E Unus Pluribum

Joel Garreau's book The Nine Nations of North America divides the continent into nine different nations. Might this division accurately predict future wars which transform the New World's political makeup in ways unseen since the nineteenth century? Read the imaginary scenario below and judge for yourself.

The Nine Nations at War

Early in the twenty-first century, America was a nation deeply divided politically. Its presidential adminstration was popular among one segment of the population, but deeply resented by another. Millions of recent arrivals to the country, many illegal and undocumented, strained its cultural integrity. Worst of all, international terrorist organizations had declared war, and plotted mass casualty attacks on civilians. When they dealt a catastrophic blow to the nation's capital and chief financial city, the beginning of the end arrived.

  1. Year 0. Small nuclear bombs detonate simultaneously in New York and Washington, D.C. The Federal Government is severely disrupted.
  2. State officials in Arizona and New Mexico who have been plotting with the Aztlan movement sieze their governments' reins and announce their intention to secede and become a part of "Greater Mexico."
  3. The Federal Government, now operating out of Cheyenne Mountain, declares the secession illegal. When it becomes apparent that Mexico intends to intervene with troops, the U.S. Army begins amassing in western bases.
  4. U.S. military assets overseas begin returning to the homeland, and America's military position abroad is abandoned.
  5. With the Federal Government's power obviously in question, secessionist movements stir in the Northwest and Southeast.
  6. War with Mexico and Aztlan insurrectionists begins over fate of southwestern territory. Riots in Los Angeles.
  7. Year 1. Martial law repeatedly imposed in major U.S. cities as Aztlan War sparks race riots and hate attacks.
  8. Hispanics begin fleeing to the southwest, whites to the north, and blacks to the southeast (away from riot-torn cities.)
  9. U.S. loses ground in Southwestern War. News of fall of San Antonio sparks uprising by hispanic youth in Chicago.
  10. Primarily white and black areas of Los Angeles declare themselves independent cities and construct fortifications.
  11. Southeastern states secede, proclaiming "the evident end of Lincoln's empire" and the birth of "a new CSA."
  12. Year 2. Southern California, Arizona, New Mexico and Southwest Texas are all solidly under Aztlan control.
  13. California, Oregon and Washington secede to form the new nation of Free America. They immediately sign a truce with Aztlan.
  14. On news of this, U.S. sends forces to seize strategic federal lands in the three states.
  15. Quebec declares its independence, which prompts the maritime provinces to petition to join the United States.
  16. Year 3. The last domino to fall, the Northeastern states secede, eventually joining with the maritime provinces to form New Britain.

Hopefully this will never happen. People have regional and cultural loyalties but still recognize the value of staying united and avoiding messy conflict. What really turns them at each others' throats is political differences, as we all saw in the 2000 election.


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Like to fantasize about the break-up of the United States? Try these scenarios.

This page copyright Steve Barrera 2001-2014