29.09.2015 Author: Valery Kulikov

Will Separatism in the US Prevail?

6D30CF6A wave of separatist sentiment has recently literally covered the world community. This is the commitment of Scotland to separate, the difficult situation with the Basques in Spain, the independence of Kurdistan, as well as the Ukrainian events… Many of the conflicts have been smouldering for decades, flaring up somewhere in the form of demonstrations, terrorist acts and open armed conflicts.

This problem however has not bypass the United States, where the current economic and financial difficulties were supplemented by problems with the regions: seven states, including Texas and Florida, are actively gathering signatures for legal registration of their demands for separation and secession from the United States. The country has at least 17 full-fledged official parties advocating on a permanent basis for separation of this or that state; they have strong support from the population and have rich sponsors. From time to time, in one or the other state such movements are organizing a petition to the Parliament or organize “marches on Washington”. In this case, separatists refer to the Declaration of Independence. From a legal point of view, in the USA there is an inconsistency between the constitutional provisions, which do not prohibit separatist activities of the states, and the 1869 Precedent, when as a result of the proceedings “Texas v. White”, the court prohibited acts of separatism as violating the Constitution. In these circumstances, the position of the U.S. Supreme Court is that separatism is an unconstitutional phenomenon, while the people of the United States reserve the right to revolution, during which separatism or separation under an appropriate peace agreement may occur.

The situation is so extraordinary that analysts get lost in the estimates of what is happening.

In 1996 in his book “Civil War Two: The Coming Breakup of America”, the American military analyst Thomas Chittum predicted the dissolution of the USA into three parts: white North, black South and Spanish-speaking South-West, with the inevitable concomitant new civil war. Opponents of this position should not forget that it was the desire for separatism that resulted in the bloody Civil War in the United States in 1861-1865. In addition, the United States has already granted independence to “the dependent territories”(Palau,the Marshall Islands,Micronesia),), whose population at the time officially announced secessionism.

According to opinion polls, over 70% of Americans currently believe that the system of public administration in the USA is ineffective. At the same time about one in five is willing to support the separatists in his state, speaking for the transformation of the states dissatisfied with Washington, especially the South, into a separate state. Immediately after the re-election of Barack Obama for a second term, the German newspaper Die Welt noted that each of the fifty states of the USA has formed a group of citizens demanding secession of their state from the United States: “In their opinion, the state holds them in bondage, and they want to go. But without the civil war. It is no coincidence that Texas is the leader of this list. The Texans are convinced that they feed, clothe and arm the rest of America”.

Being the second largest state of the United States, Texas became an independent state in 1836, the Republic of Texas, after months of the war for independence with Mexico. This state retained its sovereignty for 9 years. However, in 1845, due to the difficulties in the confrontation with its Southern neighbour, against the will of the majority of citizens of the Republic, the Texas authorities asked the protectorate of Washington, but with an important condition: the Texans have the right to secede from the USA any time. Today, supporters of the independence of Texas, including existing since the 1950s movement “the Republic of Texas”, argue that the decision to join the Union was rigged, while the state was illegally annexed and, therefore, is under occupation. The Texan petition for secession from the USA, stating that the U.S. economic problems are the result of the federal government’s failure to reform fiscal policies, has already gained more than 100 thousand signatures instead of the required 25 thousand.

However, as recently noted by the online news portal Examiner.com, in addition to separation from the United States, Texas has a very clear desire to lead the country, since two of the Texans with the names of George Bush (“junior” and “senior”) remain in memory of the people of this state as the 41st and the 43rd U.S. Presidents, while in the upcoming presidential election of 2016, two more Texans are planning to participate: a former Texas Governor Rick Perry and Senator Ted Cruz. Therefore, it is possible that if there is a choice, the majority of Texans will not wish to live in the country, trapped between the USA, experiencing a number of problems, and disadvantaged Mexico. Moreover, they would prefer to revive the United States with the same style that has made the current Texas economic superpower.

In recent weeks, separatist sentiment in Texas has increased significantly and, according to Reuters, it has swept 31 Texan cities, collecting signatures in support of demands for independence. As noted by the news agency, “as an independent state Texas can be a very influential player on the world stage: the volume of its economy amounts to 1.4 trillion dollars per year, which roughly corresponds to South Korea.”

In its confrontation with the U.S. federal government, Texas requests the Federal Reserve System to return 1 billion dollars in gold bullion belonging to it. In June this year, the Texan Governor Gregg Abbott even signed the bill HB 483, under which on the territory of Texas its own storage will be built to accommodate the gold bullion and other precious metals. The Texan own storage for precious metals would be very useful from the point of view of backing the local currency in the event of a break with the financial support of the US government.

However, people of this state do not exclude the possibility of use by the White House, in its characteristic manner, of the army to suppress separatist sentiment in the state, as evidenced by a recent University of Texas Austin opinion poll .

Another example of separatist sentiment in the United States are the states such as:

– California – the richest and largest state of America, the government of which are able to pursue an independent foreign policy and already have an intergovernmental agreement with another state, signed several years ago by Governor A. Schwarzenegger and the former Prime Minister of Great Britain T. Blair. Many of the residents of the state believe that they are forced to pay the Federal Treasury “too much”;

– South Carolina, which continues a policy of independence from Washington, has already offered by the mouth of the Republican Senator Lee Bright to issue its own money. The legislators of Virginia, Georgia, Missouri, Idaho, and Minnesota favor the similar initiatives. A few states require a permit the use gold and silver as settlement tools;

– Louisiana, with a population of 4.5 million people. Residents of this state have turned to Barack Obama with a request for the proclamation of the independence of their state and the formation of their government;

– Alaska, which has its own Independence Party, whose representative Walter Hickel won the election in 1990 and took the Governor’s chair.

Perhaps,the only state, where separatists have not been particularly active so far, is Puerto Rico, which is essentially subsidized by the U.S. budget and has the status of a freely associated state, where the U.S. Constitution is applied only restrictively.

Thus, the inner life of the United States is not so simple as it might seem at first glance. Separatism in this country is gaining momentum, no less than in the Old World, due to a number of reasons. Currently separatist sentiments do not lay at the heart of extremism in the country, and the authorities manage to restrain the mass protests. However, the American separatism is a ticking time bomb and, in case of the collapse of the dollar or other significant political and economic cataclysm in the U.S. federal government, it is possible that the White House will not be able to restrain growing separatism.

Valery Kulikov, political analyst, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.