The Instigator
MissLenaElan
Con (against)
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The Contender
wampe
Pro (for)
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England Should Not Have Colonized North America

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/24/2015 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 469 times Debate No: 74125
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (4)
Votes (0)

 

MissLenaElan

Con

When England colonized America, this had both positive and negative effects on the land and people living there. Con (me) will argue that whatever they did was justified and for the better. Pro will argue England (and Americans after the Revolutionary War) had no right to colonize the land.

Definitions:
Justify: to defend or uphold as warranted or well-grounded
Moral: of, relating to, or concerned with the principles or rules of right conduct or the distinction between right and wrong; ethical
Right: a just claim or title, whether legal, prescriptive, or moral
Definitions from www.dictionary.com
America: the boundaries of the United States of America as of 1895.

Rules:
No trolling of any kind, no name-calling or general hostility, no invalid sources. No set minimum argument or rebuttal length. Forfeiture allowed, but must be followed by an extension.

Format:
Round One-Rules, definitions, format, acceptance.
Round two-Arguements, no rebuttals
Round three-Arguements and rebuttals
Round four-Rebuttals, no new arguments
Round five-Summary and closing statements

Good luck! :)
wampe

Pro

I accept this debate and will be arguing that England, and later The United States, did not have the right to colonize the land (The Americas).

I also agree to use definitions from dictionary.com and the Rules/Format provided by Con.
Debate Round No. 1
MissLenaElan

Con

Thank you for joining the debate, I look forward to hearing your point of view.

I will begin with why the English began to colonize the land in the first place. Queen Elizabeth I wanted the Anglican Church (the church of England) to be the only church that English citizens served[6]. As a result of this, Protestants, Puritans, and Separatists were persecuted for their beliefs. Puritans believed you could get into heaven without clergy, especially if the head of the church was the king and had no other necessary qualifications. They didn"t like King James I, and he didn"t like them either, because their beliefs would cost him power. He had no problem getting rid of them when they asked for charters to colonize a new land where they could practice their beliefs freely. The Virginia company officially gave them permission to settle there[7]. England was also overpopulating[3]. They were running low on housing and resources, while America had plenty that were not being taxed by the use of the Natives. There were also opportunities. If you were poor in England, you would have a chance to start a business and turn a profit in America. You could own land for the first time. People"s lives were better in America.

Once there were many colonies, they began to unite through the Committees of Correspondence. They were strong and solved problems, such as the Townshend Acts[1], together. Leaders, such as Thomas Paine and John Adams, had ideas of freedom and independence few had thought of[2], and they wouldn't have thought of, without colonizing America. Colonizing America eventually benefited everyone.

Sorry I couldn"t write much, I"m busy this week. Hopefully I"ll have more time for the next three rounds. Good luck, Pro!

Sources:
[1] http://www.ushistory.org...
[2] http://alphahistory.com...
[3] http://faculty.history.wisc.edu...
[4] http://www.richmondancestry.org...
[5] http://www.let.rug.nl...
[6] http://teachers.henrico.k12.va.us...
[7] http://www.royal.gov.uk...
[8] http://www.ushistory.org...
[9] http://www.historyworld.net...
Many of these will be used again in future rounds.
wampe

Pro

Thank you Pro for your viewpoint on why England should have colonized North America. Now to look at the colonization of North America from a different viewpoint, the viewpoint of the Native Americans. I will be arguing that England should not have colonized North America because they had no right to do so and, in hind sight, led to the death of millions of people.

When Europeans began arriving in North America, there already existed hundreds of American Indian Tribes (1). These tribes had history going back thousands of years which produced unique cultures, languages, belief systems and tales of war and conquest (1). In other words, when the Europeans came to the Americas, they were arriving in lands that were occupied by another civilization.

Their views on land were very different from that of the arriving Europeans. To the people of North America;

“The Indians had no concept of "private property," as applied to the land. Only among the Delawares was it customary for families, during certain times of the year, to be assigned specific hunting territories. Apparently this was an unusual practice, not found among other Indians. Certainly, the idea of an individual having exclusive use of a particular piece of land was completely strange to Native Americans.” (2)

In my opinion, if the colonizing Europeans had peaceful intentions in the Americas they would have strived to respect the existing culture of the people currently living on those lands, Ie. live on the land, but you do not own it. Instead what we see are Europeans making claims to the land of North America, without consideration. An early example of this was the Treaty of Tordesillas in 1494 which sought to divide the “new” lands between European countries (3). Treaties of this nature continued to be produced and to my knowledge the nations/tribes that occupied those territories were not consulted or given consideration.

