Can Texas Secede from the Union?


Can Texas Secede from the Union? America’s second most populated and second
largest state is always first to remind you that it was once an independent nation: The
Republic of Texas. Unlike California’s three-week, almost accidental
flirt with independence (and a hideous flag) the Republic of Texas was a real country with
its own presidents, and laws and currency for a decade from 1836 until 1846 when it
joined the Union to become the 28th state, thankfully evening out the number of stars. This happy marriage led pretty much immediately
to the Mexican-American war over the question of over how big Texas was. America, as the
victor, got to decide the answer: very big. While Texas gave up its complete independence
to join The Union, it didn’t give up its independent streak — and filed for divorce, along with
several other states, a scant 15 years later. This domestic dispute was settled not with
flowers but with force, something that many are still grumbly about today. But History aside in modern times could Texas
still be a real country? In other words: could Texas succeed if it secedes? In terms of population, an independent Texas
would be the world’s 46th largest country with 26 million citizens. And, those citizens
would make Texas the 13th largest economy. So the New Texas Republic would be comparable
to Australia, except in the size department. But what about the Federal money that goes
to Texas? Those interstate highways don’t build themselves, you know. For a majority
of states, independence would be a financial problem. Mississippi, for example get two
dollars from Washington for every one it sends in taxes so an independent Magnolia Republic
would be bankrupt almost instantly. But not Texas, which gives more money to the
federal government in taxes than it gets back. There’s no reason why independent Texas couldn’t
keep those highways paved *and* give its citizens a small happy-Texapendency-day Tax cut. So from a financial perspective: The New Texas
Republic gets a check. Now the question is can Texas legally secede?
And the answer is… no… not at all. Despite popular belief, even by politicians
who should know better, the Texas constitution does not include a get-out-of-The-Union-free
clause no matter how much Texans, or citizens of other states, wish that it did. However, the Texas Constitution does have
a weird clause that allows it to divide itself into five states without the approval of congress.
So Texas could, any moment, explode into the states perhaps named North Texas, South Texas,
East Texas, West Texas and Austin — which would quintuple its power in the Senate — but
not necessarily help it gain independence because there is no legal process for a state
to exit The Union. Though the constitution is mute on the issue,
secession has come before the supreme court and, shockingly, the Supreme Court of the
United States decided that States can’t leave the United States. But the legal question is, weirdly sort of
moot. After all, the First Texas Republic didn’t pop into existence out of nowhere — Texas
was originally a State of Mexico, which didn’t allow Texas to leave, but leave Texas did
anyway, though under less than harmonious circumstances. While it’s hard to imagine war between the
New Texas Republic and the United States it isn’t hard to imagine who would win that fight.
Texas does have its own military, but seriously, nobody beats America in the war business. So the only way Texas is leaving is if it
can convince the United States to change its laws to let it leave. Which only as a chance
of being discussed seriously if a majority of Texans want independence, which isn’t remotely
the case. So while a New Texas Republic is interesting
to think about — particularly for some non-Texans, as of now it’s a long way from becoming a
reality.

Maurice Vega

100 Responses

  1. Füçk you.
    Sovereignty is derived from the people.
    Laws are derived from the people.
    If the people decide to leave then legality is irrelevant.

    Did the US have a “legal” right to secede from Britain!??!

    You people piss me off.

  2. How ironic that the conservative states are the most dependent on federal funding. Who are the real moochers Republicans??

  3. Actually, this answer is not correct. It was a fad a when this video came out to say that Texas could not legally secede when people thought saying this would silence all the "anti-Obama" people on the internet. Seriously, note how little depth on "facts" this video has. It randomly mentions the Texas constitution without explicit reference to a clause that says seceding is illegal. Strange isn't it?

    It does not delve into any length on the legal clauses for why Texas could not secede. It is just fundamentally not true that Texas could not. People just believe whatever they find on the internet, I guess.

    Texas could legally secede if it ever wanted too. The likelihood of that is very small.

  4. I don't give two shits.
    Let them leave and take the south (and all the red states for that matter), with them.
    They'll end up with a standard of living below that of Mexico.
    They would stop being a financial drag on the United States…

  5. You know just because a government says we can't do something doesn't mean we can't do it if we want to. Just ask Mexico

  6. Actually you are wrong article 4 section 4 of The Constitution The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government. Because the United States has not fulfilled their end of the bargain they can leave

  7. I'm from Texas, and attended a constitutional law class in a Texas university, we covered all this as you reported. However, I believe 90% of Texans believe it can split into 5 states and secede.

