This article may be too long to read and navigate comfortably. Consider splitting content into sub-articles, condensing it, or adding subheadings. Please discuss this issue on the article's talk page. (January 2022)
It has been suggested that this article should be split into multiple articles. (discuss) (December 2022)

A man holds a sign advocating for secession during the 2012 presidential campaign
A New Hampshire man holds a sign advocating for secession during the 2012 presidential campaign

In the context of the United States, secession primarily refers to the voluntary withdrawal of one or more states from the Union that constitutes the United States; but may loosely refer to leaving a state or territory to form a separate territory or new state, or to the severing of an area from a city or county within a state. Advocates for secession are called disunionists by their contemporaries in various historical documents.

Threats and aspirations to secede from the United States, or arguments justifying secession, have been a feature of the country's politics almost since its birth. Some have argued for secession as a constitutional right and others as from a natural right of revolution. In Texas v. White (1869), the Supreme Court ruled unilateral secession unconstitutional, while commenting that revolution or consent of the states could lead to a successful secession.

The most serious attempt at secession was advanced in the years 1860 and 1861 as 11 Southern states each declared secession from the United States, and joined to form the Confederate States of America, a procedure and body that the government of the United States refused to accept. The movement collapsed in 1865 with the defeat of Confederate forces by Union armies in the American Civil War.[1]

In the history of the United States, the only territories to have been withdrawn from the country are the small portions of the Louisiana Purchase north of the 49th parallel north, established as the U.S.–British (now Canadian) border by the Treaty of 1818; and the territory of the Commonwealth of the Philippines, which became independent after the Treaty of Manila. The former is today part of Canada, while the latter corresponds to the Republic of the Philippines.

Boundaries of U.S. territories, such as the Nebraska Territory, were not defined precisely. The boundaries of each new state are set in the document admitting the former territory to the Union as a state, which Congress must approve. There are three instances in U.S. history in which a portion of a state successfully seceded to create a new state: Kentucky which separated from Virginia in 1792, Maine separating from Massachusetts in 1820, and West Virginia, which also separated from Virginia, in 1863.[2][3]

American Revolution

Further information: American Revolution and American Revolutionary War

The Declaration of Independence states:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.—That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,—That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.[4]

Historian Pauline Maier argues that this narrative asserted "the right of revolution, which was, after all, the right Americans were exercising in 1776"; and notes that Thomas Jefferson's language incorporated ideas explained at length by a long list of 17th-century writers, including John Milton, Algernon Sidney, John Locke, and other English and Scottish commentators, all of whom had contributed to the development of the Whig tradition in 18th-century Britain.[4]

The right of revolution expressed in the Declaration was immediately followed with the observation that long-practiced injustice is tolerated until sustained assaults on the rights of the entire people have accumulated enough force to oppress them;[5] then they may defend themselves.[6][7] This reasoning was not original to the Declaration, but can be found in many prior political writings: Locke's Two Treatises of Government (1690); the Fairfax Resolves of 1774; Jefferson's own Summary View of the Rights of British America; the first Constitution of Virginia, which was enacted five days prior to the Declaration;[8] and Thomas Paine's Common Sense (1776):

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; ...mankind are more disposed to suffer, while Evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the Forms ("of Government", editor's addition) to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing...a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.[9]

Gordon S. Wood quotes President John Adams: "Only repeated, multiplied oppressions placing it beyond all doubt that their rulers had formed settled plans to deprive them of their liberties, could warrant the concerted resistance of the people against their government".[10]

Pre-Civil War political and legal views on secession


With origins in the question of states' rights, the issue of secession was argued in many forums and advocated from time to time in both the North and South in the decades after adopting the Constitution and before the American Civil War. Historian Maury Klein described the contemporary debate: "Was the Republic a unified nation in which the individual states had merged their sovereign rights and identities forever, or was it a federation of sovereign states joined together for specific purposes from which they could withdraw at any time?"[11] He observed that "the case can be made that no result of the [American Civil] war was more important than the destruction, once and for all...of the idea of secession".[12]

Historian Forrest McDonald argued that after adopting the Constitution, "there were no guidelines, either in theory or in history, as to whether the compact could be dissolved and, if so, on what conditions". However, during "the founding era, many a public figure...declared that the states could interpose their powers between their citizens and the power of the federal government, and talk of secession was not unknown". But according to McDonald, to avoid resorting to the violence that had accompanied the Revolution, the Constitution established "legitimate means for constitutional change in the future". In effect, the Constitution "completed and perfected the Revolution".[13]

Whatever the intentions of the Founders, threats of secession and disunion were a constant in the political discourse of Americans preceding the Civil War. Historian Elizabeth R. Varon wrote:

[O]ne word ("disunion") contained, and stimulated, their (Americans') fears of extreme political factionalism, tyranny, regionalism, economic decline, foreign intervention, class conflict, gender disorder, racial strife, widespread violence and anarchy, and civil war, all of which could be interpreted as God's retribution for America's moral failings. Disunion connoted the dissolution of the republic—the failure of the Founders' efforts to establish a stable and lasting representative government. For many Americans in the North and the South, disunion was a nightmare, a tragic cataclysm that would reduce them to the kind of fear and misery that seemed to pervade the rest of the world. And yet, for many other Americans, disunion served as the main instrument by which they could achieve their political goals.[14]

Abandoning the Articles of Confederation

In late 1777, the Second Continental Congress, meeting in Philadelphia, approved the Articles of Confederation for ratification by the individual states. The Confederation government was administered de facto by the Congress under the provisions of the approved (final) draft of the Articles until they achieved ratification—and de jure status—in early 1781. In 1786 delegates of five states (the Annapolis Convention) called for a convention of delegates in Philadelphia to amend the Articles, which would require the unanimous consent of all thirteen states.

The delegates to the Philadelphia Convention convened and deliberated from May to September 1787. Instead of pursuing their official charge they returned a draft (new) Constitution, proposed for constructing and administering a new federal—later also known as "national"—government. They further proposed that the draft Constitution not be submitted to the Congress (where it would require unanimous approval of the states); instead that it be presented directly to the states for ratification in special ratification conventions, and that approval by a minimum of nine state conventions would suffice to adopt the new Constitution and initiate the new federal government; and that only those states ratifying the Constitution would be included in the new government. (For a time, eleven of the original states operated under the Constitution without two non-ratifying states, Rhode Island and North Carolina.) In effect, the delegates proposed to abandon and replace the Articles of Confederation rather than amend them.[a]

Because the Articles had specified a "perpetual union", various arguments have been offered to explain the apparent contradiction (and presumed illegality) of abandoning one form of government and creating another that did not include the members of the original.[b] One explanation was that the Articles of Confederation simply failed to protect the vital interests of the individual states. Necessity then, rather than legality, was the practical factor in abandoning the Articles.[16]

According to historian John Ferling, by 1786 the Union under the Articles was falling apart. James Madison of Virginia and Alexander Hamilton of New York—they who joined to vigorously promote a new Constitution—urged that renewed stability of the Union government was critically needed to protect property and commerce. Both founders were strong advocates for a more powerful central government; they published The Federalist Papers to advocate their cause and became known as the federalists. (Because of his powerful advocacy Madison was later accorded the honorific "Father of the Constitution".)[c] Ferling wrote:

Rumors of likely secessionist movements were unleashed. There was buzz as well that some states planned to abandon the American Union and form a regional confederacy. America, it was said, would go the way of Europe, and ultimately three or four, or more confederacies would spring up. ... Not only would these confederations be capable of taking steps that were beyond the ability of Congress under the articles, but in private some portrayed such a step in a positive light, in as much as the regional union could adopt constitutions that secured property rights and maintained order.[d]

Other arguments that justified abandoning the Articles of Confederation pictured the Articles as an international compact between unconsolidated, sovereign states, any one of which was empowered to renounce the compact at will. (This as opposed to a consolidated union that "totally annihilated, without any power of revival" the sovereign states.)[19] The Articles required that all states were obliged to comply with all requirements of the agreement; thus, permanence was linked to compliance.

