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Pearcy - 38 States

In 1973, California State University geography professor George Etzel Pearcy suggested that the U.S. redraw its antiquated state boundaries and narrow the overall number of states to 38. The proposed state lines ran though less-populated areas, isolating large cities within states and reducing their number within each state.

Many of the early surveys that drew up our boundaries were done while the areas were scarcely populated. Thus, it was convenient to determine boundaries by using the land's physical features, such as rivers and mountain ranges, or by using a simple system of latitude and longitude. The panhandles of Florida, Idaho, Maryland, and Oklahoma are eliminated by Pearcy as "unnecessary irregularities."

His main argument is that each major metropolitan center should be in the middle of a state, and not divided among several states, like, for example, New York City. Pearcy argued that if there were fewer cities vying for a state's tax dollars, more money would be available for projects that would benefit all citizens.

Because the existing states were being modified beyond recognition, his plan included renaming the new states by referencing natural geologic features or the region's cultural history. For example, Cascade (named after a major mountain range in Washington and Oregon), Cochise (named after the Apache Indian chief of Arizona), and Alamo (named after the mission in San Antonio, Tex.). Among them were Dearborn (southeastern Wisconsin, northeastern Illinois, northern Indiana, and southwestern Michigan), and San Gabriel (southern California, Las Vegas, and the westernmost parts of Arizona). Hawaii was the only existing state spared the knife, though Pearcy couldn’t help leaving his mark and renamed it Kilauea.

Although Pearcy's study contains many logical recommendations for the regrouping of the States, he admits that additional criteria should be considered and suggests "sources of water supply, location of exploitable resources, and composition of the population might well be worthwhile factors to analyze." Also, his study does not include a selection of capitals for his States. Location and size of cities which could adequately serve as State capitals need to be determined-politically as well as geographically.

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Page last modified: 19-10-2017 15:23:41 ZULU