The Instigator
muricanman
Con (against)
Winning
3 Points
The Contender
Domr
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

Is the United States a nation-state?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
muricanman
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/6/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 5,436 times Debate No: 64707
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (0)
Votes (1)

 

muricanman

Con

Hello and thank you in advance to my opponent. I believe that the United States does not qualify as a nation-state because Americans do not qualify as a nation: Nation State-"a sovereign state whose citizens or subjects are relatively homogeneous in factors such as language or common descent."-Google.com Nation-"a large body of people, associated with a particular territory, that is sufficiently conscious of its unity to seek or to possess a government peculiarly its own"Dictionary.com The US is a multicultural state; it has no common language, ethnic group, religion, political views, etc. Again thank you to my opponent in advance, and I hope this can be an interesting and polite debate.
Domr

Pro

Thank you for creating this debate.

I will be taking the Pro side of this debate, and will be arguing that the United States of America can be, and is, considered a Nation.


Several aspects of culture in the US have been listed by Con that need to be proven to show how and why the US is a nation State.

-Common Language
-Ethnicity
-Religion
-Political Views


Therefore, in order to succeed my half of the Burden of Proof, I must prove their is a commonality in the above aspects of a "uni-cultural" nation-state.

Common Language:
The United States is comprised mostly English speaking citizens. 80% of Americans solely spoke English, and up to 95% of citizens stated they speak English well/very well, despite it not being their primary language.
*This is a clear majority showing English is the common language in the US.
http://en.wikipedia.org...

Ethnicity
I agree America is made up of many different races/ethnicity's. Including, but not limited to, White American, Native American and Alaska Native, Asian American, African American, Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander.

However, there is a clear, common ethnicity among the population of the United States.

"White Americans are the racial majority, with a 77.7% share of the U.S. population, according to the 2013 U.S. Census."

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

Religion
The US has no specific religion listed in the Constitution as its "national religion. Contrary to that, the believe in freedom of religion, and separation of church and state. Meaning laws, public schools, etc. are to refrain from teaching a specific religion, as to allow the public to not be swayed to a specific religion, or belief system.

However, Thanks to a 2008 survey by the American Religion Identification Survey, 73% of Americans classify themselves as Christian. Thus, signifying a clear majority in religious beliefs among US citizens.

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

Political Views
The United States political system is considered to be a "Federal Constitutional Republic,in which the President of the United States(the head of state and head of government), Congress, and judiciary share powers reserved to the national government, and the federal government shares sovereignty with the state governments."

This is the only political view the United States has. Citizens vote in their federal and state government officials (mayors, governors, presidents, etc)

The two main political parties of the US are Democrats and Republicans. This is not a conflicting political view. It is a difference in policies in which the two sides argue for/against.

These different political parties both fully agree with, and abide by being a party of the over-arcing theme of being a Federal Constitution Republic, the common political view in the US.

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


The US prides itself on being a free country, allowing its citizens to have their freedom (speech, religion, etc). The US welcomes citizens of all nations, and all ethnicity's, to become citizens of the US.

However, the US' willingness to be as open and diverse to the world as possible, has not shifted the clear majorities and commonalities of the aspects required to be a nation/nation-state.


Debate Round No. 1
muricanman

Con

Hello pro and once again, thank you for debating me on this subject.

"Therefore, in order to succeed my half of the Burden of Proof, I must prove their is a commonality in the above aspects of a "uni-cultural"nation-state."

While you have proved that the US has, generally a common language and religion. However, your argument stating that the US has a common ethnic group, or ethnicity, is weak. Also, you have have proved that the US has a common culture, but I will admit that that is partially my fault for not mentioning it in my opening argument.

" I agree America is made up of many different races/ethnicity's. Including, but not limited to, White American, Native American and Alaska Native, Asian American, African American, Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander.

However, there is a clear, common ethnicity among the population of the United States.

'White Americans are the racial majority, with a 77.7% share of the U.S. population, according to the 2013 U.S. Census.' "

While White Americans may be the racial majority, it is not the ethnic majority. Your statement also proves my view that the US does not have a homogenous population, which is required to be a nation-state.

Homogenous-" of the same kind; alike."

Ethnicity-"
An ethnicity, or ethnic group, is a socially-defined category of people who identify with each other based on common ancestral, social, cultural, or national experience."