'Compliance' was typically perceived as a matter of interpretation by each individual state. Emerich de Vattel, a recognized authority on international law, wrote at the time that "Treaties contain promises that are perfect and reciprocal. If one of the allies fails in his engagements, the other may ... disengage himself in his promises, and ... break the treaty."[19] Thus, each state could unilaterally 'secede' from the Articles of Confederation at will; this argument for abandoning the Articles—for its weakness in the face of secession—was used by advocates for the new Constitution and was featured by James Madison in Federalist No. 43.[e]

St. George Tucker, an influential jurist in the early republic era, and especially in the South, argued that abandoning the Articles of Confederation was the same as seceding from the Articles government. In 1803, he wrote that the unanimous dissolution of the Articles Confederation in 1789 by Act of Congress was legal precedent for future secession(s) from the Constitution one state at a time by state legislatures.

And since the seceding states, by establishing a new constitution and form of federal government among themselves, without the consent of the rest, have shown that they consider the right to do so whenever the occasion may, in their opinion require it, we may infer that the right has not been diminished by any new compact which they may since have entered into, since none could be more solemn or explicit than the first, nor more binding upon the contracting partie[s].[21]

Others, such as Chief Justice John Marshall who had been a Virginia delegate to its Ratification (Federal) Convention, denied that ratifying the Constitution was a precedent for a future one-off dissolution of the Union by an isolated state or states. Writing in 1824, exactly midway between the fall of the Articles of Confederation and the rise of a second self-described American Confederacy, Marshal summarized the issue thusly: "Reference has been made to the political situation of these states, anterior to [the Constitution's] formation. It has been said that they were sovereign, were completely independent, and were connected with each other only by a league. This is true. But, when these allied sovereigns converted their league into a government, when they converted their congress of ambassadors, deputed to deliberate on their common concerns, and to recommend measures of general utility, into a legislature, empowered to enact laws on the most interesting subjects, the whole character in which the states appear underwent a change."[22]

Nationalists for Union in the antebellum America argued the opposite of secession; that indeed the new Constitution inherited perpetuity from the language in the Articles and from other actions done prior to the Constitution. Historian Kenneth Stampp explains their view:

Lacking an explicit clause in the Constitution with which to establish the Union's perpetuity, the nationalists made their case, first, with a unique interpretation of the history of the country prior to the Philadelphia Convention; second, with inferences drawn from certain passages of the Constitution; and third, with careful selections from the speeches and writings of the Founding Fathers. The historical case begins with the postulate that the Union is older than the states. It quotes the reference in the Declaration of Independence to "these united colonies", contends that the Second Continental Congress actually called the states into being [i.e., "colonies" no longer], notes the provision for a perpetual Union in the Articles of Confederation, and ends with the reminder that the preamble to the new Constitution gives as one of its purposes the formation of "a more perfect Union".[23]

Adopting the Constitution

This section is written like a debate. Please help improve the section by writing in encyclopedic style and discuss the issue on the talk page. (February 2017) (Learn how and when to remove this message)

Constitutional scholar Akhil Reed Amar argues that the permanence of the Union of the states changed significantly when the U.S. Constitution replaced the Articles of Confederation. This action "signaled its decisive break with the Articles' regime of state sovereignty".[24] By adopting a constitution—rather than a treaty, or a compact, or an instrument of confederacy, etc.—that created a new body of government designed to be senior to the several states, and by approving the particular language and provisions of that new Constitution, the framers and voters made it clear that the fates of the individual states were (severely) changed; and that the new United States was:

Not a "league", however firm; not a "confederacy" or a "confederation"; not a compact on among "sovereign' states"—all these high profile and legally freighted words from the Articles were conspicuously absent from the Preamble and every other operative part of the Constitution. The new text proposed a fundamentally different legal framework.[25]

Patrick Henry adamantly opposed adopting the Constitution because he interpreted its language to replace the sovereignty of the individual states, including that of his own Virginia. He gave his strong voice to the anti-federalist cause in opposition to the federalists led by Madison and Hamilton. Questioning the nature of the proposed new federal government, Henry asked:

The fate ... of America may depend on this. ... Have they made a proposal of a compact between the states? If they had, this would be a confederation. It is otherwise most clearly a consolidated government. The question turns, sir, on that poor little thing—the expression, We, the people, instead of the states, of America. ...[26]

The federalists acknowledged that national sovereignty would be transferred by the new Constitution to the whole of the American people—indeed, regard the expression, "We the people ...". They argued, however, that Henry exaggerated the extent to which a consolidated government was being created and that the states would serve a vital role within the new republic even though their national sovereignty was ending. Tellingly, on the matter of whether states retained a right to unilaterally secede from the United States, the federalists made it clear that no such right would exist under the Constitution.[27]

Amar specifically cites the example of New York's ratification as suggestive that the Constitution did not countenance secession. Anti-federalists dominated the Poughkeepsie Convention that would ratify the Constitution. Concerned that the new compact might not sufficiently safeguard states' rights, the anti-federalists sought to insert into the New York ratification message language to the effect that "there should be reserved to the state of New York a right to withdraw herself from the union after a certain number of years."[28] The Madison federalists opposed this, with Hamilton, a delegate at the Convention, reading aloud in response a letter from James Madison stating: "the Constitution requires an adoption in toto, and for ever" [emphasis added]. Hamilton and John Jay then told the Convention that in their view, reserving "a right to withdraw [was] inconsistent with the Constitution, and was no ratification".[28] The New York convention ultimately ratified the Constitution without including the "right to withdraw" language proposed by the anti-federalists.

Amar explains how the Constitution impacted on state sovereignty:

In dramatic contrast to Article VII–whose unanimity rule that no state can bind another confirms the sovereignty of each state prior to 1787 – Article V does not permit a single state convention to modify the federal Constitution for itself. Moreover, it makes clear that a state may be bound by a federal constitutional amendment even if that state votes against the amendment in a properly convened state convention. And this rule is flatly inconsistent with the idea that states remain sovereign after joining the Constitution, even if they were sovereign before joining it. Thus, ratification of the Constitution itself marked the moment when previously sovereign states gave up their sovereignty and legal independence.[29]

Natural right of revolution versus right of secession

Debates on the legality of secession often looked back to the example of the American Revolution and the Declaration of Independence. Law professor Daniel Farber defined what he considered the borders of this debate:

What about the original understanding? The debates contain scattered statements about the permanence or impermanence of the Union. The occasional references to the impermanency of the Constitution are hard to interpret. They might have referred to a legal right to revoke ratification. But they equally could have referred to an extraconstitutional right of revolution, or to the possibility that a new national convention would rewrite the Constitution, or simply to the factual possibility that the national government might break down. Similarly, references to the permanency of the Union could have referred to the practical unlikelihood of withdrawal rather than any lack of legal power. The public debates seemingly do not speak specifically to whether ratification under Article VII was revocable.[30]

In the public debate over the Nullification Crisis the separate issue of secession was also discussed. James Madison, often referred to as "The Father of the Constitution", strongly opposed the argument that secession was permitted by the Constitution.[31] In a March 15, 1833, letter to Daniel Webster (congratulating him on a speech opposing nullification), Madison discussed "revolution" versus "secession":

I return my thanks for the copy of your late very powerful Speech in the Senate of the United S. It crushes "nullification" and must hasten the abandonment of "Secession". But this dodges the blow by confounding the claim to secede at will, with the right of seceding from intolerable oppression. The former answers itself, being a violation, without cause, of a faith solemnly pledged. The latter is another name only for revolution, about which there is no theoretic controversy.[32]

Thus Madison affirms an extraconstitutional right to revolt against conditions of "intolerable oppression"; but if the case cannot be made (that such conditions exist), then he rejects secession—as a violation of the Constitution.

