Chicago the 51st state?

Two rural Illinois legislators want to expel Chicago from Illinois. Their idea is to force Chicago to become the 51st state, so the rest of Illinois won't be dominated by the Windy City. News reports, however, miss the irony of all this—it used to be the other way around. That is, back in the 1920s, Chicagoans were the ones who wanted to form a new state, because they felt dominated by "downstate" legislators.

The current movement doesn't seem to have all that much support, but the 20s version did... at least in Chicago. The city council actually voted in favor of beginning a secession movement.

So if the 1920s' Chicago rabble-rouser John B. Fergus could meet with the current separatist leader, Rep. Bill Mitchell of Decatur, the 51st state movement might have some legs.

News reports here and here.


  1. As a downstate Illinois political operative I am all for this. I want the circle flag. God willing PR and Guam will join in short order.

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  3. I'm from Northwest Indiana and I'm all for Chicago as a separate state as lone as they take us with them.

  4. Having grown up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, I just have to say "what downstate"? Seriously, the whole state is essentially three parts: Chicago and suburbs, St. Louis suburbs, and Great Big Flat Empty Nothing.

    1. That great big flat empty nothing contains some 3 million people, and the richest farmland in the world with vast coal and Natural Gas reserves and a fair amount of Oil. Wold HQ for John Deere, State Farm, ADM, and Jimmy Johns, as a new state downstate Illinois would be averagely populated, and rather wealthy.

  5. New York needs to do this too. NYC/Long Island should be its own state, with NYC as the capital. It dominates the rest of the state, while upstate New York is a completely different world.

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