I noticed a little something in an AP piece titled Independence drive falters for Spain’s Catalonia:
Catalonia is responsible for around a fifth of Spain’s economic output and many residents complain that the central government in Madrid takes in more tax money from the region than it gives back. But now Catalonia is the most indebted region in Spain and has had to seek a €5.4 billion bailout from Madrid.
So by this logic, California should be teeming with separatists.
The fact is that separatists are usually in the thrall of power-seekers wanting to take advantage of nationalistic or cultural issues (e.g. the Nazis exploited Slovak separatists to weaken Czechoslovakia prior to invasion or the Southern aristocracy exploited racism of Southern peasants in order to garner support for a rebellion).
One thing is certain. When a country is broken up, the power of each part is disproportionately reduced. The combined influence of the Czech Republic and Slovakia is less than that of pre-split Czechoslovakia. As well, a rebellious province introduces something else that is often overlooked: a border shared with an enemy state. Suppose the Confederacy had prevailed in the American Civil War. The most important facet of the CSA was its so-called “peculiar institution.” In continuing the Monroe Doctrine, would not the two North American powers find themselves on opposite sides of colonialism? Wouldn’t the CSA be compelled to prop up dictators lest their own “lesser race” get too uppity?
I would posit that the most likely outcomes of a CSA victory would be either a permanent state of antagonism (taking opposite sides in wars such as WWII), or the South would fall into a collection of warring states with the inherent lawlessness spilling into USA territory. The latter seems more likely, given that the precedent would have been made that any union may be dissolved on a whim of any state. The logical consequence of this would be smaller and smaller political entities could seek an “independence,” such that the fractal nation would quickly collapse into anarchy.