During the crisis, President Andrew Jackson, published his Proclamation to the People of South Carolina, which made a case for the perpetuity of the Union; plus, he provided his views re the questions of "revolution" and "secession":[33]

But each State having expressly parted with so many powers as to constitute jointly with the other States a single nation, cannot from that period possess any right to secede, because such secession does not break a league, but destroys the unity of a nation, and any injury to that unity is not only a breach which would result from the contravention of a compact, but it is an offense against the whole Union. [emphasis added] To say that any State may at pleasure secede from the Union, is to say that the United States are not a nation because it would be a solecism to contend that any part of a nation might dissolve its connection with the other parts, to their injury or ruin, without committing any offense. Secession, like any other revolutionary act, may be morally justified by the extremity of oppression; but to call it a constitutional right, is confounding the meaning of terms, and can only be done through gross error, or to deceive those who are willing to assert a right, but would pause before they made a revolution, or incur the penalties consequent upon a failure.[34]

Some twenty-eight years after Jackson spoke, President James Buchanan gave a different voice—one much more accommodating to the views of the secessionists and the slave states—in the midst of the pre-War secession crisis. In his final State of the Union address to Congress, on December 3, 1860, he stated his view that the South, "after having first used all peaceful and constitutional means to obtain redress, would be justified in revolutionary resistance to the Government of the Union"; but he also drew his apocalyptic vision of the results to be expected from secession:[35]

In order to justify secession as a constitutional remedy, it must be on the principle that the Federal Government is a mere voluntary association of States, to be dissolved at pleasure by any one of the contracting parties. If this be so, the Confederacy [here referring to the existing Union] is a rope of sand, to be penetrated and dissolved by the first adverse wave of public opinion in any of the States. In this manner our thirty-three States may resolve themselves into as many petty, jarring, and hostile republics, each one retiring from the Union without responsibility whenever any sudden excitement might impel them to such a course. By this process a Union might be entirely broken into fragments in a few weeks which cost our forefathers many years of toil, privation, and blood to establish.[35]

Alien and Sedition Acts

In response to the 1798 Alien and Sedition Acts—advanced by the Federalist Party—John Taylor of the Virginia House of Delegates spoke out, urging Virginia to secede from the United States. He argued—as one of many vociferous responses by the Jeffersonian Republicans—the sense of the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions, adopted in 1798 and 1799, which reserved to those States the rights of secession and interposition (nullification).[36]

Thomas Jefferson, while sitting as Vice President of the United States in 1799, wrote to James Madison of his conviction in "a reservation of th[ose] rights resulting to us from these palpable violations [the Alien and Sedition Acts]" and, if the federal government did not return to

"the true principles of our federal compact, [he was determined to] sever ourselves from that union we so much value, rather than give up the rights of self government which we have reserved, and in which alone we see liberty, safety and happiness."[emphasis added][37]

Here Jefferson is arguing in a radical voice (and in a private letter) that he would lead a movement for secession; but it is unclear whether he is arguing for "secession at will" or for "revolution" on account of "intolerable oppression" (see above), or neither. Jefferson secretly wrote (one of) the Kentucky Resolutions, which was done—again—while he was holding the office of Vice President. His biographer Dumas Malone argued that, had his actions become known at the time, Jefferson's participation might have gotten him impeached for (charged with) treason.[38] In writing the first Kentucky Resolution, Jefferson warned that, "unless arrested at the threshold", the Alien and Sedition Acts would "necessarily drive these states into revolution and blood". Historian Ron Chernow says of this "he wasn't calling for peaceful protests or civil disobedience: he was calling for outright rebellion, if needed, against the federal government of which he was vice president." Jefferson "thus set forth a radical doctrine of states' rights that effectively undermined the constitution".[39]

Jeffersonian Republicans were not alone in claiming "reserved rights" against the federal government. Contributing to the rancorous debates during the War of 1812, Founding Father Gouverneur Morris of Pennsylvania and New York—a Federalist, a Hamilton ally and a primary author of the Constitution who advanced the concept that Americans were citizens of a single Union of the states—was persuaded to claim that "secession, under certain circumstances, was entirely constitutional."[40]

New England Federalists and the Hartford Convention

The election of 1800 showed Jefferson's Democratic-Republican Party to be on the rise and the Federalists to be declining, and the Federalists felt threatened by initiatives taken by their opponents. They viewed Jefferson's unilateral purchase of the Louisiana territory as violating foundational agreements between the original 13 states; Jefferson transacted the purchase in secret and refused to seek the approval of Congress. The new lands anticipated several future western states which the Federalists feared would be dominated by the Democratic-Republicans. Other things added to the Federalists' alarm, such as the impeachment of Federalist district judge John Pickering by the Jeffersonian-dominated Congress, and similar attacks on Pennsylvania state officials by the Democratic-Republican legislature. By 1804, their national leadership was decimated and their viable base was reduced to the states of Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Delaware.[41]

Timothy Pickering of Massachusetts and a few Federalists envisioned creating a separate New England confederation, possibly combining with lower Canada to form a new pro-British nation. The Embargo Act of 1807 was seen as a threat to the economy of Massachusetts, and the state legislature debated in May 1808 how the state should respond. These debates generated isolated references to secession, but no definite plot materialized.[42] Historian Richard Buell Jr. suggests that "the secessionist movement of 1804 was more of a confession of despair about the future than a realistic proposal for action."[43]

Federalist party members convened the Hartford Convention on December 15, 1814, and they addressed their opposition to the continuing war with Britain and the domination of the federal government by the "Virginia dynasty". Twenty six delegates attended; Massachusetts sent 12, Connecticut seven, and Rhode Island four. New Hampshire and Vermont declined, but two counties each from those states sent delegates.[44] Historian Donald R. Hickey notes:

Despite pleas in the New England press for secession and a separate peace, most of the delegates taking part in the Hartford Convention were determined to pursue a moderate course. Only Timothy Bigelow of Massachusetts apparently favored extreme measures, and he did not play a major role in the proceedings.[44]

The final report addressed issues related to the war and state defense, and it recommended several amendments to the Constitution.[45][46] Massachusetts and Connecticut endorsed it, but the war ended as the delegates were returning to Washington, effectively quashing any impact that it might have had. The Jeffersonians described the convention as "a synonym for disloyalty and treason", and it became a major factor in the sharp decline of the Federalist Party.[47]

Abolitionists for secession by the North

William Lloyd Garrison: "Henceforth, the watchword of every uncompromising abolitionist, of every friend of God and liberty, must be, both in a religious and political sense — 'NO UNION WITH SLAVEHOLDERS'"[48]

See also: Treason § United States

It is not often remembered today, as it was the South that actually attempted to secede. However, there was a movement to have the North secede, thereby escaping the slave power that dominated the Federal government.

