American history is filled with failed plans and abandoned proposals for different states and territories. The reasoning behind these proposed US states encompasses various motivations and political machinations that go as far back as the American Revolution - and even continue through today.
The Civil War, for example, prompted dozens of small regions and territories to try to opt out of the secession and remain with the Union. This is how West Virginia came into existence, and it's also how the Free and Independent State of Scott and Nickajack were almost - but not quite - born.
In many cases, the impetus for breakaway states comes from rural areas in large states - such as Texas and California - feeling that their interests are not properly represented by the state governments, which are located in bigger and more populated areas. From various attempts at seceding from parent states to early ideas on how to divide up unclaimed territory after American expansion West, the geography of America could have been very different from what we know today.