Splitting California: Bibliography and Links

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  About this Website
    California FlagOver California's relatively short history, there have been many attempts to break the state into 2 or more smaller states.  I had noticed that there was some difficulty in searching for materials on this subject: hence this website - a bibliography and a set of relevant links.  I have restricted the scope of this site to materials the talk directly about the splits - raw data about the state and how diverse or regional it is was not included.

Some of the bibliographic items have links that may aid some users in finding the full text of the publication. Please heed the warnings about these links at the bottom of the page, as they won't work in some situations.

I have not made all of the citations into a uniform style: that may come later.  In the meantime, they are in a useable format.

If you know of any relevant sources I have missed, please send them to me.

James S. Koga
February 20, 2015

    Cover of "Two New Californias: An Equal Division"California. Legislature. Assembly. Office of Research.. 1992. Two new Californias: an equal division : historical and financial analysis. Sacramento, CA: Assembly Publications Office. [ Worldcat ] [ pdf icon PDF ] Original document courtesy of the Claremont Colleges Library.

Callenbach, Ernest. (1981). Ecotopia Emerging. Berkeley, CA: Banyan Tree Books. [ Worldcat ] Fiction about splitting California along an ecological/cultural boundary.

DiLeo, Michael, and Eleanor Smith. 1983. Two Californias: the truth about the split-state movement. Covelo, CA: Island Press.     [ Wordcat ]  [CPP Library ]

Noll, Karen Lynne. Regional Identity in California. Thesis (M.S.)--San Francisco State University, 1996   [ Worldcat ]

Pit, Leonard.  California controversies: major issues in the history of the state. San Rafael: ETRI Publishing. 1985. See chapter 9: Regional Rivalries/How many Californias?, beginning on page 141.  Page 150 has a reprint of the 1965 article from US News and World Report "Should California be Chopped in Half?". [ Worldcat ] [ CPP library ]Cover graphic of "The State of Jefferson"

Pryor, Alton. Classic tales in California history. Roseville, Calif.: Stagecoach Pub., 1999.  See Chapter 2: Splitting California on pages 19- 24.  [ Worldcat ]

Tickner, Bernita Gail L Fiorini-Jenner. The State of Jefferson. Charleston, SC : Arcadia, 2005. [ Worldcat ] Search Worldcat for more State of Jefferson books.

Michael J. Trinklein, Lost States: True Stories of Texlahoma, Transylvania, and Other States That Never Made It. Philadelphia, PA : Quirk Publishing, 2010.   See Deseret, pp 38-39. Jefferson, pp 60-61, Nataqua, pp 78-79, Rough and Ready, pp 110-111, Shasta, pp 116-117. South California, pp 122-123. [ Google Books ] [ CPP Library ]

Winokur, Jon. 2004. The war between the state: Northern California vs. Southern California. Seattle: Sasquatch Books. [ Worldcat ] [ Preview Item (Google Books) ]

Additional Books:
Search Worldcat:
California politics and government 1951- | California Politics and government 1850-1950


    Proquest Databases search (Requires Cal Poly Bronconame and Password from off campus)  
    Anonymous. Of Ossis and Wessis; California splitting . The Economist. London: Apr 25, 2009. Vol. 391, Iss. 8628; p. 38  Public Website | Proquest | Ebsco

Bishop, William Henry.  Harpers  December 1882.

"California Split."  New West, May 9, 1977.

Commy, Peter Thomas. "Division of the State of California" The Native Son Oct-Nov 1980

Davis, William Newell. "The Territory Of Nataqua, An Episode in Pioneer Government East of the Sierra" California Historical Society Quarterly  21(3): 21-225 1942  [ WorldCat ]

Davis, William Newell. ."State Of Jefferson" California Historical Society Quarterly 31(2):125-126 1952   [ WorldCat ]

Delehanty, Hugh J. "The California Split".  Sacramento Feb 1981

Dillon, Richard H. "Blueprint for a Split Level California. California Monthly Nov 1968, 74(2) 22 - 29. [ Worldcat / Worldcat ]

Ellison, William Henry "The Movement For State Division in California, 1849-1860" Southwestern Historical Quarterly. XVII:2 pp. 101-112 [

Fracchia, Charles. "The Political Faultline" Air California Magazine Aug 1978.