Tensions began to rise between North and South by the late 1830s over slavery and related issues. Many Northerners, especially New Englanders, saw themselves as political victims of conspiracies between slave owners and Western expansionists. They viewed the movements to annex Texas and to make war on Mexico as fomented by slaveholders bent on dominating Western expansion and thereby the national destiny. New England abolitionist Benjamin Lundy argued that the annexation of Texas was "a long-premeditated crusade—set on foot by slaveholders, land speculators, etc., with the view of reestablishing, extending, and perpetuating the system of slavery and the slave trade".[49]

The first petition asking for dissolution of the Union, from the citizens of Haverhill, Massachusetts, was presented to the U.S. Congress by Massachusetts representative John Quincy Adams in January 1842.[50]

Newspaper editors began demanding separation from the South. William Lloyd Garrison called for secession in The Liberator of May 1844 with his "Address to the Friends of Freedom and Emancipation in the United States". The Constitution was created, he wrote, "at the expense of the colored population of the country", and Southerners were dominating the nation because of the Three-fifths Compromise; now it was time "to set the captive free by the potency of truth" and to "secede from the government".[51] Coincidentally, the New England Anti-Slavery Convention endorsed the principles of disunion by a vote of 250–24.[52]

In 1846, the following volume by Henry Clarke Wright was published in London: The dissolution of the American union: demanded by justice and humanity, as the incurable enemy of liberty.

According to Theodore Parker, one of the Secret Six who helped finance John Brown, and writing in the 1850s, "Now more than ever should disunion be the motto of all freedom-loving men.[53]: 81  The Worcester Disunion Convention was held in 1857.

Southern members of Congress walked out in the 1830s in protest over support for slaves' right to petition, and "were with difficulty persuaded to return".[50] The enslaved did not have the right to petition the government. Support of secession really began to shift to Southern states from 1846, after introduction into the public debate of the Wilmot Proviso, which would have prohibited slavery in the new territories acquired from Mexico. Southern leaders increasingly felt helpless against a powerful political group that was attacking their interests (slavery), reminiscent of Federalist alarms at the beginning of the century.

Nashville Convention of 1850

Main article: Nashville Convention

The Nashville Convention was a political meeting held in Nashville, Tennessee, on June 3–11, 1850. Delegates from nine slave states met to consider secession, if the United States Congress decided to ban slavery in the new territories being added to the country as a result of the Louisiana Purchase and the Mexican Cession. The compromises worked out in Nashville paved the way for the Compromise of 1850, including the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, and, for a time, preserved the union of the United States.

In 1851 Frederick Barnard found that, for the South, "the Union [was the] only security for Southern rights [slavery]".[54]

Northern "No Union with Slaveholders" conventions of 1856–57

Called by David Garrison, a convention to discuss "the dissolution of the American Union, and the formation of a Northern, non-slave-holding Confederacy," was held in Worcester, Massachusetts, in January 1857.[55] It is known as the Worcester Disunion Convention.

Similar conventions were held in Angola, Indiana, Adrian, Michigan,[55] and Oswego, New York (at the latter of which Susan B. Anthony spoke).[56]

South Carolina's secession

See also: South Carolina Declaration of Secession

During the presidential term of Andrew Jackson, South Carolina had its own semi-secession movement due to the so-called 1828 Tariff of Abominations, which threatened South Carolina's economy, and South Carolina, in turn, threatened to secede from the United States (the Union). Jackson also threatened to send federal troops to put down the movement and to hang the leader of the secessionists from the highest tree in South Carolina. Also due to this, Jackson's vice president, John C. Calhoun, who supported the movement and wrote the essay "The South Carolina Exposition and Protest", became the first US vice president to resign. On May 1, 1833, Jackson wrote of nullification, "the tariff was only a pretext, and disunion and Southern confederacy the real object. The next pretext will be the negro, or slavery question."[57] South Carolina also threatened to secede in 1850 over the issue of California's statehood. It became the first state to declare its secession from the Union on December 20, 1860, with the Declaration of the Immediate Causes Which Induce and Justify the Secession of South Carolina from the Federal Union, and it later joined with the other Southern states to form the Confederacy.

Seceded states form the Confederate States of America

  States under CSA control
  States and territories represented in the governments of the USA and CSA
See main articles Origins of the American Civil War, Confederate States of America and American Civil War.

The most famous secessionist movement was the movement which dominated the Southern states of the United States. Secession from the United States was accepted in eleven states (but it was rejected in two other states). The seceding states formed a new nation, the Confederate States of America (CSA).

The eleven states of the CSA, in order of their dates of secession (listed in parentheses), were: South Carolina (December 20, 1860), Mississippi (January 9, 1861), Florida (January 10, 1861), Alabama (January 11, 1861), Georgia (January 19, 1861), Louisiana (January 26, 1861), Texas (February 1, 1861), Virginia (April 17, 1861), Arkansas (May 6, 1861), North Carolina (May 20, 1861), and Tennessee (June 8, 1861).

Secession was also declared by pro-Confederate governments in Missouri and Kentucky (see Confederate government of Missouri and Confederate government of Kentucky), early in the war the Confederacy controlled the southern portion of Missouri and more than half of Kentucky till 1862, but it never became effective as it was opposed by pro-Union governments that in both states retained actual control of the territory after 1862. In Virginia, Unionists in the northwestern part of the state quickly succeeded in forming a functioning government in Wheeling that opposed the pro-Confederate government in Virginia. By 1863 Unionists convinced Congress to admit fifty Virginia counties as the State of West Virginia and the "Restored Government of Virginia" relocated to Union-occupied Alexandria until the Confederacy's dissolution.

This secessionist movement triggered the American Civil War. The position of the Union was that the Confederacy was not—nor had it ever been—a sovereign nation because "the Union" was always a single nation by the intent of the states themselves, from 1776 onward; thus, a rebellion had been initiated by individuals. Historian Bruce Catton described President Abraham Lincoln's April 15, 1861 proclamation, three days after the attack on Fort Sumter, as a proclamation in which Lincoln defined the Union's position on the hostilities:

After reciting the obvious fact that "combinations too powerful to be suppressed" by ordinary law courts and marshalls had taken charge of affairs in the seven secessionist states, it announced that the several states of the Union were called on to contribute 75,000 militia " suppress said combinations and to cause the laws to be duly executed." ... "And I hereby command the persons composing the combinations aforesaid to disperse, and retire peacefully to their respective abodes within twenty days from this date.[58]

Political effects of their secession

With the departure of the Representatives and Senators from the seceding states—most voluntarily, but some were expelled—the makeup and organization of the 36th United States Congress changed dramatically. Vice President and Senate President John C. Breckinridge of Kentucky remained until he was replaced by Hannibal Hamlin, and then expelled, but gone was the President pro tempore (Benjamin Fitzpatrick of Alabama) and the heads of the Senate committees on Claims (Alfred Iverson Sr. of Georgia), Commerce (Clement Claiborne Clay of Alabama), the District of Columbia (Albert G. Brown of Mississippi), Finance (Robert M. T. Hunter of Virginia, expelled), Foreign Relations (James M. Mason of Virginia, expelled), Military Affairs (Jefferson Davis of Mississippi), Naval Affairs (Stephen Mallory of Florida), and Public Lands (Robert Ward Johnson of Arkansas).

