What Would a Nationwide Secession Really Look Like?

What Would a Nationwide Secession Really Look Like?

image courtesy Slate

I have to admit, my main response to all those petitions to secede after the presidential election was to laugh, shrug, and move on with my day. However, one very creative author came up with a much more entertaining take on secession, turning into an alternate history account of what civil war would look like if every state fended for itself.

Slate has the full tale, but here’s a taste:

The first real occupation attempts happened when attempts were made to secure more assets.

The Republic of Texas sought to gain strategic advantages in the Central United States. To do this, they sought to gain two strategic assets. The first was control of Whiteman AFB, the home of the B-2 bomber program. The base was easily secured, and the most coveted military bomber in the world was now in the hands of the Republic of Texas. The next was control of Colorado and her military installations of great value. Then finally was access to the Mississippi River. Two main offenses took place to do just that. The First Battle of New Orleans involved a massive force occupying the city to claim it as a port and artery for future engagements. In Colorado, they met stiff resistance as many of the Texas military were unfamiliar with Mountain warfare. Colorado’s major bases fell quickly since Colorado enjoys the smallest force to fight back the Texans, but they adapted an unconventional warfare stance that kept the Texans on edge for months. Still, at this point the mission behind taking Colorado had been achieved — control over its military bases and strategic assets. The insurgency does however slow down the growth of Texas.

New York pushed Northward. They pushed to claim all of New England and the food wealth they will need to supply their people now that resources from the Midwest are no longer available. The take over is mostly peaceful as many of the states have large, but mostly non-military populations. They encountered problems when large groups of refugees tried to flee to Canada and rioting ensued.

The whole tale isn’t super long, but it makes me hope the author expands it into a full book. There is certainly plenty of potential material even in the short story version. Though I have to admit to being disappointed that my home state of New Jersey doesn’t show up as a major player in this thought-experiment…we are a small state, but we are damn scrappy!


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9 Comments on "What Would a Nationwide Secession Really Look Like?"

  1. I gotta think that the New York/New England axis would use the opportunity of civil war to make a grab for eastern Canada (sans Quebec). I mean, how could they not?

  2. I think with the pressures from other regions in this thought experiment, there would not be enough resources for a long protracted ground war with Canada while also defending the rest of the region.

    Texas would likely have the same problem with parts of Mexico; it would be a tempting target but a separate front there would be a huge resource draw.
    The fact that it feels realistic enough for us to debate it says a great deal about the depth and detail of this story!

  3. The only thing that I felt was missing was more pressure from external countries. I could see China, Iran, Mexico … maybe Canada, seeing states seceding as an opportunity.

  4. You got a point; I can definitely see Mexico trying to grab back parts of the former US. California would be hard, but Southwest Texas around El Paso and parts of New Mexico I can definitely see. Assuming the Republic of Texas doesn’t go hog-wild and start nuking people which, honestly, they might.

  5. Hell, Canada might *offer* Quebec to the Northeast. “Please, please; just take it off our hands!”

  6. To me the salient question is how the civil authorities would react, especially the military. That would quickly decide the outcome. Don’t forget…most of the food and much natural resources come from red states…

  7. Actually the truth is that the State of Texas has the right in its constitution to succeed from the USA if a super majority of its population agrees with it. It was part of the agreement when they were admitted as a state (they were their own country after the war with Mexico).

    They are the only state with its own separate electric grid and their national guard is considered the army of texas.

    The real question is whether the state could make a succession work…

  8. I would think the biggest issue would be logistics-currency, citizenship, taxation…ever try to figure out prorated property taxes when you move? Imagine doing that for a state’s finances!

    Plus, what happens if you work in Oklahoma and live in Texas, or vice versa? It could get worked out, but I would think bureaucracy, not bloodshed, would be the biggest hurdle.

  9. Actually, no. The matter came up before theCivil War and was settled – no state has the right to unilateral dissolution of statehood. It is possible that if they got the agreement of all states and the federal government they could ‘succeed’ at seceding … but also remember that one of the fundamentals of becoming a state is also recognizing that in areas where state and federal rules conflict, federal wins out. So the ‘we can secede’ rule is about as meaningful as Alabama still having ‘separate but equal’ in their constitution.

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