A secessionist is someone who wants to break away from a larger group. People who make plans to split from their government and form a new country are secessionists.
Secessionist comes from secede, "formally withdraw from," and its Latin roots, which mean "go apart." A secessionist wants to make a break, almost always from their country. The Civil War was a fight between the Union and a coalition of 11 secessionist states that supported slavery. These states split off from the rest of the country after Abraham Lincoln was elected on an anti-slavery platform.
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