Secession - an American value

Deadlock

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Joined
Feb 4, 2011
Messages
6,170
From time to time, we on the other side of the pond hear stories of US states and Canadian provinces losing faith with the current Federal models, and wishing to opt out and into something loser or strive for independence in its own right.



The polarisation in American politics, so recently manifest in the election of Trump, with red/blue, urban/rural and myriad racial, religious and cultural factors pose the serious question - can the US recover, or is it time to examine afresh. The purpose of this thread is to explore the advantages and disadvantages of the current 50 state, federal capital and territories model, and review alternatives.

Two interesting models I bring to kick this discussion off are the notions of Plural Nations, and US Megaregions.

Plural nations

The author Colin Woodward has identified - largely based on the cultural ancestry of the preponderance of the people inhabiting these regions - eleven North American 'nations'.

First nation

Geographically huge, but sparsely populated, the territory of the First Nation - primarily in Canada - accounts for perhaps 500,000 people.

New France

Settled by those of French ancestry, the preponderantly politically liberal people people are consensus driven, tolerant, and comfortable with government involvement in the economy. This nation unites Louisiana with parts of Quebec and Acadia.

Midlands

Woodard calls the ethnically diverse Midlands “America’s great swing region', which spawned the culture of the “American Heartland.” Political opinion here is moderate. Government regulation is frowned upon. Midlands includes parts of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, and Nebraska.

Yankeedom

An area settled initially by radical Calvinists, which encompasses the Northeast to the north of New York City and then spreading through the current states of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, the inhabitant of this culture values education, intellectual achievement, communal empowerment, and citizen participation in government. These virtues they hold as a shield against tyranny, yet they are comfortable with government regulation.

New Netherlands

Settled originally by the Dutch, according to Woodward this is a highly commercial culture, “materialistic, with a profound tolerance for ethnic and religious diversity and an unflinching commitment to the freedom of inquiry and conscience.”


Tidewater

Built around the Chesapeake Bay and North Carolina, by the young English gentry in the area, Tidewaters uniting cultural values are to a more feudal society that embraced slavery. Perhaps unsurprisingly as a result this region places a high value on respect for authority and tradition. Interestingly Woodard notes that Tidewater is in decline, partly because “it has been eaten away by the expanding federal halos around D.C. and Norfolk.”





Greater Appalachia

Settled by those fleeing war-ravaged borderlands in Northern Ireland, northern England, and the Scottish lowlands, Greater Appalachia, and stereotyped as a land of hillbillies and rednecks, Woodard suggests that Appalachian values such as a devotion to personal sovereignty and individual liberty unites parts of Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Indiana, Illinois, and Texas.

The Deep South


Originated by English slave lords from Barbados and styled as a West Indies-style slave society, Woodard describes this nation as having a very rigid social structure and deeply resists government regulations which may compromise individual liberties. This region includes Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Texas, Georgia, and South Carolina.

El Norte


El Norte is “a place apart” from the rest of America and unites parts of Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, and California. The northern marches of the ancient Spanish-American empire, Hispanic culture dominates a region that values independence, self-sufficiency, and hard work above all else.

The Far West

The homeland of the Conservatives, the Far West developed through large investment in industry. The inhabitants continue to “resent” the Eastern interests that initially controlled that investment. Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Washington, Oregon, North Dakota, South Dakota, Colorado, Nevada, Utah, Nebraska, Kansas, Arizona, New Mexico, and California.

The Pacific Coast


'Colonised' originally by New Englanders and Appalachian Midwesterners, the Left Coast culture is a hybrid of “Yankee utopianism and Appalachian self-expression and exploration,” Woodard says. Includes Coastal California, Oregon, and Washington are in the Pacific Coast.


Woodard believes the US is becoming increasingly polarised, even as it becomes more diverse as people are “self-sorting” . “People choose to move to places where they identify with the values. Red minorities go south and blue minorities go north to be in the majority. This is why blue states are getting bluer and red states are getting redder and the middle is getting smaller.


Megaregions

The Megaregion hypothesis derives from the concept of megalopolis concept - "a chain of roughly adjacent metropolitan areas. Though these complexes have traditionally developed as separate metro areas, particularly in the 21st century, megaregions in the developing world are forming massive complexes whereby the distinction between a single metropolitan area and a megaregion is blurring, or rather a megaregion itself becoming the core metropolitan zone of an even larger megaregion."