  8. What would happen if the usa disbanded so each state were it's own country officially? Like it could be like the EU but in North America.

  9. Texas: I AM GOING TO SUCCEED MOM AND THERE IS NOTHING YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT
    U.S.A: intense wheezing
    U.S.A: Yeah, no, I don't think so.

  10. If I were a major company that was based in Texas when they seceded, I would move my company to somewhere in the US, as would the majority of other major companies. I would rather I base my company out of the strongest economy in the world than the 13th largest economy. With the exodus of major companies from Texas their 13th largest economy would tank pretty fast.

  11. 3:00, well that’s just wrong. Every body beats USA in the war business. Since 1900 USA was on the winning side in WW1 WW2 and that’s it. Korea was a draw, Vietnam was a loss, Gulf war 1 was claimed as a win but it was a loss, gulf war 2 was/is a loss, Afghanistan was a loss. I’ll leave out Somalia as that loss was a peace keeping thing. So Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan all beat or drew with USA.

  12. You should clarify that Texas doesn’t have its own military, rather its own part the national guard, something every state has

  13. I came back to watch this video in September 2019 reminiscing about the unique wonderful quirky strange amazing crazy stuff that took place in the past decade… The twenteens have been memorable ?

  14. The constitution: You can't leave!

    Texas, split into 5 states and write get out of union free cards on them: i can't, but they can

  15. As a trucker I found it funny when he said Texas can keep the highways paved even if they succeeded because Texas has some of the worst roads in the country in fact it may have the worst roads in the country at least in my opinion

  16. Texas could beat the US in a war of independence because many US soldiers are either from Texas or would be unwilling to fight against Texas.

  17. Funny enough, the combined forces of the United States, United Kingdom, and many other UN Countries couldn't beat North Korea, but the lone state of Texas can beat a North Korea that has been able to conquer all of Eurasia.

    If you are curious, this is referring to a Micromeme (A meme that has not gained significant popularity) in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yFErfRUYfnA&list=LLcx4RiOMCXo90ljZX3E8bVw&index=36&t=0s . In actuality, if the Lone State of Texas went to war against North Korea, North Korea would win due to army size alone, but it's fun to think of a Texas that has conquered North and South America, Africa, and Oceania facing a North Korea that has conquered Europe and Asia

  18. So every country or province in this world has right to secede from their union-country or other crap,but US states can’t!?!?
    Screw you America and your global rights you served us!!!!!

  19. 0:11 Yeah… I am a California and I must admit that our history as the California Republic wasn't very long, if existent: in the short time that California existed, no other countries recognized them. To add insult to injury, the Bear Flag used as the national flag of California goes to show how makeshift it was: from what I heard, some Mexicans during the Bear Flag Revolt (1846) even said that the bear looks more like a pig. It was only in 1911 that the Californian pig was made into something more akin to a bear in the current flag of the State of California… Republic.

  20. It's not that odd that Texas would have a clause which allows it to divide into multiple states. I mean, I don't know this for a fact but if I were to take a guess I'd assume it's because the only reason why Texas was added as a single state to the U.S. way back when and not as multiple states was because they didn't want to upset the balance with regard to slave states vs. non-slave states.

  21. the UK: Im going to leave the EU
    Texas: we are watching
    3 years later
    Texas: yeah, I think we are gonna stay part of the USA.

  22. Congress hastily annexed Texas to remove it as a divisive issue in the election of 1844. Texas was annexed by a joint resolution of Congress signed by President Tyler. Texas was the only state annexed in this way. The division of Texas into up to 5 states was allowed under the terms of the Joint Resolution and at first such plans were explored. It wasn't until around the time of WWI that the idea faded.
    If the Texas Legislature decide now to exercise the division, it would certainly be challenged and the case would eventually reach the Supreme Court. Would such a separation be constitutional? Highly doubtful. The court would almost certainly declare it unconstitutional.
    BUT, in their haste to pass the Joint Resolution in 1844, congress left out a severability clause. Such a clause is common language in laws and contracts and it declares that if any portion of the resolution is found to be unlawful or unconstitutional, then that clause and only that clause is affected. The rest of the statue stands as is.
    So without a severability clause, if the division portion of the annexation resolution is found to be unconstitutional, then the entire annexation resolution is also found to be unconstitutional, null and void. So Texas annexation is undone and Texas reverts back to the status of Independent Nation governed by the Republic of Texas constitution. Texas wouldn't be seceding, it would thrown out of the United States.

