What Might Have Been: The State of Jefferson

If you’re a student of history — especially American history — and want a fascinating read, follow this link to a post on the Strange Maps blog. Back in 1941, there was a honest-to-God movement for counties in southern Oregon and northern California to secede from those respective states to form a new one. Namely, they were going to name it the State of Jefferson. The idea was that they weren’t receiving the attention they thought they deserved from their respective state capitols, and thought this was the best solution. Things were moving along until, well, December 7th of 1941. The attack on Pearl Harbor and the immediate entry into the war by the United States put to an end talk of state secessions.

I’m sure that many communities in America still share the same frustrations that plagued these local leaders over a half century ago. This is one reason why increasing Federal power is a Bad Thing: the most effective government is a local one, where it tends to be more responsive. This is something our forefathers knew well, as that philosophy is reflected in our Constitution.

It’s a simple idea: whatever can’t be handled by the individual, family, or church, the local city or county government steps in. What they can’t handle the state government steps in, and finally, the Federal government handles the rest. The last run of the ladder includes things like a post office, a currency, foreign relations, interstate commerce, and a military. So, does our modern governmental structure follow this pattern?

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