The Instigator
1dustpelt
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Stephen_Hawkins
Con (against)
Winning
12 Points

Resolved: Napoleon Bonaparte would win in a War Against George Washington.

Do you like this debate?NoYes+5
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Stephen_Hawkins
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/15/2012 Category: Society
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,000 times Debate No: 25147
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (22)
Votes (3)

 

1dustpelt

Pro

Time: 1812 (I know George Washington wasn't in power then, let's just pretend.)

Rules:
No semantics
No trolling
No plagerizing
etc.


Britain is not in the US at this time, ignore that war. We are assuming instead Napoleon was the invader of 1812 instead.

I will argue for Napoleon.

Let the great debate begin!
Stephen_Hawkins

Con

In order to make sure that the resolution is perfectly clear: the debate is whether Napoleon invades America instead of Russia in 1812. Further, we should assume that Washington is in charge of America, and Napoleon is of course in charge of France at 1812. Both are heads of state but more importantly the military COC.

We are assuming also that America did not declare war with Great Britain. For fairness' sake, I also believe we should assume that Madison never got to power, and Washington was (somehow) elected instead. Thus, there was no declaration of war, and we can put the date at the first of May, 1812 to be usefully specific, for reference, but any other date would be accepted within reason. Please be clear if this date is acceptable, so we don't get into a time debate: an interesting debate like this shouldn't get bogged down in trivial issues like this spiralling out of control.

We also assume that the leader is in charge of their native country at the time period, and all other leaders and events are similar (except events that would not take place, e.g. the war with Russia, war of 1812, however Britain would still be at war with France, Prussia allied to it).

Finally, we are to assume that there are no "surprise attacks", i.e. Napoleon doesn't suddenly lose all his soldiers in dysentry, or Washington doesn't die due to being over 80.

I look forward to this debate, and await my opponent's opening argument (I assume first round is for acceptance). The last round is (I also assume) for closing statements and final rebuttals, and no new arguments. Good luck.
Debate Round No. 1
1dustpelt

Pro

I thank my opponent for accepting.

The United States

The United States was a growing country, it's government and military still building and developing. The military of the US was small and undisciplined using outdated 18th century warfare. In fact, the US relied on French military tactics, especially during the Napoleonic era. (1)

The French Empire

In 1812, the French Empire had control over much of Europe. Napoleon controlled Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Germany, and several central and eastern European nations. The French Empire contained about 30,271,000 citizens, compared to the US' 7,239,881. (2)(3)

Napoleon was known ability to adapt to situations and conquer armies heavily outmatched. It's army was professional and well trained, one of the best in Europe. (4)

Arguments

1. Tactics

Most historians agree that Napoleon was an expert at tactics. However Washington, on the other hand, was known for being a mediocre tactician, losing several battles in the Seven Years War, then losing most of his battles in the Revolutionary War.(5)

2. Battles.
Lets look at some of the most important battles Napoleon Bonaparte and George Washington fought.

Napoleon Bonaparte
Austerlitz - Victory and also was outnumbered
Jena - Victory
Waterloo - Defeat, but would have won if his officers cooperated
Logan - Victory and outnumbered
Pyramids - Victory and was outnumbered
Wag ram - Victory

George Washington
Fort Washington - Defeat
Brandying - Outnumbered the British, made poor decisions and lost
Saratoga - Victory
Germantown - Outnumbered the British but lost
Monmouth - Draw
Yorktown - Victory, but only because the French came

The statistics are on Napoleon's side. Napoleon won most of his battles while Washington lost most.

3. Troops
Napoleon's men were highly trained, experienced and professional. Washington's army suffered from a lack of training. The United States had set a goal of 35,000 Americans in the army. During the earlier months of the war, the Americans only reached 12,000. (6)

4. Navy
Napoleon had a large navy. Although not as large as the British, Napoleon's navy was large and powerful. Washington's navy consisted of a few frigates and many privateers. (7)

5. Technology
Napoleon's army used the latest technology, using advanced guns, artillery, and weapons. The Americans were struggling with their economy, and used old and cheap weapons. (7)

Conclusion
Napoleon has the biggest advantage, thus winning the war.

