The Instigator
krz
Pro (for)
Winning
2 Points
The Contender
MolecularBird06
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Alaska should become an independent nation.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
krz
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/3/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,654 times Debate No: 48296
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (1)

 

krz

Pro

(Disclaimer: I have no definite, set-in-stone opinion on this topic, but, as an Alaskan resident, thought the idea was intriguing enough to debate.)

First round is acceptance. I only ask that no personal attacks be made, and no argument is met with a reply of "that's stupid" or a similarly laconic, disparaging remark. I look forward to a lively debate.
MolecularBird06

Con

Always happy to debate. :)
Debate Round No. 1
krz

Pro

Thank you to my opponent for accepting this debate. Best of luck!


Alaska, it seems, has long been the brunt of jokes by Americans all over the Lower 48. "What do you guys do for fun? Ride polar bears?" "Don't you guys, like, hibernate all winter?" "Do you live in an igloo or something?" These are the same people that called Alaska "Walrussia" and "Seward's Folly" when the land was first purchased from Russia in 1867. Even today, to many, it seems that the Last Frontier hardly even exists as a part of the United States. So culturally different and so isolated from the rest of the country, it only makes sense that Alaska become an independent nation.

Alaska is simply too large to be relegated to statehood. Alaska contains 586,000 square miles of land within its borders, and that alone makes it nearly 1/5 the size of the continental United States.[1] A 2012 population estimate put Alaska's population at 731,449, a number which initially looks paltry, but is larger than that of Iceland and the Maldives.[2] While Alaska is stereotypically thought of as a vast wasteland of ice, it does have it's fair share of large cities. The population of Anchorage is over 300,000, the Fairbanks North Star Borough is at nearly 100,000, and the quaint Juneau is home to nearly 35,000 residents. While Alaska is no urban, metropolitan giant, it is not without population or large cities.

Almost 3,000 miles lies between the Land of the Midnight Sun and the continental United States. This is a distance far too great--it leaves Alaskans feeling entirely disconnected from the rest of the country, and vice versa. In turn, Alaskan culture is vastly different from that of the rest of America--almost like it is already its own country. This furthers Alaskan need for independence.

Alaska has bountiful natural resources to thrive as an independent nation, and in turn, many of these fuel the economy. The economy is driven by oil, tourism, fishing, timber, mining, and agriculture.[3] Oil, however, is most important to the economy of Alaska. Other countries would have a demand for Alaskan oil in the same way that the United States does now. Alaska collected nearly $100 billion in oil revenues from 1975-2005.[4]

Far more pertinent, Alaska's statehood is not legal. Alaskan statehood violates the U.N. charter the the U.S. signed, stating that signatory's territories must be allowed self-determination and a vote for independence.[5] Territorial Alaskans were never given the option of independence when statehood was voted on.[5]

For a moment, allow the comparison of a theoretical Alaskan nation and the current nation of Monaco. Monaco's size (0.7 square miles) is much, much smaller than even the Alaskan city of Juneau--and the populations are comparable. Monaco's primary industry is tourism, much like Alaska, which has far more industry than that (again, oil). If a nation so tiny and so dependent on one single industry is allowed independence, why not Alaska?

Inside of Alaska are already the makings of an independent nation. Alaska contains several colleges and universities, a stable economy, a small but determined population, enough room to grow, a substantial military despite its population, and natural beauty that goes unrivaled. Unfortunately, Alaska is treated as a mere colony to the rest of America, its resources and land exploited to aid factories in the Lower 48. It benefits Alaska most to become an independent nation.







Sources

[1] http://alaska.gov...

[2] http://www.nationsonline.org...

[3] http://alaska.gov...

[4] http://www.iser.uaa.alaska.edu...

[5] http://juneauempire.com...

