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Secession Week Blogging: Tuesday – American Secession & Independence Movements

July 1, 2009

The United States began as a loose federation of states which seceded from the British Empire, exemplifying the local, competitive government that we still favor.  Unfortunately, in the ensuing 233 years, the vast majority of power has moved to the central (ironically termed “federal”) government.  With a history of local autonomy and secession which is so strong, yet so ancient, it is no surprise that there are strong undercurrents of independence still bubbling in America today.

The future Unitedness of the States is quite unclear.  Europe has shown a trend towards centralization, and the iron grip of the US Federal Government is strong.  On the other hand, it is common for declining empires to fracture, and the upcoming financial storms of Social Security, Medicare, underfunded pensions, and rising national debt will increase the divisions between young and old, rich and poor, net tax paying states and net tax recipients.  Will the Union crack under the pressure?  Renard Sexton at 538 thinks not, but only time will tell.

We certainly hope so – because we believe that a world with many small units of political power is more diverse, innovative, cooperative, and better for almost everyone – except federal bureaucrats.

General Background

We begin with the Stanford Encyclopedia for Philosophy’s entry on secession, covering philosophical issues, theories about the right to secede, and secession within international law.  Next, Ilya Somin at the popular law blog the Volokh Conspiracy defends secessionism against those who claim that it is necessarily stupid (for example, Ann Althouse) saying: “In light of this history and the ambiguity of the constitutional text, I don’t think that belief in a right to secession is at all unreasonable, much less a sign of obvious ignorance or stupidity.”

Original Posts For Secession Week

Scott Crawford at the Hawaiian Independence Blog explains why Hawaii seeks a restoration, not a secession, including many references and source materials: “…it is very important to understand that Hawaii cannot secede, because it was never ceded. There was never any lawful cession of Hawaii’s sovereignty or territory to the United States, therefore there cannot be secession.

Those seeking to restore Hawaii’s effective independence are very explicit in avoiding the term “secession.” This is more than just semantics. It goes to the heart of Hawaii’s true history and legal status.

Carol Moore offers a guest post about “top principles for a successful secessionist movement”.

Just My Biased Opinion contributes an original piece covering some of the controversy and concerns about secession found on the Sean Hannity, as well as a good collection of related links.

Stewart Browne writes about Restoring Our Spiritual Faith, and historical cycles from bondage to liberty and abundance and back to bondage.

US State Secesssion & Independence Movements

There are so many independence movements and websites that we cannot list them all, but we will try to cover the major ones.  For a more complete listing, see Wikipedia.

Alaska

The Alaskan Independence Party‘s platform reflects the increase in secessionism which has gone along with the last decade’s increase in federal tyranny: “There is a commonly held belief across Alaska, that the US Constitution has been set aside, and other then ourselves, there are no protections to the liberty and freedoms we are to have as our continued inheritance since the formation of the Union of the “several States”. Our main “goal” is a legal vote and ballot; one that was not given in 1958 and was in violation of International Law and Treaty. Alaskan 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.”

California

Jefferson State seeks to unite Northern California and Southern Oregon.  It has an interesting history: it got major media attention when it started in 1941, but was pre-empted by the bombing of Pearl Harbor and America’s entrance into WWII.  Proving, yet again, that war and strong central governments go hand in hand.

Florida

No discussion of US secession movements would be complete without The Conch Republic, whose motto is: “We seceded where others failed.”

Hawaii

Quite appropriately, the strongest state independence movement is in Hawaii, a state annexed quite recently (1890’s), and quite illegally.  For those who naively view the fifty states as a harmonious consensual union, it may be shocking to realize that a mere hundred years ago, the United States conquered a nearby sovereign country by force, and has permanently occupied it ever since.  See:

For obvious reasons, the prospects for independence for geographically isolated regions such as Hawai’i and Alaska seem strongest.

New Hampshire

With the libertarian autonomy movement The Free State Project making its home in New Hampshire, it should be no surprise that there is a Republic Of New Hampshire site.

New York

Long Island Independence is not a major movement, I just included it for this Jon Stewart segment making fun of them.  (If we secessionists can’t laugh at ourselves and each other, it’s going to be a long road!)

Puerto Rico

Like Hawai’i, Puerto Rico was invaded in the 1890s and forcibly transferred from Spain to the US for military reasons.  The Puerto Rican Independence Party site has a history of Puerto Rican autonomy.

South

The League of the South seeks independence for the states that lost the Civil War.

