Should The US Add New States?- Take Two

The previous thread on this subject seems to have disappeared, so I’ll revive it for those that were interested in the subject.

The question is as before: Should the US add new states, either by making areas not currently states (Puerto Rico, District of Columbia, etc.) states, splitting areas currently part of the same state, or by annexing sovereign nations (the OP of the first thread suggested Liberia) or parts of sovereign nations?

I shall stand with my previous comment: I don’t see it as likely. There are several things blocking statehood for Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, none of the other US possessions have the needed population, and I find outright annexation of sovereign nations extremely unlikely.

What say you?

I think Puerto Rico deserves whatever status they choose. DC is a special case; the seat of government is not part of any state for sound reasons.


That’s an abhorrent suggestion. What possible moral, or for that matter practical, justification would there be for this?

In all of these cases, I am repeating suggestions made either by the OP of the thread that this is a replacement of or by posters in that thread: My personal opinions as to these are in the third paragraph.

Canada and Mexico: Certainly, if they wanted to. It appears they don’t.

Puerto Rico: Yes, we owe it to them, or vice versa.

Splitting states? Well, we could split by population, whereupon the blue states would get more power, or by size, in which case… well, I could be my own senator, at some parts. I suppose you could cut Cali or Texas up, but why bother?

Tennesse should be split in half, on an East/West basis.

The two parts of the State have wildly diverse & divided intrests.
Cultural differences between the Mississippi Basin region & the East are suprisingly sharp.
In addition, the length of the State makes administration unwieldy.

Split it along the edge of the Cumberland Plateau.

I would have no problem with admitting a new state or states if it was an area with an Anglo-American socio-legal culture (i.e., some experience with “rule of law” in a free society) that wanted to become a state or states.


  1. The Constitution provides that no state shall be divided or have its borders rearranged without its consent, and no state seems willing to divide itself into two or more states or to cede land to become part of a new state. (Cf. proposals to split up New York, California, or Illinois over the last 30 years or so.)

  2. Puerto Rico has no consensus in favor of statehood: a determined minority in favor of it, along with equally determined minorities in favor of independence and the status quo.

  3. None of the other U.S. territories are anywhere near large enough to constitute a state on an even keel with the existing ones.

  4. There is no foreign nation interested in becoming a part of the U.S., at least not without significant revisions to our existing law. Opposition to joining the U.S. is one of the rare issues on which all the factions in Canada are united. There’s no evidence of any interest among Mexicans in being annexed. Likewise Cuba, the Bahamas, etc.

  5. D.C. would be plausible, but (a) Republicans would have strong objections, as it’s heavily Democratic, and (b) there would have to be some interesting modifications made to existing law, including possibly a constitutional amendment, to enable it to function as both the national capital, with necessary Congressional control over certain aspects normally in state hands, and as a state.

Does anyone know of anywhere that wants statehood?

There would need to be an amendment:

This piece of Article 1, Section 8, would need to be repealed.

as would the 23rd amendment.

What powers does a state normally have that you believe Congress should hold in the case of a State of Columbia?

Whats the compelling argument for the benfits of splitting a US state? There certainly would be ramifications in the electoral college and senate, but what’s the argument that doing so anywhere would be better?

Splitting a state sounds, to me, like gerrymandering on a large scale. It would probably be divided along political lines rather than sane geographic lines.

One of the proposals for D.C. statehood suggested restricting the “seat of government” area back to the land in the district now in U.S. government hands: the Capitol, the Library of Congress, the State Department Bldg., etc., making the privately owned areas a state. That would obviate the need for modification of Article 1, by making “the district housing the seat of government” only a non-contiguous patchwork of land within the new State of Columbia or whatever they call it. Although if Amendment 23 isn’t repealed, a handful of people with legal residence within the shrunken district would get to cast three electoral votes.
However, there are extensive everyday powers that would need coextensive jurisdiction, from police and permit issuance to zoning enforcement.

An attack on the US for starters, but I assure you that there are other reasons as well.

What about the creation of new ‘land’ so to speak, either as a undersea colony, or a lunar/martian base. Yes I know about current treaties about outerspace, but that treaty will be worth less then the paper it’s written on if we colonize out there.

I am speaking from memory here so please bear with me. I seem to recall a part of a history class many years ago in which there was a discussion to have Cuba enter the Union as a State. This was shortly before the beginning of the Civil War.
However, it was shot down because of the fact that Cuba would come in as a Slave State and therefore upset the balance of power in the Senate, which was predominatly Non-Slave Northern States by a narow margin.

All that aside, if following Fidel Castro’s death, Cuba and the US mend relations and a request for Statehood were made, I can see were it may be considerable to have a Fifty-First State.


Wooh! Go Bosda! Bosda rocks! Woooh!

Ahem. Yeah, we in East Tennessee are not terribly close to our West Tennessee neighbors.

I just want to know what happened to the first thread… :confused: :confused: :confused:

See this GD thread I started with the best of fighting-ignorance intentions in 2003 – – the principal effect of which seems to have been to unaccountably piss off several Soviet Canuckistani Dopers.

The usual explanation when that happens - a sock.

Once a long time ago, I came into possession of a glossy trifold leaflet (no idea where it is now) proposing the creation of a new state of “Cumberland” out of three counties of northeastern Tennessee, three counties of western North Carolina, and (I think) three counties of southwestern Virginia. I forget the rationale. A curious nostalgia, perhaps, for the never-was-a-state of Franklin?

But, I would suggest, if we have a thread on this general “new states” topic, it should be limited to the question of adding additional territory to the U.S.; and the, to be sure, very interesting and compelling subject of politically reorganizing existing U.S. territory should go in another thread. Like this one:

Well, that’s a ridiculous proposal. Just make it a state. The Feds will continue to own whatever land they already do. Then all those logistical problems don’t exist.

Personally, if anything is done with D.C., I think it should be returned to Maryland, just as the unwanted land was returned to Virginia.

The OP did not limit it to that.

I know. I think that was a mistake. We’re gonna be, like, all over the place.