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Are 50 States Overrated? What If the US Only Had 38 States. . .

This would have made memorizing the capitals a whole lot easier. In 1973 a California geography professor proposed a redrawing of the states to limit them to 38, instead of the 50 we're used to. With names like Ozark, Cascade, and Alamo, the redrawing isn't just for fun, it's kind of a smart idea.

Aimed to limit the number of big cities within each state, to even out tax revenue and make benefits fair. Even the new names had a purpose — to reflect the cultural history of the regions. The 38 state proposal went for a vote in DC but was soundly defeated. The work going into scrapping all of the infrastructure, setting up new voting districts — basically starting from scratch made it pretty unworkable. Too bad, because I dig the thought behind it. Could you see the plan working? Signing off from El Dorado. . . .

To see where the big cities would lie in the wacky 38 state country, mentalfloss has plotted them out. To see them,



Join The Conversation
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 8 years
I went to college close to home, in Sonoma County. It was amazing how many more of the students were from Southern California. Just think of how much "out of state" tuition money we could get!
The-City-Girl The-City-Girl 8 years
BlueSarahLou and YesterYear--AMEN! Did you know that there was acually an initiative in the ballot about 15 years ago to split the state in Northern and Southern parts? The disparity of the way Californians voted was pretty funny--it was largely approved by the north but the large population in the south voted it down, so it failed. At the time I thought, "Why would anyone want to split the state--they'd have to change the flag!" Lol, now I'm like "Bring it on!" It doesn't make much sense that we're one the same state; the north and south have very little in common culturally, geographically, politically, or in terms of needs and priorities. I see this on a daily basis in my job. The new plan would make a lot of sense for better serving Northern and Southern Californians, but the bureaucratic nightmare that would ensue will dictate this never happens.
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 8 years
I think it's funny they renamed Hawaii, which had no "redrawing" whatsoever.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
I definitely don't expect people from other countries to be able to identify U.S. states.
mo_ri_ah mo_ri_ah 8 years
So in this case I would be living in North Hollywood, SG Oh hai, what state are you from? San Gabe's
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
i think that it's definitely an interesting concept to change the names and redraw the map. i think that we lose context sometimes being from the USA - cause in many many other countries there are states - yet we don't identify with them at all, yet we expect people from other countries to be able to identify with ours.
sldc sldc 8 years
*keep out I need coffee. /growls at Californians across the street with the pink juicy outfit
sldc sldc 8 years
This is stupid. I am in Austin would not mind a wall around Texas (South of Dallas, like Waco) to keep obnoxious people. Too many have already moved here.
rangerdanger rangerdanger 8 years
I say we start on this right away. Let's start by giving Texas back to Mexico (assuming they'd even take it back - talk about buyer's remorse).
lexichloe lexichloe 8 years
I dig anything that makes our country more unified.
rickimc rickimc 8 years
Love it! This way STL won't have to share a state with KC.
harmonyfrance harmonyfrance 8 years
Here you go Amy.... :drinks:
amybdk amybdk 8 years
harmonyfrance harmonyfrance 8 years
I'm not sure what I just read. It was almost like riddles and tongue twisters there for a minute. Now I need a drink. :drinks:
L0neLyHeArT L0neLyHeArT 8 years
I agree with the first user who commented on this. Everything would have to be made over: government, universities, etc. It takes too much time and hard work.
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 8 years
Yesteryear, as a N.Ca resident as well...I'm all for the splitting of the state. :fingerscrossed:
amybdk amybdk 8 years
Ha! There's a cleaning-up-after-the-food-fight emoticon: :clean:
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 8 years
Gosh guys, I really missed out by disappearing for a couple of hours. I think these kinds of minunderstandings are the result of written communication being imperfect. I think we could all give each other the benefit of the doubt instead of jumping to the worst possible meaning of every comment! It's more fun that way, and in general I think we are all well-meaning! Sometimes not, but usually it's pretty obvious from the swear words :) I never would have picked this particular post to cause a food fight. Is there a food fight emoticon? That would be kind of cool.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
amybdk amybdk 8 years
:woohoo: DRINKS for everyone! :drinks: :cocktail: :coffee:
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
I was kidding about everything, too, until I started feeling attacked. Anyway, I'm glad we've established that everyone was just trying to have fun.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
Now I have Journey in my head, yy! :dance:
yesteryear yesteryear 8 years
all, after this heated exchange i have done some serious soul-searching. and i have come to one conclusion: i am going to go back to being a rogue commenter. i will only ever be happy if i am forging my own solitary path through this world of passionate opinion. along my journey i may have to do some things which i will later regret. some of you may be offended, you may grow to hate me... while others of you may fall in love with me. i cannot foretell the future. one thing i must remember is to believe in myself. never. stop. believing. -yesteryear p.s. chatondeneige: what do you mean we are taking ourselves too seriously??
Michelann Michelann 8 years
I don't have an opinion either way about splitting up California. As long as they don't interrupt my beautiful highway 1!
True-Song True-Song 8 years
Definitely! I was only kidding about Texas, and I didn't think anyone would think I was serious (there I go assuming again) and I understand why people love it. You should defend your home state! Just not my cup of tea. : ) I would seriously support splitting up Calfornia. It's just too darn big.
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