143 - Ex Unum Pluribus: New American Nations
From a young age, Frank was fascinated by maps and atlases, and the stories they contained. Finding his birthplace on the map in the endpapers of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings only increased his interest in the mystery and message of maps.
While pursuing a career in journalism, Frank started a blog called Strange Maps, as a repository for the weird and wonderful cartography he found hidden in books, posing as everyday objects and (of course) floating around the Internet.
"Each map tells a story, but the stories told by your standard atlas for school or reference are limited and literal: they show only the most practical side of the world, its geography and its political divisions. Strange Maps aims to collect and comment on maps that do everything but that - maps that show the world from a different angle".
A remit that wide allows for a steady, varied diet of maps: Frank has been writing about strange maps since 2006, published a book on the subject in 2009 and joined Big Think in 2010. Readers send in new material daily, and he keeps bumping in to cartography that is delightfully obscure, amazingly beautiful, shockingly partisan, and more.
The motto of the United States is E Pluribus Unum, Latin for ‘Out of Many, One’. Matt Kirkland, who provided me this map, thinks the US has become too unwieldy, and proposes to go the other way: Ex Unum Pluribus *, ‘Out of One, Many’.
Mr Kirkland’s website “is a bit of a grassroots movement, dedicated to breaking the US into smaller, more functional nations”. It provides some extra information on each of the new, smaller American nations, “and a fresh map so that anyone can submit a new proposal.”
The proposed new states are:
1. Côte d’Atlantique (Maine): “When the New Nations are born, Cd’A plans to ally herself with Canada, eventually opting for voluntary annexation. Official language: French. Capital: L’Amherst.” (Pop.: 1,3 million) 2. New England (New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut and most of New York State): “New England expects to experience tense international relationships with its neighbors, New York, Jersey and Côte d’Atlantique.” (Pop.: 20 million) 3. New York (NYC and Long Island): “New Yorkers have neither the space nor the temperament for agriculture, and must import all foodstuffs.” (Pop.: 12,2 million) 4. Jersey: (Pennsylvania, Delaware, eastern Maryland, most of New Jersey): “Still smarting from losing Jersey City to the new nation of New York, Jerseyans plan to rebuild it – and call their capital New Jersey City.” (Pop.: 22,3 million) 5. The Confederate States of the Atlantic (most of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia): “The CSA is expected to adopt the Stars & Bars as a national flag at their first Confederation Conference.” (Pop.: 33,7 million) 6. The Magic Kingdom of Florida (Florida): “Somewhat astonishingly, the Kingdom plans to squeeze the entire executive branch of government inside Cinderella’s castle on the grounds of Walt Disney World.” (Pop.: 16,7 million) 7. West Kendiano (Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia and the western part of Virginia): “While most citizens assume that their new name is an amalgamation of its components, West Kendiano actually refers to the now-extinct Kendiano Native Americans who originally occupied this territory.” (Pop.: 29,3 million) 8. Soggy Bottom (Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana): “Soggy Bottom will lead the new nations among exporters of grits.” (Pop.: 11,8 million) 9. The Boundary Waters (Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota): “Revolutionary sentiment in ‘The Mitten’ (i.e. southern Michigan), as its citizens prefer to call it, is growing. Only time will tell if the Boundary Waters can hold together as a nation.” (Pop.: 20,5 million) 10. The People’s Republic of the Plains (Illinois, Kansas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Missouri, Iowa): “The PRP expects to dominate the annual International American Football Association championship tournament.” (Pop.: 31,8 million) 11. El Republico de Tejas (Texas): “Tejanos originally fought the proposals to dissolve the US, arguing they were never really part of the Union anyway.” (Pop.: 20,5 million) 12. Dakota (North and South Dakota): “With their share of the spoils of the defunct federal government, Dakotans plan to build a shining example of a well-planned capital. Dakota City will host 85% of the national population.” Another fun fact: “Dakotans have proposed a revolutionary new system for their currency. Paper denominations of the ‘dakot’ will be numbered according to the primes and coins – one hundred ‘iotas’ equal a ‘dakot’ – will follow the fibonacci sequence. Math skills are expected to skyrocket as a result.” (Pop.: 1,4 million) 13. Northwest Territories (Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming): “Only in theory will Olympia’s governmental powers reach past the Sierra Nevada. Most of the eastern high plains will most likely be controlled (peacably) by independent militias.” (Pop.: 12,3 million) 14. Calivada (California and Nevada): “After the dissolution of the US, Calivada will hold title to the world’s second largest economy.” (Pop.: 37,2 million) 15. Four Corners (Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico): “Once construction is completed, the Parlia-Dome of the Four Corners Capitol building will sit exactly at the juncture of its component states. Members will be able to sit through an entire session of parliament without actually leaving their state’s territory.” (Pop.: 14,1 million) 16. Ha’awaska (Hawai’i and Alaska): “Ha’awaska employs a bicameral capital system, keeping governmental functions cordoned off in Honolulu and Anchorage).” (Pop.: 1,9 million)
* I’m not sure this is the right declension, but my Latin’s a bit rusty. Shouldn’t it be Ex Uno Plures?
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