Written by Jeremy T.K. Farley
Over the past 500 years and even before, the kingdoms of the globe were bent upon expanding their borders and broadening their global reach. The Spanish were the first to begin empire building in the New World, but they were soon followed by the Dutch, French and English, as each nation attempted to multiply its influence, wealth and number of subjects.
Only a century and a half ago, it was said that the sun never set upon the British Empire and in the United States “Manifest Destiny” had pushed our forefathers west in conquest of new territory just beyond the horizon. Across the globe, Alexander II was also pushing his country’s national borders as Russia, too, became a coast to coast country.
Eventually, the inevitable occurred and these two ever-expanding countries on the far side of the globe from each other met somewhere between two small and frigid islands in the Bering Strait — a place that would literally mark the end of the world for both countries.
Little could William Seward or Alexander II have ever imagined, the stage was being set for what would become a showdown of the ages between two superpowers, as the 8.65 million square mile Soviet Union would compete in an out of this world battle with the United States of America, which boasted of 50 states with more than 5,000 between Hawaii and Maine, not to mention a territory which included frozen Arctic tundra to the tropical paradise of Key West — as well as multiple flags on the moon, to boot.
While the two superpowers were seemingly ruling the globe and with the European Union expanding from a cooperative alliance of nations to being almost a nation all its own, it was hard to notice what was really going on in the world — something most still have not realized: While the world was getting smaller, so were its countries.
In 1900 there were only 53 countries on the globe, but by 1950 this number had nearly doubled to 99. Fast-forward to 2000 and there were 191.
Despite the fact that they aren’t making any new land (except on volcanic islands and in Dubai), this trend has continued and today, there are between 193 to 197 countries, depending upon who you ask.
While we may be living in the age of global economies and international corporations, we are also living in the era of hyperlocal tribalism.
We see this evidenced in our own country, as the local craft brew industry is thriving — people want things as close to local as possible, including their government.
The Trend Is Picking Up Steam:
First it was Canada, Australia and New Zealand who left the control of London in the last century, but in 2014, it was Scotland that had determined that they too should become an independent and sovereign country.
Though the measure failed, with only 44.7% of the voters voting yes, 44.7% of the voters still voted yes — a number that would have been inconceivable only a few years earlier.
Across the pond, Barack Obama is re-elected to a second term in the White House in 2012 and within a matter of days a legitimate petition to the White House had garnered more than 125,746 signatures requesting that Texas be allowed to withdraw from the Union and form its own country.
Though this kind of talk was the stuff of political fringes only years earlier, in Texas, what had previously been seen as a late-night barstool conversation had turned fairly serious, as the state’s Lt. Governor met with leaders of the Texas Nationalist Movement. The state’s governor also hinted that one day Texas might return to its former status as an independent Republic.
Even in 2018, California voters were set to determine whether the state should be split into three parts by election ballot (until a California court killed the measure). At home, and around the globe #Brexits are a dime a dozen, leading us to ponder the question, what would America look like if it split up?
It’s Inevitable, the Question is When:
If my short life has taught me anything, it is this: nothing ever stays the same forever; some things simply take a longer time to die than others and the most foolish thing anyone can ever do is convince themselves that something could “never happen” to them. It is the height of American arrogance to watch as the British Empire has crumbled within a century’s time, the USSR splintered into a dozen fragments or watch as Europe burns to the ground in financial collapse and think, “never us”.
No, it does not seem likely that the United States will split up within the next decade or even within our lifetime, which, as someone who is a patriot that loves living in the most prosperous nation in the history of the world, is something I’m very much appreciative of; however, for someone to believe that a nation $21 trillion (with a T, which is 1,000 times a billion) in debt, where 350 different languages are spoken, and each election feels more and more divisive and bloody would never breakup is either living at the height of self-denial or lunacy.
No, the question is not will the United States break up, but when. My prayer is that it will not be for another thousand years, but my fear is that it will be far sooner than any of us can imagine.
Who Goes First? Texas, of course:
Though there are dozens of separatist movements being pushed around the country from Alaska to New York, the strongest and most legitimate (if we can use that word) is found in Texas, where, according to the Dallas News, a third of Texans support the idea of an independent Texas.
Not to mention, out of all the states that could possibly stand the greatest chance of making it on their own the Lonestar State stands high above all others, as it has access to the ocean, its own power grid and boasts of the world’s 10th largest economy, ahead of both South Korea and Canada.
The 27.8-million resident state also boasts of a AAA bond rating and according to Forbes, college attainment is 28.4% and the median household income is $53,207, which would actually make it the richest country on the globe, surpassing all of the world’s current most wealthy nations, Norway, Sweden, Luxembourg, Denmark and Finland, all of which are small countries.
Obviously, the current economy would undergo great changes in a Divided States of America scenario, but needless to say, Texas could successfully go its own way.
Though its hard to imagine how any scenario that ends in the United States of America splintering into twelve separate countries could possibly have a happy ending or an ending at all, for the sake of this scenario, we’ll simply focus upon what geographical borders the new Balkanized America may look like.
Though his borders are much larger for Yankeedom, journalist Colin Woodard describes the people of this area in the following manner:
Yankeedom was founded on the shores of Massachusetts Bay by radical Calvinists as a new Zion. Since its outset, the nation has placed a great emphasis on perfecting earthly civilization through social engineering, denial of self for the common good, and assimilation of outsiders. The home to our nation’s oldest institutions of higher learning, Yankeedom has prized education, intellectual achievement, communal empowerment, and broad citizen participation in politics and government, the latter seen as the public’s shield against the machinations of grasping aristocrats and other would-be tyrants.
Dating back to its Puritan roots, the people of Yankeedom have been more comfortable with government regulation and public-sector social projects than many of the other nations, who regard the Yankee utopian streak with trepidation.
