|04-14-2019, 12:22 AM||#1|
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What If California Seceded From The US?
What if California seceded from the U.S?
Southern California might look favourably on immigration – but the north may notAmericans have grown increasingly polarised in recent years. According to the Pew Research Center, median Republicans are more conservative than 97% of Democrats, while median Democrats are more liberal than 95% of Republicans. Some scholars argue that ideological tensions have never been greater in living memory.
By Rachel Nuwer / April 2019
“We have to go back historically, to something like the 1890s post-Civil War period, to find politics in the US that are anywhere near as bitterly polarised as we have now,” says Bernard Grofman, a political scientist at the University of California, Irvine. “Polarisation in Congress is at levels we have not seen in more than 100 years.”
For the past few years, divides both within the state, and between California and the rest of the US, have sparked at least six initiatives aimed at breaking California into smaller states or cleaving it entirely from the rest of the country. To be clear, unless something drastically changes, California is not going to secede any time soon. A constitutional law denies states the right to secession, and there’s scant evidence that the majority of California’s citizens actually want to leave.
Another US civil war may sound unlikely, but consider that the southern US did not expect lasting conflict to ensue when it decided to secede from the north 157 years ago. Civil war did break out, leading to the loss of some 620,000 American lives and shaking the country to its core. “It seems unfathomable that the US would have another war of secession, but I think if you talked to people in the mid-19th Century they would have said the same thing,”
California is the largest state in the union by population, and its exit would radically shift the political playing field in the US. The balance of power in Congress would tip toward complete Republican control. “Politically, this would put Democrats in a deep, deep hole,” Saideman says. “They’ve depended on California since the early 1990s for having a chance to win presidential elections. California is the world’s fifth largest economy – bigger than that of the entire UK – grossing $2.7 trillion in 2017.
“Given the sheer scale of Hispanic populations in California and the role of agriculture there, I can’t imagine that California would not wish to develop a new policy on the question of welcoming people from Central America and elsewhere,” California’s secession probably wouldn’t kick off a sudden mass immigration of US liberals into California and an exodus of Republicans out. “I’m an American in Canada, and after every election, everyone says ‘I’m moving to Canada’, but they don’t,”
History has seen such dynamics play out. States such as Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova only seceded from the Soviet Union after the Baltic states led the way. Following the secession of the north-east, Florida may opt to depart, too, as could parts of Texas. At that point, other states – many of which have the economic capacity and population size to become small countries of their own – may see little incentive to stick around. Read more ...
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