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The act of withdrawing from membership in a group.

Secession occurs when persons in a country or state declare their independence from the ruling government. When a dissatisfied group secedes, it creates its own form of government in place of the former ruling government. Secessions are serious maneuvers that lead to, or arise from, military conflict.

A secession can affect international relationships as well as the civil peace of the nation from which a group secedes. Most countries consider secession by a town, city, province, or other body to be a criminal offense that warrants retaliation using force. Because the primary mission of most governments is to maximize the comfort and wealth of its citizens, nations jealously guard the land and wealth that they have amassed. In rare cases a government may recognize the independence of a seceding state. This recognition may occur when other countries support the independence of the seceding state. However, for most countries, the involuntary loss of land and wealth is unthinkable.

Most countries have laws that punish persons who secede or attempt to secede. The United States has no specific law on secession, but the federal government and state governments maintain laws that punish Sedition and other forms of insurrection against the government. On the federal level, for example, chapter 115 of title 18 of the U.S. Code Annotated identifies Treason, rebellion, or insurrection, seditious conspiracy, and advocation of the overthrow of the government as criminal offenses punishable by several years of imprisonment and thousands of dollars in fines. These are the types of crimes that can be charged against persons who attempt to secede from the United States.

The U.S. Civil War was the result of the single most ambitious secession in the history of the United States. In February 1861 South Carolina seceded from the Union, and Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Texas, Arkansas, and Tennessee followed suit shortly thereafter. These states seceded because they objected to attempts by the federal government to abolish the enslavement of black people. The mass secession led to four years of civil war and the death of hundreds of thousands of people. The seceding states established their own government called the Confederate States of America and fought the U.S. military forces with their own army. When the Confederate forces were defeated in April 1865, the seceding states rejoined the United States.


U.S. Civil War.

See: desertion, expiration, lapse, relinquishment, resignation, revolt, schism
References in periodicals archive ?
But this year secessionists, hoping to capitalize on political unrest in the country's north due to the military advance of the Houthis, have held mass rallies since Oct.
Besides the secessionist movement, which seeks to revive a southern socialist state, Yemen is grappling with problems including a violent insurgency by militants linked to Al Qaeda in the south.
In the Middle East, we also need to come to terms with yet another secessionist trend, in Israel-Palestine.
The Gresham area's previous wave of secessionist sentiment came in response to a 1997 proposal to combine Portland and Multnomah services, perhaps even creating a consolidated city-county government.
Clearly what hasn't happened is what secessionists wanted, which is complete local control over land use and services,'' said Sonenshein, who served as director of the appointed charter reform commission.
Meanwhile, most who would withdraw from the media secede only in part, picking and choosing the elements they want to avoid--making the secessionist, in the end, not so different from the fan.
A leader of the secessionist movement said "army tanks fired artillery this afternoon into the heart of a funeral camp.
Hadi's latest remarks come after a secessionist group headed by southern leader Mohamed Ali Ahmed pulled out of the national dialogue earlier this week.
The officer had worked on al Qaeda and secessionist issues, various agencies, including Reuters reported, Friday.
Summary: Sana&'a, Yemen, May 21, 2010, SPA -- Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh said today he could form a national unity government in an attempt to quell rising secessionist sentiments in the southern part of the country, according to dpa.
Separatists said the explosion was fabricated by security forces to foil the demonstration they hold every Thursday to demand the release of detainees on charges of participating in secessionist activities.
Summary: Yemeni security forces spread out across the southern port city of Aden Monday, clamping down on any display of secessionist sentiment on the anniversary of the south's independence from Britain.