South Dakota

The Republic of Lakota made the news in 2007 by declaring themselves independent from the US, as chronicled in their sovereignty timeline.  The arguments for Native American sovereignty are somewhat different from conquered states (like Hawai’i), or states that wish to succeed, which is great because the more angles that secessionists try, the more likely it is that one will garner public sympathy and/or prove its legal merit.

Texas

As a large, proud, old, and very independent-minded state, Texas has quite a large secession movement.  As mentioned in yesterday’s post, a recent study reported that 18% of Texans are in favor of secession, which is a huge number.  The movement has also generated a lot of media coverage and interest around the country, like this segment on the Glenn Beck show last week with Texas Nationalist Movement president David Miller:

Some key resources:

  • Texas Nationalist Movement – a large, active community site with the motto: “Independence In Our Lifetime” and a presence on all the major social networks.  (Hmm, reminds me of the FSP motto: “Liberty In Our Lifetimes”).
  • Texas Secede


Vermont

VT Commons is a nice journal about Vermont Independence.  They state the major reasons for wanting to secede as: “First, the United States suffers from imperial overstretch and has become unsustainable politically, economically, agriculturally, socially, culturally, and environmentally. Second, Vermont finds it increasingly difficult to protect itself from the debilitating effects of big business, big agriculture, big markets, and big government, who want all of us to be the same—just like they are. Third, the U.S. government has lost its moral authority because it is owned, operated, and controlled by multinational corporations. Fourth, U.S. foreign policy, which is based on the doctrine of full-spectrum dominance, is immoral, illegal, unconstitutional, and in violation of the United Nations charter. Fifth, as long as Vermont remains in the United States, its citizens face curtailed civil liberties, the risk of terrorist attack, and the risk of military conscription of its youth.”

The Second Vermont Republic “is a nonviolent citizens’ network and think tank opposed to the tyranny of Corporate America and the U.S. government, and committed to the peaceful return of Vermont to its status as an independent republic and more broadly the dissolution of the Union”.  Glenn Beck interviews Thomas Naylor, the founder (author of the Vermont Manifesto book):


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Please join us tomorrow, with the theme of Secession vs. Revolution.

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15 Comments
  1. John Bivens permalink
    July 3, 2009 12:54 am

    Great Website!!