To summarize this section, England should not have colonized North America because they did not have the right and they were not seeking to join the existing culture, but to extend their own.

In hind sight of the colonization of North America led to the death of millions of people through disease (4) and their treatment by the United States of America did nothing to help these people rebuild their society. In fact there are treaties with the USA that remain broken to this day, such as the Treaty of Fort Laramie in 1868 (5).

“the United States recognized the Black Hills as part of the Great Sioux Reservation, set aside for exclusive use by the Sioux people.” (5)

Later when gold was discovered on that land the United States confiscated the land. To this day this remains a legal dispute between the USA and the Sioux Nation (5). In 1980 the US Supreme Court held that “the taking of property that was set aside for the use of the tribe required just compensation, including interest.” (6). The Sioux have refused the compensation and are demanding the return of the land this treaty specifies.

  1. http://www.ushistory.org...
  2. http://www.wvculture.org...
  3. http://en.wikipedia.org...
  4. http://en.wikipedia.org...
  5. http://www.ourdocuments.gov...
  6. http://en.wikipedia.org...

Rebuttals

I went very long in my opening so I will try to keep this very short.


I agree with Pro that there were religious, economic and demographic issues in England at the time. I don’t however see how those problem would give them the right to make claims on property, especially property that others live on.

PRO
“Once there were many colonies, they began to unite through the Committees of Correspondence. They were strong and solved problems, such as the Townshend Acts [1], together. Leaders, such as Thomas Paine and John Adams, had ideas of freedom and independence few had thought of [2], and they wouldn't have thought of, without colonizing America. Colonizing America eventually benefited everyone.”

Con
The idea of independence did not originate with Thomas Paine and John Adams. In fact in 1320 Scotland declared itself an independent and sovereign state by send the Declaration of Arbroath to Pope John XXII (7). I’ll agree the American Revolution was an inspiration to many, but I don’t think it should be used, after the fact, to justify the colonization of North America.

  1. http://en.wikipedia.org...

Debate Round No. 2
MissLenaElan

Con

Like I mentioned, many left for America because they would've been killed had they stayed in England. They, too, suffered great loss, even from the trip over[3]. While settling in America, the Europeans had to go to some extremes that compromised the well-beings of some Native Americans. There are much less tribes and preserved tribal grounds today, but the tribes that do exist have good opportunities they might not have gotten without the colonization. They learned new things about business they had never heard of, and built up immunities to foreign diseases. Today, they have many technologies they wouldn't have had their land not been shared, and America has many freedoms and opportunities denied to citizens of other countries. This is a great example of the ends justifying the means.

Rebuttals:

"England should not have colonized North America because they did not have the right and they were not seeking to join the existing culture, but to extend their own."

There were no laws set in place at the time that specifically prevented aliens from visiting or settling in America. The colonists had charters, and made deals with the Natives for land[1], which still has legal recognition even if the Natives had different opinions regarding land ownership. Some did go to experience the existing culture and explore new lands[2]. There were still settlers, most recognizably William Johnson, who did respect the culture and even joined it[3]. Many were still extending their culture in America, but only because they had nowhere else they could practice their beliefs/religion without being persecuted.

Sources:
[1] http://www.nebraskastudies.org...
[2] http://teachers.henrico.k12.va.us...
[3] "A History Of The US: From Colonies To Country" by Joy Hakim

Someting I'd like to point out to voters, and Pro in the case this was an honest mistake:
"Round two-Arguements, no rebuttals" -Con, round 1
"[I] agree to ... the Rules/Format provided by Con" -Pro, round 1
"Rebuttals ..." -Pro, round 2
Pro has broken the format s/he has agreed to.
wampe

Pro

wampe forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
MissLenaElan

Con

I understand Pro's reasoning behind forfeiting, however, I will still comply with my rules and extend the debate.

"Forfeiture allowed, but must be followed by an extension." -Con, round 1

Thank you for the good debate so far.
wampe

Pro

wampe forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
MissLenaElan

Con

For my final round, I will conclude that England made a good decision while colonizing America. They brought great new opportunities to many.
wampe

Pro

wampe forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by MissLenaElan 2 years ago
MissLenaElan
It's okay - please don't forfeit
Posted by wampe 2 years ago
wampe
Crap I did violate the format. Should I forfeit round three to make up?
Posted by MissLenaElan 2 years ago
MissLenaElan
I'll do my best to post an arguement, however I'm very busy right now with family stuff and testing.
Posted by Varrack 2 years ago
Varrack
Omg I have a debate going on just like this.
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