Within days, Kansas was admitted to the Union as a free state, an issue at the time similar to the 20th and 21st-century debate over statehood for the District of Columbia. Within a month Colorado, Nevada, and Dakota Territory followed. The end of slavery in the District of Columbia had been a goal of abolitionists since the slavery gag rule crisis of the 1830s. The District of Columbia Compensated Emancipation Act passed in 1862, as did the Homestead Act and the Morrill Land-Grant Act of 1862, other measures the slave states had blocked.

Disputed legality of unilateral secession

The Constitution does not directly mention secession.[59] The legality of secession was hotly debated in the 19th century. Although the Federalist Party briefly explored New England secession during the War of 1812, secession became associated with Southern states as the North's industrial power increased.[60] In the modern day, the Supreme Court has consistently interpreted the Constitution to be an "indestructible" union.[59] However, this stance was largely not developed until the Post-Civil War period. The Articles of Confederation explicitly state the Union is "perpetual"; the U.S. Constitution declares its purpose is to form a "more perfect union" than the Articles of Confederation.[61] Other scholars, while not necessarily disagreeing that the secession was illegal, point out that sovereignty is often de facto an "extralegal" question. Had the Confederacy won, any illegality of its actions under U.S. law would have been rendered irrelevant, just as the undisputed illegality of American rebellion under the British law of 1775 was rendered irrelevant. Thus, these scholars argue, the illegality of unilateral secession was not firmly de facto established until the Union won the Civil War; in this view, the legal question was resolved at Appomattox.[60][62]

Supreme Court rulings

Texas v. White[61] was argued before the United States Supreme Court during the December 1868 term. Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase read the Court's decision, on April 15, 1869.[63] Australian Professors Peter Radan and Aleksandar Pavkovic write:

Chase [Chief Justice] ruled in favor of Texas on the ground that the Confederate state government in Texas had no legal existence on the basis that the secession of Texas from the United States was illegal. The critical finding underpinning the ruling that Texas could not secede from the United States was that, following its admission to the United States in 1845, Texas had become part of "an indestructible Union, composed of indestructible States".... In practical terms, this meant that Texas had never seceded from the United States.[64]

Chase, however, "recognized that a state could cease to be part of the union 'through revolution, or through consent of the States'".[64][65]

In 1877, the Williams v. Bruffy[66] decision was rendered, pertaining to Civil War debts. The Court wrote regarding acts establishing an independent government that "The validity of its acts, both against the parent state and the citizens or subjects thereof, depends entirely upon its ultimate success; if it fail to establish itself permanently, all such acts perish with it; if it succeed and become recognized, its acts from the commencement of its existence are upheld as those of an independent nation."[64][67]

The Union as a sovereign state

Historian Kenneth Stampp notes that a historical argument against secession was that "the Union is older than the states" and that "the provision for a perpetual Union in the Articles of Confederation" was carried over into the Constitution by the "reminder that the preamble to the new Constitution gives us one of its purposes the formation of 'a more perfect Union'".[23] Concerning the White decision Stampp wrote:

In 1869, when the Supreme Court, in Texas v. White, finally rejected as untenable the case for a constitutional right of secession, it stressed this historical argument. The Union, the Court said, "never was a purely artificial and arbitrary relation". Rather, "It began among the Colonies.... It was confirmed and strengthened by the necessities of war, and received definite form, and character, and sanction from the Articles of Confederation."[23]

Texas's secession from Mexico

The Republic of Texas successfully seceded from Mexico in 1836 (this, however took the form of outright rebellion against Mexico, and claimed no warrant under the Mexican Constitution to do so). Mexico refused to recognize its revolted province as an independent country, and the Texas Republic did not have significant international recognition. In 1845, Congress admitted Texas as a state. The documents governing Texas's accession to the United States of America do not mention any right of secession—although they did raise the possibility of dividing Texas into multiple states inside the Union. Mexico warned that annexation meant war, and the Mexican–American War followed in 1846.[68]

Partition of a state

Article IV, Section. 3, Clause 1 of the United States Constitutions provides:

New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new States shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress.

The separation referred to is not secession but partition. Some of the movements to partition states have identified themselves as "secessionist" movements.

Of the new states admitted to the Union by Congress, three were set off from already existing states,[69] while one was established upon land claimed by an existing state after existing for several years as a de facto independent republic. They are:

See also: Admission to the Union

Many unsuccessful proposals to partition U.S. states have been drawn.

20th century efforts and beyond

The late 20th and early 21st centuries have seen examples of local and state secession movements. All such movements to create new states have failed. The formation in 1971 of the Libertarian Party and its national platform affirmed the right of states to secede on three vital principles: "We shall support recognition of the right to secede. Political units or areas which do secede should be recognized by the United States as independent political entities where: (1) secession is supported by a majority within the political unit, (2) the majority does not attempt suppression of the dissenting minority, and (3) the government of the new entity is at least as compatible with human freedom as that from which it seceded."[77]

City secession

See also: Municipal deannexation in the United States

The island of Nantucket has attempted to secede from the commonwealth of Massachusetts three times in the 20th century. In 1937 it was over public utility rates, in 1957 it was over state ownership of passenger ferry boats, and in 1977 over redistricting that would have diluted their representation in congress [78] [79]

There was an attempt by Staten Island to break away from New York City in the late 1980s and early 1990s, leading to a 1993 referendum, in which 65% voted to secede. Implementation was blocked in the State Assembly by assertions that the state's constitution required a "home rule message" from New York City.[80]

The San Fernando Valley lost a vote to separate from Los Angeles in 2002. Despite the majority (55%) of the valley within the L.A. city limits voting for secession, the city council unanimously voted to block the partition of the valley north of Mulholland Drive.

Other attempted city secession drives include Killington, Vermont, which has voted twice (2005 and 2006) to join New Hampshire; the community of Miller Beach, Indiana, originally a separate incorporated community, to split from the city of Gary in 2007 and Northeast Philadelphia to split from the city of Philadelphia in the 1980s.

A portion of the town of Calabash, North Carolina, voted to secede from the town in 1998 after receiving permission for a referendum on the issue from the state of North Carolina. Following secession, the area incorporated itself as the town of Carolina Shores. Despite the split, the towns continue to share fire and emergency services.[81]

The town of Rough and Ready, California declared its secession from the Union as The Great Republic of Rough and Ready on 7 April 1850, largely to avoid mining taxes, but voted to rejoin the Union less than three months later on 4 July.[82]

The Northwest Angle is a small exclave of Minnesota that juts north into Canada due to a quirk in the definitions of the US-Canada border. Because of laws restricting fishing, some residents of the Northwest Angle suggested leaving the United States and joining Canada in 1997. The following year, U.S. Representative Collin Peterson of Minnesota proposed legislation to allow the residents of the Northwest Angle, part of his district, to vote on seceding from the United States and joining Canada.[83][84] The action did not lead to secession, but did succeed in getting fishing regulations synchronized across international (fresh) waters.[85]

State secession

Some state movements seek secession from the United States itself and the formation of a nation from one or more states.

