Saturday, December 03, 2005

Divide California: The History

Proposals to divide California into more than one state date back to before California was admitted to the Union in 1850. In the first 150 years of statehood, there have been 27 serious proposals to split the state. It is an idea that has staying power!

From 1850 to 1860, the issue was constantly before the public, the legislature, and Congress. While abolitionists and pro-slavery advocates in the East tried to capture or disparage proposals, most Southern Californians thought the state should be divided up for many less controversial local reasons relating to taxation and common interests. In 1859, the Legislature put matter to the voters in Southern California and a whopping 75% said create a separate state. Unfortunately, the Civil War distracted the folks in Washington. For an interesting and detailed review of the issue during the State's first 12 years, click here.

Since the Civil War, the issue has been discussed seriously by the Legislature at least once every two decades.

One of the more amusing, but serious, movements began during 1940 when parts of Southern Oregon and Northern California decided to form the State of Jefferson. Again, another war, World War II, distracted everyone. For details, click here.

The most recent proposal occurred in the early 1990's. The original proposal was to create two states - one from the counties in the northern part of California that closely identified with the issues brought up by the Jefferson proposal and the other including all the rest of California. After some debate, the proposal switched to the creation of three states and it passed the Assembly! Several counties put the matter on the ballot in June of 1992. To read about this effort, click here.

This blog continues this long history of advocacy for dividing California.


Blogger brianhopson2013 said...

! i, Brian S. hopson, am in favor of dividing California into 3 !

4:24 PM  
Blogger brianhopson2013 said...

! i am in favor of dividing California into 3 !

4:25 PM  
Blogger Don WJ said...

Diving California into 2 or more states is an idea that must be given serious attention by our State legislators. Demographi-cally, there are too many economic and cultural dichotomies for California too continue business, as usual. Given that our State legislators haven't been able to approve a viable and balanced budget is one reason. The interests of the affluent Southland (and Bay Area) are in consistent conflict. Secondly, what is good(?) policy-wise for the Southland isn't necessarily beneficial for the North State.
The time to split California in 2 or more states, according to regional interests, is way overdue!

2:36 PM  
Blogger Don WJ said...

Having reviewed Stan Statham's proposals for two and three way splits, I offer the following recommendation for splits:

Northern CA: Alpine, Amador, Butte, Colusa, Del Norte, El Dorado, Glenn, Humboldt, Lake, Mendocino, Modoc, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacrameno, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Tehama, Trinity, Yolo & Yuba.

Central CA: Alameda, Calaveras, Contra Costa, Fresno, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Maderas, Mariposa, Merced, Mono, Monterey, San Benito, San Bernardino, San Fransisco, San Joaquin, San Luis Obispo,Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Stanislaus, Tulare & Tuolomne.

Southern CA: Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Diego, Santa Barbara & Ventura.

Those three counties east of the Mid Sierra (Alpine, Mono and Inyo) should be given the vote whether to remain in Central California, or an option of succeeding into the State of Nevada. Also, a new northern boundary of San Bernardino County would be realigned in accordance with the southern-most boundary of Kern County. San Bernardino County's eastern boundary is also moved approx. 100 miles to the west, so as to exclude all of Death Valley and those areas adjacent to I-15 east of the 29 Palms Marine Corp Base.

Given the demographics of the Bay Area counties, they could also be given the option of creating themselves as a fourth state as opposed to being included with Central CA.

The aforemention alignments and assignments are mere suggestions to be kicked around. Any realignment of a state and/or county lines will certainly have controversies. However, those living in the outlying areas should ask whether they can be adequately served by whatever new state they would potentially be assigned to.

3:45 PM  

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