  23. 1:53 This is a STRAWMAN argument.
    The states NEVER AGREED that they couldn't secede.
    And that can't be FORCED… just ask Saddam Hussein when he tried to force Kuwait to become part of Iraq.

  24. The supreme court is part of the federal govt whos powers are limited by the Constitution.
    They don't really have the authority to decide if states can secede.
    Who does?
    Thats covered by the 10th amendment. All states have the right to secede despite what Lincoln claimed what the federal govt might claim through the supreme court. If you ask the federal govt to decide what its powers are of course it will give themselves all the power despite the Constitutions purpose of limiting those powers.
    The video creator is just another subject of a corrupy empire.
    A United Slave of America.

  25. I am sorry but I don't know what version of the Texas State Constitution you are using but you are totally incorrect. Additionally you are incorrect about the US Constitution also. The US Constitution is silent concerning Secession. Per the 10th Amendment to the US Constitution it states that Whatever powers are assigned to the Federal Government are the only powers available to it. Anything that is not provided to the Federal Government is not available to the Federal Government to use or control. All other powers that are not provided to the Federal Government and not otherwise prohibited to the States are retained by the States and/or the People. Since the Constitution is silent concerning Secession, it is therefore not provided to nor available to the Federal Government to have control over nor are they able to have any say. Secession is also not thereby prohibited to the States since the Constitution is silent. Therefore, it is a "power" that is retained by the States and/or the People. As such it is up to the individual States and ultimately the people to decide whether or not they want to remain in the Union and thus can decide to stay or secede by a vote of the people to stay or leave as the case may be.

    The Texas State Constitution:

    Article 1 Sect 1 states: "Texas is a free and independent State, subject only to the Constitution of the United States, and the maintenance of our free institutions and the perpetuity of the Union depend upon the preservation of the right of local self-government, unimpaired to all the States." (Well folks, stand up real tall, swivel your heads around, look and see if local self-government is unimpaired in ANY of the States. ~~ I'll wait~~ I bet you see that local self-government is NOT unimpaired in ANY of the States. The Feds have their fingers in all phases of local self-government.)

    Article 1 Sect 2 states: "All political power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority, and instituted for their benefit. The faith of the people of Texas stands pledged to the preservation of a republican form of government, and, subject to this limitation only, they have at all times the inalienable right to alter, reform or abolish their government in such manner at they may think expedient."

    Basically what that says is that it is not a "Mother may I?" question. If the people of Texas decide that they want to leave by a vote of the people, then that is what happens. We do not have to ask anyone's permission. We vote on it, it carries and see ya later, bye.

  26. It’s pretty much southern and western Texans that are the stereotypical type he talks about, north and east Texans are pretty chill

  27. Many Texans believe an urban legend to the effect that some sort of treaty between the United States and the Republic of Texas guarantees Texas the right to secede. The trouble is that there never was a treaty between the United States and the Republic of Texas in the first place. Only a unilateral ordinance passed by the U.S. Congress.

  28. 2:15 putting austin by itself is the most accurate thing ive seen in a while
    Most of Texas: weed is the devils lettuce
    Austin: smoking in the park next to a cop car and no one asks questions

  29. Each state should act as it's own country united by the federation of America. No country this big and populace can realistically sustain itself with out major problems, which we are already seeing with people trying to either deminish or abolish the first and second amendment. I mean look at the authoritarian Russia and China, they are too large to realistically and fairly govern it's diverse groups of people, such as the tibetan's of China. Similarly the US federal government simply can't make complex laws that fairly represent each state and how they operate. Sure New York might not care about making cars illegal and a federal crime, but what about the people in Texas who drive hours and hours to work. You can ban guns, which is a whole other much bigger argument, but for the sake of my example I'll keep it simple and say that people in a smaller state like Massachuesettes are fine without guns because they have a police station within walking distance, but what about the person in rural home owner in Nevada or Kansas who's home is being invaded and the nearest police station is three towns over and it's at least a 3 hour drive.

