List Of U.S. State Partition Proposals
This is a list of official or otherwise noteworthy proposals for dividing existing US states into multiple states. It does not specifically address statewide or other movements to secede from the United States. The word secession can refer to political separation at different levels of government organization, from city to state to country; this list focuses on secession from (rather than by) U.S. states, particularly to form new U.S. states.
Article IV of the United States Constitution provides 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 adoption of the U.S. Constitution, four states have been created from parts of an existing state: Maine (from Massachusetts), West Virginia (from Virginia), Kentucky (also from Virginia), and Vermont (from New York and New Hampshire)—though New York's claim to Vermont was weak, as it was asked for its consent and Vermont was essentially an independent republic until 1791. In the case of West Virginia, it formed itself as the legitimate government of Virginia within the Union, then essentially gave itself permission to leave Virginia in order to avoid annexation by the Confederacy.
Many other state secession attempts resulted from internal divisions over the formation of the Confederate States of America. While majorities of states may have voted to secede and join the Confederacy, or remain in the Union, even in those years regional and cultural ties prompted portions of the populations of those states to strongly favor the other side.
Since the creation of West Virginia in 1863, no states have been successfully created from parts of already existing states. However, some territories in the West were divided into smaller territories prior to statehood, even after the Civil War.
Read more about List Of U.S. State Partition Proposals: Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Washington, D.C., West Virginia, Wisconsin
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“Sheathey call him Scholar Jack
Went down the list of the dead.
Officers, seamen, gunners, marines,
The crews of the gig and yawl,
The bearded man and the lad in his teens,
—Joseph I. C. Clarke (18461925)
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—Ernest Hemingway (18991961)
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—Anton Pavlovich Chekhov (18601904)
“One theme links together these new proposals for family policythe idea that the family is exceedingly durable. Changes in structure and function and individual roles are not to be confused with the collapse of the family. Families remain more important in the lives of children than other institutions. Family ties are stronger and more vital than many of us imagine in the perennial atmosphere of crisis surrounding the subject.”
—Joseph Featherstone (20th century)