Let’s Look Back At The Time North Dakota Wanted to Leave the US
Today, many around the world are discussing 'Brexit,' following a vote in Britain where a majority of citizens voted to leave the European Union. This gives us a good opportunity to look back on the time North Dakota wanted to leave the United States.
The year was 1933, and North Dakota senator William E. Martin introduced resolution 'A-2.' Martin did not just want North Dakota to leave the US but he in fact proposed that the '39 Western States' leave the US leaving the union with just Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New Jersey.
In Martin's proposal he wrote, "carrying with us the Star Spangled Banner" and leaving the remaining states with "the stripes they richly deserve," according to a 1933 article ($) from the New York Times.
Martin was fed up with the Eastern states for 'manipulating congress' arguing that they had significantly more representation in congress and were profiting due to laws that were favoring the industries in the Eastern part of the US.
During this time, North Dakota farmers were facing hard economic times. Of course, 1933 was right in the middle of the Great Depression.
Martin admitted that he did not truly want to necessarily leave the US but was using the resolution for 'educational purposes to wake up the people.'
Without going into excruciating and complex detail, this resolution did end up reaching the state affairs committee. Of course ultimately a bill was never passed but Martin was pleased with the success of his campaign ultimately claiming that the resolution did 'wake up the people.'
However a year later in 1934, the Governor of North Dakota William Langer who was legitimately passionate about the resolution ended up issuing a 'Declaration of Independence for the State of North Dakota.' Langer was questioned on the Declaration but there was no discussion on actually seceding from the US.
You can read more about these interesting events here.
Of course as you know, North Dakota is still very much a part of the United States. Since these events in 1933 and 1934, the United States ended up acquiring two additional western states with Hawaii and Alaska obtaining official statehood in 1959.