolitan area off from the state of Florida and form a new state, South Florida; this hypothetical state would consist of Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe counties. The complaint made by the proposers of the divsion is that urban South Florida has different needs than the rest of the state, suffers from an unfair tax burden, and has several programs that have been consistently under-funded by Tallahassee legislators.
*One tongue-in-cheek proposal is for the
Florida Keysto secede from the state (and the country) under the name, the Conch Republic. In May 15, 1982, a group of Key West, Floridaresidents declared themselves an independent republic and issued a public decree to the desk of the White House (President Ronald Reagan) to recognize their plans which brought national attention. Conch Republic flags have become a popular novelty item.
Dade County, Georgialocated in the northernmost part facing Alabama and Tennessee briefly proclaimed themselves as a state (The State of Dade) in 1948. They repeated the acts in the early 1950s and again the late 1960s, as a large proportion of county residents felt they are ignored by state officials in Atlanta. Similar calls for statehood for the Southern half of Georgia and Atlantic coasts are lesser known.
After the state capital was moved south to Boise from more northern Lewiston, North Idaho proposed splitting away from the now southern-oriented state government. This idea has been rekindled throughout history, sometimes in union with similar secession sentiments in
*In 1925, the county of
Cook County, Illinois, which contains Chicago, considered seceding from Illinois as a new state named Chicago. [Lupton, John. "June 23 - 29, 2003". "Illinois Political Journal"]
*In 1861, the southern region of Illinois, known as Little Egypt, made a proposal to secede from the rest of Illinois due to cultural and political differences from Chicago and much of Central and
*The early 1970s saw
Forgottoniaprotest what residents felt was a distinct lack of care for its needs, sparking a (fictional) secession proposal and a 'governor'.
*In 1992, a group in southwestern Kansas advocated the secession of a number of counties in that region from the state. The group was nominally headed by
Don Concannon, a lawyer and former gubernatorial candidate from Ulysses. Various media reports indicated as few as five or as many two dozen counties were involved in the movement. The state was to be called "West Kansas," and early meetings included proposals for official state bird (the pheasant) and state flower (the yucca). The proposal stemmed from state laws raising the state property tax and shifting state education funding away from rural school districts and into more urban areas, though the secessionists' call was the fairly generic "Give us equality or set us free." Though organizers arranged for a series of straw polls that demonstrated widespread support for secession in at least nine of the counties, the movement died out by the mid 1990s. [ [http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1554/is_n4_v18/ai_13319676 We're outta here! - modern political secession movements in the U.S - includes related article | Common Cause Magazine | Find Articles at BNET.com ] ] [ [http://www.taemag.com/issues/articleid.17490/article_detail.asp The American Enterprise: Smaller Is Beautifuller ] ]
*In 1849, part of
Pike County, Kentucky, petitioned the state to allow it to join Virginia(now West Virginia).
*In the 1950s,
Letcher County, Kentucky, threatened to secede from the state, demanding better roads in the area.
Aroostook County, Maine, have proposed spinning off the county as its own state, probably named "Aroostook", since the 1990s. As recently as 2005 the question has been brought up before the state assembly. [ [http://news.mainetoday.com/stories/050302maines.shtml Bill calls for close look at secession ] ] Proposed names for this state include Aroostook, Acadia, and Maine (in this last case, the rest of the state would be renamed "North Massachusetts"). [See also: [http://www.freemaine.org/ FreeMaine.org] ]
Three times in the
Maryland General Assemblylegislators have submitted a bill for the Eastern Shore of Maryland to secede from the western half and join up with Delaware and two Virginia counties with the Hampton Roadsarea, to form the State of Delmarvaor E. Virginia. The most recent was in 1998. [ [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A61545-2005Apr17.html Academic Quest Puts Credibility on Line (washingtonpost.com) ] ] [ [http://www.journalism.umd.edu/cns/wire/1998-editions/03-March-editions/980305-Thursday/KeepD.C._CNS-UMCP.html Capital News Service wire feed ] ]
Maine, which is not connected to Massachusetts by land, successfully seceded as its own state in 1820 as part of the Missouri Compromise.