Guinn, J. M. "How California Escaped State Division" Annual Publication of the Historical Society of Southern California, 1905.  Los Angeles,: George Rice and Sons, 1906. [ Worldcat / Worldcat Worldcat ]

Marine, Gene, "Should We Bust up California?" Frontier, Nov 1984.

Marks, Mara A. "Getting it Together?: local elected officials' opinions regarding regionalism." California politics & policy. Vol. 6, no. 1 (July 2002), p. [38]-58  [ Worldcat ]

McDow, Roberta M. "State Separation Schemes, 1907-1921" California Historical Society Quarterly 49(1):39-46 1970 [ WorldCat ]

McDow, Roberta M. "To Divide or Not to Divide?" Pacific Historian Autumn 1966 [  WorldCat ]  [ CPP Library ]

Michels, Spencer. "Two Californias". Focus May 1981.

Price, C. (1992) "The longshot bid to split California." California Journal 23(8) 387 - 391. [ Worldcat ] [ CPP Library ]

Rheinhardt,  Richard.  "The Short, Happy History of the State of Jefferson." The American West , May 1972.

U.S. News and World Report. "Should California Be Chopped in Half?"  v. 58 (February 8 1965) p. 61-2


  Los Angeles Times (in reverse chronological order)
    Note: the LA Times seems to have missed both the proposal by Bill Maze (Feb 2009) and the Field Poll (March 2009)

Skelton, George. "CAPITOL JOURNAL; Divided State Not so Golden; A Venture Capitalist is Pushing a Ballot Initiative to Split California into Six Small States. but His Plan Makes no Sense." Los Angeles Times Apr 14 2014. ProQuest.   [ Public Website ]

Skelton, George. "CAPITOL JOURNAL; Readers Agree 6 is Too Many; Proposal to Split California into Smaller States may have Wacky Appeal to some, but Poorer Regions would have Lots to Lose." Los Angeles Times Apr 17 2014. ProQuest. [ Public Website ]

Hiltzik, Michael. "Splitting the State into Six Won't Fix Anything." Los Angeles Times Mar 02 2014. ProQuest  [ Public Website ]

Rall, Ted. "Tim Draper's argument for splitting California into six states makes zero sense" Los Angeles Times Feb 27, 2014  [ Public Website ]

Romney, Lee. "Northern Californians Ponder a Separate State." Los Angeles Times Dec 29 2013. ProQuest  [ Public Website ]

'South California' secession backer seeks statewide summit Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, Calif.: July 20, 2011 [ Public Website ]

L.A. THEN AND NOW; Attempts to divide state multiplied; Riverside County supervisor's proposal to break away has many precedents. Steve Harvey. Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, Calif.: Jul 17, 2011. pg. A.31 [ Proquest ] [ Public Website ]

CALIFORNIA; South Carolina, South Dakota ... and South California?; A fed-up Riverside County politician wants 13 counties to break away from state. Phil Willon. Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, Calif.: Jul 11, 2011. pg. AA.3 [ Proquest ]

Cecilia Rasmussen. "L.A. THEN AND NOW; First L.A. Newspaper Took Up the Rebels as a Cause; The firebrand editor of the Star backed the Confederacy and advocated splitting California into free and slave states".  Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, Calif.: Jul 16, 2006. p. B.2 [HOME EDITION] [ Proquest ]

Ingram, Carl.  "Divide and Conquer Legislator Wages Uphill Battle to Split Up State." Los Angeles Times [Home Edition] Sep 19, 1993. p. 3  [ Proquest ]

Stall, Bill. ."Backer of Plan to Divide California Will Run for Lt. Governor."  Los Angeles Times  [Home Edition]  Sep 1, 1993. p. 6  [ Proquest ]

JACK SMITH. "To Half and Half Not: Second Thoughts on Split State" Los Angeles Times  [Home Edition]  Aug 17, 1992. p. 1  [ Proquest ]

Diamond, S J. "Split personality." Los Angeles Times.  Jul 25, 1993. p. E1  [ Proquest Two sentence abstract, no full text]

"Nuevo California" Los Angeles Times [Home Edition] Jun 24, 1993. p. 6  [ Proquest ]

"Dividing California" Los Angeles Times [Home Edition] Jun 23, 1993. p. 6  Full text: (16 words) * If California is divided into three parts, which one inherits Proposition 13?