Regional secession

Proposed State of Jefferson
A map that shows the boundaries of the American Redoubt


A September 2017 Zogby International poll found that 68% of Americans were open to states of the USA seceding.[148] A 2014 Reuters/Ipsos poll showed 24% of Americans supported their state seceding from the union if necessary; 53% opposed the idea. Republicans were somewhat more supportive than Democrats. Respondents cited issues like gridlock, governmental overreach, the possible unconstitutionality of the Affordable Care Act and a loss of faith in the federal government as reasons for desiring secession.[149]

A 2021 poll found that 52% of Trump voters and 41% of Biden voters support partitioning the United States into multiple countries based on political party lines.[150][151] A different poll that same year grouped the United States into five geographic regions, and found that 37% of Americans favored secession of their own region. 44% of Americans in the South favored secession, with Republican support at 66%; while Democratic support was 47% in the Pacific states.[152][153][154]

See also


Informational notes

  1. ^ St. George Tucker wrote "The dissolution of these systems [any confederacy of states] happens, when all the confederates by mutual consent, or some of them, voluntarily abandon the confederacy, and govern their own states apart; or a part of them form a different league and confederacy among each other, and withdraw themselves from the confederacy with the rest. Such was the proceeding on the part of those of the American states which first adopted the present constitution of the United States . . . leaving the states of Rhode Island and North Carolina, both of which, at first, rejected the new constitution, to themselves."[15]
  2. ^ Tucker wrote that this was an evident breach of the Articles of Confederation; because they stipulated that "those 'articles should be inviolably observed by every state, and that union should be perpetual; nor should any alteration at any time thereafter be made in any of them, unless such alterations be agreed to in the congress of the United States, and be afterwards confirmed by the legislatures of every state.'" (Tucker quoting from the Articles of Confederation). "Yet the seceding states, as they may not be improperly termed, did not hesitate, as soon as nine states had ratified the new constitution, to supersede the former federal government and establish a new form, more consonant to their opinion of what was necessary to the preservation and prosperity of the federal union."[15]
  3. ^ Of Madison, Ferling wrote that he was "resolute about protecting the propertied class from what he believed were the democratic excesses of the American Revolution and, at the same time, guarding Southern interests, which to a considerable extent meant preserving the well being of slaveholders against a Northern majority". Of Hamilton, Ferling wrote, "His principal aim, according to his biographer Forrest McDonald, was to lay groundwork for enhanced Congressional authority over commerce."[17]
  4. ^ Ferling notes that John Jay wrote to George Washington that "Errors in our national Government ... threaten the Fruit we expected from our 'Tree of Liberty'. Ferling wrote of Henry Lee that he spoke of the "contempt with which America was held in Europe" (Ferling's words) and the dangers that the country's "degrading supiness" (Lee's words) presented to preservation of the nation.[18]
  5. ^ From Federalist 43: A compact between independent sovereigns, founded on ordinary acts of Legislative authority, can pretend to no higher validity than a league or treaty between the parties. It is an established doctrine on the subject of treaties, that all the Articles are mutually conditions of each other; that a breach of any one Article is a breach of the whole treaty; and that a breach, committed by either of the parties, absolves the others, and authorizes them, if they please, to pronounce the compact violated and void. Should it unhappily be necessary to appeal to these delicate truths for a justification for dispensing with the consent of particular States to a dissolution of the federal pact, will not the complaining parties find it a difficult task to answer the multiplied and important infractions with which they may be confronted?[20]


