Over the years, many people have wanted their states to secede from the Union, meaning leave the United States. Several proposals have been made, but so far none have accomplished their goal. Texas seems to be the one state that has come the closest to success in recent years, but there is another attempt in California that might actually work. While many attempts have failed in the past, those hoping to form New California are trying to use an already proven method. They want to split California in the same way West Virginia became a state.
In 1861, Virginia seceded from the United States and joined the Confederacy. In response to this rebellion, West Virginia declared statehood and seceded from Virginia. It was admitted into the United States in 1863, after approval by Congress. The constitution was interpreted such that only the Legislature of West Virginia and the U.S. Congress needed to consent.
In the last two decades, California has acted increasingly rebellious by creating sanctuary cities for illegal aliens. California has also become increasingly totalitarian, and the U.S. Constitution is often ignored.
New California plans to follow the West Virginia path to statehood by first creating the necessary government bodies to prove viability, and then declare independence from California and request approval by Congress. According to their plan, around five urban counties will remain in California, and the rest form New California. Although very different geographically, the two states will be roughly equal in population size – one urban and one rural.
Nine counties have already recognized New California. Once 40 counties have joined the movement, it could give them enough momentum to make the split.
Rural v Urban America
It’s too early to tell whether New California will fail as so many others have before. However, if it works, it paves the way for reshaping American politics in a new way that could resolve one of the most pressing political polarization problems in America. The pattern is the same across the nation: Rural counties vote Republican, and urban counties vote Democrat. The difference is dramatic. This pattern ensures that about half of the population will be miserable no matter who wins power in a state.
New California shows a way out by creating states with more politically and culturally united populations. Could the same process eventually be repeated all over America? If so, there could eventually be 100 states in the union.