Texas can divide itself without federal action

red and white polka dot rain boots
Big Texan steak house

“Before John Nance Garner became Franklin Roosevelt’s vice president, and before he declared the job “isn’t worth a pitcher of warm spit,” the cow-punching, whiskey-drinking, poker-dealing Texas congressman pushed a plan to grab even more clout for his already enormous state. Across his career, as a turn-of-the century Texas state legislator and in interviews given during his time in Congress and on the occasion of his 1932 ascension to Speaker of the House, “Cactus Jack” argued that Texas could, and should, split itself into five states.

“An area twice as large and rapidly becoming as populous as New England should have at least ten Senators,” Garner told The New York Times in April 1921, “and the only way we can get them is to make five States, not five small States, mind you, but five great States.” Thanks to the terms of Texas’ 1845 admission to the Union, he argued, the state could split anytime, without any action from Congress—a power no other state has.

Garner’s idea went nowhere. But the congressman from Uvalde, in the Hill Country west of San Antonio, was carrying on a long West Texas tradition of trying to turn the Lone Star State into a constellation. Dividing Texas into many little Texases was seriously considered at the time Texas became a state and for decades afterward. The idea survives today as a quirk in American law, a remnant of Texas’ brief history as an independent nation. It’s also a peculiar part of Texas’ identity as a state so big, it could split itself up—even though it loves its own bigness too much to do it.

Comment: Nevah hoppen GI. pl


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12 Responses to Texas can divide itself without federal action

  1. Fred says:

    “But Texas’ claim to an exception comes straight from the 1845 joint congressional resolution admitting Texas into the Union. ”

    Sounds like a typical yankee democrats take on the South. Congressional resolutions obviously over rule the constitution. Kind of like that poetry on the statue of liberty giving Joe and Kamala authority to leave the Southern border open. A couple more years and they’ll have enough Haitians and others scattered across swing districts to carry the tide; not legally but they haven’t cared much about that since before LBJ finally got into the Senate in ’48.

  2. Babeltuap says:

    I always hated driving back to TX from a temporary job in Utah years ago. I could cut through all the other states no problem. Soon as I hit TX though it was like starting over again. A mental beatdown. It could take over a day to get back to my home even though I was in my home.

    I’m not against this plan but only if the otherside pulls the trigger first. Making D.C. a state for sure. Pull it.

  3. Condottieree says:

    As a Texan (and member of a Masonic lodge that founded Texas and spared Santa Anna -fellow mason- and gave him safe passage to Mexico) I can say it will NEVER happen. Dividing Texas would be like long Dong silver mutilating his tool into smaller pieces. Texas will NEVER Balkanize

    • Babeltuap says:

      It might get us some short term credit but agree, if TX has to do that the US is officially over with. Besides, It already is over. 70% of the country is on some form of welfare, wants to take in millions of more welfare recipients and vote for even more welfare. Best to keep as much square footage of open carry as possible.

      • Condottieree says:

        Abbott needs to place a moratorium on Californians immigrating to Texas. We need to keep them from bringing their idiot ideology and In-n-Out Burgers. Those alien invaders need to assimilate instead of trying to make Texas a shithole like their homeland. We have Whataburger and wait in line 2+ hours for good barbecue. Texas is permit-less carry and has the most permissive deadly force laws on the country. We don’t have a state income tax and don’t have a state deficit. Stop moving here

        • Eric Newhill says:

          Keep after Abbot on that. As an Arizonan*, I can assure you that you are correct about the negative impact on culture of relocating Californians. They will most definitely f’up paradise. They’re like bossy latte fueled termites.

          * Recently returned after a near 20 year stint in the purgatory known as “Back East”.

          • Condottierre says:

            Why can’t we just redirect the Trump wall to partition California from the rest of the country? A North Korean nuke on our west coast might do us all some good!

  4. Laura Wilson says:

    We big staters do love our big state-ness! Something Californians, Alaskans, and Texans CAN agree on!

  5. J says:

    The Big Texas Steakhouse in Amarillo is a good place for steak.

  6. Seamus Padraig says:

    I can’t at present find any documentation on it (Wikipedia, et al.), but my understanding was that this unique ability of Texas to subdivide itself into as many as five separate states without prior consent from congress lapsed in 1995 — exactly 150 years after the annexation of the state by the US. Does anyone here have any information on that?

  7. Deap says:

    Calif and Texas can enter a quid pro quo deal – we both divide into five new states- which means 20 new senators.

    Presumably blue senators for Calif (unfortunately) to counter balance the red (thank goodness) senators from Texas. Balance is initially maintained, but both states eventually become more manageable.

    Each collection of new states can later sort out their real geographical and political proclivities – such as 90% of California geographically is in fact red, but continuously is outvoted by coastal blue population centers who rot from within.

    Ultimately, California would be at least 3 new red states to go with the 2 new permanently blue states – SF and LA. Texas would probably be only one blue state – Austin – and the other four would be blue.

    So this deal would eventually be a good deal. Calif- 2 blue and 3 red states. Texas – 1 blue state and 4 red states.

    Net: 7 new red states and 3 new blue states.

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