Why doesn't the United States just break up?

Who do you think owns assets such as farmlands, factories, banks, retail, restaurants in rural America?

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then stop making me pay federal taxes. that’s why we need freedom from the federal government.

That doesn’t really help, since the split isn’t by state, but rural/urban.

If only the founding fathers had been wise enough to set up a parliamentary form of government that favored negotiation and cooperation instead of a winner-take-all system that favors extremism and strife.

If you’d like to see a comparison, google the October crisis. Some of Canada has threatened to break up numerous times. Violence ensued, bombings, and they rolled tanks down the streets of Montreal.

Breaking up is extremely difficult, it’s hard to detach from the federal government and the integration with other states/provinces.

Mostly we have peace with odd flareups of unrest.

i’m confused. so if a bunch of states have a desire to secede and there are enough of them, they are sending the army after them rather than actually consider if this is maybe a good idea? this country is deeply divided. it might be a good idea for us to just break up. this isn’t some fringe group. the majority of people have a big problem with the way the US is right now.

Has there ever been a country that has amicably decided to split up and done so without significant conflict? Something like the Seinfeld/Garofalo mutual breakup.

I can’t think of any. Not to say it wouldn’t be possible, but I’m not sure if it’s been done.

Granted - my world history/geography skills are not top tier…,

i don’t know, but i don’t see why this can’t happen. the united states is huge. is there a reason why it needs to be this huge? how was it determined where the US would be vs Mexico vs Canada? these lines were drawn at some point. why are they set in stone for all time?

What about all the federal stuff that’s on state land. What about the interestates. The postal system. The currency. The armed forces and nasa - who gets that?
When Quebec talks about seceding, the common refrain is, well, what about all the hydroelectric generating stations that were built with federal funding (i.e., paid by other provinces). Do they get to keep them? etc.
It’s messy.

Slovakia and Czech Republic are famous for this, although this is definitely on the rare side…the United Kingdom of Sweden and Norway is another example.

I wonder if Brexit counts…

Oh yeah and the independence of Canada, New Zealand, and Australia (I think). And a bunch of commonwealth nations probably.

I’m not sure if colony-type situations really count. If Scotland were to finally go for independence that would be closer to the US splitting up.

Czechoslovokia and Norway/Sweeden seem like they do count.

The USA isn’t going to break up. That’s got to be one of the most illogical unrealistic hallucinations of people not gounded in any form of reality. You might as well discuss what your plans are for your trip to Mars.

Here’s what is possible, doable and realistic: Reduce the size, scope and reach of the federal government. Return the power to the states.

States that are successful will see positive migration and mimicry. States with failing designs will experience net out-migration. It’s really very simple.


Oh my sweet summer child.
No, that’s not possible, doable, or realistic. Also, much of the regulation that is oh so unpopular with the red states is for the benefit of others. Like, you know, reducing the amount of smoke that coal fired plants produce benefits the eastern states at the expense of the western states. Restricting what you can dump into the rivers benefits the southern states at the expense of the northern states. (Because water flows downhill.)

I mean, I suppose we could stop forcing states to enforce civil rights laws and attract all the talented black, hispanic, gay, Jewish, Arab, … people to the states that decided they care. But moving away from everyone you know is kind of a big deal.



After you get done beating that strawman, how about we put together a nice plan for your trip to Mars. What you would like to do first, sight-seeing, visiting the Martians, shopping?


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I’m not traveling to Mars. Nor am I advocating splitting up the US. Nor do I think the federal government will quietly fade away.

I’m not sure what you are smoking, though.

First. The same forces that are keeping the USA from breaking up are the same forces that will never reduce the size, scope,(1) and reach of the federal government.
Second. This is not a discussion of practicalities. It is a discussion to analyze the divides, political/social/etc., that exist in America. By pushing to the limit you can sometimes better illustrate the differences, similarities,(1) and connectivity of two extremes.
Third. The topic of secession has come up among the Trump supporting factions. So all aspects of the practicality of this topic are not off the table. (Of course, these people believe in a fantasy so practicality is always couched in needing to explain reality and facts first.)
Fourth. See footnote.

(1) Oxford comma for the win.

I appreciate your enthusiasm for the Oxford comma. It is an under-rated, under-utilized, often-belittled, and clarifying grammatical device. (I’m sure you see what I did there.)

I think the US Constitution keeps the USA from breaking apart. Conversely, I think the US Constitution clearly allows for the reduction in the size, scope and reach of the federal government. What are the “same forces” you think are preventing reduction/breakup? (the firmly entrenched swamp creatures of DJT mythology???)

Yes. This was an obvious premise for me (I speak for myself).
The whole point of the thread was theorycrafting. Also, if there’s tension tantamount to the extent that would incite a civil war or states seceding in unison, the constitution is meaningless.

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So we break up the U.S. into two or three pieces. But the same divisive forces would still exist, what with human nature being what it is. Should the new sub-U.S.A.'s be designed to be further broken up if desired or would you try to prevent that? Ultimately, how do you determine the correct size for a country? You have to accept some amount of differences of opinions unless you think individual people being their own country is an option.

I think if this idea ever became close to reality the best thing to do with it would be to use the threat of breaking up as leverage to push through the types of structural reforms this country really needs. Like a better voting system than first past the post, a more parliamentary style legislature, or campaign finance reform.