10 Separatist Movements in the United States

The flag of the Cascadia bioregion movement, known as the Doug flag.
The flag of the Cascadia bioregion movement, known as the Doug flag.

Separatist movements are political and non-political groups, or movements in a country seeking to be separated from the country to form their independent state. Calls for secession are usually of religion, cultural, or ethnic groups who feel marginalized. Some separatists groups could be seeking only a greater autonomy and may engage in some form of identity politics.

10. Conch Republic

The Conch Republic is a micronation located in Florida. On April 3, 1982, it jokingly declared secession from the United States. Dennis Wardlow, the mayor of the region at the time, declared the secession. The separation claims were not serious, but serious issues led to the claim. The mayor and the people of Key West felt like the US, by setting up roadblocks to the area to stop and search vehicles, had already set the area aside as a different region. The area took on the name Conch as the people were named Conchs. This mock secession has been used to promote tourism in the city. In 2008 protests came up from the Northern keys that separated from the Conch Republic to form the Independent Northernmost Territories of the Conch Republic.

9. Cascadia

Cascadia is a bioregion and a proposed or proffered country that may include British Columbia, Canada, Washington, Oregon, and part of a few other US states on the Western part of North America. The total area of the proffered state is 534,592 square miles. Cascadia independence movement is the secessionist movement campaigning for the separation of the region from the US. The movement stated they wanted independence to improve on bioregionalism and environmentalism.

8. California

California is a state in the US situated in the Pacific region. It is the third largest state and has a population of 39.3 million. The state has the biggest economy in the US. Separatist movements proposed secession to form the second Californian Republic or the new California. The Yes California Independence Campaign was formed in August 2015 by Louis J. Marinelli. After the 2016 elections, Marinelli mentioned that Californians were offended by Trump’s remarks on minority groups. The organization was supposed to gather signatures to be able to hold a referendum on their proposal for separation, but they decided to put the proposal on hold. The California National Party is a political party also fighting for secession. The party is led by Theo Slater, who also heads Yes California. The California National Party is yet to be registered as a political party.

7. Confederate States of America

The confederate states of America were also known as the Confederacy. The country was initially formed by separatist states that wanted to keep slaves to tend to their plantations. The states included Texas, Louisiana, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, and South Carolina. The states announced their secession individually after Abraham Lincoln disapproved the spread of slave trade to the Western states. In February 1861, a Confederate government was established. In April of the same year, Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia, and Arkansas joined the Confederacy. Kentucky and Missouri also joined, but they never claimed secession from the US. On April 12, 1861, a war between the US and the Confederacy began and ended in 1865, when the Confederacy was disbanded. The league of the south is an active organization that wants the former Confederacy states to secede from the US. The group was established in 1994 by Michael Hill, Jack Kershaw, and other members as a non-governmental organization. The organization would want the southern states to each be independent and to work together in foreign matters. A neo-confederate movement is also a group of activists who support the Confederacy and work to show that the American civil war was not due to rebellion by the Confederacy.

6. Lakota

The Republic of Lakota is a projected independent republic for the Lakota people and other populations in North America. Russell Means proposed the state. The country would consist of the states of Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota. The Lakota people speak the Lakota language. On December 17, 2007, Russell Means and other three members of the Lakota Freedom Delegation went to Washington, D.C. to declare their wish to separate from the US and to form the Republic of Lakota. The group felt that the US government did not protect the rights of the American Indian people.

5. New England

New England is a region that comprises of six states in the Northeastern region of the US. The states include Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. In 1620, the area was an English settlement. The New England independence movement is the active secessionist movement in New England. They want to form an independent state that will have the interest of the New England population at heart.

4. Texas

Texas is the second biggest state in the US. The Texas Nationalist Movement and the Texas Secession Movement have been actively advocating for the secession of the state to become the Republic of Texas. Talks about secession began in the 1990s with the Republic of Texas Organization, and the Texas Nationalist Movement led by Daniel Miller. In 1861, Texas seceded and joined the confederate, until the confederation was disbanded. The Texas Nationalist Movement is campaigning for peaceful secession rather than using violence. In 2016 after the UK exited the European Union, talks about secession came up with Texas using the hashtag #Texit on social media.

3. Alaska

Alaska is located in North America and has a total area of 663,268 square miles. The country became a member state of the US on January 3, 1959. The Alaskan Independence Party is a political party in Alaska that rallied votes for a secession of the state from the US. The party was founded on June 14, 1984, by Joe Vogler. In 2006 members of the party wanted a referendum for Alaska to separate from the US but the Supreme Court found the proposal unconstitutional and it did not take place.

2. Vermont

Vermont is located in the New England region of the US. The state has an area of 9,616 square miles. Vermont was once a French colony and then later a British colony. In 1777, the Vermont Republic was formed. Vermont was the first country to join the US after the 13 founding states, in 1791. The Second Vermont Republic is a separatist movement in the state seeking to restore Vermont to its independent state. The movement was founded by Thomas Naylor in 2003 and it is a political movement. The Vermont independence party is part of the Second Vermont Republic.

1. Hawaii

Hawaii joined the US on August 21, 1959. The state is an archipelago situated in Oceania. The island has a total area of 10,931 square miles. The Hawaii independence party, formed on Aril 30, 1900, is one of the groups calling for a separation of the state of Hawaii from the US. The Nation of Hawaii organization, led by Dennis Pu’uhonua, is the oldest secessionist group in the state. They aim to make Hawaii a republic rather than reinstate its former monarchy. The Hawaii independence Party is a political party that was formed in 2015. The party aims for Hawaii to be independent and to become an economic hub in the Pacific Ocean. There is the Hawaiian Sovereignty Movement which was formed by activists and small groups also seeking for separation. They have quoted a marginalization of the people of Hawaii and erosion of their culture.


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