Should The US Add New States?- Take Two

I kind of like the idea of admitting new states, if the people in said area were in favor of it. Not because I’m particularly expansionist, but because it would be interesting and shake things up and show that we’re still a young, dynamic country that hasn’t settled into middle age with permanent borders too stuck in tradition. It still amazes me to think that the country wasn’t even “finished” as we know it when my parents were kids – Alaska and Hawaii haven’t even been states for 50 years.

The above, admittedly, aren’t sound logical or political reasons. But yeah, if Puerto Rico or Guam or even one of the Western Canadian provinces wanted to join up, I wouldn’t have a problem. The OP mentioned Liberia as a possibility – is there actually a movement for that? Is the movement from within Liberia, or the US? That would be quite an undertaking, and it would be very interesting to see the results if Liberia became a state…

Really, though, I feel like the time for changing borders in first world countries is past, at least for the moment. Maybe I’m deluded into thinking that things will always be as they are now, but I can’t think of any real examples from recent history. Okay, the two Germanies joined together. Canada added Nunavut. Czechoslovakia split up – though those weren’t even really first world countries at the time. But that’s about all I can think of – am I missing anything major?

Why is such a suggestion abhorrent? Do you find the European Union abhorrent? The United Nations? I really don’t understand your sentiment.
The trend in geopolitics is moving in two parallel directions - first, the development of ‘true’ national states, states based on culture, language, common history. Asia has been fairly successful in this with each ethnicity having jurisdiction over its area. One of the main reasons India has been so stable since its independence is that they threw out the British maps, and redrew their internal borders along ‘natural’ lines. Cite One of the main reasons Africa has not been so stable if that they have yet to do the same. Almost all conflicts since WWII have been rebellions by various ethnicities seeking independence, or at least autonomy.
The second trend is the apparent contradictory trend of unification among the developed nations, exemplified by the European Union, and also by supranational organizations like the OAS.
I see these trends moving toward the same goal - a common world government, but with a strong autonomy at the local level. (What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.) As nations achieve parity, they then seek a marriage between equals.

An expansion of the United States of America would help this trend by setting peaceful examples of unification. I think the Caribbean would the next phase of growth for the US. I would offer statehood to each of the larger islands - Cuba, Hispaniola, Puerto Rico, etc, and consolidate the smaller islands into two or three states.

As I wrote in the lost thread (#@*&%*socks :mad: ), I am a strong supporter of the United States of America, not the Grand Republic or Empire of America, and as such, the more states the merrier. Every new senator and representative is another check against the powergrabbing of the federal government. And as more diverse states join the Union, citizens may realize the one-size-fits-all ‘remedies’ passed by the feds don’t work.

Bringing more territories into the Union could also serve a check against corporations pitting one nation against another for favorable taxes and laws. They do it here between states and cities, but internationally it becomes a difference of kind, not degree. (A factory in Texas or Tennesee is a far cry from a factory in Mexico or Central America)

In international relations the term annexation is usually applied when the emphasis is placed on the fact that territorial possession is achieved by force and unilaterally rather than through treaties or negotiations.

Neither the UN nor the UN was formed by annexation.

How about we make Israel our 51st state? Don’t we already spend billions per year keeping it going? I’d feel better about it if it were a state, rather than a strategic asset. Their population is dinky compared to say, California or Texas.

Probably not. I could find nothing on it on the website of the Expansionist Party of the United States – http://members.aol.com/XPUS/ – and they would keep up on that if anyone would; the site has articles about U.S. admission for Canada, Mexico, Caribbean Islands, the UK, the Philippines, South Africa . . .

:confused: Why? It never seems to have worked out that way before.

I posted this in Aeschines’ current GD thread, “The US should annex Mexico now!” – http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=350190 – and I think it’s relevant enough to duplicate here:

He/she still hasn’t responded . . .

You didn’t have enough trouble?

I disagree with that completely. If another country, or parts of another country, wishes to join the U.S., they should be willing to join us as we are, constitution and everything. If not, then don’t join.

The OP of the first thread on the subject suggested it, and (if I remember correctly) pointed out that it found founded by freed slaves from the US.

However, the Americo-Liberian (as they are known) population only makes up 5% of the Liberian population, and, for numerous reasons, I hold the idea to be ridiculous.

That ought to read “was founded”.

At any rate, the OP of that thread never provided evidence that the Americo-Liberians or anyone else wanted Liberia to become a US state.

Yeah, that’s a completely new idea to me. I knew about our history with the country, but our history is entwined with a lot of countries, and that doesn’t mean they should become states. Frankly, given the problems in the country, I don’t think most Americans would accept Liberia as a state, even if they did want to join.

Which raises a question – do the citizens of the existing 50 states have a say in whether any new States are added? If Puerto Rico wants to join, is it just up to the Puerto Ricans, or do I get a say as well?

Only indirectly, as states must be approved by Congress before they receive statehood.

Regarding the future status of Puerto Rico, see this thread: http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=315660

In PR, opinion seems to be more or less evenly divided between those who want statehood, those who want independence, and those who want the status quo to continue indefinitely. The latter probably perceive that it keeps their options open: If PR becomes a state it will never be independent, and if it becomes independent it will never become a state of the Union. Also, as a commonwealth, PR gets federal subsidies, but its people pay no federal taxes. Maybe they don’t want to give up that have-your-cake-and-eat-it situation just to gain a few votes in the House and Senate.

I just want to add that if we add a state like Puerto Rico then we should consider consolidating North and South Dakota into one state. Just think of the money saved on flags.

I think the “glory,” as the blue field is called, has reached a critical mass of stars. Any more and it will look like an undifferentiated pale blue from a distance. If we add any more states, we should abandon the one-star-per-state tradition and go back to the original ring of 13 stars. The one-stripe-per-state tradition was abandoned for similar reasons. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_states_flag#History

Of course, this is true for lots of states. *Cf.*NYC area v. upstate NY, Northern VA v. downstate, Western MD v. the Balt/Wash area, Northern v. Southern California (and some other CA divisions as well), upstate v. low-country SC, Chicago area v. downstate IL…once you got started, where would you stop?

A better question would be, where could you start? The Constitution says no state can be deprived of territory without its own consent. IOW, Congress can’t simply sit down and reorganize the state lines. NYC can become a separate state only if the state legislature of New York agrees*, and what are the odds?
*And to really make sense as a state, it should include the whole Greater New York Metropolitan Area. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_Metropolitan_Area So you would also have to persuade the state legislatures of New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania to give up some of their richest and most taxable urbanized counties. In compensation, they would get to wash their hands of all those counties’ urban social problems. But it’s hard to persuade a state government to see things that way.

Puerto Rico becoming a state would entail more complications than just changing the flags. What would it do to the debate about the role of Spanish in the country? Would the US officially or unofficially have to become bilingual? Already I’m not sure how it works – Puerto Ricans are, of course, already US citizens, but I’m not aware of everything that comes out of Washington having to be published in both Spanish and English. But what if Puerto Rico became a state?

Rodgers01 - is there an official language or languages for Puerto Rico at present? If not, then the situation is no different than in the US.