*Some talk has been given of splitting
Eastern Massachusettsand Western Massachusettsinto separate states - mostly from the western side. Suggestions for state names of the western half include Western (or West) Massachusetts, Berkshire, Quabbin, Southern Vermont, and Northern Connecticut.
*Shortly after the formation of the United States, a group of citizens from Western and Central Massachusetts, in response to high tax burdens and an undemocratic new governor, formed
Shays Rebellionin opposition to the Boston government. It does not appear that a state was declared.
abolitionismera some supporters of William Lloyd Garrisonsought the secession of Essex County from the state. [ [http://newcriterion.com/archive/12/feb94/douglass.htm The many lives of Frederick Douglass by James W. Tuttleton ] ]
*In 1977 a
Martha's VineyardStatehood Support Committee existed, [ [http://mvgazette.com/commentary/gazette_chronicle/?document=19770300_statehood&format=print Vineyard Gazette Online ] ] promoting the secession of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucketfrom Massachusettslargely in response to redistrictingwhich associated the islands with Cape Cod. All three areas are known for their status as oceanfront summer resort and vacation communities.
*As the most geographically divided of the contiguous states, Michigan's two peninsulas have evolved into two distinct and proud regional identities. A few have called for the
Upper Peninsulato secede from the United States, while others have proposed it become its own U.S. state. A suggested name for such a state is Superior (for Lake Superior). [ [http://superiorland.blogspot.com/ Support U.P. secession ] ]
Missouri Compromiseof 1820, on several occasions it was proposed that if certain territories were to enter the Union as slave states, such as Cubaor Kansas, that the Upper Peninsula of Michigan would enter the Union as a Free State in order to keep a balance in representatives in the Senate.
July 13, 1977, the town of Kinney in Northern Minnesotaannounced its secession in hopes of receiving foreign aid from the U.S. government. The new nation was called the Republic of Kinney. The national news story broke on February 7, 1978. To this day many in the town still claim its independence. [ [http://www.mnartists.org/article.do?rid=59976 mnartists.org | The Free Republic of Duluth: At Last, Real Candidates ] ] [http://www.rangecities.com/cty/kinney.shtml]
*There has been intermittent advocacy of the Arrowhead of Minnesota, the three counties northeast of Duluth adjacent to Lake Superior, joining with northwestern
Wisconsinand the Upper Peninsula of Michiganto form a new state to be named "North Country" or Superior.
*The geographic, political, and sociological similarities of
Western Montanaand Northern Idahohave led some to suggest the formation of a "State of Kootenai", a proposed union of the six northern-most counties of Idahowith the six western-most counties of Montana. The proposed state would have 524,888 residents, a larger population than Wyoming.
*In 2008, several dozen Montana politicians, including
Secretary of StateBrad Johnson, threatened secession due to D.C. v. Heller, a Second Amendmentcase that was before the U.S. Supreme Court. In a joint resolution, the Montanapoliticians argued that when Washingtonapproved the state constitution, including a clause granting “any person” the right to bear arms, upon the Treasure State’s entry into the Union in 1889, the federal government recognized that clause as consistent with the Second Amendment. If the Court had come down conclusively on the side of a collective right, they argued, it would breach the compact for statehoodbetween Montanaand the federal government. [cite web|url=http://reason.com/news/show/126063.html | title=Republic of Montana: Second Amendment Secession | publisher = Reason Magazine | first = Radley | last = Balko | date = June 2008 | accessdate=2008-09-19 ]
In the 1890s residents of the
Nebraska Panhandletired of the state government's refusal to enact water laws (like Wyominghad) to encourage irrigation into the area. Area leaders threatened to secede from Nebraska and join Wyoming, which finally prompted the state to enact the desired laws. [ [http://www.buffalocommons.org/docs/smenu1/divided_nebr.html A Divided Nebraska ] ]
With so much disparity between Las Vegas and Nevada's state capital, Carson City, 450 miles away, some have proposed splitting Nevada into two or more states. One proposal has northern Nevada linking with northern California, Southern Nevada splitting away with other regional areas, and eastern Nevada becoming part of Utah. [http://groups.google.com/group/misc.transport.road/browse_thread/thread/1a78dcbde6a244c7/c58ae674399ce79d?lnk=st&q=&rnum=1#c58ae674399ce79d] There has also been talk of the city of
Wendover, Utahmerging with West Wendover, Nevadato become Wendover, Nevada, due to tax and economic divides.
