December 9, 2009

Splitting Texas into five states

Here is the opening of my new VDARE.com column on how thinking through the pros and cons of one of the odder bits of political lore can help explain more general phenomena:
Arguably, the 1845 treaty of annexation gave the new state of Texas the right to split into five states.

With modern Texas providing relatively effective government without high taxes or high land prices, the state has attracted a population (now approaching 25 million) huge enough to justify being divided up into five smaller states.

Here’s a fanciful map by Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight.com of what a split-up Texas might look like politically, using Texas’s 254 counties as building blocks.

(Silver’s state names are all wrong, of course. Texans would never agree to any names for new states that didn’t include the word “Texas” in them—such as South Texas, West Texas, North Texas, East Texas, and Central Texas.)

Divvying up Texas may seem at present irrelevant—none are prouder than Texans of the humongousness of their state. But thinking through the implications of this scenario is illuminating.


Read the whole thing there and comment upon it here.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

36 comments:

RF Interference said...

The McAllen area is the poor man's Arizona when it comes to those who have retired. It's cheap, they imported palm trees and the locals await the arrival of the "snow birds" each winter.

Turn that area into El Norte, a Democratic stronghold, and as the taxes rise, fewer and fewer retirees from northern states will be purchasing those nice little brick ranch houses in the valley (back to Arizona and Florida I guess).

Don't know if that would really have much of an effect on the economy, but certainly one change that would result.

dearieme said...

"the humongousness of their state": bah, it's a titch. As an Aussie once told me "Think of Queensland as a postcard - Texas is just the stamp."

Tim of Angle said...

Unfortunately, that 1845 treaty was made obsolete by the re-admission process after the Civil War. Texas can split if it wants and gets the permission of the other states -- just as any state can -- but I doubt that could happen. Still, it's fun to speculate.

Robert said...

Texas may not want to break up but other states would be glad to. Downstate Illinois would certainly like to see the Chicago area break away into another state. New York is the same way. Califoria could also be broken into three or so states made up of areas that have regional differences.

Anonymous said...

"As an Aussie once told me "Think of Queensland as a postcard - Texas is just the stamp.""

The postage stamp would be 1/3 the size of the postcard and also doesn't have any state income tax. I do love Australia very much -- but it would be a much better country if it had a bit more Texas in it and a little less left-wing orthodoxy.

John Mansfield said...

It's weird that Texas is a western-sized state with all those little eastern-sized counties.

Kijkfaas McGee said...

When the fat white blobs of the American interior, the bloated Republican voters, saw their immediate interests being threatened by Obama healthcare reform, they came out in force to protest. Their white faces were grouped together in large masses for all the televisions in the nation. What to take away from such a display? The fact is that when people's immediate interests are at a stake, in a concrete way, they will attempt to defend them. It seems difficult to take anything away from the lack of any protest on mass immigration but that white people are immediately benefiting from it. Yes, it may ruin the country. Yes, Hispanics are bad stock. But the degenerate white blobs don't seem to care enough to do anything about it. The notion that accusations of racism explain the lack of resistance is pathetic. Your average white Texan, I am sure, couldn't give a damn.

Anonymous said...

As a Native Texan, let me explain it to you this way:

Ain't never gonna happen, never ever.

We will secede and become our own republic again.

ConantheCimmerian

Richard Hoste said...

If we get real conservatives powerful enough to create four new states, why wouldn't they just end affirmative action and immigration directly instead of going through all this nonsense?

This article is like someone decrying a white minority but proposing we take away citizenship from non-whites as we hope to gain enough power to end immigration.

Anonymous said...

While reading your piece it occurred to me why the GOP wins so many battles but is doomed to lose the war. The typical personality drawn to the GOP is a private sector type who focuses on the next quarter's results, the next cycle, the next season. They're very good at making the short-term numbers look good, whereas who knows what the business environment will look like in 5 years? The Dems draw from tenured positions, government sinecures, and the kind of places where you can afford to think about the long view. This might be a crushingly obvious observation, but hey, it just hit me.

Justin said...

Weird, I was just contemplated succession last night too. With the federal government acting as a force for domestic and international evil, I guess that is not surprising.

Is it time to form a sucessionist party?

Has anyone done the legwork on exactly what that would entail? Legally, I mean.

Anonymous said...

Can we do Florida next?!

