If At First You Don’t Secede, Try Try Again

 The Hockaday history faculty explain what secession would mean for Texas

Illustration by Katie

Imagine a nation with ubiquitous bluebonnets, an abundance of pecan pies and endless southern hospitality.

No one knows what Texas secession would look like. But that doesn’t keep people from guessing.

Government teacher Colleen Durkin said she has high hopes for Texas as its own nation.

“If Texas were to secede, we’d be the greatest country in the world,” Durkin said.

Junior Tai said she believes Texas would flourish as its own nation. She said that she believes Texas could sustain itself as a nation.

“I think with the amount of export Texas produces, its growing oil industry, and with its rapidly growing economy in contrast to the recessive parts of the United States, Texas could thrive outside the union,” Tai said.

The secession movement even inspired Arlington native Larry Scott Kilgore to change his middle name to Secede and announce plans to run for governor of Texas in 2014.

Upper School history department chair Steve Kramer offered a more technical view of the secession process.

“When the South tried to secede in the 1860s, they argued that the Constitution was a compact, an agreement among the states,” said Kramer. “When the North wasn’t doing what the Constitution said, they [the South] thought they had the legal right to leave.”

In the end, the North won and the secession failed.

“The court ruled five to ten years after the Civil War that secession was illegal. It was such a nebulous decision that there are some people today who think that you could still secede.”

With a less optimistic view of possible secession, Middle School history teacher Darin Jeans said he thought that history might end up repeating itself.

“It would be the third time we would have attempted to secede,” Jeans said. “The first time it didn’t go over so well—10 years and we were done. Second time, we got our butts kicked in the civil war, so I’m guessing the third time wouldn’t be as good either.”

Jeans and Kramer agreed that the third attempt to secede will be our last—strike three and we’re out.

Kramer pointed out several difficulties that arise with secession.

“Texas has a huge number of federal facilities. How would you divide all of that up?” He said, “What part of the national debt is Texas?”

Travel poses another problem.

“You’d have to have a passport to get into Arkansas, or Louisiana,” Kramer said. “Which seems kind of weird.”

However, Jeans said he thinks that Texas should have their own freedom to decide.

“If they want to go,” Jeans said, “let ‘em go.”