  1. ^ Gienapp 2002.
  2. ^ "An Act declaring the Consent of Congress, that a new State be formed within the Jurisdiction of the Commonwealth of Virginia, and admitted into this Union, by the Name of the State of Kentucky". Library of Congress. February 4, 1791. Retrieved February 7, 2024.
  3. ^ Wickersham, George (November 1911). "New States and Constitutions" (PDF). Yale Law Journal. 21 (1): 9. Retrieved February 7, 2024.
  4. ^ a b Maier 1997, p. 135.
  5. ^ J Jayne, Allen, Op. Cit., pp. 45, 46, 48[citation needed]
  6. ^ Eidelberg 1976, p. 24.
  7. ^ J Jayne, Allen, Op. Cit., p. 128
  8. ^ "Creating the Declaration of Independence – Train of Abuses: Antecedent Documents". Creating the United States. Library of Congress. Retrieved February 16, 2015. (includes: Draft of the Virginia Constitution, 1776, Common Sense, 1776, A Summary View of the Rights of British America, 1774, Fairfax County Resolves, 1774, Two Treatises of Government, 1690)
  9. ^ "Exhibition Home". Creating the United States. Library of Congress. Archived from the original on June 6, 2010.
  10. ^ Wood 1969, p. 40.
  11. ^ Klein 1997, pp. 32–33.
  12. ^ Klein 1997, p. xii.
  13. ^ McDonald 1985, pp. 281–82.
  14. ^ Varon 2008, pp. 1–2.
  15. ^ a b Tucker 1999, p. 84.
  16. ^ Amar 2005, p. 30.
  17. ^ Ferling 2003, pp. 273–74.
  18. ^ Ferling 2003, p. 274.
  19. ^ a b Amar 2005, p. 31: The quoted material is from Blackstone's "Commentaries".
  20. ^ Amar 2005, p. 31
  21. ^ Tucker 1999, pp. 85–86.
  22. ^ Amar 2005, p. 39: quoting Gibbons v. Ogden, 22 U.S. (9 Wheat.) 1 (1824).
  23. ^ a b c Stampp 1978, p. 6.
  24. ^ Amar 2005, pp. 29–32.
  25. ^ Amar 2005, p. 33.
  26. ^ Amar 2005, p. 35.
  27. ^ Amar 2005, pp. 35–36.
  28. ^ a b Amar, Akhil Reed (September 19, 2005). "Conventional Wisdom". New York Times. Archived from the original on May 29, 2015. Retrieved May 29, 2015.
  29. ^ Amar, Akhil Reed (2001). "David C. Baur Lecture: Abraham Lincoln And The American Union". University of Illinois Law Review. 2001 (5). Yale Law School: 1124. Retrieved November 20, 2019.
  30. ^ Farber 2003, p. 87.
  31. ^ Ketcham 1990, pp. 644–46.
  32. ^ "Volume 1, Chapter 3, Document 14: James Madison to Daniel Webster". The Founder's Constitution. University of Chicago. March 18, 1833. Retrieved September 16, 2015.
  33. ^ Remini 1984, p. 21.
  34. ^ "President Jackson's Proclamation Regarding Nullification". The Avalon Project. Yale Law School. December 10, 1832. Retrieved September 16, 2015.
  35. ^ a b "Fourth Annual Message to Congress on the State of the Union | The American Presidency Project".
  36. ^ Stromberg 1982, p. 42.
  37. ^ Smith 1995, p. 1119.
  38. ^ Chernow 2004, p. 586.
  39. ^ Chernow 2004, p. 587.
  40. ^ McDonald 1985, p. 281: (citing Morris, "Address to the People of the State of New York" (1814), et al.)
  41. ^ Buel 2005, pp. 22–23.
  42. ^ Buel 2005, pp. 44–58.
  43. ^ Buel 2005, p. 23.
  44. ^ a b Hickey 1997, p. 233.
  45. ^ "Amendments to the Constitution Proposed by the Hartford Convention : 1814". The Avalon Project. Retrieved September 16, 2015.
  46. ^ Hickey 1997, pp. 233–34.
  47. ^ Hickey 1997, p. 234.
  48. ^ Cain 1995, p. 115.
  49. ^ Sibley 2005, p. 117.
  50. ^ a b "House of Representatives. The Monomania Hoax—Ex-President Adams—The Treasury Note Bill—Petition for the Dissolution of the Union". New York Daily Herald. January 26, 1842. p. 3.
  51. ^ Mayer 1998, p. 327.
  52. ^ Mayer 1998, p. 328.
  53. ^ Renehan, Edward J. Jr. (1995). Secret Six: The True Tale of the Men Who Conspired with John Brown. New York: Crown Publishers. ISBN 0-517-59028-X.
  54. ^ Barnard, Frederick A. P. (1851). No just cause for a dissolution of the Union in any thing which has hitherto happened; but the Union the only security for southern rights. Tuscaloosa, Alabama.((cite book)): CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  55. ^ a b Wright, Henry C. (January 16, 1857) [20 Dec 1856]. "Downfall of the American Union". The Liberator. Boston, Massachusetts. p. 3.
  56. ^ Powell, Aaron M. (January 16, 1857) [10 Jan 1857]. "Letter from Aaron M. Powell". The Liberator. Boston, Massachusetts. p. 3.
  57. ^ Meacham 2009, p. 247.
  58. ^ Catton 1961, pp. 327–28.
  59. ^ a b DeRusha, Jason. "Good Question: Can A State Secede From The Union?". CBS Minnesota. Retrieved September 26, 2016.
  60. ^ a b Zurcher, Anthony (June 22, 2016). "EU referendum: How is the US (not) like the EU?". BBC News. Retrieved September 26, 2016.
  61. ^ a b ussc|74|700|1868
  62. ^ Pattani, Aneri (June 24, 2016). "Can Texas Legally Secede From the United States?". The Texas Tribune. Retrieved September 26, 2016.
  63. ^ Texas v. White.
  64. ^ a b c Pavković & Radan 2007, p. 222.
  65. ^ "Texas v. White 74 U.S. 700 {1868}". Legal Information Institute. Cornell University Law School. Retrieved September 16, 2015.
  66. ^ ussc|96|176|1877
  67. ^ "Williams vs. Bruffy 96 U.S. 176 (1877)". Justia U.S. Supreme Court. Retrieved September 16, 2015.
  68. ^ Fehrenbach 1968, p. 270.
  69. ^ Michael P. Riccards, "Lincoln and the Political Question: The Creation of the State of West Virginia" Presidential Studies Quarterly, Vol. 27, 1997 online edition Archived June 28, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  70. ^ "The 14th State". Vermont History Explorer. Vermont Historical Society.
  71. ^ "Constitution Square Historic Site". Danville/Boyle County Convention and Visitors Bureau.[dead link]
  72. ^ a b "Official Name and Status History of the several States and U.S. Territories".
  73. ^ "Today in History: March 15". Library of Congress.
  74. ^ "Today in History: June 20". Library of Congress.
  75. ^ "A State of Convenience: The Creation of West Virginia, Chapter Twelve, Reorganized Government of Virginia Approves Separation". West Virginia Division of Culture and History. Archived from the original on April 7, 2010. Retrieved April 21, 2016.
  76. ^ "Virginia v. West Virginia 78 U.S. 39 (1870)".
  77. ^ "Political Party Platforms: Libertarian Party Platform of 1972". American Presidency Project. Archived from the original on October 31, 2013. Retrieved September 16, 2015.
  78. ^ Times, John Kifner Special to The New York (April 6, 1977). "Massachusetts isles Wave Secession Flag" – via
  79. ^ Karttunen, Frances. "Why would Nantucket aspire to become part of New York State?".
  80. ^ McFadden, Robert D. (March 5, 1994). "'Home Rule' Factor May Block S.I. Secession". The New York Times. Retrieved October 20, 2009.
  81. ^ Bowen, Shannan (September 17, 2008). "Carolina Shores celebrates 10-year split from Calabash". Star-News. Wilmington, North Carolina. Retrieved November 12, 2012.
  82. ^ "LITTLE TOWN OF ROUGH AND READY". Office of Historic Preservation.
  83. ^ Radil, Amy (August 17, 1998). "The Northwest Angle". Minnesota Public Radio.
  84. ^ "Campaign 2006: U.S. Congress: 7th District: Collin Peterson". Minnesota Public Radio.
  85. ^ Stoddard, Grant (January–February 2011). "The Lost Canadians". The Walrus. pp. 24–31. Archived from the original on December 23, 2012. Retrieved November 22, 2018.
  86. ^ "Kohlhaas v. State (11/17/2006) sp-6072, 147 P3d 714". Touch n Go. Retrieved September 16, 2015.
  87. ^ "Should California Be its own Country?". Zócalo Public Square. April 22, 2010. Retrieved September 16, 2015.
  88. ^ "Meet the man who wants to make California a sovereign entity". Los Angeles Times. August 26, 2015. Retrieved February 14, 2016.
  89. ^ "Political Body: California National Party" (PDF). California Secretary of State. January 8, 2016. Retrieved February 14, 2016.
  90. ^ "California could see new political party with independence goal". The Sacramento Bee. January 10, 2016. Retrieved February 14, 2016.
  91. ^ "A political searcher agitates for the independent nation of California". Los Angeles Times. January 22, 2016. Retrieved February 14, 2016.
  92. ^ Pascaline, Mary (November 9, 2016). "What Is Calexit? California Considers Leaving US After Trump Win". International Business Times. Retrieved November 10, 2016.
  93. ^ "Californians Polled on Secession" (PDF). Mercury News. Retrieved December 12, 2017.
  94. ^ "Backers of another shot at a 'Calexit' ballot measure can now gather signatures". Los Angeles Times. July 25, 2017. Retrieved December 12, 2017.
  95. ^ "August 2017 Essential Politics archives". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved December 12, 2017.
  96. ^ a b "Calexit supporters relaunch campaign with proposals to create Native American nation". The Stanford Daily. September 27, 2018. Retrieved November 11, 2018.
  97. ^ "A Brief History of the Conch Republic". Conch Republic. Office of the Secretary General. Archived from the original on November 2, 2012. Retrieved November 15, 2012.