Conch Republic (D-Alternative), South Florida (D-Urban), Everglades (R-Farming), Florida(R-Disney), Lower Alabama (R-Country).

kurt9 said...

You can say what you want about Texas. But it is a reasonably well run state with relatively low tax rates and no real estate bubble. It also has lots of manufacturing. If Texas was an independent country, it would be a net exporter, just like an East Asian country.

Texas is not hostile towards manufacturing business like several other states that come to mind.

Anonymous said...

How about just 2 states?

Mexas and Texas.

airtommy said...

I was just contemplated succession last night too. With the federal government acting as a force for domestic and international evil, I guess that is not surprising. Is it time to form a sucessionist party? Has anyone done the legwork on exactly what that would entail?

For starters, it would entail spelling the word "secession" correctly.

Steve is rightly trying to steer the conversation back to realism, but you're running off into fantasy land.

If Texas was an independent country, it would be a net exporter, just like an East Asian country.

Texas is not hostile towards manufacturing business like several other states that come to mind.


Texas is the most polluted state in the country. Businesses like going there because they can poison the locals. In that sense, it's like China.

Anonymous said...

Texas doesn't seem very polluted to me. Air pollution used to be much worse (say 1970).

Instead of breaking Texas apart, we need to redo all the states to make them approximately the same population. That's a much more interesting exercise.

Mil-Tech Bard said...

>Texas is the most polluted state
>in the country. Businesses like
>going there because they can
>poison the locals. In that sense,
>it's like China.

A little know by the left fact:

Texas is home to 1/2 of the oil refineries in America.

It is home to less than 1/2 of the oil refinery pollution.

airtommy said...

A little know by the left fact:

Texas is home to 1/2 of the oil refineries in America.

It is home to less than 1/2 of the oil refinery pollution.


A well-known by the business community fact:

Texas has the laxest pollution laws of any state in the country. Remember Bush's voluntary pollution regulations?

Letting the free market decide pollution levels is like letting open borders determine demographics of a country's population. Both are bad ideas. Neither is a conservative idea.

Second Class American said...

Texas is the most polluted state in the country. Businesses like going there because they can poison the locals. In that sense, it's like China.

The thing about pollution is that it doesn't respect borders. A huge portion of the air pollution here in Central Texas is Mexican in origin.

Anonymous said...

We really, really want to secede (which can be done if the other states simply approve it), but first we have to figure out how to get rid of Austin (or at least the population therein.)

Anonymous said...

Good article, but I don't think Canadians are as open-minded as you think. There is a very pervasive big government/soft-totalitarian liberalism here.

I am a western separatist. The movement is miniscule, and I have encountered a lot of irrational anger whenever I bring it up online, even amongst so-called conservatives.

For your perusal, here is a map I made which would be a decent way to divvy up the US and Canada.

http://img687.imageshack.us/img687/3804/northamerica.jpg

John Mansfield said...

Regarding secession for California or Texas, it would be two step process. First, get the state returned to Mexico by United States with an apology for all that is bad about the U.S. It wouldn't be hard to talk, say, Barbara Boxer into arranging that in the Senate. Second, rally for independence again under a flag with a bear or a lone star, but this time don't follow up with annexation by the U.S.

Cat Patrol said...

In the near future, all areas of Texas will be majority "hispanic". So why create 4 more "hispanic" states?

Eric said...

If you could actually get away with splitting up your state it would be stupid not to. For Texans any loss of bragging rights would be overwhelmed by the acquisition of eight new senators.

Sgt. Joe Friday said...

"Regarding secession for California or Texas, it would be two step process. First, get the state returned to Mexico by United States with an apology for all that is bad about the U.S. It wouldn't be hard to talk, say, Barbara Boxer into arranging that in the Senate."

Yeah, except Barbara Boxer is dumb as a post. Suppose it really was a good idea to quit-claim a large area of land back to Mexico. Boxer would inist that we had to pay the Mexicans for "stealing" it from them, AND give them the real estate. It would never, ever occur to her that maybe the Mexicans ought to pay us for the improvements made to the property.

dearieme said...

It's far more interesting to think about which States should be expelled from the Union.

John Mansfield said...

"It's far more interesting to think about which States should be expelled from the Union."

Back in high school, one of my term papers was on why Nevada should secede. A supporting item I found in the UNLV library was the minutes of some conference of anti-slavery do-gooders held in Worcester, Mass, maybe around 1830, calling for the expulsion of slave-holding states from the Union. I used that to build the case that when a state secedes, there will be plenty of people glad to see it go.