1. History Channel Documentary Full DVD http://shop.history.com...
2. http://en.wikipedia.org...
3. http://en.wikipedia.org...
4. http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org...
5. http://en.wikipedia.org...
6. Bonura, Michael A.Under the Shadow of Napoleon: French Influence on the American Way of Warfare from the War of 1812 to the Outbreak of WWII. New York: New York UP, 2012. 41. Print.
7. http://en.wikipedia.org...

Stephen_Hawkins

Con

"[tactics are] a small part of generalship. For a general must also be furnishing military equipment and providing supplies for the men; he must be resourceful, active, careful, hardy and quick-witted; he must be both gentle and brutal, at once straightforward and designing, capable of both caution and surprise, lavish and rapacious, generous and mean, skilful in defense and attack; and there are many other qualifications, some natural, some acquired, that are necessary to one who would succeed as a general."

Introduction

My opponent and I seem to agree on many points. I will argue that Napoleon was one of the great revolutionaries of military tactics. My opponent will not dispute this. My opponent will not dispute with me that the Grande Armée was a formidable army on land, and will not dispute that Napoleon at the helm made it even more powerful. It's population combined with the military tactic of levée en masse gave it (quite literally) masses of strength. However, strength in war does not come from military genius alone, otherwise we'd all be very much united under one nation. Power comes from three forces: the military, the political, and finally the geographic. In a pitched army battle, Napoleon has a very good chance to win. But the phrase "You may have won the battle, but you have not won the war" rings most true when observing George Washington. I shall firstly propose what would happen if hypothetical war broke out between France and the US in 1812, followed by analysis and explanation for each event.

The Hypothetical War

France, led by Napoleon, declares war on America on May 1st, 1812, to reclaim territory in a reconquest casus belli. The news firstly reaches Great Britain, who are still at war with France. In May 11th, The assassination of Rt. Hon. Lord Perceval Leads the Rt. Hon. Earl of Liverpool Robert Jenkinson to power. A tory known for pro-American politics[1], he sent emissaries to the US, and damaged relations quickly were fixed[2], such as realisation of the forgery of Henry's letters[2] and lifting of embargoes[3].

Meanwhile, Washington, while preparing a navy to "present a threat to British maritime supremacy"[2], learns of the French declaration of war, and changes targets. His well-known resourcefulness[4] would allow for the observation that France's supply lines could only be maintained by trade with the US and the Spanish Colonies' raw resources[5], and combined with the lack of naval presence in Spain, privateers easily blockaded the regions and cripple French supplies.
With no separation of armies and massive supply lines for the British, the naval force can be used to utterly dominate and outmatch the French. The French Navy's inability to be created and defeat the British blockade, yet alone the ability to cross the entire Atlantic. Moreover, France's supply lines would be shot from having to hold an army so far away from the homeland in uncontrolled territory that is quite frankly completely without troops. Finally, it would be impossible for the entire French army to be pushed over to America all at once. The French navy was quite frankly small and pathetic by 1812, with a stereotypical French history of surrender and routing[6]. Between 1793 and 1812, the French Navy lost 377 ships to the British, while the British lost 10 ships. In fourteen major engagements between 1794 and 1806, the French Navy suffered 23,000 casualties while the Royal Navy suffered 7,000 casualties.
In short, a coalition against France would form, similar to all the coalitions of the time. France, by attempting an invasion of the US, would lose all its ships and troops on board in any attempt to reach the US shores. The French supply lines, if they landed, would be instantly cut and the soldiers would die from attrition rather than decisive military victories. The strength of Washington was that he loses many battles yet still wins wars. Napoleon's tactics was to capture a country's capital and force capitulation: a tactic that does not work on federal (at least in practice) nations like Russia or the US[7]. Washington rallies any army and simply would not be routed or capitulated like others[4].

