Places in World Most Likely to Secede Texas

About Texas a place in the world likely to secede from the United States, size, population, and history of conflict.

MOST LIKELY TO SECEDE

TEXAS

Size: 267,338 sq. mi. (692,406 sq. km.).

Population: 12.9 million.

If Texas were an independent nation, it would rank 5th in the world in petroleum production and 5th in cotton production, with a gross national product greater than Australia or Brazil. Named after the Tejas Indians, Texas over the years has run up five flags in addition to its own--Spanish, French, Mexican, American, and Confederate. From 1836 to 1845, the Lone Star banner waved over an independent, yet troubled Texas, fresh from a victorious revolution against Mexico. With no money in the treasury, no tax structure, and no political organization, Texans (or Texians, as they called themselves then) lived under the constant threat of another invasion by Mexico. Although the nation's president, Sam Houston, suggested that Texas become a British Crown Colony, the natural solution seemed to be to join the U.S. But northern elements in the U.S., led by former President, now Congressman John Quincy Adams, spoke out against annexation, fearing the spread of slavery. While Congress debated, Texas began to give serious thought to going it alone. Hawks on the issue even proposed launching a preemptive strike against Mexico and called for a Texas empire stretching to the Pacific.

Through it all, President Houston pushed for statehood. In a bizarre act of diplomacy, he dispatched captured Mexican General Santa Anna, his battlefield rival, to Washington to urge Pres. Andrew Jackson to join the effort to annex Texas at once. Finally in 1845. Congress passed a joint resolution inviting Texas to become the 28th state provided that it permit Washington to adjust its borders, cede certain lands to the U.S., and ban slavery north of 36deg30'. Texans snapped up the offer.

Although Texans from time to time may squawk that the rest of the country discriminates against them, the truth is that the Lone Star State has spawned a hearty breed of politicians who consistently rise to the top in Washington and take good care of the folks back home. In 1978 in the House of Representatives, for example, Texans chaired the committees on appropriations, government operations, science and technology, and veterans' affairs.

Texas is the only state to have two cities among the 10 most populous urban centers in the U.S.--Houston number 5 and Dallas 8th. The state is the nation's leading cotton producer, Houston being the largest inland cotton market on earth. With some 13 million cattle on the hoof, it sends more beef to market than any other state and leads in sheep production as well. But it is oil, more than anything else, that is responsible for Texas's wealth and rapid growth. The number-one producer of crude in the U.S. and second only to Louisiana in interstate petroleum sales, Texas contains over one third of the nation's dwindling oil reserves.

Short of an outright declaration of independence, one little-known option open to Texas might, if exercised, boost Lone Star power considerably. Under the terms of the 1845 annexation agreement, Texas has the right to subdivide into as many as five states anytime it chooses. Such geopolitical mitosis would give Texas eight more senators, four more governors, and several more votes in the electoral college.

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