The Prospect did an entertainment piece on separating from California to join the State of Jefferson. People seemed to like the idea.
It is possible to split a state?
It has actually happened several times, West Virginia leaving Virginia is one example, but it hasn’t happened since before the Civil War.
Historically, there have been many attempts to split California, some from the state’s very beginning. In 1864 the people voted to split the state and the governor signed the bill but it failed to make it through Congress.
There are reasons not to split: California as one entity is more on par with the larger states like Texas and the more populated states like New York.
There are more reasons to consider it. None of the many attempts to split California, including the "Roop Rebellion" which would have removed the Susanville area from California, have seriously considered what the Jefferson alternative does. It would require splitting not one state, but two, California and Oregon. The new state would include areas very much alike. Northeastern California and southeastern Oregon share a lot of culture and climates, as do coastal California and coastal Oregon.
There might be more usefulness to the idea than is obvious at first glance. The State of Jefferson, since it’s creation in 1941, has been the focus of discontentment of the rural areas with their urban masters. It has provided a symbol around which rural people in two states can rally to discuss and define their complaints, and it provides at least the threat of separation to the two state capitols which, though unlikely, could still be problematic. That is the usefulness that it seems to have today.
So far, no county governments in California or Oregon have completely signed on to the idea of a "State of Jefferson", yet the idea continues and has even gained in popularity in the last year.
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