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Secession - Essay Example

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In the end, the objective remains constant - exit completely. (Premdas 1990:12-31) Separatism may be conceived broadly as a quest for autonomous survival either within or without a state; secession strictly speaking is a variant of separatism in which the secessionists seek outright separation and independence in a sovereign state. The quest for self-determination by a community within a plural state is often caught up in upheaval. As an act of territorial and political assertion, a secessionist struggle is usually prolonged, punishing, and prohibitively costly.
Furthermore, the logic of the self-determination principle in sanctioning the demand of each people for its own state, embedded doctrinally in the nature of the state as it has evolved, has been the source of territorial fragmentation accompanied with mass expulsions and genocide not merely with the claims of the Third World states after WWII but this has been the case since the French Revolution. There have been waves of self-determination drives ever since the inception of the nation-state as aunit of national and international social organization. With the fall of the multi-ethnic great empires run by the Turks, the Hapsburgs, and the Russians, the cultural fragments sought separate destinies in acts of self-determination. Practically the entire globe was under European imperial control where new states after the European model were engrafted willy nilly on ethnically diverse populations. In these territories, self-determination drives for freedom were enacted one after the other especially after WWII. (Premdas 1990:12-31) This essay will look at the concept of secession from a comparative point o view.
A case in point is that of Tobago. Of all the cases for autonomy and separatism in the Caribbean, Tobago, which is one small part (about 6% in territory) of the twin-island state of Trinidad and Tobago, with population of about 1,300,000 (1990) and measuring 5,148 km., has been the most persistent in seeking some type of self-government. Here, the Tobagonian autonomist movement raise its point from the perspective of the regional factor as a fundamental feature for secessionist tendencies in Trinidad and Tobago. The movement further complemented and strengthened its argument with secondary factors, such as neglect and exploitation. (Premdas 1990:12-31) Tobagonians claim that they are unique, because their lifestyle revolves around the village, which has maintained important aspects of its ancestral African features of collectivism, as opposed to the rugged individualism or the capitalism characteristic of Western societies. (Williams 1964:122) In Tobagonian society, family and kinship ties are very important. While Trinidad has a cosmopolitan, divided and urbanized society, Tobago's society is homogeneous and relatively cohesive. Tobagonians can rightfully claim that theirs is a separate and distinct culture, the values of which differ significantly from those of Trinidadians. Tobagonian vocabulary contains certain terms that are alien to the ...Show more


The concept of secession hovers around a group of people struggling to assert their identity by leaving a state to which they legally belong to. Secession like divorce is an ultimate act of alienation. (Premdas 1990:12-31) Committed against an existing state, successful secession results in the emergence of an international unit possessing all the attributes of an independent state - territory, people, government, and sovereign autonomy…
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Secession essay example
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