"Supremely Ridiculous"? No so fast Jerry Brown

California Governor Jerry Brown's spokesman called the new plan to split California in two "a supremely ridiculous waste of everybody's time." No so fast, governor—you're missing the whole point. While it's true that the plan has an astronomically unlikely chance of succeeding, Governor Brown does not seem to grasp the other reason that Article IV, Section 3 of the US Constitution allows for states to be split: it lets people blow of steam. You know, that whole "redress of grievances" thing. In much of the world, people who are unhappy with government start shooting guns—here, we try to make a new state. It's fun, nobody gets hurt, and the would-be statemakers often get their grievances redressed.

And twice, the statemakers actually succeeded in the split—Maine split from Massachusetts, and West Virginia split from Virginia. Is Maine "supremely ridiculous"?   


  1. Technically West Virginia seceded from Virginia. They were admitted without the concurrence of Virginia's legislature.

    Kentucky, OTOH, actually did split from Virginia.

  2. @JS. Kentucky was a territory of Virginia, but upon accepting the Constitution, Kentucky became a territory of the United States.

    Similarly, Tennessee (a territory of North Carolina prior to the Constitution) became a territory of the US.

    Georgia/South Carolina later ceded their claims to what is now Alabama & Mississippi.

    Additionally, New York claimed Vermont (independent Republic for 14 years). Massachusetts claimed Nova Scotia/Acadia, Connecticut a part of Ohio (and temporarily also Long Island)