New Hampshire's history is dotted with various movements of communities desiring to secede from the state.
*On the signing of the
United States Declaration of Independence, the state of New Hampshire hastily enacted a state constitution. Dismayed at the lack of prudence, leaders of Grafton County, New Hampshireeffectively seceded from the state by refusing to pay state taxes and fees, and attempted to form a new state ("New Connecticut") or merge with Vermont.
*Over the period from 1776 to 1781, numerous communities along the Connecticut River (the border between the two states), from Lyman to Newport, expressed their stronger ties with Vermont (then an independent
Republic of Vermont) and voted to join it instead. Eventually 36 towns had been accepted by the Republic, but were still claimed by New Hampshire. In the end, it was General George Washingtonwho settled the dispute, by threatening military action if Vermont did not give up its claim to the towns. In exchange, Vermont was accepted as a U.S. state.
1830s, a portion of New Hampshire called the Republic of Indian Streamdeclared its independence in protest to being claimed, and consequently taxed by both the United States and British Canada. It maintained its own organised, elected government for three years before being occupied by the New Hampshire Militia.
*In 2001, the communities of Newington and Rye considered seceding from the state in response to the enactment of a uniform statewide property tax. [ [http://www.flowofhistory.org/themes/american_republic/western.php The Western Rebellion ] ] [http://www.nhssar.org/TroublesomeGrants.pdf] [ [http://www.newington.nh.us/news.htm News ] ]
*Proposals have been repeatedly made—mostly from the southern half of the state—to split the state into north and south sections. Most of the time, though, these proposals are made in jest and are not serious. New Jersey is split between two major metropolitan areas. The northern part of the state is part of the New York City Metro area while the southern part of the state is part of the Philadelphia Metro area. The influences of each city on New Jersey's northern and southern regions creates a divide in the state. However, as both cities have grown, the two areas have converged, perhaps paving the way for more understanding between the state's northern and southern regions. Talk of southern secession is often rekindled during times of tax changes - as recently as 2004.
*In the 1980 election, secession was on the ballot in six of the eight southern counties to see where the people stood. It did well in rural areas but not in more industrialized areas. [http://www.state.nj.us/convention/hearing_transcripts_20040921.html Property Tax Convention - Hearing Transcripts - September 21, 2004]
New York Cityhas had proponents of its independent statehood (and even nationhood) as far back as 1787. It has long been commonly recognized that the upstate state government at Albany is of a different world than ultra-urban NYC, which is about as devolved as a U.S. city can legally be (NYC itself contains multiple counties and collects its own income tax). Such proposals have been supported from the upstate side as well, as some upstate residents also feel that voters in New York City either ignore their economic woes or use their dominance in state government to enact exploitative legislation that favors New York City to the direct detriment of the upstate counties, such as New York State Thruway tolls, state regulated electric rates, water supply availability and garbage disposal, and thus want to split off into their own state as well. Further information on the proposals can be found at New York City secession.