Anonymous said...


We all know that an immediate immigration moratorium is essential for the survival of the American Republic and, rather less importantly, for America’s Republican Party.


the only way to stop the immigration flood is to disempower the federalist republic and send power back to the states. The republic is how the rich people (who want mass immigration) disempower the people.


The genius of the Founding Fathers was that they recognized America contained differing communities that needed a federal rather than a unitary political system.



THe Founding Fathers (FF) exploited the "differing communities" created by the enlargement of the voting districts that came about as a result of the federal union. THe factions thus created disempowed the voters and decreased demcracy because, in the words of James Madison, the father of the constitution, the enlarged voting districts created as a result of the formation of the republic meant that the masses/majority would be less able to unite and discover their common interest (a direct quote from james madison (see federalist paper 10 and constitutional convention notes)).



Now, arguably, the established states themselves contain differing communities that should be given expression.


Only if you believe in democracy, which I do. Madison and the rest of the FFs did not. In fact the formation of the republic was in fact a counterrevolution to disable the burgeoning democracy that was starting up in the several states. If we had democracy today (and no federal union) we would not have mass immigration.

Let me say that slowly for you so even YOU can understand: the majority of americans do not want this current regime of mass immigration. But they can do little about it because the federal govt is in charge of immigration (see supremacy clause, commerce clause etc).

If america were more democratic, we would have far less immigration.
Why is america NOT democratic? Because it is a federalist republic with president and a showstopper upper house and a showstopper judiciary.
Also we have so many factions that elect the president and senate that they cannot "unite and discover their common interest" (direct quote from the designer of the constitution, james madison).

THe FFs did not want democracy.

We therefore do not have democray.

We therefore have mass immigration because the rich people want 1) cheap labor and 2) a populace divided by race, language and nationality, thus creating even more factions and making it harder for the people to unite against the elite.


Typically, U.S. political boundaries have been drawn by partisans, resulting in the notoriously absurd shapes of many U.S. Congressional districts. The U.S. gave the waiting world the term “gerrymandering” after a constituency resembling a salamander drawn up by Massachusetts governor Elbridge Gerry.



Gerrymandering INCREASES democracy because it increases homogeneity and therefore DECREASES factions. Fewer factions in a voting district means it is easier for the voters to unite and discover their common interest.


In a similar spirit, what I’m proposing here is what Peter Brimelow insists I call a “Sailermander”—it’s aimed at preserving, not a political party, but the hegemony of the historic American nation, otherwise likely to be swamped by legal and illegal immigration.


It would also increase democracy because it would decrease factions by increasing homogeneity.

END PART ONE

Anonymous said...

START PART TWO

Typically, U.S. political boundaries have been drawn by partisans, resulting in the notoriously absurd shapes of many U.S. Congressional districts. The U.S. gave the waiting world the term “gerrymandering” after a constituency resembling a salamander drawn up by Massachusetts governor Elbridge Gerry.



Gerrymandering INCREASES democracy because it increases homogeneity and therefore DECREASES factions. Fewer factions in a voting district means it is easier for the voters to unite and discover their common interest.


In a similar spirit, what I’m proposing here is what Peter Brimelow insists I call a “Sailermander”—it’s aimed at preserving, not a political party, but the hegemony of the historic American nation, otherwise likely to be swamped by legal and illegal immigration.


It would also increase democracy because it would decrease factions by increasing homogeneity.



Splitting Texas is the kind of change that would be more conceivable to Canadians than Americans. Although Americans like to think of Canada as boring, America’s political institutions have been much stodgier at the macro-level than Canada’s.



Madison and the FFs designed the constitution to PREVENT innovation in government. (see madison in the federalist paper 10). THe FFs did not want democracy. If the people can innovate and change their own govt to suit them, that is democratic. Madison wrote that he did not want America to be democratic.




Moreover, Canadian parties are far more volatile than the American duopoly.



They are volatile because the canadian people wanted to change their own govt, and so they did. Imagine that. Democracy. What a concept!

How are they able to change their own nation to suit them? Because they are NOT a federalist republic with a president and a showstopper upper house and judiciary. No, canada is a PARLIAMENTARIAN govt.

