There Are Actual Secession Movements in America: Here Are the Biggest Ones

With the United States becoming more polarized politically than ever before, it’s probably high time someone decides to separate from the federal government. Surprisingly, there are many active separatist movements throughout the United States that seem like they could work. Ideally, these would be peaceful and legal secessions from the United States and everything would remain hunky dory. So, here’s a look at some of the most advanced separatist movements the states have to offer. The last group for secession should terrify you.

1. Cascadia

The Cascadian Flag

The Cascadian flag is known as “The Doug.” | Cascadia Now!

Cascadia is known as a “bio-region” which would cover the states of Washington, Oregon, Northern California, parts of Idaho and Montana, Southern Alaska, and include British Columbia and parts of Alberta as well.

Cascadia would effectively become one of the world’s largest economies, generating nearly $1 trillion dollars in GDP. Primary industries would be farming and technology. The government would be left-leaning, probably democratic socialist with a focus on environmentalism.

The Pacific Northwest fully embraces the idea of Cascadia and identifies with the region vigorously. Cascadian flags are even seen flying at major sporting events. While the population seems to embrace the identity, there’s no telling who would actually support seceding from the union.

Time Magazine listed Cascadia in their top 10 aspiring nations of the world.

Next: After this year, it’s a wonder that they haven’t made the move towards independence.

2. Puerto Rico

The Puerto Rican flag flies near the Capitol building

This territory has been largely forgotten by the U.S. government after one of the worst natural disasters in history. | Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The Puerto Rican Independence Party is still very active and holds seats in the Puerto Rican Senate and House of Representatives. United States territory is located on the outer edge of the Caribbean Sea just east of the Dominican Republic.

Puerto Rico had a robust local economy largely dependent on manufacturing and real estate. The state generates roughly $200 billion in GDP. The government would be left-leaning and reflective of the current democratic political parties they have currently in power.

The people of Puerto Rico are more inclined to join the United States under full statehood than they are to create an independent nation. However, the data reflects a pre-Trump era, and their treatment after the hurricanes may have pushed some the majority of the country the other direction.

Next: Technically they shouldn’t even be a part of the United States under our own laws.

3. The Kingdom of Hawaii

The Flag of the Hawaiian sovereignty movement

The Hawaiian waved upside down is the symbol for the Hawaiian Sovereignty Movement. | CarrieJeeze/Getty Images

The Hawaiian Sovereignty Movement has been very active for years and hosts constitutional conventions. Their main goal is to restore original Hawaiian traditions and provide free health care for all, among other things. The Kingdom of Hawaii would incorporate all of the eight major islands and all territory within the state.

The Kingdom of Hawaii’s economy would be largely based on tourism and agriculture. Independently, Hawaii generates around $70 billion in GDP. Prior to the annexation of Hawaii, the government was a monarchy. That is what is believed to be restored — however, it would look more like a parliamentary monarchy.

Next: They were once an independent nation before becoming a state, and it’s not Texas.

4. The Second Vermont Republic

A flag of the Second Vermont Republic

The flag of the Second Vermont Republic. | The Second Vermont Republic

The movement is referred to as the Second Vermont Republic, because Vermont had once declared itself independent from both Britain and the United States in 1777. Ostensibly, the nation is known as just the Vermont Republic. It was later added to the U.S. in 1791. In the last decade or so, a movement started to bring it back as an independent nation.

The new Vermont Republic would still be contained within the borders of state itself. Vermont is a largely agrarian society where 75% of its economy is made up of agriculture. It would generate roughly $25 billion in GDP. The government would be a social democracy, similar to that of Austria, Finland, Sweden, and Switzerland.

The movement’s founder died in 2012, and the acceptance of the independence movement seemed to have died with him. However, Vermonters do have a strong sense of independent identity, and still value the sovereignty of their state. Whether or not it would be an easy peaceful transition, as the movement suggests, is unknown.

Next: Why not just take the whole Northeast while we’re at it.

5. New England Independence Movement

The New England Independence Flag

The New England Independence flag | The New England Independence Movement

This movement is predicated upon the belief that the federal government has become too divisive, and “takes a non-partisan stance on U.S politics to focus on uniting the people of New England so that we may regain the promise of the founding fathers of the United States; Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of happiness.”

New England would encompass any state northeast of the New York State border, including Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. The economy of New England is extremely diverse and generates nearly $1 trillion per year in GDP.

New England’s government would be a democratic framework with larger local governments and smaller federal governments, with a focus on equity, personal liberty, and environmentalism. Support for the movement is unknown, as there has not been a poll of the subject to our knowledge. The site for the pressure group shows around 6,000 in visits.

Next: The great white north!

6. Alaska

Alaskan state flag with distressed textured retro look

The Alaska state flag. | BruceStanfield/ Getty Images

The Alaska Independence Party (AIP) is the primary pusher for secession from the United States. They feel that the incorporation of the state was illegal, and that the federal government has forgotten about the Constitution of the U.S.

The entire state of Alaska would comprise the proposed nation, making it the sixth largest country on earth based on land mass alone. The economy of Alaska would be primarily energy resources. However, fishing and agriculture would be vital parts of their economy as well.

The Government of Alaska would be a constitutional government supporting conservative and libertarian ideals. Support for the movement is relatively large when compared to other movements, numbering around 13,000 members as of 2009. Todd Palin, husband of former vice presidential candidate and Alaskan governor, was a registered member of the party as well.

Next: They didn’t get it the first time, but in the age of Trump, they may not need secession. 

7. The Confederate States of America (CSA)

Grunge Confederate flag. Confederation flag with grunge texture.

The CSA flag | Allexxander/Getty Images

The League of the South, a registered hate group, is the primary pressure group for the CSA. Their ideas are well-known, including some troubling views on slavery from one of the group’s now-deceased board members, Jack Kershaw. Kershaw, most known as the lawyer who defended Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassin, stated back in 1998 that “somebody needs to say a good word for slavery.”

The CSA is composed of southern states including, but not limited to, South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas. The economy has been historically agricultural, but it has become more industrialized in recent years. In 2013, the GDP was around $5 trillion. That number could be vastly affected if the League of the South also follows suit with the former Confederacy and allows slave labor.

Support for the group is unconscionably high, with estimates around 25,000 members.

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