10 Steps to a Breakaway State: A Secessionist’s Guide -
In the three weeks since voters elected Barack Obama to a second term as U.S. president, a number of Americans have circulated petitions to begin seceding from the union. The efforts are specific to individual states and vary in their success at gaining adherents; a quick tally of petitions on the White House petition website, which gives running totals, suggests 500,000 signatures have been submitted so far, with other estimates reaching 700,000. Whatever the exact number, it’s less than a percent of the U.S. population of 312 million.
That’s not many secessionist Americans. But it is a lot of people, period. One can imagine how a slightly better-organized effort could maximize its possibilities.
For example: 700,000 people is about the population of Alaska. If a proper secessionist leader could emerge, and convince those 700,000 to all move to Anchorage at the same time, they’d be close to a majority. (If they went to Wyoming, the least-populous U.S. state, they’d outnumber the locals by 200,000 and could declare independence on day one. But they’d also be surrounded.)
Let’s assume the secessionists can get their act together. What do successful secession drives tell us about next moves?