*Recently, some non-serious, humorous movements borne out of frustration with New York State and United States politics have advocated the secession of the
Buffalo, New Yorkarea from the United States to join the Canadianprovince of Ontario.Verify source|date=April 2008
Long Islandresidents have discussed becoming their own state, on the grounds that their tax money gets sent to the state, yet the money is not used to fund programs in their counties. [cite news | url = http://www.newsday.com/news/local/ny-listat0328,0,3194994.story | title = Long Island: The 51st state? | publisher = Newsday | first = Rick | last = Brand | date = 2007-03-27| accessdate = 2008-03-28] However, since part of New York City is on the island proper, this is very unlikely to ever happen. Regardless, Long Islandhas a movement pushing for secession of the entire geographic island (Kings, Queens, Nassau, and Suffolk counties). from the United States. [cite news | url = http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/22/nyregion/22secede.html | title = What Has the Hamptons, 4 Airports and a Hankering for Independence? | publisher = New York Times | first = Corey | last = Kilgannon | date = 2007-09-22| accessdate = 2008-08-09]
*Between 1784 and 1789, the three western counties of Greene, Washington, Sullivan, and part of Hawkins county, all of which were then part of North Carolina, voted to secede from the state. Together they formed the provisional
State of Franklin, with Revolutionary war hero John Sevierelected as governor.
*By 1789, the provisional government had collapsed, and in 1790 North Carolina's state government, tired of the upstart region, relinquished it to the federal government, reverting the area to part of Ohio River Territory. Six years later, part of that territory, including former Franklin, became
Tennessee, with Sevier as governor. [ [http://www.educationupdate.com/archives/2001/jun01/articles/spot_geography.html Education Update - Spotlight On Schools ] ] [ [http://homepages.rootsweb.com/~ehandley/handley.htm Handley History, Genealogy ] ]
James B. McCarthy, the county executive of Summit County, Ohio, which contains Akron, Ohio, publicly advocated that his county (and the rest of Northeast Ohio) secede as a new state. [ [http://www.brewedfreshdaily.com/2005/02/08/ 2005 February 08 | Brewed Fresh Daily ] ]
The narrow, remote section of the
Oklahoma Panhandlehas often cited the distant state government for neglect, and support for secession as a new state has been voiced. Alternate proposals have the region merging with Texas, as the closest major city to the area is Amarillo.
*In 1941 some counties of southwestern Oregon joined counties of
Northern Californiaand ceremonially seceded as the State of Jefferson. See also California above.
*In the wake of controversy over the issue of same-sex marriage as well as rifts with the rest of the state over tax laws and the flow of capital funding flow, the secession of
Multnomah County, Oregon, which contains the city of Portland, has been proposed in some local media.
*Some talk has also been made of
Eastern Oregonfollowing suit (and perhaps merging) with Eastern Washingtonwere it to secede from its parent state (see Washington below). In both states distinct political, geographic, and cultural divides exist on either side of the Cascade Mountains. [ [http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2003/02/46316.shtml portland imc - 2003.02.27 - People's Republic of Multnomah? Let's Secede from Oregon, USA ] ] A more formal movement was proposed in 2008.cite web|url=http://www.eastoregonian.com/main.asp?SectionID=13&SubSectionID=48&ArticleID=76761|title=Group eyes Eastern Oregon as 51st state|last=Wright|first=Phil|work=Eastern Oregonian|date=2008-04-25|accessdate=2008-04-25]
In 1787 the residents of the
Wyoming Valleyattempted to secede from the state as the State of Westmoreland. Before the issue was decided, the state militia was mobilized to put down any attempt to make good on the threat. [ [http://www.citizensoldier.net/ftfed6notes.html Federalist No. 6 Footnotes ] ]
Despite being the Union's smallest state in physical size,
Rhode Islandis not without secession movements.
*In 1790, the urban center of Providence was frustrated with the state government's reluctance to ratify the Constitution and join the United States. In response, Providence threatened to secede and ratify on its own as its own state. The threat finally compelled the state to ratify by a narrow majority.