Might this model of greater decentralisation address the possibiity that America is not increasingly divided between red and blue states, but more between connected hubs and increasing disconnected and largely rural backwaters? "Bruce Katz of the Brookings Institution has pointed out that of America’s 350 major metro areas, the cities with more than three million people have rebounded far better from the 2008 financial crisis. Meanwhile, smaller cities like Dayton, Ohio, already floundering, have been falling further behind, as have countless disconnected small towns across the country".

Thus, the current 50-state model means that the bulk of both Federal and State resources become concentrated in the state capital. Many state capitals are themselves a small, isolated cities. From here, resource allocation occurs with with little sense of the larger whole, impeding the development of the largest cities, but also increasingly divorcing smaller cities are from the national discourse. The Megaregions proposal would see Federal and Governmental policy and structure refocus on helping these megalopoli prosper, and helping others emerge, to collectively create a lattice of productive metro-regions efficiently connected through better highways, railways and fiber-optic cables - the United City-States of America!



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secession_in_the_United_States
One in four Americans want their state to secede from the U.S., but why?
The 11 Nations Of The United States | Zero Hedge
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Megalopolis
https://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/17/opinion/sunday/a-new-map-for-america.html
https://hyperloop-one.com/blog/five-maps-improve-our-view-americas-megaregions
[url]https://www.amazon.com/American-Nations-History-Regional-Cultures/dp/0143122029/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1511097593&sr=1-1&keywords=colin+woodward+american+nations

[/URL]
 
Last edited:


Niall996

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 5, 2011
Messages
11,823
Complete nonsense. Just a catchy excuse to write airport pulp 'faction.'
 
D

Deleted member 48908

There's a lot to digest there.

Just taking the NYT article for now;

The author bemoans the way that Federal spending is leaving behind smaller cities and specifically refers to a Bruce Katz blog post that uses Dayton, Ohio as a place that is being left behind by Federal policy.

Yet, in the very next paragraph, he states:

The problem is that while the economic reality goes one way, the 50-state model means that federal and state resources are concentrated in a state capital — often a small, isolated city itself — and allocated with little sense of the larger whole.Not only does this keep back our largest cities, but smaller American cities are increasingly cut off from the national agenda, destined to become low-cost immigrant and retirement colonies, or simply to be abandoned.
Dayton's largest single employer, with twice as many employees as their second largest, is the Federal government. In fact, they're the largest single site employer in the entire State.
 

RasherHash

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 16, 2013
Messages
25,614
From time to time, we on the other side of the pond hear stories of US states and Canadian provinces losing faith with the current Federal models, and wishing to opt out and into something loser or strive for independence in its own right.



The polarisation in American politics, so recently manifest in the election of Trump, with red/blue, urban/rural and myriad racial, religious and cultural factors pose the serious question - can the US recover, or is it time to examine afresh. The purpose of this thread is to explore the advantages and disadvantages of the current 50 state, federal capital and territories model, and review alternatives.

Two interesting models I bring to kick this discussion off are the notions of Plural Nations, and US Megaregions.

Plural nations

The author Colin Woodward has identified - largely based on the cultural ancestry of the preponderance of the people inhabiting these regions - eleven North American 'nations'.

First nation

Geographically huge, but sparsely populated, the territory of the First Nation - primarily in Canada - accounts for perhaps 500,000 people.

New France

Settled by those of French ancestry, the preponderantly politically liberal people people are consensus driven, tolerant, and comfortable with government involvement in the economy. This nation unites Louisiana with parts of Quebec and Acadia.

Midlands

Woodard calls the ethnically diverse Midlands “America’s great swing region', which spawned the culture of the “American Heartland.” Political opinion here is moderate. Government regulation is frowned upon. Midlands includes parts of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, and Nebraska.

Yankeedom

An area settled initially by radical Calvinists, which encompasses the Northeast to the north of New York City and then spreading through the current states of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, the inhabitant of this culture values education, intellectual achievement, communal empowerment, and citizen participation in government. These virtues they hold as a shield against tyranny, yet they are comfortable with government regulation.

New Netherlands

Settled originally by the Dutch, according to Woodward this is a highly commercial culture, “materialistic, with a profound tolerance for ethnic and religious diversity and an unflinching commitment to the freedom of inquiry and conscience.”


Tidewater

Built around the Chesapeake Bay and North Carolina, by the young English gentry in the area, Tidewaters uniting cultural values are to a more feudal society that embraced slavery. Perhaps unsurprisingly as a result this region places a high value on respect for authority and tradition. Interestingly Woodard notes that Tidewater is in decline, partly because “it has been eaten away by the expanding federal halos around D.C. and Norfolk.”





