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It's happened before, and it will happen again. Secession is the declaration of independence from whatever controlling power is apparent. Leaving the club, going your own way, setting up your own way of doing things rather than being ruled over by those who haven't got your best interest at heart.
Examples of secession include the American Declaration of Independence (4th July 1776), and various other acts of independence by newly forming nations. The former states of the USSR (CCCP) declared independence and ceased to be ruled by the Soviet Communist system. Any dissolution of an empire is regarded as a secession.
The fact is that secession is not something purely in the historical past, but is something that happens on an ongoing basis.
Devolution is another term for it. Even in the UK there are movements for the devolution of various geographic regions where there is a feeling they are unrepresented by the controlling centralised power.
Here are a few secession resources:
Secession in the USA - like a new Declaration of Independence, against tyranny
Wikipedia has a say about Secession
www.boston.com/news/local/vermont/articles/2007/06/03/in_vermont_nascent_secession_movement_gains_traction/ - a free press news item about the secession of Vermont.
http://www.lewrockwell.com/archives/fm/6-92.html - another event
http://vidiotspeak.blogspot.com/2007/10/independent-states-of-america.html - Independent States of America?
http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/United_States_Declaration_of_Independence - a notable historic secession.
Secession can be peaceful, and there have been notable examples of countries that have declared independence by reasonable agreement. Britain in the modern era has been especially good at allowing former colonies to go their own way. Jamaica and Belize are examples of this. How well they are run is another matter, but at least they are going their own way rather than being controlled externally.
Quite often, though, secession requires a fight. The centralised authority is often unhappy that people would dare to question it. So, although the Constitution of the United States specifically states that "Whenever government becomes destructive of these ends (life, liberty, pursuit of happiness), it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute a new government", the Federal centralised authority of the throne of King George III Bush* would probably attempt to put down any new independence movements, probably by violent repression. Also, as with the matter of the original American Declaration of Independence, the ruling power would typically use bad words about the independence movement, declaring it to be terrorist, treason, undemocratic, against the will of God, or some such thing.
In Sri Lanka, not everyone thinks it's OK to be ruled over by the centralised authority in Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte (Colombo), and there is a very determined group in favour of the declaration of an independent republic of Tamil Eelam in the North. The inflexibility of the central authority to allow the Tamils any self-determination results in a level of militancy more severe than it would have been if there was some reasonable room for manoeuvre.
The Czech Republic and Slovakia are no longer all "Czechoslovakia".
Montenegro (with its .me domains) is one of the place that has now seceded from Yugoslavia.
Panama - successful secession from Colombia on November 28th 1903, with the help of the USA.
Bangladesh and Pakistan - seceded from India
South Sudan - declared independence from Sudan (now North Sudan) on 9th July 2011. There's already a new domain extension .ss , and as the new country can abolish Sharia Law there could be new freedoms, which will be better for the folk as well as for international business. For example, I wonder if Online Casinos will be interested in setting up there as a safe haven internationally.
Quebec - nearly declared independence from Canada in recent history.
Then there's the matter of Tibet and Taiwan, and the will of the people to be no longer part of China.
* Now that the USA has had a political change (though is it regime-change?), replacing the previous cruel regime with a more reasonable setup, it may be that the USA can save itself from secession and being split up. However, this would require: 1. Closing down the concentration camp that was set up by the previous regime. 2. Putting an end to torture. 3. Making a grand declaration of MORE LIBERTY and less federal control, allowing people more freedom of choice in their own life choices. 4. Putting the previous war criminals on trial for their war crimes and flagrant breaches of the Geneva Convention on Human Rights.
(Regarding the touchy issue of the prisoner of war camp, justice may best be seen if each of the victims set up their own individual website and tell their own story. See How to Set Up YOUR OWN website. The more people tell their own story, the more difficult it is for revisionist history priests to deny the holocaust).
When overthrowing tyranny, it's important to consider what's going to happen After the Revolution. It's no good replacing it with another tyranny!