*In 1984, angered over the state's refusal to enact
noise pollutionlaws, the township of New Shoreham, located on Block Island, threatened to secede from the state. Reportedly, both Massachusettsand Connecticutexpressed interest in annexing the island. The state compromised, giving the island ability to limit the sale of noisy mopeds. [ [http://www.saf.org/LawReviews/Bogus2.htm University of California at Davis Law Review ] ] [http://www.davidyoungallen.com/noteshistory.html] [ [http://www.projo.com/specials/century/month10/02733011.htm storypg ] ]
*While it would not technically constitute secession, it is worth noting that under the treaty by which the
Republic of Texaswas admitted to the Union, it had the right to divide itself into as many as five different states. It is not clear whether this provides any power beyond that already provided by the Constitution. What is clear is that the Texas Legislaturewould have to approve any proposal to divide the state using this prerogative. There were a significant number of Texans who supported dividing the state in its early decades. They were generally called "divisionists". However, it is noted that since after the American Civil War, no state was allowed to secede from the Union. This included Texas and, since the treaty required for Texas to choose whether or not to separate the state, it was agreed upon that the state would not, and therefore, the proposal was null. [ [http://www.buckyogi.com/footnotes/natuz.htm#vanzandt Footnotes to History- U to Z ] ] [ [http://www.snopes.com/history/american/texas.asp Urban Legends Reference Pages: Texas Dividing into Five States ] ] [ [http://www.texasescapes.com/MikeCoxTexasTales/211Texas-County-Seats-and-Counties-Name-Confusion.htm Texas Cities and Counties Name and Location Confusion ] ]
*Since the mid-1990s, a group calling itself the Republic of Texas has claimed that the United States' claim over Texas constitutes an illegal occupation. The group aims to declare Texas as a sovereign state, independent of the United States. According to the group's stated position, this action would technically be liberation of an occupied nation, not secession.
*In 2002, the United States House of Representatives voted to allow
Wendover, Utahto leave the state and join Nevada, merging with the city of West Wendover. [cite|author=Eddington, Mark|title=Wendovers' Leaders Will Consider Next Move|publisher=Salt Lake Tribune|date=2002-11-23] [cite|author=Eddington, Mark|title=Wendovers Press Ahead on Annexation|publisher=Salt Lake Tribune|date=2002-11-27] The opposition of Nevada Senator Harry Reidblocked the bill's consideration in the Senate. [cite|author=Burr, Thomas|title=Reid: Yucca should be junked|publisher=Salt Lake Tribune|date=2005-04-02]
*"Skiing Magazine" once suggested that
Park City, Utahis so unlike the rest of the state that, given the opportunity, it would secede from Utah "in a New York minute". The statement was echoed in the "Park City Mountain Lifestyle" real estate newsletter. [ [http://www.skiingmag.com/skiing/vibe/article/0,12910,410430,00.html SKINET :: The Ultimate Online Resource for Ski Gear, Ski Travel, Ski Photos and Ski Video - Powered by Ski, Skiing, and Warren Miller Entertainment ] ]
*In 2008, Joint Resolution 6 'Consenting to Creation of New State Within Utah' was proposed by Representative Neal Hendrickson. This resolution called for "the creation of a separate state, consisting of the southern portion of the present state of Utah with a northern boundary stretching east and west across the present state of Utah at the southern border of Utah County". The bill died in committee in March 2008. [ [http://le.utah.gov/~2008/bills/hbillint/hjr006.htm Utah Legislature HJR006] ]
The town of
Killington, Vermonthas twice voted (March 2004 and March 2005) to secede from Vermont and become part of the state of New Hampshire. Because the town is not adjacent to the New Hampshire border, this would create an enclave. A similar motion was attempted in Winhall, Vermont, but was voted down. [ [http://www.boston.com/news/local/vermont/articles/2005/01/22/winhall_voters_to_be_asked_whether_to_join_new_hampshire/] Dead link|date=March 2008] (See: Killington, Vermont secession movement.)
Vermont has a movement organized to secede from the United States called the [http://www.vermontrepublic.org/ Second Vermont Republic] (called the "Second Republic" because Vermont was an independent country for fourteen years). This movement coalesced in a series of meetings in 2003 and resulted in the release of The Vermont Manifesto and the organization of a civic club whose goal is independence for Vermont.
