Secession Sentiment?

By Daniel Nardini

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Commentary

I remember some downstate Illinois legislators (who shall remain nameless) proposing that Chicago be made a “separate state” and allowed to be separated from the rest of Illinois. Although any such legislation would never pass in the Springfield State Assembly, it has to make me wonder about how strong this sentiment is among so many people in the rest of Illinois?! Recently on Yahoo, a man named Scott Strzelcyzk wants the lower part of Maryland to separate from the upper part of the state. Most of lower Maryland is rural and extremely conservative. The upper part of Maryland is largely urban, liberal and holds most of the reigns of control for the whole state. This sentiment for secession can also be found in California, Arizona and in Texas.

Long ago, I wrote an article about regional differences leading to a possible fragmentation of this country. This seems to be happening now. Some of these differences are indeed political—Democrat versus Republican. However, these are not the only differences. Conservative versus more liberal to progressive values is also playing a factor. Others believe that historic factors “justify” the right of secession. They point out the cases of Maine splitting off from Massachusetts, or Kentucky splitting off from Virginia. These examples occurred in the 18th and 19th centuries. Then there is the case of Texas being an independent republic before joining the United States. In the 20th Century, there were no cases of states splitting up to form new states, and certainly no such examples happening so far in the 21st Century.

Is it possible that such a thing could happen? Well, I have to say that it is not impossible. Even with all of the sentiment of some people being interested in trying to split their state into another state, most people in any given region are not thrilled to go the extra mile of splitting up states no matter what they may think of the power structure. While there are many people in the rest of Illinois that may not be thrilled about Chicago or the Chicago area, most if not almost all would rather have more resources relocated to them rather than split up the state. A state that splits with itself would mean that a newly created state may not have the resources and population that would make life any better for them. This is why so far we do not see 100 to 200 states—the smaller the states are, the more ungovernable they would be. Let us face it, 50 states are proving hard to govern now. There may be sentiment for secession, but making it a reality would be harder to do than those who may want it anticipate.

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