Showing posts with label Carolina. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Carolina. Show all posts

Nov 11, 2016

Splitting States

The United States is strange for many reasons, not the least of which is separating states into two. For Instance, North and South Carolina's evolution from the colony to two separate colonies and then two states occurred back in the 1700s and was caused partly by messy beginnings of governance and poor leadership, and partly by the fact that the original land grant was too large.

West Virginia split from the eastern portion of Virginia in 1861, because the latter voted to secede from the United States in the lead-up to the Civil War.

North and South Dakota had at least two reasons to split. From the creation of the Dakota Territory in 1861 until 1883, Yankton was the capital, in the southeastern corner of the territory. It was a steamboat landing along the Missouri River. However, the landing was crushed by the breaking of an ice dam, in 1881, and the entire riverfront and downtown area were flooded.

Two years later, the northern region of the Dakota Territory declared Bismarck as the capital of the territory. The people living in the southern region planned to become a separate state from the northern territory, so that they could have their own capital. The government balked and said there were not enough people for two states. When North Dakota was finally populated enough to become a state, in 1889, there was a rivalry about which state would be admitted first.

Another, perhaps more important, reason for two separate states instead of one large state was four senators, instead of two, and more representatives. Since Dakotans from the north and the south routinely voted Republican, the admission of two Dakotas gave the Republicans a majority in Congress. I am surprised the residents of the various Hawaiian Islands have not thought of that tactic.