The [http://www.vermontrepublic.org/ Second Vermont Republic] is organized to such a degree that it is active over all of Vermont. The secession movement has brought the issue of Vermont independence up in some Vermont town meetings, it has produced books and videos, has its own think tank ( [http://www.middleburyinstitute.org/ The Middlebury Institute] ), its own media outlet ( [http://www.vtcommons.org/ Vermont Commons] ), and held a well-attended (over 300 people) convention inside the capital building in Montpelier.
*More recently, minor localities have grumbled over state secession possibilities in response to various state government decisions on both sides of the political spectrum.
*A minor proposal in more urban
Northern Virginiais the area seceding from the rest of the state due to tax flow issues and accusations of neglect and being used by the state government for revenue. Northern Virginia is the most populous region of Virginia and widely seen as more liberal than the rest of Virginia and more northeastern in culture.
Over the latter half of the 20th century (and reportedly as far back as 1889), the counties of
Eastern Washingtonhave occasionally raised the possibility of splitting largely conservative and rural Eastern Washington (and sometimes the Idaho Panhandle) away from urban and liberal Western Washington. As recently as 2005, this has been officially proposed in the state legislature, [ [http://www1.leg.wa.gov/senate/src/mediacenter/mulliken51ststate021705.htm Page Not Found ] ] amid the fallout of the 2004 governor's election. Suggested names for such a state include East Washington, Columbia, and Lincoln (state).
Washington, D.C.is an insular federal districtseparate from any state and under the full control of the United States Congress. As such, residents of the capital are not permitted voting representation in Congress, nor do residents have complete control over their local government. There has been a recurring movement since the 1960s to make the District of Columbia into a state in order to permit residents full voting representation in Congress and control over local affairs. An alternate proposal is for Congress to return the District of Columbia to the state of Maryland (a process known as retrocession), as was done with the Virginia portion of the District in 1846.
In 2002, members of the western part of
Mingo County, West Virginiapetitioned the county to allow it to break off and join Kentuckyon the other side of the Tug River. Neither state has seriously considered the request.
*In 1967, the village of Winneconne seceded from Wisconsin for one day to protest its omission from the new state highway map. [ [http://www.winneconne.org/SSD/history/history.htm History ] ]
*It is often suggested around election times (sometimes humorously) that
Milwaukeeand/or Madison should form their own state based on their generally liberal politics and cultural differences compared to the rest of Wisconsin. Similarly, Kenosha County is often (sometimes pejoratively) referred to as "Northern Illinois" based on its status (as of the 2000 census) as a suburb of Chicago. As such, suggestions are made that it should permanently join Illinois.
According to legend, upon the secession of
Alabamafrom the United States during the American Civil War, the county of Winston County, Alabamaseceded from the state as the Republic of Winston, and pledged its alliance with the Union. Today citizens of the county still refer to it as the Free State of Winston, which drives the local tourist industry.
During the Civil War, five counties, including Madison County and possibly Marion County, voted against secession from the Union at the second Arkansas Secession Convention. When called upon to renege, four counties did, but Madison, represented by
Isaac Murphy, later the state's governor under Reconstruction, resisted. Men of his county fought for the North during the war.
In the 1850s many from
Dade County, Georgia, in the far northwestern corner of the state, threatened to secede from Georgia (and the U.S.) if the state itself did not secede. [ [http://roadsidegeorgia.com/county/dade.html Dade County, Georgia, History, Resources, Links, and Events ] ] [http://www.dadesentinel.com/092601-4.htm]
Shortly before the Civil War, southern Illinois considered seceding from Illinois and joining the Confederacy; a proposed name for the new state was Little Egypt after the region's local name. However, speeches by Union General and southern Illinois native,
John A. Logan, convinced many in the region to remain in the Union. [ [http://www.cctb.org/local/components/scrapbook/default.php?parent=10§iondetailid=10] Dead link|date=March 2008]
American Civil War, David Pierson, a young attorney, was elected to represent Winn Parishin northwest central Louisiana at the Secession Convention called by Governor Moore in Baton Rouge, LAin January 1861. Pierson voted against secession in all votes taken and refused, along with several others, to change his "no" vote at the end of the process when asked to do so in order that the vote for secession be made unanimous. This act of voting "no" has confused some into thinking that Winn Parishrefused to secede from the Union and was a de facto Union enclavein the Confederate state of Louisiana called the Free State of Winn.
