Monday, September 04, 2006
Fifty Still Nifty Almost Fifty Years LaterMost everybody probably missed it. I know I did. When we Americans woke up on the morning of 11 July this summer, our nation had gone the longest period in its history without adding a new state. The time between the admission of Arizona (February 14, 1912) and Alaska (January 03, 1959) was surpassed by the time since we added Hawaii for number 50 on August 21, 1959. Some almost states: Franklin: This almost-state received the support of seven other state delegations to the Continental Congress, but North Carolinians were not pleased with this collection of frontier counties who sought financial support from Spain. Texas, upon admission to the union in 1845, was given the right to split into up to four states. Some talk early and even fairly recently of splitting up California, too. Some people labor under the misconception that state-splitting is against the Constitution, but legally, all one needs is the approval of the state legislature and Congress. Brigham Young conceived a grand proposal for a state of Deseret to be admitted to the union with California in 1849. Next year the LDS folks got Utah Territory instead and waited for 46 more years before gaining admittance as the 45th state. You might check out this site for the State of Jefferson. People were semi-serious about it in 1941 before Pearl Harbor. Alternate history authors such as Harry Turtledove posit states we never knew. In his novel How Few Remain, reviewed here, the CSA purchases Sonora and Chihuahua from Mexico to reach its own manifest destiny at the Pacific Ocean. Cuba is a CSA state later in Turtledove's massive what-if-the-union-lost series. I've probably missed some interesting stories of other near-states. Any information out there?