  30. If Texas had a constitutional clause that allowed it to secede, it would have successfully seceded in 1861 and would still be independent today.

  31. Mississippi has a GDP on par with Kenya and a GDP per capita similar to South Korea. It could absolutely count as an independent economy, and would probably rank somewhere on the lower edge of the second world, or upper edge of the third world.

  32. Cgp: Texas cant stand up to the us military.

    That one radical Texan that can take out every individual command in the military by being an active workplace shooter (understood unanimously by all active military members since we all have one): hold my beer

  33. Here is PROOF that each state is a sovereign nation, just like the UK; and therefore, that secession is just as legal as Brexit.

    From the Declaration of Independence:

    ————————————————

    "We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name and by the authority of the good people of these colonies solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, FREE AND INDEPENDENT STATES; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British crown and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved; and that, as free and independent states, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.

    [Signed by] JOHN HANCOCK [President]

    New Hampshire

    JOSIAH BARTLETT,

    WM. WHIPPLE,

    MATTHEW THORNTON.

    Massachusetts Bay

    SAML. ADAMS,

    JOHN ADAMS,

    ROBT. TREAT PAINE,

    ELBRIDGE GERRY

    Rhode Island

    STEP. HOPKINS,

    WILLIAM ELLERY.

    Connecticut

    ROGER SHERMAN,

    SAM'EL HUNTINGTON,

    WM. WILLIAMS,

    OLIVER WOLCOTT.

    New York

    WM. FLOYD,

    PHIL. LIVINGSTON,

    FRANS. LEWIS,

    LEWIS MORRIS.

    New Jersey

    RICHD. STOCKTON,

    JNO. WITHERSPOON,

    FRAS. HOPKINSON,

    JOHN HART,

    ABRA. CLARK.

    Pennsylvania

    ROBT. MORRIS

    BENJAMIN RUSH,

    BENJA. FRANKLIN,

    JOHN MORTON,

    GEO. CLYMER,

    JAS. SMITH,

    GEO. TAYLOR,

    JAMES WILSON,

    GEO. ROSS.

    Delaware

    CAESAR RODNEY,

    GEO. READ,

    THO. M'KEAN.

    Maryland

    SAMUEL CHASE,

    WM. PACA,

    THOS. STONE,

    CHARLES CARROLL of Carrollton.

    Virginia

    GEORGE WYTHE,

    RICHARD HENRY LEE,

    TH. JEFFERSON,

    BENJA. HARRISON,

    THS. NELSON, JR.,

    FRANCIS LIGHTFOOT LEE,

    CARTER BRAXTON.

    North Carolina

    WM. HOOPER,

    JOSEPH HEWES,

    JOHN PENN.

    South Carolina

    EDWARD RUTLEDGE,

    THOS. HAYWARD, JUNR.,

    THOMAS LYNCH, JUNR.,

    ARTHUR MIDDLETON.

    Georgia

    BUTTON GWINNETT,

    LYMAN HALL,

    GEO. WALTON.

    ————————————————

    Again, it declares the colonies to be:

    1. FREE AND INDEPENDENT STATES; [PLURAL]

    2. that THEY [PLURAL] are absolved from all allegiance to the British crown and that

    3. all political connection between THEM [PLURAL] and the state of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved; and that,

    4. as free and independent states, [PLURAL] they [PLURAL] have full power [PRINCIPAL SOVEREIGNTY] to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and do all other acts and things which independent states [PLURAL] may of right do. [PRINCIPAL SOVEREIGNTY]

    That EXCLUSIVELY defines the states– PLURAL– as SEPARATE SOVEREIGN NATION: i.e. having FULL POWER do do ALL the things that ONLY sovereign nations can do (vs. DEPENDENT states, which have only DELEGATED SUBORDINATE power– vs. the FULL power of free and INDEPENDENT states).

    The text does NOT declare The United States of America as a state; OR declare the individual states as being dependent ON it, as Lincoln claimed.

    Rather, note that each colony's duly-elected representatives signed ONLY for their own colony, as separate STATES– NOT for the United States as a whole, in revolution as a single unified STATE.

    And therefore it is an INTERNATIONAL union AMONG sovereign nation-states, just like the UN or the EU.

    All DENIAL of this, is simply engaging in confirmation-bias, equivocating the phrase "The United States of America" from a fabricated context of a mythical nation-state that in truth never existed.

