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...]