In similar case to that of
Winston County, Alabama, local legend has it that Jones County, Mississippi, a haven for Confederate military deserters, declared its independence from both countries. Most people in the county had reservations about the strong central government that the Confederate States of Americainstated and few if any in the county owned slaves. Although some claim that these rumors turned out to be completely false, the county did serve as a safe haven for Confederate defectors such as Newt Knight. This event was inaccurately dramatized in the 1948 movie "Tap Roots".
*During the American Civil War, congressman
Frank Blairurged that St. Louis should secede from the state if it decided to join the Confederacy.
*Around the same time, Callaway County proposed seceding from Missouri, but with the opposite inclination. Callaway County is sometimes still called "Kingdom of Callaway" and hosts an annual "Kingdom Days" celebration. There is also a city named Kingdom City there. [ [http://www.semissourian.com/story.html$rec=152115 seMissourian.com: Story: Kinder column 12/12/04 ] ]
*According to legend,
Van Zandt County, Texas, voted to secede from the state in 1867, apparently in response to the state's readmittance to the Union, and formed the Free State of Van Zandt, raising a ragtag army. In response, the state speedily dispatched Philip Sheridanand the state militia, who were roundly defeated by the locals. Elated at their victory, the Van Zandters immediately began celebrating, leading to their easy capture the next day.
*In February 1861, in the early days of the Confederacy, the Southern-sympathetic county of Franklin petitioned the state to allow it to secede and join
Alabamawhich had recently seceded from the Union. By June Tennessee had decided to secede as well, eliminating the reason for Franklin to secede.
*Conversely, the more pro-Union
East Tennesseearea disapproved of state secession and some proposed seceding from Tennessee to rejoin the Union. Some, however, have characterized this sentiment as mere contrarianism against the sentiment of the western half.
*Scott County in eastern Tennessee did officially pass a proclamation during the Civil War to secede from Tennessee and form the "Free and Independent State of Scott." In 1986 when it was discovered that this county law was still on the books the proclamation was finally repealed and Scott County actually petitioned the state of Tennessee for readmission even though the secession had never been recognized by either the state or federal governments. [ [http://www.leonidaspolk.org/Franklin%20County%20Secession%201%2024.html] Dead link|date=March 2008] [ [http://civilwartalk.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-19344.html Upper South and Border States' secession ] ] [http://www.scotttn.org/pages/history.html]
*In the early days of the Confederacy,
Lunenburg County, Virginiagrew impatient that the state had not yet seceded from the Union, and threatened to secede from Virginia itself, possibly to join North Carolina.
*After Virginia did secede, the mountainous western half in turn seceded from the state, which was at that point no longer a U.S. state but a Confederate state, in 1861 as the legitimate Union government of Virginia. In 1863, the area was admitted to the Union as the state of
* [http://www.igpa.uiuc.edu/publications/workingPapers/wp55-secession.pdf "Secession: The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics and the Law"] , Thomas S. Ulen,
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
* [http://www.kentucky.com/mld/heraldleader/2787066.htm "West Virginians covet new Ky. home"] , "Lexington Herald-Leader", Mar. 04, 2002
List of active autonomist and secessionist movements
List of U.S. county secession proposals
* [http://recollectionbooks.com/Cascadia/ Cascadian Independence Party] Homepage of the US based Cascadian Independence Party
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
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List of U.S. county secession proposals — This is a list of county secession proposals in the United States; that is, proposed new counties to be formed from existing counties within a given state. For counties which want to secede from their current state and join or create another, see … Wikipedia
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