There have been various stories about the end of the United States, how the US will break into smaller regions (The New England Confederation, the New Confederacy, etc.), and how we will go our separate ways, when things start to fall apart.
Not having any personal experience with divorce, nor living in a country (i.e., the former Soviet Union) that has undergone division, it is an odd thing to ponder.
The usual stuff would be there, like in most (hopefully amicable) divorces; property, who gets the dog/cat; how to deal with children. The breakup of the Soviet Union after 70 years of existence gives somewhat of a roadmap (how to deal with debt, nuclear weapons, military bases overseas), but part of that breakup was almost made more clear, as many of the client states within the U.S.S.R. had their own culture, and their own languages. The U.S.S.R. was a bunch of countries brought together under Russian leadership with a lot of pressure, not a bunch of states that joined a republic voluntarily, and people still remembered their previous national heritages.
The US is different; yes we’ve got regional cultural differences, but many of us have hung our hat on the existence of a United States of America, in a broad cultural sense. We’ve all grown up with the existence of a U.S. of A., and although there is some sort of state identification (i.e, being from New York, Ohio, California, Texas, Florida), many consider themselves Americans first and foremost. Our television, our holidays – all generally national, rather than local. Americans move a great deal, and changing locations (for jobs, visiting family, commuting over state borders) is something done quite regularly.
How in the world are we going to handle a breakup? How will we deal with ‘enclaves’ such as Austin, Texas; a blue region in a sea of red? What happens to Native American regions? If a breakup happens, what about places like New York City, which essentially sprawl over metropolitan New Jersey and Connecticut? Will upstate New York (north of Albany, which has more in common with Vermont) want to stay in New York?
They say divorce is easier when you don’t have kids and a lot of property. For the US, it is like ending a long term marriage, after many, many years, with lots of kids and grandkids.
What will the fault lines be, and which states will go it alone (Texas and California are prime examples) and which ones will band together? Will states split up (along county lines, perhaps)? What scenarios, both good and bad, can you envision?