MolecularBird06

Con

Just because Americans make fun of people in Alaska, it doesn't give Alaska the right to separate from the country. Even if Alaska wanted to leave they couldn't leave easily. The last time states tried to separate from the nation, it was a bloody affair. Also a majority of Alaskans call themselves American, not Alaskan, which shows that they want to be part of the U.S.A. Also lets say that America does allow Alaska to leave the country, many other powers would look at Alaska as an easy take. It has valuable resources, and is an attraction for tourists, easy money and an easy conquest, because Alaska won't have an official military. What are hand guns going to do against tanks? Even though Alaska does have the makings of an independent nation, every other state does also. For example California has 35,000,000 people, some of the best schools in the country and plenty of industries such as tourism and agriculture, yet it still doesn't have any reason to break of. Also every state, not just Alaska is culturally different,in California you have Hispanic cultures being blended with the white ways with Asian cultures starting to influence it.There is absolutely no good reasons why Alaska should leave.
Debate Round No. 2
krz

Pro

To clarify: my list of snide remarks people have made to me about Alaska are not in themselves a reason to split from the States. I included the examples only to exemplify how people think Alaska is so drastically different from the rest of the United States, and how it is virtually in its own little world.

My opponent asserts that the last time America states made an effort to separate from the Union, violence and bloodshed was the result. While the Civil War was, indeed, rife with violence, not all countries form at the hands of war. For example, after many years of U.S. occupation (and a small revolutionary movement in the beginning that quickly died down), the Philippines were ultimately granted their independence by America.[1] While the Philippines were a colony and Alaska is currently a state, the point still stands that the Philippines did not have to go to war with America to attain their independence. While war seems the most obvious answer and the likelihood of America simply granted Alaska independence at the drop of a hat is small, there exist other ways of peacefully reaching independence. One of these may come in the form of presenting the United Nations with documents that, as I previously stated, prove Alaska's statehood invalid. Unlike other former colonies, we were never given the option of independence, a violation of the U.N. charter America signed during the FDR administration.

Alaska may not be such easy pickings. As I said, there exists already a substantial military given the size, and a fledgling Alaska may be able to join the U.N. and establish diplomatic relations with other countries. While one may believe that the wealth of resources within Alaska could cause other countries to attempt conquest, the same could be said of Iceland. The tiny island nation has no military whatsoever, and it is rich in geothermal energy, fishing stocks, and water.[2] Yet, no other nation has attempted to conquer Iceland.

Alaska's cultural differences transcend those found in the other countries. It is not so much Hispanics assimilating with whites or other ethnic groups, but rather the fact that Alaskans are forced to function differently than other Americans. The way of life is entirely different. We're bundled up for six months of the year, and even in the summer, temperatures top out in the high sixties, maybe low seventies; instead of going to theme parks in our spare time, we are more used to hunting and hiking; we do not have huge cities--rather, most our towns are so tiny that you'll miss them if you blink at the wrong moment; we are still very much the Final Frontier, unlike most of America, where you can drive fifteen miles and find civilization.

There is no reason that Alaska should not become an independent nation, especially considering the fact that it practically functions as one already. It is so isolated and so far away from the rest of America that it is part of the United States only technically.






Thank you to my opponent for participating in this debate!






Sources


[1] http://www.history.com...
[2] http://www.iceland.is...
MolecularBird06

Con

American won't allow Alaska to leave. Because Alaska has natural resources like oil, and a strong tourist economy, and America won't give that up without a fight. Alaska would be easily crushed, New York city has more people than all of Alaska combined.Even though Alaska has a military presence, the men there are loyal to the United States, not Alaska, they are just stationed there.

"My opponent asserts that the last time America states made an effort to separate from the Union, violence and bloodshed was the result. While the Civil War was, indeed, rife with violence, not all countries form at the hands of war. For example, after many years of U.S. occupation (and a small revolutionary movement in the beginning that quickly died down), the Philippines were ultimately granted their independence by America.[1] While the Philippines were a colony and Alaska is currently a state, the point still stands that the Philippines did not have to go to war with America to attain their independence. While war seems the most obvious answer and the likelihood of America simply granted Alaska independence at the drop of a hat is small, there exist other ways of peacefully reaching independence. One of these may come in the form of presenting the United Nations with documents that, as I previously stated, prove Alaska's statehood invalid. Unlike other former colonies, we were never given the option of independence, a violation of the U.N. charter America signed during the FDR administration."

