By way of Scotland: A 51st state for the U.S.?
On Thursday, Scots will vote on a referendum to decide whether or not their country will split from the United Kingdom, after over 300 years of being part of that kingdom.
In the United States, secessionist chatter is also nothing new. Remember that in 1820, Maine seceded from Massachusetts and became its own state, although no other state has seceded since West Virginia split off from Virginia in 1863 – and that was during the Civil War.
The latest talk of statehood comes from none other than Washington, D.C., where the U.S. Senate hosted a packed hearing Monday – the first in over two decades – to debate whether the city should become the 51st state. Just two senators, Democrat Thomas Carper of Delaware and Republican Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, were in attendance, according to The Washington Post. Coburn called the idea a “legal and political absurdity” with “no chance of passage” and left after half an hour.
In recent years, a number of U.S. states and cities have tested the waters of secession, but few movements have caught on. Here’s a sampling of just a few of the more recent secessionist moves to become the nation’s 51st state.