Greater Appalachia

Settled by those fleeing war-ravaged borderlands in Northern Ireland, northern England, and the Scottish lowlands, Greater Appalachia, and stereotyped as a land of hillbillies and rednecks, Woodard suggests that Appalachian values such as a devotion to personal sovereignty and individual liberty unites parts of Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Indiana, Illinois, and Texas.

The Deep South


Originated by English slave lords from Barbados and styled as a West Indies-style slave society, Woodard describes this nation as having a very rigid social structure and deeply resists government regulations which may compromise individual liberties. This region includes Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Texas, Georgia, and South Carolina.

El Norte


El Norte is “a place apart” from the rest of America and unites parts of Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, and California. The northern marches of the ancient Spanish-American empire, Hispanic culture dominates a region that values independence, self-sufficiency, and hard work above all else.

The Far West

The homeland of the Conservatives, the Far West developed through large investment in industry. The inhabitants continue to “resent” the Eastern interests that initially controlled that investment. Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Washington, Oregon, North Dakota, South Dakota, Colorado, Nevada, Utah, Nebraska, Kansas, Arizona, New Mexico, and California.

The Pacific Coast


'Colonised' originally by New Englanders and Appalachian Midwesterners, the Left Coast culture is a hybrid of “Yankee utopianism and Appalachian self-expression and exploration,” Woodard says. Includes Coastal California, Oregon, and Washington are in the Pacific Coast.


Woodard believes the US is becoming increasingly polarised, even as it becomes more diverse as people are “self-sorting” . “People choose to move to places where they identify with the values. Red minorities go south and blue minorities go north to be in the majority. This is why blue states are getting bluer and red states are getting redder and the middle is getting smaller.


Megaregions

The Megaregion hypothesis derives from the concept of megalopolis concept - "a chain of roughly adjacent metropolitan areas. Though these complexes have traditionally developed as separate metro areas, particularly in the 21st century, megaregions in the developing world are forming massive complexes whereby the distinction between a single metropolitan area and a megaregion is blurring, or rather a megaregion itself becoming the core metropolitan zone of an even larger megaregion."



Might this model of greater decentralisation address the possibiity that America is not increasingly divided between red and blue states, but more between connected hubs and increasing disconnected and largely rural backwaters? "Bruce Katz of the Brookings Institution has pointed out that of America’s 350 major metro areas, the cities with more than three million people have rebounded far better from the 2008 financial crisis. Meanwhile, smaller cities like Dayton, Ohio, already floundering, have been falling further behind, as have countless disconnected small towns across the country".

Thus, the current 50-state model means that the bulk of both Federal and State resources become concentrated in the state capital. Many state capitals are themselves a small, isolated cities. From here, resource allocation occurs with with little sense of the larger whole, impeding the development of the largest cities, but also increasingly divorcing smaller cities are from the national discourse. The Megaregions proposal would see Federal and Governmental policy and structure refocus on helping these megalopoli prosper, and helping others emerge, to collectively create a lattice of productive metro-regions efficiently connected through better highways, railways and fiber-optic cables - the United City-States of America!



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secession_in_the_United_States
One in four Americans want their state to secede from the U.S., but why?
The 11 Nations Of The United States | Zero Hedge
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Megalopolis
https://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/17/opinion/sunday/a-new-map-for-america.html
https://hyperloop-one.com/blog/five-maps-improve-our-view-americas-megaregions
[url]https://www.amazon.com/American-Nations-History-Regional-Cultures/dp/0143122029/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1511097593&sr=1-1&keywords=colin+woodward+american+nations

[/URL]
Is this another 'inventive' way of getting Hillary elected because she lost when it mattered :confused:
 

GDPR

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Joined
Jul 5, 2008
Messages
217,782
The division of the USA (or North America) into discrete "nations" has been discussed for decades. I remember reading a book called "The Nine Nations of North America" before I left Oz.

Not sure if they or some of them will actually secede. Some of them will be entrapped, land-bound entities surrounded by (possibly hostile) what's left of the USA.
 
D

Deleted member 48908

Back to the OP....

Before secession discussion begins, there are probably only a handful of States that could actually go it alone.

For me the shortlist would include California, Texas, Florida, Louisiana, Georgia, Illinois and New York.

There are some others, but as we have seen with the Scottish referendum, Brexit and Catalan crisis, things aren't as simple as cutting ties and going it alone. Economic forces will come to the fore in the reality of seceding. Trade, natural resources, agriculture and shipping would all need to be taken into account. That's not even counting movement of people, or the likes of defense.

It's a little bit tricky, this secession lark.
 

Deadlock

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 4, 2011
Messages
6,170
Back to the OP....

Before secession discussion begins, there are probably only a handful of States that could actually go it alone.

