Political Road Map: California secession fever is nothing new. There's a rich history of wanting to slice up the state or split it off

California’s famous chronicler Carey McWilliams once wrote that some see “this highly improbable state” as more illusion than reality. Perhaps that explains its residents’ perpetual efforts to shake things up and break away — either from the national government or each other.

Since 1849, more than 200 efforts have imagined a political do-over to the idea of California as a single, sprawling American state. Every attempt has failed.

“All major social and political movements in this country take time and inevitably have to overcome failures and setbacks before they are ultimately successful,” Louis Marinelli, the latest provocateur with secessionist dreams, told The Times in an email.

Marinelli, 30, is leading a new effort to make California an independent nation, complete with its own catch phase, “Calexit.” Last weekend, he went so far as to christen a California “embassy” in Moscow. (Marinelli, from San Diego, said he’s temporarily living in Russia while working on his wife’s immigration status.)

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Chris Alexakispolicy