  98. ^ "2009–2010 Regular Session – SR 632: Jeffersonian Principles; affirming states' rights" (PDF). Georgia General Assembly Legislature. Retrieved September 16, 2015.
  99. ^ "HR258". Hawaii State Legislature. Archived from the original on September 28, 2011. Retrieved June 12, 2011.
  100. ^ "Resolution of legislators in re Heller". Archived from the original on February 25, 2008. Retrieved January 24, 2010.((cite web)): CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  101. ^ "Platform". New Hampshire Liberty Party. February 9, 2015. Archived from the original on April 16, 2015. Retrieved February 9, 2015.
  102. ^ Sorens, Jason (July 23, 2001). "Announcement: The Free State Project". The Libertarian Enterprise (131). Retrieved February 9, 2015.
  103. ^ Acker, Lizzy (November 10, 2016). "After Donald Trump victory, Oregonians submit ballot proposal to secede from the union". The Oregonian. Retrieved November 17, 2017.
  104. ^ Acker, Lizzy (November 11, 2016). "Group that proposed Oregon secede from the union withdraws petition". The Oregonian. Retrieved November 17, 2017.
  105. ^ Koldin, Michelle (August 28, 1999). "Court over turns conviction of Republic of Texas leader, aide". TimesDaily. Florence, Alabama. Retrieved September 16, 2015.
  106. ^ "Welcome to the republic of Texas website!!". Republic of Texas. Retrieved November 12, 2012.
  107. ^ "Perry says Texas can leave the union if it wants to". Houston Chronicle. April 15, 2009. Archived from the original on April 15, 2011. Retrieved November 12, 2012.
  108. ^ "In Texas, 31% Say State Has Right to Secede From U.S., But 75% Opt To Stay". Rasmussen Reports. April 17, 2009. Retrieved September 16, 2015.
  109. ^ "The Treaty of Annexation – Texas; April 12, 1844". Avalon Project. Yale Law School. Retrieved November 12, 2012.
  110. ^ "Joint Resolution for Annexing Texas to the United States Approved March 1, 1845". Texas State Library and Archives Commission. August 24, 2011. Retrieved September 16, 2015.
  111. ^ Pérez‐Boquete, Roi; Bello, Gabriel G (December 19, 2022). "When nationalism beats populism: The secessionist movement in Texas". Nations and Nationalism. 29 (2): 528–545. doi:10.1111/nana.12921. hdl:10347/30698. ISSN 1354-5078. S2CID 254968443.
  112. ^ Chappell, Bill (June 20, 2022). "Texas GOP's new platform says Biden didn't really win. It also calls for secession". NPR. Retrieved June 21, 2022.
  113. ^ Ramirez, Nikki McCann (March 6, 2023). "Texas Republican Introduces Bill Calling for Vote on Secession". Rolling Stone. Retrieved March 7, 2023.
  114. ^ Curran, John (June 3, 2007). "In Vermont, nascent secession movement gains traction". The Boston Globe. Retrieved September 16, 2015.
  115. ^ a b Kauffman, Bill (December 19, 2005). "Free Vermont". The American Conservative. Retrieved September 16, 2015.
  116. ^ "Middlebury Declaration". Middlebury Institute. November 7, 2004. Archived from the original on October 17, 2014. Retrieved October 4, 2014.
  117. ^ "First North American Secession Convention". Middlebury institute. November 3, 2006. Archived from the original on January 21, 2013. Retrieved November 12, 2012.
  118. ^ "Burlington Declaration". Middlebury Institute. November 5, 2006. Archived from the original on November 1, 2015. Retrieved September 16, 2015.
  119. ^ Shapiro, Gary (September 27, 2006). "Modern-Day Secessionists Will Hold a Conference on Leaving the Union". The New York Sun. Retrieved September 16, 2015.
  120. ^ Poovey, Bill (October 3, 2007). "Southern secessionists welcome Yankees". Star-News. Wilmington, North Carolina. Associated Press. Retrieved September 16, 2015.
  121. ^ Doyle, Leonard (October 4, 2007). "Anger over Iraq and Bush prompts calls for secession from the US". The Independent. London, UK. Archived from the original on January 17, 2008.
  122. ^ Ryan, Danielle (November 14, 2012). "White House receives secession pleas from all 50 states". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 17, 2012.
  123. ^ West, Allen (December 11, 2020). "Chairman Allen West's Response to SCOTUS Decision". Republican Party of Texas. Archived from the original on December 12, 2020. Retrieved December 11, 2020. Perhaps law-abiding states should bond together and form a Union of states that will abide by the constitution.
  124. ^ "Texas GOP Chairman Suggest Secession in Response to Supreme Court Election Lawsuit Decision". ABC 13 Houston. December 14, 2020. Retrieved January 1, 2021.
  125. ^ Rawles, James (2011). "The American Redoubt – Move to the Mountain States". Survivalblog. Retrieved August 29, 2016.
  126. ^ Murphy, Kim (February 8, 2008). "The American Redoubt, where survivalists plan to survive". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 4, 2013.
  127. ^ Donahue, Bill (June 29, 2008). "Ways and Means". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 23, 2010.
  128. ^ Woodward, Steve (November 14, 2004). "Welcome to Cascadia". The Oregonian. Retrieved October 4, 2014.
  129. ^ Barnett, Galen (September 10, 2008). "Nothing secedes like success". The Oregonian. Retrieved October 4, 2014.
  130. ^ Mapes, Jeff (March 23, 2009). "Should we merge Oregon into Washington?". The Oregonian. Retrieved October 4, 2014.
  131. ^ Hicks, Bob (May 15, 2009). "Book review: 'The Oregon Companion'". The Oregonian. Retrieved October 4, 2014.
  132. ^ Preston, Peter (February 28, 2010). "A world away from Texas". The Guardian. London, UK. Retrieved March 1, 2010.
  133. ^ "Official Website". League of the South. Retrieved October 4, 2014.
  134. ^ Sebesta, Edward H.; Hague, Euan (2002). "The US Civil War as a Theological War: Confederate Christian Nationalism and the League of the South". Canadian Review of American Studies. 32 (3). University of Toronto Press: 253–284. doi:10.3138/CRAS-s032-03-02. S2CID 159471217.
  135. ^ Southern Party of the South West Archives – Asheville Declaration, August 7, 1999 "The Asheville Declaration". Archived from the original on July 17, 2011. Retrieved February 27, 2011.
  136. ^ "Why Blue States Should Exit Red America". New Republic. Retrieved December 12, 2017.
  137. ^ Keillor, Garrison (November 21, 2016). "Trump voters — it's not me, it's you". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved December 12, 2017.
  138. ^ "Secession For A True Blue Utopia". Retrieved December 12, 2017.
  139. ^ "Peaceful Red-State Secession". Retrieved December 12, 2017.
  140. ^ kyra (March 4, 2020). "My journey to Aztlán – Freedom Road Socialist Organization | FRSO". Retrieved December 9, 2022.
  141. ^ "Recruitment". AZTLANECAS BROWN BERETS. Retrieved December 9, 2022.
  142. ^ "Defining 'Chicanismo' Since the 1969 Denver Youth Conference". KCET. March 24, 2016. Retrieved December 9, 2022.
  143. ^ "National MEChA .:|:. The Philosophy of MEChA". May 17, 2011. Archived from the original on May 17, 2011. Retrieved December 9, 2022.
  144. ^ Andy (September 21, 2022). "El socialismo – Freedom Road Socialist Organization | FRSO". Retrieved December 9, 2022.
  145. ^ admin (May 6, 2001). "Unity Statement of Freedom Road Socialist Organization – Freedom Road Socialist Organization | FRSO". Retrieved December 9, 2022.
  146. ^ Araiza, Lauren (November 14, 2013). To March for Others: The Black Freedom Struggle and the United Farm Workers. University of Pennsylvania Press. ISBN 978-0-8122-0883-2.
  147. ^ Taifa, Nkechi (2015). "Republic of New Afrika". In Shujaa, Mwalimu J.; Shujaa, Kenya J. (eds.). The SAGE Encyclopedia of African Cultural Heritage in North America. SAGE Publications, Inc. doi:10.4135/9781483346373. ISBN 9781483346373.
  148. ^ "New Poll On Americans' Support For Secession, Webinar On Tribal Analytics, And Trump Report Card – John Zogby Strategies". September 18, 2017. Retrieved December 12, 2017.
  149. ^ "Exclusive: Angry with Washington, 1 in 4 Americans open to secession". Reuters. September 19, 2014. Retrieved September 16, 2015.
  150. ^ "Majority of Trump Voters Want to Split the Nation Into 'Red' and 'Blue' Halves". Newsweek. September 30, 2021. Retrieved March 6, 2022.
  151. ^ Hall, Madison; Metzger, Bryan (October 1, 2021). "Majority of Trump voters believe it's 'time to split the country' in two, new poll finds". Yahoo! News. Retrieved March 6, 2022.
  152. ^ Slisco, Aila (July 14, 2021). "47% of West Coast Dems, 66% of Southern Republicans want to secede from U.S." Newsweek.
  153. ^ "Shocking poll finds many Americans now want to secede from the United States". The Hill. July 15, 2021.
  154. ^ "Still miles apart: Americans and the state of U.S. democracy half a year into the Biden presidency | Bright Line Watch". Bright Line Watch.


Further reading