In that form of govt the power is vested almost entirely in the LOWER house. THe lower house runs the show for all intents and purposes. The lower house representatives are each elected from SMALL districts, as opposed to the large districts that the American president and Senate are elected from. Smaller districts means less factions. Less factions means the people in each district are more able to unite and discover their common interest. More democratic.


But, basically as a result of the unprecedented post-1965 mass immigration, it’s probable that Americans will eventually find ourselves living through what the Chinese would refer to as politically interesting times.



More nationalities in the electorate create more factions. More factions more less unity. Less unity means that the people are less able to control their own politicans. that means less democracy. Less democracy means that Big Money has more power.

That means that our own govts are even less controllable by the masses, the people, you and me.


Well, that is enough schooling for today. You may now return to your regularly scheduled pseudopolitical discussion. If you actually want to do, ah, RESEARCH, I direct you to the recent books and essay by dr woody holton and dr jerry fresia.

Whiskey said...

Airtommy, you don't get something for nothing. Texas unemployment is around 7%. California's, with the strictest air-pollution laws in the nation, and with a "green" policy towards green house gases, has about 15% unemployment.

Most would trade dirty air for a job, any day. Your attitude is typical of the "Gentry Liberal" that Joel Kotkin of "New Geography" describes (or SWPL if you prefer). There are only so many free trade coffee shops with baristas that have the earlobe distended implants around. The rest of us need jobs.

Middletown Girl said...

This is not the way. The ONLY way is to build a wall along the SW border, enforce English as common language, and encourage assimilation.

Even if Texas were to split apart, who's to stop people from Mexican parts of Texas to slip into white parts of Texas? And what about all the mixed marriages? I heard over 1/3 of Mexicans in Texas marry Anglos--not least because many white men find Mexican chicas more feminiine and demure that crazy feminist-ized white bitches. Splitting Texas could be as painful as dividing Iraq where many Sunnis and Shias had intermarried.

We need a 10 million man march to the SW border. Let the liberal media call us 'racist' or 'xenophobic'. Who the hell cares? We are patriotic! Build a wall, not just a fence. If the Chinese Great Wall of China is considered one of the 7 wonders of the world, who's to say we can't build something even more outstanding? And, it will create a lot of jobs for Americans.

As for Mexicans already here, make them assimilate and lend them a helping hand--not through welfare but through moral and cultural instruction. This can come only from middle class conservatives as everyone else is decadent, nihilistic, PC, or trashy. Hell with compassionate conservatism. We need an activist tough love conservatism.

Though the white conservative family in Blind Side may be foolish, one lesson to take from such movie is that the best spiritual, moral, and cultural medicine for non-whites who are lost or fallen through the cracks is solid white conservative values.

Anonymous said...

There was a rather popular movement to divide California in two parts back in 1850's, between Anglo North California and Hispanic South California.

corvinus said...

Texas may not want to break up but other states would be glad to. Downstate Illinois would certainly like to see the Chicago area break away into another state. New York is the same way. Califoria could also be broken into three or so states made up of areas that have regional differences.

I actually like this plan better.

Split the Democrat strongholds of Illinois, New York, and Washington state in two and make three new GOP states. (Washington state has a nice county-level crack running down the Cascade Range.)

California could be broken up in two also, I suppose, to appease the Dems. (it also has a nice county-level crack running east-west across the state north of Bakersfield.)

beowulf said...

Let's not reinvent the wheel-- Just make each Federal Judicial District a separate state.
http://tracfed.syr.edu/help/geo/crimmap.html

Anonymous said...

The four new states:
Longhornland (central west)
Aggieville (central east)
Techsas (north)
Cougartown (south)

Anonymous said...

The real reason to break up the big states is, as of other has alluded, to make the newer, more ideologically homogeneous states. That way the heartland can up and secede en masse from the areas of the country dominated by the Ideology of Loneliness (i.e., watery leftism).

Until then, Michigan can't secede without taking Detroit with it; Chicago stays with Illinois, etc.

A "coasts only" US would be paradise to the left - they have no reason to oppose it.* Abortion on demand, expanded hate crimes laws, intervention in every world brushfire ... we'll even give them the most of the Navy and all the Marine amphibious vehicles. And we'll keep the Air Force, thanks.

* Actually, there is the small matter of whether the big (left) cities or the small (right) towns are bigger net tax contributors. I don't know, myself. Does anyone?