Happy Texas Independence Day!

It’s Texas Independence Day, and well wishes to everyone from that state, with its awesomely idiosyncratic politics, beautiful landscapes, and very tasty food. Of course, Texas Independence Day is not about Texas declaring its independence from the United States, but Texas declaring its independence from Mexico. Still, I thought it might be a good time ...

Ben Sklar/Getty Images
Ben Sklar/Getty Images
Ben Sklar/Getty Images

It's Texas Independence Day, and well wishes to everyone from that state, with its awesomely idiosyncratic politics, beautiful landscapes, and very tasty food. Of course, Texas Independence Day is not about Texas declaring its independence from the United States, but Texas declaring its independence from Mexico. Still, I thought it might be a good time to check in on some popular U.S.-based independence or secessionist movements. (And to boot, everyone should read Graeme Wood's killer dispatch from limbo states from Abkhazia to Somaliland in our last issue.)

5. Cascadia. A proposed Greenpeace-loving, vegan-friendly, wired and caffeinated liberaltarian republic comprised of the U.S. states of Oregon and Washington plus the Canadian province of British Columbia. Cascadia would hypothetically be one of the 20 largest economies on Earth -- home to Starbucks and Microsoft, among other companies. In its own words: "An international economic relationship? A republic? A bioregion? A cooperative commonwealth? A network of communities based on mutual aid? A utopia? Cascadia is a lot of things to a lot of different people."

4. Nantucket. Home to the wind-swept summer homes of the uberwealthy, this tiny pork-chop shaped island off of the coast of Cape Cod, along with its big neighbor, Martha's Vineyard, attempted to secede from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the United States in 1977. Some locals have since proposed secession to found a more socialist republic. (They might have more luck asking those summering for help turning it into an off-shore tax haven.)

It’s Texas Independence Day, and well wishes to everyone from that state, with its awesomely idiosyncratic politics, beautiful landscapes, and very tasty food. Of course, Texas Independence Day is not about Texas declaring its independence from the United States, but Texas declaring its independence from Mexico. Still, I thought it might be a good time to check in on some popular U.S.-based independence or secessionist movements. (And to boot, everyone should read Graeme Wood’s killer dispatch from limbo states from Abkhazia to Somaliland in our last issue.)

5. Cascadia. A proposed Greenpeace-loving, vegan-friendly, wired and caffeinated liberaltarian republic comprised of the U.S. states of Oregon and Washington plus the Canadian province of British Columbia. Cascadia would hypothetically be one of the 20 largest economies on Earth — home to Starbucks and Microsoft, among other companies. In its own words: "An international economic relationship? A republic? A bioregion? A cooperative commonwealth? A network of communities based on mutual aid? A utopia? Cascadia is a lot of things to a lot of different people."

4. Nantucket. Home to the wind-swept summer homes of the uberwealthy, this tiny pork-chop shaped island off of the coast of Cape Cod, along with its big neighbor, Martha’s Vineyard, attempted to secede from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the United States in 1977. Some locals have since proposed secession to found a more socialist republic. (They might have more luck asking those summering for help turning it into an off-shore tax haven.)

3. The Green Mountain Independence Movement. A nonviolent citizens’ movement that advocates for Vermont to secede due to the "the tyranny of Corporate America and the U.S. government" — or because "Vermont has been dragged into the quagmire of affluenza, technomania, megalomania, globalization, and imperialism by the U.S. government in collaboration with corporate America," as another site puts it. See also this site on other New England secessionist or independence movements.  

2. Alaska. The Alaska Independence Party, the Last Frontier’s third-largest, advocates not for secession, but for a public referendum on it — since the United States didn’t hold one when Alaska became a state in 1958. "Alaskans were robbed of the choices we were to have as a non-self-governing territory, and steam-rolled into the current classification of a State," the party says. "Alaska first!"

In 2006, one Scott Kohlhaas wrote an initiative calling for secession (or a vote on it), kicking off a legal battle on the issue. The Alaska Supreme Court ruled: "Because  the  initiative  seeks  a  clearly unconstitutional end, the lieutenant governor correctly  declined to  certify it.  We therefore affirm the judgment of the superior court."

1. Texas. Even Gov. Rick Perry (in the midst of a gubernatorial primary vote against Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson today) thinks it should consider seceding, just maybe. Alas, secession is not constitutional, despite what some insist. Either way, it seems like a bad idea.

Annie Lowrey is assistant editor at FP.

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