Move US State boundaries for fun and profit!

Not really. But it might be interesting to hear if anyone had any thoughts in this area.

I know US states can’t be merged in any practical sense (not sure about split, since W VA?) but what about moving state boundaries? Are there any moves that might make sense? Say, getting rid of an odd strip of land like a panhandle? Or accommodating a city which has spread over the border to another state?

ISTR there’s at least one place where a river has moved away from the state boundary, and there are isolated pockets of one state on the other side of the river now.

To start with, I would move the part of the Texas Panhandle north of the south fork of the Red River to Oklahoma.

I think it would make sense to move the boundary along the Ohio River to the centre line of the river. The boundary was originally between Virginia and the Northwest Territory, but those parts of Virginia became Kentucky and West Virginia, and the southern part of the NWT became Ohio, Indiana and Illinois. Presumably Virginia was responsible for taking all the river through to the northern bank, which means that some of the land on the northern bank belongs to Kentucky or WV, with the shifting course of the river.

I think you are referring to the Kentucky Bend. The Mississippi River has an oxbow bend such that there is now a small section of Kentucky that is not connected by land to the rest of the state. Persons living there must travel through Tennessee to reach the rest of Kentucky by land.

With other shifts in the course of the Mississippi over time there are small tracts of land on the west bank of the river that are a part of Tennessee. Similarly Arkansas has a few small areas on the east bank of the river. If we’re going to “fix” borders then just redefine the border to the center channel of the river and automatically adjust it according with any future changes of the river’s course.

Go with J.W. Powell’s idea of making all the western state’s boundaries to conform with watersheds.

The deep south states should be combined into one state called Dixie. Southern Florida, New Orleans, and Atlanta all become independent states.

New Jersey gets added to New York because, as everyone knows, it’s already one giant suburb of NYC anyway.

Combine New Hampshire and Vermont because I always forget which one is which.

Combine Oregon and Washington. Half the country thinks Seattle is in Washington anyway:)

  1. Move California’s border with Arizona east about 20 miles. Just enough to give us control of the Colorado River. Then fuck 'em.

  2. Move Oklahoma’s border with Texas south about 300 miles.

  3. Move New Mexico’s border with Texas east about 300 miles.

  4. Move Louisiana’s border with Texas west about 100 miles.

  5. Move Georgia’s border with Florida south about 300 miles.

You get the idea.

Upstream, part of Illinois is on the western shore of the Mississippi, due to the shifting river.

New York is three regions forced together into one political entity. You’ve got New York City and its environs (Long Island and the lower Hudson region). You’ve got the midstate region which stretches from Albany to Buffalo, which is based around a bunch of mid-sized cities (Albany, Utica, Syracuse, Rochester, Buffalo, Binghampton, Elmira, Amsterdam, Niagara Falls, Watertown, etc). And then you’ve got upstate New York which is pretty much all rural.

I grew up in upstate New York and for all practical purposes, it’s really more the western part of New England rather than the northern part of New York. So I say let’s cut it off from New York (for the sake of argument, make it Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, St Lawrence, Warren and Washington counties) and incorporate it into Vermont.

Is that a whoosh?

Although this may encourage some creative use of water-diversion warfare, as practiced by Saddam Hussein against the Marsh Arabs … “we’ll just build this dam here - oh look, the river’s moved the border in our favour!”.

Combining Oregon and Washington would be like combining North Korea and South Korea. In this case, Washington would be the loser in this deal.


According to Article 4 of the US Constitution, “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.”

West Virginia was admitted when the “old” Virginia government was in rebellion. Congress simply recognized a group of loyal politicians in what is now WV as the new legitimate government and accepted their consent to partition the state.

I was commenting more on the “What state is Seattle in?” issue.

Separate northern and southern Ohio, to keep the hillbillies where they belong (or send them back to W. Virginia where they originally came from).

Give Detroit to Canada (whether they want it or not).

Give Hawaii back to the natives.

Way to be a junior mod. :wink:

North and South Dakota should be combined into one state. If the red staters complain, then do something like combining one with Minnesota and the other with Nebraska. That’ll effectively nullify any voice the Dakoters have in Congress and elsewhere, but practically nobody lives there who’s gonna care anyway?

The Northwest Angle should be given back to Canada because that piece of land really messes with my OCD.

Straighten the bottom border of Arizona, and annex that little chunk of Mexico so that we have some beach front property.

And there’s a bit of Iowa on the Omaha side of the Missouri.

I’m tempted to break Texas into three or four states just to shut them the hell up, but then they’d get three or four times as much representation in Congress.

Also - attach the Upper Peninsula to Wisconsin. It’s just stupid to have it be part of Michigan.

The state boundary divides Wendover, Utah, from West Wendover, Nevada. Several years ago, quite serious consideration was given to the idea of redrawing the boundary to put both communities in Nevada.

Move the western border of Delaware over to the Chesapeake Bay, and the southern border south to the tip of the peninsula. I don’t know why this small piece of land is divided among three states. (Actually, is so MD and VA get some beachfront, but screw 'em.)