At best, France would end up with no way to even reach American land, thus the war would be a draw - or Napoleon having lost due to the fact he initiated the war. At worst, the French Navy would be unable to move out of port without being reduced to shreds by the British blockades, just like the war normally, but with less supplies, and thus much more rapid attrition. The possibility of France landing in the US is not just incredibly small, but the landing would be with a minor amount of troops with no supply line, no quick aid, no reinforcements without the battlefield advantage of Napoleon (seeing as he's Head of State, I doubt he would go to such a perilous position so far away from other theatres of war) against Washington in home territory with supply lines as short as a few feet at times of battles near cities.

Observations

The general hypothetical war I present require but a few underlying events, each of which are excessively likely.

1) America and GB would unite in a coalition against France, if the French declared war.
Evidence: The pro-US relations of the PM, masses of casus bellis being resolved, and precedence of all the coalitions being formed against France out of pragmatism.
2) America would not send troops to France
Evidence: The navy based on privateers which, though successful in raiding, is not useful at all in regards to transport, which anyone can recognise.
3) The French Grande Armée, levée en masse, and Napoleon's tactics (points 1,2, 3 and 5 of my opponent) are moot.
Evidence: The navy is where battle would commence. France could not invade England even with half a million soldiers, because of a few miles of water. The entire Atlantic separates France and the US. The army would not even be able to get out of the Med, yet alone invade US soil. Further, Washington is hardened in fighting battles outnumbered and in guerilla warfare.

The consequences are equally likely:

1) The local French supplies would be shot
Evidence: French supplies rest on American trade and whatever the Royal Navy did not sink. America joining the British side would result in no American trade and a more powerful Royal Navy.
2) The French supply lines in US would be inexistent
Evidence: That massive body of water called the Atlantic, and the French having a navy the size of a pea compared to the half-million soldiers. Barbarossa's army couldn't cross the Med, which was many times smaller: how can a much larger army cross a much larger body of water with such ease?
3) The French Navy wouldn't even be able to move!
Evidence: French Navies were stuck in port almost all of the war[1], and when they were not, they were being crushed by the British Royal Navy.

Result

France's army would be stuck on the continent, or drowning in the Med/Atlantic, while the American troops are sitting at home playing Blackjack (if it existed back then). Unless Napoleon constructs a raft from his soldiers, he'll need a navy bigger than the british (which was bigger than all the world's combined[1]) to do anything of value. In the war, either nothing would happen, or France would just be culled by the British blockades. Casualties to Napoleon: His entire navy repeatedly. Casualties to Washington: A guy sprains his ankle and dies from the cure of cutting off the left testes.

I shall state rebuttals next round. Thank you for reading.


1 -
http://www.oxforddnb.com...
2 - http://tinyurl.com...
3 - Rule of 1756 and the non-intercourse act of 1809 would no longer apply.
4 -
http://www.ushistory.org...
5 -
http://www.worldology.com...
6 - Battle of Ushant, Diamond Rock, Basque Roads, Trafalgar, Pulo Aura, etc.
7 -
http://www.historum.com...

Debate Round No. 2
1dustpelt

Pro

I thank my opponent for posting.

British Alliance with the United States

In 1812, the United States was already preparing for war with Britain. British impressment and these issues were damage to relations between Britain and the United States as the French war expanded. (1) In this time period, Americans hated the British for this practice. (2) An early attempt to make commercial peace with the British after the Revolution, the Jay Treaty, was loathed and met with public rage. (3). The Americans were against the British and the British against the Americans! Even before the impressment issue, Thomas Jefferson agreed that everybody hostile towards the Americans, the king, the newspapers, and the courtiers. (4)


Washington vs Napoleon on Strategy

Many people agreed that Washington was a terrible strategist. Benjamin Franklin's grandson Bauche, who was editor of the Aurora General Advertiser, wrote that, "Washington's military incompetence during the Revolution would have lost the war." (5) Napoleon was a known as a tireless mastermind and brilliant strategist. The Duke of Wellington once said, "I used to say of him (Napoleon) that his presence on the field made the difference of forty thousand men." (6)(7) Napoleon is considered one of the greatest conquerors of all time, and Washington is just known for surviving until Britain ran out of money and the French came. Washington would avoid general action and only act if completely necessary. This strategy of did not work, it was only when the French came and tried to fight that they had any chance of victory. (8)

Now that the Anglo-American issue is out, I will present my rebuttals.

