Welcome to Silicon Valley, America's newest state
It’s been a long time since an existing state was partitioned into smaller states. It last happened in 1863, when 50 northwestern counties of Virginia were renamed West Virginia and admitted as the 35th state. More than 40 years earlier, Maine, which had been part of Massachusetts since the 1650s, voted overwhelmingly for a divorce, and eventually entered the union as a new state in 1820. In both cases, separation was driven, then embraced, by communities and people who had grown alienated from a state government dominated by interests they didn’t share. West Virginia’s mountain people had chafed under Richmond’s rule, and sharply opposed the formation of the Confederacy. Mainers had long complained that the Legislature in Boston — where Maine was underrepresented — was not only too far away, but too willing to sacrifice their interests to those of Massachusetts.
Conventional wisdom says Draper’s scheme hasn’t got a chance. But venture capitalists have a knack for seeing openings and opportunities that most people miss. Would “Six Californias” be an improvement over the status quo? That’s definitely a debate worth having.