The push among a handful of northeastern Colorado counties to form a 51st state of the United States at first seemed part of the political silly season, and a tongue-in-cheek redneck riposte to the state’s decriminalization of marijuana last year. (See a recent report on the statehood movement in this blog.) But the idea hasn’t gone away, and is even picking up steam—and maybe spreading to other parts of the inland west.
[Note: For North Colorado and 51st-state updates since this article was published, see this recent article.)
|Siskiyou County, California|
|... or 51st ... or 52nd ... ?|
|Some envision even more counties joining.|
On December 6, 1941, the State of Jefferson rebellion was big news.
On December 7, 1941, other matters grabbed headlines, dooming the movement.
How California might be bifurcated is a parlor game as old as the state itself. In addition to the State of Jefferson, some have suggested calling a northern entity the State of Klamath, the State of Siskiyou, or—in the days before the Colorado Territory was admitted—the State of Colorado. (Just to make things more confusing, the Colorado Territory briefly considered calling itself the State of Jefferson upon admission.)
|Colorado’s secessionist heartland|
Weld County is committed to putting secession on the ballot. And, just to its southeast, Morgan County’s board of commissioners has now set a deadline of August 26th for the gathering of 2,300 signatures—15% of the electorate—to put it on the ballot there as well. The race has begun!
[You can read more about North Colorado, the State of Jefferson, and other separatist and new-nation movements, both famous and obscure, in my new book, a sort of encyclopedic atlas just published by Litwin Books under the title Let’s Split! A Complete Guide to Separatist Movements and Aspirant Nations, from Abkhazia to Zanzibar. The book, which contains 46 maps and 554 flags (or, more accurately, 554 flag images), is available for order now on Amazon. Meanwhile, please “like” the book (even if you haven’t read it yet) on Facebook and see this special announcement for more information on the book.]