Starr, Kevin. "Three Californias: Why it's not an eccentric idea."  Los Angeles Times.  Jun 20, 1993. p. M1 [ Proquest ] One sentence abstract, no full text ]

Kevin Starr. "Three Californias: Why It's Not an Eccentric Idea Governance: Sacramento gridlock, ethnic division and localism combine to give an advisory bill perhaps a 50-50 chance of passage."  Los Angeles Times [Home Edition]  Jun 20, 1993. p. 1 [ Proquest ]

"Dividing California"  Los Angeles Times  [Home Edition] Jun 18, 1993. p. 6 [ Proquest ]

JENIFER WARREN. "Urban, Rural Voters Divided Over Splitting State in Two California: San Francisco Giants are striking out in bid for San Jose stadium. Runoff appears likely in San Diego mayor's race. Bond measures falter." Los Angeles Times  [Home Edition]  Jun 3, 1992. p. 17  [ Proquest ]

JENIFER WARREN. "CALIFORNIA ELECTIONS '92 31 Counties to Vote on the Divisive Issue of Splitting the State Government: Secession has backers in the rural north, but the advisory plebiscite has no legal effect."   Los Angeles Times [Home Edition]  May 30, 1992. p. 20  [ Proquest ]

Sherry Bebitch Jeffe "California Politics Can't Survive on a Steady Diet of Naysaying Government: Voters know what they don't want, not what they do want. Unicameralism, a part-time Legislature and a 51st state are among the options.". Los Angeles Times  [Home Edition] Feb 16, 1992. p. 6  [ Proquest ]

JENIFER WARREN. "Northern Discontent Fuels Drive for a California Split Secession: Alienated rural dwellers want to start anew. Despite hoopla, recycled idea is given little chance."  Los Angeles Times  [Home Edition]  Dec 24, 1991. p. 1 [ Public Website ]  [ Proquest ]

CHARLES HILLINGER "Two Californias? A Split Decision More Than 100 Attempts Have Been Made to Divide State" . Los Angeles Times  [Home Edition]  Aug 25, 1986. p. 6 [ Public Website ]  [ Proquest ]

JOHN PASTIER  "Theoretical Look at Proposals for Two Californias" Los Angeles Times July 26, 1970 p. H1  [ Proquest ]

"Two Californias Is a Nonsensical Idea" Los Angeles Times Dec 1, 1965. p. A4 (1 page)  [ Proquest ]

ROBERT M BLANCHARD. "The Plan for Two Californias---Disastrous or Only Solution?; Many Issues Raised by Dolwig Proposal " Los Angeles Times Jan 31, 1965. p. J1 (2 pages)  [ Proquest ]

CARL GREENBERG "The Two Californias: a Peek at the Future" . Los Angeles Times  Jan 19, 1965. p. A4 (1 page)  [ Proquest ]

"Strong Case Against California Split" Los Angeles Times  Jan 4, 1965. p. A4 (1 page)  [ Proquest ]

"Dividing Up California Was Hot Issue in 1880s; Old Issue of Harper's Carried Article on Appeal of State, and Town of Los Angeles" Los Angeles Times  Oct 4, 1959. p. A4 (1 page)  [ Proquest ] The article mentioned was: Bishop, William Henry.  Harpers  December 1882.

