WHY IT SHOULDN’T EXIST: Because Texas isn’t a state; it’s a freaking country. It’s more than 50,000 square miles larger than France and boasts a population greater than three-quarters of all the countries on Earth.
Assuming all tumbleweeds are people.
As such, it should not be too surprising that Texas was annexed into the United States in 1845 with the intent that it be carved into as many as five separate states.
WHY WE’RE STUCK WITH IT: After several unsuccessful attempts to mess with Texas…
Texas decided to continue doing things their own way and seceded after only 15 years in the Union. After the Confederacy got beat like a drum during the American Civil War, states like Texas were readmitted to the Union on the condition that they did as they were told for once. Specifically, no more slavery. Since curbing slavery was the primary reason for splitting Texas up in the first place, all Civil War-related matters has been pretty quiet in Texas until a few years ago.
Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX).
WHY IT SHOULDN’T EXIST: Because purchasing the Louisiana Territory — all 828,800 square miles of it — was not even up for discussion when James Monroe and Robert R. Livingston were sent to Paris to negotiate the sale of New Orleans. It was like they asked for a plate of pancakes and were instead offered the whole restaurant plus the entire country attached to it for a few dollars more.
Apparently, Napoleon moonlit as a night manager at IHOP.
WHY WE’RE STUCK WITH IT: The House of Representatives tried to kill the sale on numerous grounds, almost all of them stemming from how President Jefferson built his presidency on how such a move was unconstitutional.
We like to picture Thomas Jefferson going all Gollum on this.
The issue was ultimately decided in a narrow 59-57 vote. Had two congressmen voted otherwise, there’s a good chance that the US would have never extended beyond the Mississippi.
WHY IT SHOULDN’T EXIST: Because the whole issue over whatever the hell Vermont was nearly led to war between New York State and the Vermont Republic. Hostilities cooled once New York allowed the Vermont Republic to be annexed as a state, even if it meant admitting that Vermont was the Danny DeVito to New York’s Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Hell, DeVito even kind of looks like Vermont in this picture.
WHY WE’RE STUCK WITH IT: Slavery. The US needed free states to offset the addition of slave states into the Union, and was desperate for anything to maintain the balance. Vermont was eventually added as a free state, Kentucky as a slave state, and that was the end of that. Oh wait, no… There is currently a secessionist group within Vermont called the Second Vermont Republic that is still fighting for the Vermont Republic right down to their crappy flag.
5. WEST VIRGINIA
WHY IT SHOULDN’T EXIST: Because it would’ve remained part of Virginia if it wasn’t because of that damn Civil War. West Virginians had few slaves up in their mountains, and figured “fuck this… we’re leaving.” That’s right, the state of West Virginia actually seceded from the South.
Unfortunately, they had nowhere to go but North.
WHY WE’RE STUCK WITH IT: Because West Virginia was never added back into Virginia once the Civil War ended even though quite a few people wanted to. Virginians actually took this all the way to the US Supreme Court in 1871, and the Virginia General Assembly repealed the act of secession. However, by this time Congress had already passed a resolution in 1866 recognizing the transfer, the Virginia General Assembly be damned. The Supreme Court voted in favor of West Virginians, and that was the end of that.
Besides, do you have any idea how hard it is to take a star down from the US flag once it’s already been added?
3. & 4. KANSAS & NEBRASKA
WHY IT SHOULDN’T EXIST: They were created for the sole purpose of building a transcontinental railroad, which pissed the hell out of the South since it meant more free states. As a compromise, they decided to have settlers resolve the slavery question themselves in Kansas by popular vote. This exploded into a goddamn backwoods guerrilla war between the free people of Kansas and pro-slave settlers from Missouri in a civil war known as Bleeding Kansas.
And Japanese porn.
WHY WE’RE STUCK WITH THEM: Once the Civil War started, all bets were off. Kansas was added to the Union in 1861 as a free state since the North no longer at Southern congressmen beating the shit out of them on the floor of the Senate.
What a FOX News special report looked like in 1856.
WHY IT SHOULDN’T EXIST: Because Maine was originally part of Massachusetts Bay Colony, and probably would have stayed that way had it not been for the Missouri Compromise. Once again, the pro-slave South wanted to add a few slave states to the Union, forcing the North to search frantically for even more new states to offset them. Since you could tell just by looking at the map that Massachusetts and Maine have little in common, the compromisers figured “Hey, let’s just make New Canada into a state,” and the rest is history.
Apparently, Massachusetts was a Risk addict.
WHY WE’RE STUCK WITH IT: Considering the incredible heroes Maine producing during the American Civil War, the US should consider itself lucky that Maine didn’t quit the Union and join Canada up at that point.
WHY IT SHOULDN’T EXIST: Because it’s not a state — it’s a spoil. Andrew Jackson simply took it over for the hell of it and told the government to figure out whatever the hell they wanted to do with it. The US responded by flat-out declaring that half of Florida was theirs, and then annexed the other half after promising Spain that the US had no interest in Texas. We all know how long that promise lasted.
Hint: Not long.
WHY WE’RE STUCK WITH IT: The state survived secession during the Civil War and helped steal two elections. Once again, it’s simply a power-chip that’s constantly changing hands, and nobody wants to part with it any time soon.
Its legend lives on…
Jacopo della Quercia is now on Twitter. Follow him!