Scotland might secede next Thursday

The people of Scotland will vote on Thursday, September 18, on whether or not to secede from Great Britain.  When we blogged about it before in 2012, the chances for a “yes” majority seemed remote, but one poll last weekend showed the secessionists winning.  Though other polls suggest that the United Kingdom will remain united, the English–including political leaders of all parties–are in something of a panic as they realize that Scotland could very well leave.

Usually, nationalists are on the right, but the pro-Independence movement in Scotland seems dominated by the left.  And yet, as a Washington Post analysis suggests, a major consequence would be removing 41 Labour Party members from the English parliament, possibly endangering the UK’s membership in the European Union.  And no one knows what the economic repercussions would be for either country. [Read more...]

Secession movements

What with the European Union, globalization, the United Nations, and being a “citizen of the world,” the trend was supposed to be for the elimination of narrow nationalisms in favor of cosmopolitanism and ever-larger unions.  But now nationalism is back, and little countries are trying to break away from big countries.  After the jump, links to those efforts, including the upcoming vote in Scotland to secede from Great Britain.  How do you account for this phenomenon? [Read more...]

Seceding from the state

The Civil War established the principle that states are not allowed to secede from the Union.  But it also established the principle that counties can secede from a state.  West Virginia was formed when certain counties in Virginia refused to go along with the rest of the state in joining the Confederacy.

That has been the only time a state split up, though there have been other attempts to do so, which, if they had succeeded would have given us states named Shasta, Chesapeake, Absaroka, West Florida, Texlahoma, Montezuma, Rough and Ready, and Yazoo.

Today there are secession movements–usually rural conservatives wanting to break away from the dominance of urban liberals–in Maryland, Michigan, Colorado, and California.  (The Maryland breakaway would be called Augusta.  The one in California would be Jefferson.  Does anyone now what the others in California and Michigan would be called?) [Read more...]


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