Cascadia, State of Jefferson and other secessionist movements

Being in Portland several times over the past several weeks for beer happenings got me thinking about the (mostly inconsequential) debate about “Cascadian Dark Ales” (versus the other names of “Black IPA”, “American Black Ale” and so on) and about the “Cascadia” part of that name. See, here in the Pacific Northwest “Cascadia” can refer to the Cascadia independence movement, which according to Wikipedia:

Cascadia is the proposed name for an independent nation located within the Cascadian bioregion of the Pacific Northwest region of North America. Proposed boundaries differ, with some drawn along existing political state and provincial lines, and others drawn along larger ecological, cultural and economic boundaries.

The nation would be created by secession of British Columbia from Canada, along with Oregon, Washington and portions of other states from the United States. At its maximum extent Cascadia would extend from the coastal Alaskan Panhandle to the north, extending into Northern California in the south, and inland to include parts of Alberta, the Yukon, Idaho and Western Montana.

This also made me think about the State of Jefferson—another proposed secessionist movement that would combine part of southern Oregon with Northern California:

The State of Jefferson was a proposed U.S. state that would span the contiguous, mostly rural area of southern Oregon and northern California, where several attempts to secede from Oregon and California, respectively, have taken place in order to gain own statehood.

I find these sorts of movements (ideas? memes?) fascinating on all sorts of levels, partially because they seem so wildly improbable and partially because it’s sort of a glimpse into an alternate reality (which piques my science fiction interest). And yet both Cascadia and Jefferson State are fairly recent phenomenons, which give them an air of plausibility for something that could be accomplished in my lifetime. Wildly improbable plausibility, as I noted, but still.

For these and other historical U.S. alternate realities, Wikipedia’s list of secession proposals is a fun read.