Texas Should be Allowed to Secede

texas state flag
Texas state flag

The 2014 Scottish independence vote renewed discussion about Texas seceding from the U.S.

Texans have already seceded twice. The first time was when Texas was part of Mexico. American immigrants living in Texas became upset after the Mexican government outlawed further immigration from the U.S. in 1830 because too many of the Americans wanted to own slaves. The American immigrants were further angered when Mexican President Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna established a military dictatorship in 1834. Their dissatisfaction with the Mexican central government eventually led to the Texas Revolution in 1835, wherein Texas won its independence from Mexico when it defeated Santa Anna’s army at the Battle of San Jacinto in April of 1836. Texas remained a sovereign nation until 1845 when Texans agreed to join the U.S. as a slave state.

Texas seceded for the second time in 1861 when it reacted to the election of Republican anti-slavery President Abraham Lincoln by joining other slave states to form the Confederate States of America. The secession declaration of Texas said that the United States was “established exclusively by the white race, for themselves and their posterity; that the African race had no agency in their establishment; that they were rightfully held and regarded as an inferior and dependent race, and in that condition only could their existence in this country be rendered beneficial or tolerable.”

U.S. Army defeated the Confederacy, and the major Confederate armies surrendered in April, 1865. It wasn’t until June 19th, 1865, however, that Union Major General Gordon Granger was able to notify blacks in Texas that they were now free, as news of  President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, had been withheld from them. (This date is now an annual holiday called Juneteenth.)

Texas was finally readmitted to the Union in 1870 after it agreed to abide by the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, which outlawed slavery and protected the rights of former slaves. It was the second to last former Confederate state to be readmitted.

Texas has long been a hotbed of right-wing politics so the 2008 election of the first black U.S. president Barak Obama upset many people. Obama’s reelection in 2012 increased the discussions about Texas seceding again. The Texas Nationalist Movement, for example, has a Facebook page that’s garnered over 190,000 likes. I suspect, however, that many of the people who “liked” this page weren’t Texans, but Americans from other states who think that getting rid Texas is a good idea.

There would certainly be some advantages to the rest of the U.S. if Texas seceded. The state, for instance, receives about 43% more money from the federal government than its residents pay in federal taxes. And the textbooks used by many U.S. school children would no longer have to be dumbed-down so they can be sold in Texas, which is the largest market for schoolbooks. Furthermore, people like George W. Bush, Rick Perry, Louie Gohmert and Ted Cruz would no longer be U.S. citizens. But of course the biggest advantage to getting rid of Texas would be that the Dallas Cowboys would be kicked out of the NFL and could no longer be called America’s Team.

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