Though its original borders were the immediate territory of New England, Yankeedom has grown in influence far more than any other “nation” and should this nation fragment, Yankeedom’s big-government state would stretch from the Canadian border to Virginia Beach — barring some uprising in New Hampshire and rural Maine doesn’t further splinter this imaginary country.
The New York magazine publisher and LA screenwriter see absolutely no difference between the peoples of Dixie and the Appalachian Mountains, both are nothing more than a bunch of gun cling’n, alt-righters who still believe in the Great Flood, in their eyes.
The differences between Appalachia and Dixie are far more pronounced than people may realize – and it doesn’t just end with one group saying “pop” while their southern neighbors call it “coke” or “soda”!
The Appalachian nation was founded in the early eighteenth century by wave upon wave of settlers from the war-ravaged borderlands of Northern Ireland, northern England, and the Scottish lowlands. This area has been lampooned by writers and screenwriters as the home of hillbillies and rednecks for centuries.
It transplanted a culture formed in a state of near-constant danger and upheaval, characterized by a warrior ethic and a commitment to personal sovereignty and individual liberty. Intensely suspicious of lowland aristocrats and Yankee social engineers alike, Greater Appalachia has shifted alliances throughout its history depending on who appeared to be the greatest threat to their freedom – this was perfectly illustrated during the American Civil War, when this area was split – based upon its proximity to the side it deemed to be the greatest threat to its freedom.
This has not changed and in 2018, it is the blue states of the North that present the greatest perceived threat to the average voter, driving the region’s ever shifting alliance toward the country that would most likely have its national capital in Atlanta.
Midland, aka The Rust Belt:
Woodard describes the Midlands as “America’s great swing region”, a description that proved true when this region gave Donald Trump the necessary electoral votes to become the 45th President.
Founded by English Quakers, Midland is organized around the middle class, the Midlands spawned the culture of Middle America and the Heartland, where ethnic and ideological purity have never been a priority, government has been seen as an unwelcome intrusion, and political opinion has been moderate. An ethnic mosaic from the start—it had a German, rather than British, majority at the time of the Revolution—it shares the Yankee belief that society should be organized to benefit ordinary people, though it rejects top-down government intervention.
At first glance, it may seem that the biggest difference between the nations of Heartland and Midland is that one group watches Big 12 football, while the other follows the Big Ten Conference.
However, the great difference between the two is that while Midland is built around the Great Lakes and have factory-based economies that have been lagging for years, Heartland has few cities and is overwhelmingly agriculture, serving as the nation’s bread basket… But look out, fracking in Oklahoma and the Dakotas is changing everything about this nation.
Rocky Mountain Republic:
With its capital in Salt Lake City and a limitless number of Ruby Ridge-type families stowed away along the Canadian border, its hard not to imagine a scenario where this doesn’t become the most freaky and odd nation to emerge from a Divided States of America.
Perhaps this nation should have been named Deseret, the Mormon territory that almost became a state back in the 1840s, but failed thanks to President Zachary Taylor’s misgivings concerning polygamy and overall distrust of a theocracy in the Rocky Mountains.
The Rocky Mountain Republic will be the place for libertarians, except the kind of libertarians other libertarians don’t like!
Woodard describes this territory as “a Chile-shaped nation wedged between the Pacific Ocean and the Cascade and Coast mountains…”
This area was originally colonized by two groups: New Englanders (merchants, missionaries, and woodsmen who arrived by sea and dominated the towns) and Appalachian midwesterners (farmers, prospectors, and fur traders who generally arrived by wagon and controlled the countryside). Yankee missionaries tried to make it a “New England on the Pacific,” but were only partially successful. Left Coast culture is a hybrid of Yankee utopianism and Appalachian self-expression and exploration—traits recognizable in its cultural production, from the Summer of Love to the iPad. The staunchest ally of Yankeedom, this area will undoubtedly clash with its Mormon neighbors to the east.
Aztlan is the ancestral home of the Aztec peoples.
Emerging from a Reconquista movement, Aztlan would be a cultural hodgepodge that would include large numbers of Native Americans, Hispanics and Caucasians.
It would be interesting to see what this region, which once belonged to Mexico, would do as a self-governing nation; return to the motherland or chart its own course?
In 1958, Alaskans were given an opportunity to vote on statehood, which they chose; however, within the state, there are a number of individuals pushing for Alaskan Independence, citing that the election was illegitimate, as the ballot only presented voters two choices, become a state or not. They state that voters should have been given four choices: Remain a territory, Become a separate and independent country, Accept commonwealth status, Become a state.
Though the average Alaskan I’ve met really doesn’t concern himself very much with what’s going on in “The Lower 48”, they certainly do appreciate the US Postal Service… which losing this would probably force many of the state’s residents into an even greater depression than they are in currently.
This is the only state in the Union that has a foreign nation’s flag on their own flag. Not to mention, the reality that Texas wasn’t the only state to have been an independent country prior to entering the Union.
Who knows what a free Hawaii may look like. Perhaps sell itself to the highest bitter? Hawaii, Canada? Eh. Hawaii, New Zealand?
A colorful blend of the folkways of French peasantry and African slaves, the people of Orleans are a unique island among the Southland, serving as some of the most liberal individuals on the continent, with unusually liberal attitudes regarding sexuality.
Embracing of all races and a ready to accept the assistance of government in the economy, Orleans may have far more in common with Yankeedom and Pacifica, though they may need translators present at any international summit.
Somewhere south of the land of Micky Mouse the demographics of Florida change. Though the Cuban / Caribbean population may not push this far north, the influence of Miami does and the Nation of Caribea will control the Everglades as well as all land south of Orlando.
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