  2. July 5, 2009 8:24 pm

    There is a tremendous degree of secessionist activity in the world right now. It appears that these secessions and secessionist movements are part of overall current actions worldwide that are intended to destroy nations. The secessionist activity today, has much in common with historical antecedents that started in World War One.
    The actions that formed much of the Trans-Caucasus – Central Asia states as semi autonomous states initially occurred in the wake of World War One, with Germany as the aggressor, which served to destroy the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Ottoman Empire and the Russian Empire. This created a number of smaller states, using the newly created League of Nations to assist. The Russian Revolution was, it appears set up by Germany and Japan working together. Germany funded and backed Lenin and Trotsky and the Bolsheviks as well as the opposing Nationalist “whites”, and Japan also funded and fought with the “whites” against the bolsheviks, ripping apart the Soviet Union, and creating a number of separate semi autonomous states and leaving a void in the Soviet East, which Japan rushed in to fill.
    During World War One, there were deliberately set civil wars within both the Ottoman Empire (Turkey) and the Austro-Hungarian Empire. In Turkey, one of the groups set in conflict with the Turkish government were the Armenians, it appears backed by Germany. In the Austro – Hungarian Empire, they appeared to back the Serbs in conflict with the Austro Hungarian Empire. In terms of the Soviet Union, both nations used the “Reds” and “Whites” in conflict with each other to achieve the same goal.
    This same “pattern” or method of use to attack other nations was seen leading up to World War Two, where Japan fostered secession movements all through China and in Mongolia (Manchuria). In Europe, civil wars were set up backed by the German government, the Spanish Civil War being one of them, that all served a similar goal.
    It appears that the present actions are also being set up by the German and Japanese governments working together, who are the main economic investors and those who are, as nations, moving it to gain more economic, political and military power in these regions, often using international organizations, such as the UN, EU and NATO as proxies for their actions.
    Germany was directly involved in recognizing the seceded states of Slovenia and Croatia, when the Slovenians and Croatians hadn’t themselves, and moved in militarily after doing so. The destruction of Yugoslavia is only country where this has occurred, and is fact occurring throughout the world. It is significant that these secessions for the most part did not begin until the late 1980’s and early 1990’s and then “sprung up all over the world”. It is also notable that like the secession of Croatia and Slovenia, the secession movements and actions originated outside these nations, and not with the people. As well, what has been seen in all these states are the nations of Germany and Japan gaining more control and ownership including of the resources in these regions, and that has certainly been true of the resources in the Trans Caucasus – Central Asia corridor.
    Also, disturbingly, although it is reported that these “secession movements” often accompanied by militias that form suspiciously at the same time as the newly formed seceded states, are “indigenous” and “homegrown” and from the people in the region themselves, in fact they are all initiated externally. Most of these conflicts are externally funded from other countries. Under the pretense of being “assistors and trainers and aid workers to help those in these regions”, these international organizations, acting as, it appears, proxies for Germany and Japan, such as the UN, NATO, the EU and other international organizations and international coalitions move in to take over control of these states. As well, what is being seen is a continued multinational military occupation in all of these “new independent seceded states”. These new states which supposedly are being created to be independent, are not that but instead states of conflict, chaos, poverty and foreign occupation which don’t have control of their own security, economy, resources or land.
    These recent secession movements have all been timed and sequenced and began in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, in a number of areas around the world. They are geographically and ‘in time” sequential, one example, being the former nation of Yugoslavia. The conflicts in Yugoslavia started with a political change in Yugoslavia, also seen being externally pressured in other nations, to destroy the existing political and geographic governing structure to a less central and more decentralized “federal” style of government, dividing these nations into new provinces, states or regions. In Yugoslavia, the economy was attacked and the Yugoslav currency, for the most part was replaced for use by the German Deutschmark, destroying Yugoslavian national economic sovereignty and control, something that the Euro is now being used for throughout Europe. Then, the “newly created states” begin “declaring themselves “independent” as was the case with the government heads of the states of Croatia and Slovenia who “all of a sudden” declared at the “same time” that they were “independent from Yugoslavia” although legally as heads of regions of Yugoslavia they had no legal right to do so and it was unconstitutional.
    In terms of timing and geographic sequencing, first Slovenia and Croatia, seceded. Conflict in Croatia, was followed by sequential in time and place, conflict in neighboring Bosnia-Herzegovina and then in neighboring Kosovo and then in neighboring Macedonia. This “pattern” of sequentiality both in time and geographically, is being seen throughout the world with secession of created states and is clearly not “indigenous” to the particular single state or even nation, but part of overall, unified, centralized world plans and actions.
    In the former Soviet Union, this pattern also occurred, with states seceding in “blocs” and in the Caucasus and Central Asian corridor, conflict ensuing. These new states, instead of becoming independent, were immediately connected as groups to the EU, and other proxy organizations. The World Bank took over financial control and these states became militarily affiliated with NATO. Thus, not allowing them any independence.
    Although these actions and often accompanying militia violence which serves to attack the people in the region, are often described as being “isolated” and connected to separate militias and states of their own accord, instead what is seen is a pattern of these actions occurring sequentially even if described as being “separate and isolated”. Although the current situation in the nation of Sudan has gotten heavy press coverage as being isolated and in the region of Darfur with militias attacking specifically that region, in reality, the actions in Darfur are a continuation of violence in Sudan that started in Southern Sudan, with other militias that served to attack and destroy Southern Sudan as Darfur is now being attacked and destroyed. Millions of people died in these earlier attacks in southern Sudan, and millions more displaced, another characteristic of these modern secession situations, as has been the case with the Darfur region. As soon as the southern Sudan militia leaders signed a “secession agreement” which included terms which gave foreign nations control of the region’s oil and gas resources as well as control of the region overall, the conflict in that region ended, and the conflict in the just neighboring Darfur region commenced. There has been recent talk of the Darfur region seceding, and the conflict from Darfur has moved both sequentially in time and place to neighboring Chad. This has served to destroy the nation of Sudan and create militarily occupied states that are fully open to foreign control by terms of the secession agreements, overseen by the UN.
    What is evident is a clear pattern worldwide of these actions with control of these seceded states being taken both from the countries to which they belong and from the newly created states themselves. Japan and Germany are the two predominant investors worldwide and this is being seen as well in the regions that are seceding.

  3. July 1, 2010 3:49 pm

    Good stuff and I wish the best of luck to each of these movements.

    However, don’t leave us out here in South Carolina. The Third Palmetto Republic is seeking the peaceful independence of SC from the United States. http://palmettorepublic.org/ We have an independence rally in Mount Pleasant coming up on the 3rd of July!

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