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  • This video is done in a collaboration with Wisecrack, so make sure to check out their video next.

  • So this is a very special video for me,

  • because as I'm sure many of you already know, I live in Texas, and have lived here for nearly my entire life.

  • So, naturally, I've always wondered what Texas would be like if it was actually its own independent country.

  • It used to be one once for a quick point in history between 1836 and 1846

  • before it got annexed by the United States.

  • But what would this independent Texas look like today if it ever happened?

  • First of all, Texas basically gets second place in everything inside the U.S.

  • It has the second largest population behind California,

  • the second largest economy, also behind California,

  • and the second largest area behind Alaska.

  • But that doesn't mean that Texas is small,

  • the Texan population stands at 28,305,000 people,

  • which would make it the 50th most populous country in the world, ahead of a lot bigger countries like Australia.

  • While Texas is much smaller than Australia in terms of land, it's much bigger than any country in Europe is except for Russia.

  • Texas is so big on a European scale that you could fit all of Poland inside of it

  • and still have room to drive around the edges.

  • The town of Texarkana in the east is closer to Chicago, Illinois than to the city of El Paso on the western side of Texas.

  • If it was independent, Texas would be the 39th largest country in the world in terms of land area.

  • But the final big thing about Texas is its economy.

  • The Texan economy stands currently at a GDP of 1.599 trillion U.S. dollars.

  • This is enormous and would make Texas the 11th largest economy in the world,

  • beating out other giant countries like South Korea, Russia, and Australia again.

  • Big companies like American Airlines, AT&T, Dell, and Exxon Mobil

  • all have headquarters currently located in Texas, which dramatically adds to this economic power.

  • Texas is probably one of the few U.S. states that actually could succeed as an independent country,

  • and here are a few reasons why:

  • First, it has a coast, and therefore access to the world's shipping routes.

  • Houston is the 8th busiest port in the United States and already has shipping routes connected with

  • Brazil, the Netherlands, Germany, India, and China.

  • Second, Texas is what's called a Tax-Donor state,

  • meaning that the Texan state government sends more money to the federal government

  • than it receives back in benefits.

  • For every one dollar that Texas sends to Washington, it receives back just 94 cents.

  • This means that Texas could fund all of their current government expenditures

  • and still have enough left over to generate a nice budget surplus.

  • Compared with other states like Mississippi,

  • who gets three dollars back from the federal government for every one dollar they send,

  • Texas would be in a great financial situation at first upon becoming independent.

  • The final reason Texas would be self-sustainable is energy.

  • Let's switch over to a map of the U.S. electrical grid to see how that's the case.

  • There are only three main power grids in the mainland United States that the U.S. operates:

  • The western grid, the eastern grid, and the Texan grid.

  • Texas has its own fully independent electrical grid that wouldn't be influenced by the rest of the U.S.

  • If another state like, say, New Mexico decided to leave

  • the rest of the U.S. could just shut off that part of the grid and deny them electrical access.

  • Not so with Texas. But here's the really interesting part:

  • Back in 1840, Texas used to be a lot bigger,

  • back then, it claimed about half of modern New Mexico,

  • and also chunks of Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, and even as far north as Wyoming.

  • If, for some reason, the modern Texas was expanded back to this territory today

  • it wouldn't really add as much as you think.

  • The population would only go up by a little over 1.2 million people,

  • because besides the towns of Santa Fe in New Mexico and Pueblo in Colorado,

  • most of this extra land is pretty rural.

  • But back in 1840, the entirety of Texas was even more rural.

  • Back then, the entire population of Texas was an incredible 70,000 people,

  • basically the size of a small suburb of either Dallas or Houston is today.

  • The only settlements you can see on maps from back then

  • were San Antonio, Houston, and Santa Fe, which were all basically islands of people

  • separated by hundreds, or thousands of kilometers of open and unpopulated land.

  • Texas has changed dramatically since then in just a little over one and a half centuries,

  • from a rural backwater on the fringes of the world to an economic powerhouse home to tens of millions.

  • But there's one more thing that we haven't touched on yet, and that's if Texas could actually legally do this.

  • The answer is a definitive no.

  • The U.S. government has made it explicitly clear that no states can ever leave the union

  • since the last time that was tried didn't really go over so well.

  • This includes Texas, who can never ever hope to compete with the U.S. military.

  • Texas does have a pretty weird clause though in its consitution that allows the state to, at any time,

  • divide itself into five different, smaller states.

  • Texas doesn't need permission from the U.S. congress to do this,

  • and it would immediately quintuple their own power in the U.S. senate

  • from having two senators up to ten senators.

  • This could enable Texas to influence the U.S. government more heavily,

  • but likely wouldn't help it to achieve independence.

  • The vast majority of people living inside of Texas don't want independence anyway,

  • but it's always just fun to speculate.

  • The secession of Texas is just one of the many themes of one of my all-time favorites games: Deus Ex.

  • It's about a grim future where humans can be technologically enhanced

  • and where every conspiracy theory is more or less true.

  • My friends over at Wisecrack just released a video exploring the philosophy of the whole series,

  • which explores how paranoia and chaos operate in society,

  • and whether or not we should all be excited about becoming cyborgs.

  • So check it out by clicking here, and tell them that RealLifeLore sent you.

  • Don't forget to subscribe, and I'll see you next friday for another brand new video then.

This video is done in a collaboration with Wisecrack, so make sure to check out their video next.

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What if Texas Was an Independent Country?

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/10/24
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