    Thus, it's a self-affirming falsehood, like ALL dogma… and like a deluded cultist in denial, not a rational person open to truth and logic.

    But it doesn't work when subjected to scrutiny, when they can't play fast-and-loose with the facts like a typical con-artist.

    Then, of course, there's the claim that the Articles of Confederation MADE them into a single nation via the word "perpetual–" completely oblivious to the fact that this would mean that they WEREN'T a single nation BEFORE it.

    Particularly since the AoC declared that the Articles were "perpetual" or "never ending," and could only be changed if Congress and all the states agreed; but each state DID alter AND ABOLISH the AoC for the Constitution, each by the sovereign act of its own respective ELECTORATE, via the ratification process of convention deputies.

    The ratification process started when the Congress turned the Constitution over to the state legislatures for consideration through specially elected state conventions of the people– NOT the Congress or the UNANIMOUS state legislatures, as the AOC requires.

    Because each state retained its sovereignty, freedom and independence under Article II of the AoC; and RECEIVED it under the 1783 Treaty of Paris.

    And so, Article VII of the Constitution clearly reads that "The Ratification of the Conventions of nine States, shall be sufficient for the Establishment of this Constitution between the States so ratifying the Same."

    9< 13, right?

    As James Madison explained in Federalist No. 40:

    The truth is, that the great principles of the Constitution proposed by the convention may be considered less as absolutely new, than as the expansion of principles which are found in the articles of Confederation. The misfortune under the latter system has been, that these principles are so feeble and confined as to justify all the charges of inefficiency which have been urged against it, and to require a degree of enlargement which gives to the new system the aspect of an entire transformation of the old. In one particular it is admitted that the convention have departed from the tenor of their commission. Instead of reporting a plan requiring the confirmation OF THE LEGISLATURES OF ALL THE STATES, they have reported a plan which is to be confirmed by the PEOPLE, and may be carried into effect by NINE STATES ONLY. It is worthy of remark that this objection, though the most plausible, has been the least urged in the publications which have swarmed against the convention. The forbearance can only have proceeded from an irresistible conviction of the absurdity of subjecting the fate of twelve States to the perverseness or corruption of a thirteenth…

    And this followed from the stipulations he put forth in Federalist No 39:

    On examining the first relation, it appears, on one hand, that the Constitution is to be founded on the assent and ratification of the people of America, given by deputies elected for the special purpose; but, on the other, that this assent and ratification is to be given by the people, not as individuals composing one entire nation, but as composing the distinct and independent States to which they respectively belong. It is to be the assent and ratification of the several States, derived from the supreme authority in each State, the authority of the people themselves. The act, therefore, establishing the Constitution, will not be a NATIONAL, but a FEDERAL act

    That it will be a federal and not a national act, as these terms are understood by the objectors; the act of the people, as forming so many independent States, not as forming one aggregate nation, is obvious from this single consideration, that it is to result neither from the decision of a MAJORITY of the people of the Union, nor from that of a MAJORITY of the States. It must result from the UNANIMOUS assent of the several States that are parties to it, differing no otherwise from their ordinary assent than in its being expressed, not by the legislative authority, but by that of the people themselves. Were the people regarded in this transaction as forming one nation, the will of the majority of the whole people of the United States would bind the minority, in the same manner as the majority in each State must bind the minority; and the will of the majority must be determined either by a comparison of the individual votes, or by considering the will of the majority of the States as evidence of the will of a majority of the people of the United States. Neither of these rules have been adopted. Each State, in ratifying the Constitution, is considered as a sovereign body, independent of all others, and only to be bound by its own voluntary act. In this relation, then, the new Constitution will, if established, be a FEDERAL, and not a NATIONAL constitution.

    So there we have it: he supreme authority in each State, was the authority of the people themselves– i.e. the respective state electorate– given by deputies elected for the special purpose; but, this assent and ratification was given by the people, not as individuals composing one entire nation, but as composing the distinct and independent States to which they respectively belonged.

    And there's no need to quibble over the LEGAL VALIDITY of Madison's word; since that's how the ratification process was CARRIED OUT by each state.

    Actions don't just speak louder than words: they are ABSOLUTE PROOF of agreement and intent, via COURSE OF PERFORMANCE among the parties.

    Here's some reading-material if you want to look into it.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Course_of_performance

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