"They're Dividing the State Again" Los Angeles Times Dec 30, 1958. p. B4 (1 page)  [ Proqiuest ]

"Assembly Given Two-State Plan; Inquiry Sought Into Dividing California Into Commonwealths" Los Angeles Times  Apr 26, 1941. p. 1A (1 page)  [ Proquest ]

"SPLITTING CALIFORNIA" Los Angeles Times  Nov 20, 1926. p. A4 (1 page)  [ Proquest ]

"Dividing California" Los Angeles Times  Nov 14, 1926. p. B4 (1 page)  [ Proquest ]

"STATE DIVISION TO BE SOUGHT; Splitting California Urged by Reapportionment Body Defeat of Proposition 20 Held to be Finishing Touch North and South Declared Far Apart on All Issues" Los Angeles Times  Nov 9, 1926. p. A1 (1 page)  [ Proquest ]


  Sacramento Bee & Sacramento Union (in reverse chronological order)
    (2009, March 1) Editorial: Split state? Get serious - Sacramento Opinion - Sacramento Editorial | Sacramento Bee Page 6E Fulltext:  Public Website | Proquest

Shultz, E. J. (2009, February 26)  Ex-assemblyman pushes plan to split California into two states - Sacramento Politics - California Politics | Sacramento Bee Page 3A  Fulltext: Public Website | Proquest

Schrag, Peter (2008, December 23) Two states of California: An undying fantasy; VIEWPOINTS Sacramento Bee p. A19 Fulltext Public Website | Proquest

Willis, D. (1992) September 8). California times three? Sacramento Union.

Smith, M. (1992, June 28). Statham is on a roll. Sacramento Bee. Opinion Section, p.2.

Associated Press. (1992, June 17). Split California in three, not two, measure's backer proposes. Sacramento Union

Geissinger, S. (1992, June 16). California to beget 3 states? Sacramento Bee. p. 1.

Cox, J.D. (1992, June 4). Rural north state files for divorce. Sacramento Bee. p. B1.

Cox, J.D. (1992, May 24). 31 counties vote on dividing state in 2. Sacramento Bee. p. A1.

  Other Newspapers
     California Counties Talk of Cutting Ties to State New York Times,  July 21, 2011 Public Website
  51st State Poposed by Jeff Stone  

51st State Proposed by Jeff Stone


Region: Stone Proposed Secession. Press Enterprise, July 1, 2011.  Public Website.

Region: Gauging interest first task on secession, Stone Says.  Press Enterprise, Jul 1, 2011. Public Website.

Secession plan for inland counties gets mixed reviews in Fresno.  Fresno Bee, July 1, 2011.  Public Website

Goad, Ben. Municipalities may talk about leaving, but rarely do they cross the line Press Enterprise.  Jan 11, 2009. Public Website  (Published in the paper version of the newspaper under the title "Unhappy, but they seldom cross the line" on page A1.)

Brantingham, Barney. The Inlanders Are Restless. Santa Barbara Independent. Santa Barbara, Calif.: Mar 5-Mar 12, 2009. Vol. 23, Iss. 164; pg. 23, 1 pgs Proquest

How to Secede From Jesusland, Without Really Fighting; A plan to split California from the United States. And it's serious. Maybe. Smith, Matt. S.F. Weekly [San Francisco, Calif] 08 Dec 2004: N/A. Proquest

Brazil, E. (1992, February 9). Up country it's divide and rule. San Francisco Examiner. p. B1.

Cannon, L. (1992, June 23). p. A3 Proposal to break up California gains credibility. Washington Post. [ Proquest ]

Delaplane, Stanton.  Articles in the San Francisco Chronicle.  November 19-December  10, 1941.

Elias, Thomas: State split scheme purely political.  San Gabriel Valley Tribune Apr 18, 2009.   Proquest

Maze's idea to divide state of California is a waste of time There are much better ways to fix our state's plethora of problems.; EDITORIALS The Fresno Bee. The Fresno Bee. Fresno, Calif.: Feb 26, 2009. p. C.4 Proquest

How California voted. (1992, November 5). San Francisco Chronicle. Election Special Section, p. 1.

Tim Holt, Tim. A Modest Proposal -- Downsize California August 17, 2003 San Francisco Chronicle public website 

McCabe, M. (1992, June 4). 51st state proposal OKd by voters in 27 California counties. San Francisco Chronicle. p. A18.