So, obviously, the US is not homogenous, because it possess many minority groups and White is not an ethnicity, it is a race, or a group of ethnic groups that share the same skin color. Race has nothing to do with this debate, for the record. This debate is primarily about culture and ethnicity. For this debate, I think it's fair to say that a homogenous country would have to have around 90% of it's population of the same ethnic group. One of my favorite examples is Iceland. "93% of Iceland residents are Icelandic. Most Icelanders are descendants of Norwegian settlers and Celts from Ireland and Scotland." Iceland therefore counts as a true nation-state because it has a population that is 93% Icelandic.
Domr

Pro

My opponent has agreed with my case on common language, religion, and political views. I feel Con is Moving The Goalposts by stating one of the listed criteria as a nation is more important than another, but I will still show how ethnicity has a majority in the US, qualifying it as a Nation.

The only remaining argument to be clarified is in regards to Ethnicity.

"Ethnicity-" An ethnicity, or ethnic group, is a socially-defined category of people who identify with each other based on common ancestral, social, cultural, or national experience.""


In Con's conclusion, they use an Iceland example to to show ethnicity, and its regards to being a Nation.

My opponent has made a 100% ACCURATE statement, by saying "White is not an ethnicity". Con clarified how to define an ethnicity by the region in which people live, or descend from. (Norwegian, Celt, Icelandic, Etc)

However, the point my opponent fails to realize, is I did not say "White" is the racial/ethnic majority, I said "White Americans"

White Americans are defined as the following:

"The United States Census Bureau defines White people as those "having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa. It includes people who indicated their race(s) as "White" or reported entries such as Irish, German, Italian, Lebanese, Arab, Moroccan, or Caucasian"[4] and so is a wider group thanEuropean American."

Having descendants from Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa are those to be considered "White Americans".

As White Americans, descending from mostly Europe, are considered to be an ethnic and racial group. This firmly determines the US as being a Nation.




This is a quote from my previous round, but with the opening to it, thus proving the racial and ethnic background of White Americans.
"The United States has a racially and ethnically diverse population.[1]The census officially recognizes six ethnic and racial categories: White American, Native American and Alaska Native, Asian American, African American, Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander"

"White Americans are the racial majority, with a 77.7% share of the U.S. population, according to the 2013 U.S. Census"



The majority of ethnicity in America has been proven, concluding The United States of America are indeed a Nation.


http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 2
muricanman

Con

muricanman forfeited this round.
Domr

Pro

Extend Arguments.
Debate Round No. 3
muricanman

Con

My apologies for forfeiting the previous round, I was away on a caving trip, and I did not have internet access.

White Americans are not an ethnic group. Con stated this in his quote in his previous argument. "White Americans are the racial majority, with a 77.7% share of the U.S. population, according to the 2013 U.S. Census".

Race and ethnicity are two different things. A race is essentially a group of ethnic groups, which are nations. Remember also, a nation does not have to be a sovereign state. The Encyclopedia of The Stateless Nations lists around 250 stateless nations, such as the Kurds in Iraq, Quebecois in Canada, Scots in The United Kingdom, the Catalans in Spain, and even Anglo-Celtic Southerners here in The United States.

"The United States Census Bureau defines White people as those "having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa. It includes people who indicated their race(s) as "White" or reported entries such as Irish, German, Italian, Lebanese, Arab, Moroccan, or Caucasian"[4] and so is a wider group than European Americans."

What con failed to realize is that this only assists my argument. White Americans are generally considered to be of Europe, but according to con, anyone from Europe, The Middle East, or North Africa is considered White. European-Americans are by themselves not considered an ethnic group or nation. They are at best a group of nations that share the same skin color. If you include North Africans and Middle Easterners, this expands White people to the point where White people are definitely NOT a nation, but rather a group a nations from different continents.
Domr

Pro

Ethnicity-" An ethnicity, or ethnic group, is a socially-defined category of people who identify with each other based on common ancestral, social, cultural, or national experience."


Please keep in mind, the definition stated by Con shows only one of those factors is necessary to qualify as an ethnicity. Meaning if I can prove any one of the listed criteria (common ancestral, social, cultural, or national experience) I have then succeeded in the last remaining argument qualifying the US as a nation-state.


"White Americans are the racial majority, with a 77.7% share of the U.S. population, according to the 2013 U.S. Census."

Therefore, I must show how these White Americans have common ancestral, social, cultural, or national experience.

How far back to we go to allow for common ancestory? Because many White Americans come from the first European settlers in the now US.

Everyday people are immersed in the American social culture. Social media, Music, TV, etc. The "American Dream" is all about making yourself a prominent/rich figure in society, despite coming from nothing.

