Any chance of getting a new state?

Just wondering. Could we buy Cuba? Could we buy a chunk of Mexico, or maybe split up a state? (North Illinois and South Illinois).

Or would buying new seats for the HoR be out of the question?

Thoughts. Opinions.

I don’t think the Cubans will let us buy them. But Puerto Rico could become a state if they want, so that’s the most likely case. We could split a state if the Congress and the state approved it, but I don’t see that happening. I suppose if Canada wanted to officially become a state, we’d let them.

Canada? A State? That’s harsh. Funny though.

The most likely candidate for a new state would be Puerto Rico. This comes up every so often but Puerto Ricans themselves seem almost evenly split between statehood, commonwealth (what they are today) and becoming their own country. Due to the lack of consensus they remain as they are today…a commonwealth.

The only other remote possibility I’ve heard for this is for northern California to split from southern California (the proposed split would come just north of San Francisco). The people in the far north of California feel a world apart from those in the rest of the state and have a movement afoot to break away. I seriousl y doubt it owuld happen though.

??? Are you looking for a factual answer?

Puerto Rico has been discussed as becoming the 51st state although I believe it was voted down by the PR citizens.

Also, a NYC City Council member is talking of introducing legislation for the 5 boroughs of NYC to separate from the rest of NY State, It is not expected to be passed or even voted on but he is trying to scare Pataki into getting a fair share of the budget $$.

America already has a 51st State. It’s called Great Britain.

PR certainly could, if it wanted to. Currently it does not.

Other states could split- all they have to do is petition Congress. Ca is likely, and so is Texas. Note, that herein GQ we just recently settled IMHO the question of whether or not Texas has some special right to unilaterally split into 5 states (it doesn’t).

IF Canada did split, after Quebec seceeded- then I would guess that some of the maritime provinces might come to us, hat in hand (they can’t afford to go it on their own). But, since they are very proud, I am sure they wouldn’t ask for statehood, just maybe some sort of special deal like PR has- or they would be technically “independent”, but with the USA administering exteriour politics. (What is called a “semi-autonomous state”).

NYR407: Yeah. It’s just been awhile since a state has been added to the Union. I just wonder if efforts have been ceased. Would people care if it wasn’t 50 states anymore? Or would more people welcome the idea?

I still think we should:

(a) split New York into two states: the State of New York (everything above the Bronx) and the State of Manhattan (consisting of the five boroughs of NYC plus Nassau and Suffolk counties); I mean, really, upstate New York has about as much in common with NYC as New Jersey and Connecticut do.

(b) buy Siberia and start making some new states out there. (Gatestucky, anyone? Reagania? Bushland? OK. Maybe that’s a bad idea.)

All those things are possible, subject to following the constitutionally provided process: “New states may be admitted by the Congress into this union; but no new states shall be formed or erected within the jurisdiction of any other state; nor any state be formed by the junction of two or more states, or parts of states, without the consent of the legislatures of the states concerned as well as of the Congress” (art. IV, sec. 3).

But it seems unlikely that the United States will acquire a new state by purchase (particularly Cuba, since it is a sovereign nation). A new state is ordinarily admitted only after spending some time as an organized territory, then adopting a constitution in a popular referendum on statehood. (The noteworthy exception is Texas, the only sovereign nation that voluntarily and directly acceded to statehood. Other states were once independent, or contain former pieces of other sovereign nations, but they all became territories before they became states.) The likeliest candidate for a new state is Puerto Rico, which has been a semi-autonomous dependent “commonwealth” for almost a century; President Ford recommended its admission as a state in his last State of the Union message, but its voters have rejected statehood in a series of referendums over the last few decades.

The number of seats in the House of Representatives is fixed by law at 435. When a new state is admitted, the act admitting the new state provides for its representation in the House, in which case there may temporarily be more than 435 representatives. But the new state’s representation is reapportioned along with all the other states’ in the next decennial census, when the number returns to 435.

That’s cool. When we take hold of Iraq, we can call it East Texas.

Or “Middle East Texas.” Calling it “East Texas” might get it confused with D.C.

There is an interesting website at:

which has quite a few details about the status of Puerto Rico.

As recently as 1998 the vote came up for their statehood, which did not pass.

In addition to the idea of current states being split, I’ve heard it mentioned more than once about Florida into a North/South. Not that it’s very realistic (“sweet, beautiful drunk talk” as Barney Gumble would say).

I also think there’s a chance if a discovery was made of some significant natural resource on a U.S. jurisdiction. I imagine Guam, the Virgin Islands, or wherever would get statehood fairly quickly if a large oil reservoir, for example, were discovered there. Not that THAT will ever happen either, just being hypothetical.

In fact, we should merge some of the existing states together. 50 is too large a number of political divisions underneath the “country” level[sup]1[/sup]. Particularly with modern transportation and communication systems. But just try to find any serious favor with THAT proposal.

(Years ago, there was some guy suggesting reapportioning the US into 16 states on the basis of physical geography, cultural and demographic distinctions. An interesting academic exercise, but not likely to be taken seriously.)

[sup]1[/sup] - not only that, but it makes the flag look “busy”. The flag was better looking in the 19th century with about 1/3 - 1/2 the number of stars.

…aside from the original thirteen, of course. (Because the Articles of Confederation were adopted early on, people lose sight of the fact that the Declaration of Independence created thirteen “sovereign and independent states” – who then united to form the U.S.A.)

Actually, I’ve heard serious suggestions for New York, California, and Illinois splitting into two states at one time or another. And along with Puerto Rico, D.C. has been mentioned for statehood a few times – though its status would be somewhat unusual.

And don’t forget that the older members of this board can remember when there were 48 states, and “that was the way it’d always been” just as the younger ones feel about there being 50.

It’ll never happen in Illinois. Well, not as long as Daley has control.

Yeah…why go for statehood? They get most of the benfits of being a state but the citizens don’t have to pay federal income taxes. For that they don’t get representation in Congress (they have a talking mouth in Congress but he/she cannot vote).

I’ll gladly forego my ability to vote in exchange for no federal income tax. You can have my Congressman too.

Good point! Actually, even the Articles of Confederation used the name “United States of America” (see, but I agree with Polycarp that it was not until the 1787 Constitution that the 13 original states partially ceded their sovereignty to the Federal government.

We could make them into baliwicks, which would give them snob appeal.

As to grabbing a part of Canada as a state, the best choice would be Alberta for its oil and British Columbia to give us another port and make Alaska part of the contiguous U.S. :wink: [sup]And don’t forget the lumber.[/sup]

In addition to Texas and the original thirteen colonies, Vermont was not a territory before become a state.