McEwan Bill.  Splitting the state is a sure path to poverty for the Valley. Fresno Bee Feb 26, 2009 B1.  Proquest

Miller, Jim. Most Californians oppose splitting state, poll. McClatchy - Tribune Business News Washington: Mar 12, 2009. Proquest

Miller, Jim. {FIELD POLL} // Splitting state appeals to few // SURVEY; Despite regional differences on an array of issues, a large majority opposes breaking up. The Press - Enterprise. Riverside, Calif.: Mar 12, 2009. pg. A.2 Fulltext: Proquest | Public Website  

Rees, M. (1992, June 22) page A14. Californians get sick of each other. Wall Street Journal. [ Proquest ]

Schultz, E. J. Former legislator launches effort to split California another of many in history McClatchy - Tribune News Service. Washington: Feb 24, 2009. Proquest

Shultz, E. J. Ex-Valley lawmaker wants to split Calif. Bill Maze of Visalia is leading renewed effort to create a 51st state. Fresno Bee Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2009 public website Map of proposed change | Proquest

Rose, Frederick. Psycho-Economics: Can an Entire State Have an Identity Crisis? Yes if It's California --- Long Recession Puts Regions At Odds; Calls Resurface To Split in Two or Three ---- Dark Times Hit Sunnyvale. Wall Street Journal (Eastern edition). New York, N.Y.: Nov 16, 1993. pg. PAGE A.1 Proquest

Rose, Frederick. Economic troubles have California scheming GREAT DIVIDE  The Globe and Mail Toronto, Ont. Nov 22, 1993. p. A.9 Proquest

Wollan, Marcia.  Visalia Journal: Farmers Lead a Bid to Create 2 Californias  New York Times March 13, 2009 Fulltext: public website | Proquest


Wikipedia: Partition and secession in California  (good overview)
Wikipedia Category pages: Regions of California

Calblog: California Breakup Archives

Downsize California  (downsizeca.org) One of the better blogs about their proposal is here

Field Poll, Dec 11, 2013 had a question on allowing California’s northern most rural counties secede from the state.


Field Poll, March 12, 2009 had a question on splitting California; There have been other Field Polls on this subject in the past; if you have access to Field poll data (UC and CSU people have access to past data via the UC data portal; the CPP link is here; people from other campuses should look on their own campus website for an access point) a search of divid* california yielded the following polls:map of proposed split by downsizeca.org

  • California Poll 93-04: October 8, 1993 - October 15, 1993
  • California Poll 92-01: January 13, 1992 - January 18, 1992
  • California Poll 81-01: January 16, 1981 - January 23, 1981
  • California Poll 65-01: January 7, 1965 - January 12, 1965
  • California Poll 61-02: May 27, 1961 - June 2, 1961

Efforts to Split California  A brief history of the subject.

Immodest proposals: a five state solution

Google Searches:

Seperatism and California - Bibliography A long bibliography, but it is difficult to read due to its formatting, which I suspect is due to the technology available at the time (I assume it to be from the late 1990s). I have incorporated what I think are the more relevant items into this bibliography. (The link is to an archive.org copy, may load slowly).

The State of Jefferson  from Jefferson Public Radio. Also the State of Jefferson. and Wikipedia: State of Jefferson. Also "Altered States" by Kathleen Jarschke-Schultze.

Three Californias

  About the funny links on this page
    About CPP Library links: This link searches for the item in the Cal Poly Pomona Library.  This information only does you good if you are willing to come to that campus to read the item or if you have borrowing privileges there.  If you don't have privileges, you should use the worldcat links.

About "Proquest" Links to Newspaper Articles: If you are on campus at Cal Poly Pomona, you should be taken right to the article, if not, you might be granted access if you have access privileges (that is, if you have a password) at that university.  If you don't, try your local library to see if you can get access.

About "Public Website" links.  These are links I got from google searches; please be aware that some may not be available with the passage of time.

Worldcat can help you find a library that owns a particular Book or Journal: Multiple links to Wordcat means that there are multiple versions of the item About Worldcat       Worldcat Help  Using Worldcat assumes that you are willing to travel to that library and negotiate for borrowing privileges. It would be better to use your interlibrary loan privileges (if any) with your own library if you can stand the time delay.

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Pie chart graphic from: Free Web 2.0 Graphics

ebsco (“splitting California” OR “dividing California” OR (“state partition movements” and California) and politic*  OR

"split* california in" OR "split* california into" OR

"six californias"

proquest "splitting california" OR ("split* california into" OR "split* california in") OR "six californias"