National experience... Anything we have all experienced as a whole. This would include, but is not limited to, 9/11 terrorist attacks, Boston Marathon Bombings, countless shootings across the nation, the Sikh Temple shootings in Wisconsin (very close to my home actually).

Essentially any tragedy that has gained news coverage and is spread nationwide can be considered a national experience.

Voting for president is a national experience as well. Something every citizen can partake in, all fo them doing the same thing.

There are countless things people do on a daily basis, socially, culturally, and nationally that we all experience, all believe, and all strive for as Americans. White Americans beng the majority in this experience certainly qualifies them as an ethnicity, by your definition.
Debate Round No. 4
muricanman

Con

Therefore, I must show how these White Americans have common ancestral, social, cultural, or national experience."

What con seems to not understand is that White Americans are much a too diverse group of people to be considered a nation.

"How far back to we go to allow for common ancestry? Because many White Americans come from the first European settlers in the now US."

Who were the first European settlers? I think it is fair to say that, generally, the first group to colonize The modern day United States were The English. Now the question is, are all White Americans of English descent? The answer is NO.

"According to the American Community Survey in 2010 data, Americans reporting English ancestry made up an estimated 9.0% of the total U.S. population, and form the third largest European ancestry group after German Americans and Irish Americans."-Wikipedia.org

Only 9% of Americans are English, and this includes the descendants of any English people who, after the country was founded, emigrated to America. So, White Americans do not share a same ethnicity.

"Everyday people are immersed in the American social culture."

There is no common American culture. Take this quote from Wikipedia.org, for example.

"The culture of the United States is primarily Western, but is influenced by African, Native American, Asian, Polynesian, and Latin American cultures."

What this means is that US "culture" is influenced by EVERY SINGLE MAJOR RACE/ETHNICITY IN EXISTENCE! How can one call that a culture?

The one item in the definition that con did not truly address was social experiences. White Americans have most certainly NOT had the same cultural experience. For starters, there is slavery. Slavery was a social issue that The North and The South had almost completely different experiences with. Another example of social issues where White Americans have not had the same experience is women's rights. Obviously, women had a different experience then men. Some examples of social issues today are same-sex marriage, abortion, and immigration. In the more religiously-minded and traditionalist places in America, such as the South, same-sex marriage and abortion are highly looked down upon, whereas in New England and the Left Coast, sometimes it is encouraged.

How about national experience? Have ALL White Americans, assuming that they are a nation, had the same national experience? Again, the answer is NO. For one, I could point to all of the social issues. But the main difference White Americans have always had with each other is war. Obviously, in The Civil War, both sides had different national experiences. During WW2, many German-Americans actually supported Germany. During the Vietnam War, many White Americans rallied against the war. Even today, people have different views and opinions about 9/11 and the War on Terror.

I think that I have proved that The United States, and Americans, are not a a nation. However, if you manage to provide a very strong argument in the final round, I would like to continue this debate in a part 2. Thank you for participating in this debate with me, it has been very enjoyable, and it really made me think. This is my first debate on this website, and I was worried that no one would be serious and there would be a bunch of name-calling and whatnot. Again, thank you for participating. Take it away, con!
Domr

Pro

I would like to quote my opponents last round a few times:

"The culture of the United States is primarily Western, but is influenced by African, Native American, Asian, Polynesian, and Latin American cultures."

PRIMARILY WESTERN. This is indeed a culture, and one that is seem prominent, and primarily, as American culture. Therefore this qualifies it as a nation.


"there is slavery. Slavery was a social issue that The North and The South "

"...such as the South, same-sex marriage and abortion are highly looked down upon, whereas in New England and the Left Coast, sometimes it is encouraged."



My opponent has argued for me in this instance by showing how America has experienced the same event in American History. People's opinion's differ constantly. This does not mean they are not experiencing the same issues. Same Sex Marriage, Abortion, Civil War, Womens Right, 9/11, the War on Terror.

Every American is a part of these and more. Opinions aren't an experience, they are a point of view regarding a certain experience.

Please keep in mind my opponent has not even tried to refut my points regarding voting. This is an experience (along with the others mentioned) that account for the experiences of Americans as a nation.

I have successfully proven on multiple instance how America qualifies as a nation/ nation-state.

I appreciate Con for making this debate, I do not intend to proceed to a part 2 of this debate.
Debate Round No. 5
No comments have been posted on this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Iamaconfederate 2 years ago
Iamaconfederate
muricanmanDomrTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: This was a close one indeed, props to both of you BTW. Con, however, never truly specified the aspect of culture.