As I said earlier, people who live in Alaska see themselves as Americans, if we handed the a survey whether they want to be part of America, the answer will be yes. Also if the U.N deemed arguments like these valid, Alaska would lose many things such as money to maintain there law enforcement and oil derricks, and they would be stripped of the U.S coast guard. This would force taxes to rise in Alaska to raise money that they need to run everything, this could be extremely dangerous as people will start to either leave or riot. This would lead to another problem for Alaska, they would start to lose tourists as Alaska is deemed unsafe. Also Alaska wouldn't stand much of a chance in oil sales against places like the middle east. An additional reason is that many people would lose their insentive to live in Alaska. The U.S government pays people about a thousand dollars per year just to live there, without this money,many people would pack thier bags and head back to the lower 48 instead of sitting through snowstorms half the year.

"Alaska may not be such easy pickings. As I said, there exists already a substantial military given the size, and a fledgling Alaska may be able to join the U.N. and establish diplomatic relations with other countries."

As I said earlier, the troops are not Alaskan troops, the are American, loyal to the U.S government. If Alaska won a Civil War, the U.S would leave Alaska, so much more the Alaskan military. Also Russian would happily invade Alaska, like with what they are doing with Ukraine. There would be no military, and an abundance on natural resources. The main reason why no one has invaded Iceland is because it has a military. Alaska won't, and have one. Do you seen the U.N doing anything about the Russians invading Ukraine?

"Alaska's cultural differences transcend those found in the other countries. It is not so much Hispanics assimilating with whites or other ethnic groups, but rather the fact that Alaskans are forced to function differently than other Americans. The way of life is entirely different. We're bundled up for six months of the year, and even in the summer, temperatures top out in the high sixties, maybe low seventies; instead of going to theme parks in our spare time, we are more used to hunting and hiking; we do not have huge cities--rather, most our towns are so tiny that you'll miss them if you blink at the wrong moment; we are still very much the Final Frontier, unlike most of America, where you can drive fifteen miles and find civilization."

America is a huge melting pot. Many hiking and hunting enthusiasts moved to Alaska because they hike without seeing other people and there isn't as many places to hunt in the rest of the country and there sin't enough animals, but they still see themselves as Americans. They still act like Americans. Also my opponents is confusing geological differences with cultural ones. In California, the temperature is mild all year, but in Boston, the temperature goes into the extremes, yet people from both areas identify themselves are Americans. Some areas in the Sierras have towns with populations of fifty, and woodland all around them, but the people there still call themselves Americans.

The reason why the Philippians were allowed to leave was because the government did not see and advantage in keeping it at the time. It was not a huge tourist destination like Puerto Rico, it didn't have oil like Alaska, and isn't a very strategic place to own unlike the Midway Atoll. The Philippines were far away from the U.S, and could not be governed easily.

If Alaska did separate, the government could come out very different as it did with India. It is still a very corrupt place. Also do you see Alaskans complaining that they are part of America? The answer is no, Alaskans are happy to be part of one of the greatest nations in the world.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Sky55Anchorage 2 years ago
Sky55Anchorage
As a resident of Alaska, I am proud to call myself an Alaskan before an American. The United States was never designed to be one single nation, but rather the Union of Sovereign States (Nations). The Declaration of Independence, Treaty of Paris, Articles of Confederation, and US Constitution state that the States are sovereign, and the US is a Union, rather than a single nation.

When the talk of secession arises, one quickly jumps to the Civil War and use that as a reason against it. What many people always forget is that the US was born when the 13 colonies seceded from our government in 1776. Thats right. Always remember that we were British, and fought our own government to secede.

Economically, Alaska would survive on it's own.

Militarily, Alaska would survive on it's own.

Locally, Alaska would survive on it's own.

If the only reason against secession is the threat of violence by DC, then that's all the reason needed to leave. DC and the Federal Government was a creation by the States. The States existed before the Federal Government. Before DC.

With the internet, and mass communication connectivity, DC would never be able to unilaterally attack one of it's own States without inciting rebellion from many of the Remaining 49.

Can Alaska Survive as it's own Sovereign State? Yes.

Should Alaska secede? No... Well at least not yet.
Posted by Sherbert 2 years ago
Sherbert
This is interesting! It always felt odd to that Alaska is so far away from the US yet its not a separate country. I honestly don't know which side I would choose. I wish you both luck in the debate. :)
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Krazzy_Player 2 years ago
Krazzy_Player
krzMolecularBird06Tied
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Total points awarded:20 
Reasons for voting decision: Only Pro used sources.