For me the shortlist would include California, Texas, Florida, Louisiana, Georgia, Illinois and New York.

There are some others, but as we have seen with the Scottish referendum, Brexit and Catalan crisis, things aren't as simple as cutting ties and going it alone. Economic forces will come to the fore in the reality of seceding. Trade, natural resources, agriculture and shipping would all need to be taken into account. That's not even counting movement of people, or the likes of defense.

It's a little bit tricky, this secession lark.
I absolute agree.

However, what I was interested in addressing with this OP was are the current architecture of the States and the Federal Government itself themselves part of the issue polarising US politics?

The hypothesis of the eleven nations in the OP would suggest that those of similar ideological persuasions would migrate to regions of the continent where the political and cultural temperature is more to their liking, and risk as Grace the Pirate below points out a possible balkanisation of the continent at the price of a greater internal harmony.

The Megaregions hypothesis would suggest that linking development and government itself to the nearest largest metropolitan areas should create opportunities in the hinterlands, and which create local melting pots that tolerate individual differences better, without a need to become the preserve of one political philosophy or another.

And as you point out here Carlos - what then of the Union itself?
 

Deadlock

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 4, 2011
Messages
6,170
There's a lot to digest there.

Just taking the NYT article for now;

The author bemoans the way that Federal spending is leaving behind smaller cities and specifically refers to a Bruce Katz blog post that uses Dayton, Ohio as a place that is being left behind by Federal policy.

Yet, in the very next paragraph, he states:



Dayton's largest single employer, with twice as many employees as their second largest, is the Federal government. In fact, they're the largest single site employer in the entire State.
Spot on. Ohio's largest employers are the USAF, universities and research institutes and health care. The choice of Dayton as an example was a curious one to me.
 
D

Deleted member 48908

I absolute agree.

However, what I was interested in addressing with this OP was are the current architecture of the States and the Federal Government itself themselves part of the issue polarising US politics?

The hypothesis of the eleven nations in the OP would suggest that those of similar ideological persuasions would migrate to regions of the continent where the political and cultural temperature is more to their liking, and risk as Grace the Pirate below points out a possible balkanisation of the continent at the price of a greater internal harmony.

The Megaregions hypothesis would suggest that linking development and government itself to the nearest largest metropolitan areas should create opportunities in the hinterlands, and which create local melting pots that tolerate individual differences better, without a need to become the preserve of one political philosophy or another.

And as you point out here Carlos - what then of the Union itself?
The thing with the US is that it's fairly close to the Swiss model. There are elections and propositions every flipping year. The smallest of positions (relatively, of course) all the way up to the highest ones are all elected offices.

There's the different levels starting with

City: mayors, councilmen and women, city court judges etc.
County: Board of supervisors, circuit judges, sheriff, tax collectors, school boards, utility districts etc.
State: Governor, Lieutenant Gov, AG, Insurance Commissioner, State representatives and State Senators, Judges.
Federal: Congressional and General elections.

All of these tiers of government can be both good and bad. Sometimes, it means that decisions at a local level can be made efficiently and effectively, but there will sometimes be extra clearance needed from the next tier up. The further up the tiers one goes, the more inefficient and ineffective the decisions appear - certainly to the average Joe Sixpack.

The division, or polarization as it's perceived has more to do with what is realistically a two party system. There are four sides:

-Them
-Us
-A bit of both (the floating voter)
-Who cares

The eleven nations described in the OP won't really address this. The divisions run right down the middle of towns and villages and megalopolises and country roads.

What happened this time last year was down to people being pissed off at the government. Imposition of new taxes, and fees, and mandates, with no perceived benefits, and folks losing full time jobs to part time ones or automation, leading to smaller paychecks and eventually anger, and a type of revolution which ultimately led to electing Trump.

The other suggestion made, that people of similar ideological persuasions would flock together, is a nonsense. People go where they can afford to go. Economics are what forces them together. No jobs in Skehana, move to Tuam. No jobs in Tuam, Galway. Galway - Dublin. Then on to foreign shores. Costs of living go up, but so do prospects, until eventually you find a place where you are comfortable and can afford to live and settle down.

Magical lines on a map won't create harmony or prosperity. Maybe they did in the past, but in the last forty years or so, the world has shrunk, and the lines have become increasingly blurred. The only ones that matter nowadays are the big regional ones.

Edit: apologies for a rather meandering post.
 
D

Deleted member 48908

Spot on. Ohio's largest employers are the USAF, universities and research institutes and health care. The choice of Dayton as an example was a curious one to me.
Kinda makes you question how good the experts are at experting, doesn't it? ;)
 


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