Historians Trash Marjorie Taylor Greene's 'Ignorance' Over National Divorce

Historians have hit out at Marjorie Taylor Greene's call for an American "national divorce" between Republican and Democratic-leaning states, with one branding them an example of "historical ignorance."

Last week Greene said the U.S. should "separate by red states and blue states and shrink the federal government."

She added: "Everyone I talk to says this. From the sick and disgusting woke culture issues shoved down our throats to the Democrat's traitorous America Last policies, we are done."

Marjorie Taylor Greene in Congress
Marjorie Taylor-Greene (R-GA) speaks during a hearing before the House Oversight and Accountability Committee at Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. on February 8, 2023. Historians have hit out at Greene's proposal for a U.S. "national divorce." Alex Wong/GETTY

Greene later expanded on her proposal, arguing the federal government should be stripped of most of its powers, beyond responsibility for national defense and border control, which would be devolved to the state level.

Greene's comments received a mixed response. Some people expressed support for her suggestions, with one tweeting that he felt that within 10 years of any split, Democrat-state residents would be seeking refuge in Republican states.

Others criticized Greene for her stance, including some fellow Republicans, who slammed her for appearing to voice support for secession.

Greene's comments have also sparked a backlash from historians, with Professor Thomas Holt, an expert in American and African American history at the University of Chicago, drawing parallels with the Confederate secession that sparked the Civil War.

He told Newsweek: "Rants like Marjorie Greene's recent statement deserve comment only because they underscore the dangers of the historical ignorance some political figures seem determined to promote in our public schools.

"The nation has already endured one attempted secession. It didn't turn out well, especially for the rebel states. They remained an economic and social backwater for half a century afterwards.

"Moreover, given that African Americans still constitute a significant proportion of the area in question—and they are no longer slaves—the chances of success are worse in the mid-21st century than they were in the mid-19th."

Professor Eliga Gould, an expert in the American Revolution from the University of New Hampshire, compared Greene's proposal to the Articles of Confederation, which was superseded in 1789 by the present U.S. constitution.

In an interview with Newsweek he said: "Greene's tweets are a throwback to the Articles of Confederation, which gave the states the final say over just about everything but foreign policy and defense. Two groups—socialists on the left and libertarians on the right—have long seen much to admire in the union's first federal charter.

"The problem is that the Constitution that replaced the Articles gave the federal government final say over most of the things that Greene wants returned to the states. So did the three Reconstruction amendments (13, 14, and 15) after the Civil War and the 19th amendment giving women the right to vote."

Gould also noted Georgia, Greene's home state, didn't "ratify the 19th amendment until 1970."

Referring to the House Republican he added: "Can she be sure that she'd be able to vote under her preferred system today?"

Greene's proposal has also come under fire from a number of prominent figures on the American right, including Steve Bannon, who compared it to spitting on the graves of Civil War veterans in Arlington National Cemetery.

Marjorie Taylor Greene has been contacted for comment.