Rebuttals

"His well-known resourcefulness[4] would allow for the observation that France's supply lines could only be maintained by trade with the US and the Spanish Colonies' raw resources[5], and combined with the lack of naval presence in Spain, privateers easily blockaded the regions and cripple French supplies."

What about Canada and New Orleans? French Canadians in 1805, the rural parishes near Montreal addressed a petition to Napoleon. They said: “We are ready to undertake any measures at the first sight of the French, whom we still regard as our brothers.” If Napoleon were to trade with anyone in his invasion of the United States, French Canada would grant resources, and might even take up arms and fought for the Empire. (9)

New Orleans was also loyal to Napoleon. The French in New Orleans were so loyal that in 1815 when Napoleon was exiled, a fleet was brought together in order to save him. Napoleon's death put the mission to an end. The former French colony of New Orleans, even well after the war, was home to thousands of supporters of Napoleon. New Orleans was so important because of its placement on the Mississippi, New Orleans not only had trading advantage, but a strategic advantage. The fact that it was unwaveringly loyal to Bonaparte only furthers its usefulness. (10)

“With no separation of armies and massive supply lines for the British, the naval force can be used to utterly
dominate and outmatch the French. The French Navy's inability to be created and defeat the British blockade, yet alone the ability to cross the entire Atlantic.”

This all assumes that the British would side with the Americans which I already proved false.

“Moreover, France's supply lines would be shot from having to hold an army so far away from the homeland in
uncontrolled territory that is quite frankly completely without troops.”

This is where Canada and New Orleans would come in handy. See rebuttal 1."

"Finally, it would be impossible for the entire French army to be pushed over to America all at once. The French navy was quite frankly small and pathetic by 1812, with a stereotypical French history of surrender and routing[6]. Between 1793 and 1812, the French Navy lost 377 ships to the British, while the British lost 10 ships. In fourteen
major engagements between 1794 and 1806, the French Navy suffered 23,000 casualties while the Royal Navy suffered 7,000 casualties. "

Yes, the French navy was weak compared to the British, but compared to the American navy, it was strong. The US Navy at the time consisted of 6 frigates and 14 other vessels, along with many privateers, in which the French also had. Without the British, the US Navy would not stand a chance against the French.

"1) America and GB would unite in a coalition against France, if the French declared war.

Evidence: The pro-US relations of the PM, masses of
casus bellis being resolved, and precedence of all the coalitions being formed against France out of pragmatism."

See “British Alliance with US” at the start of the round. Basically Anglo-American relations were too broken to repair.

"2) America would not send troops to France

Evidence: The navy based on privateers which, though successful in raiding, is not useful at all in regards to transport, which anyone can recognise."

This I agree with.


"3) The French Grande Armée, levée en masse, and Napoleon's tactics (points 1,2,3 and 5 of my opponent) are moot.

Evidence: The navy is where battle would commence. France could not invade England even with half a million soldiers, because of a few miles of water. The entire Atlantic separates France and the US. The army would not even be able to get out of the Med, yet alone invade US soil."

Again assumes British would side withthe US.

Further, Washington is hardened in fighting battles outnumbered and in guerilla warfare.

Napoleon is experienced with fighting battles outnumbered, multiple wars, etc. And by this time, the US already had an official army that used outdated 18th century warfare, guerilla warfare was mainly abandoned.


Result

After eliminating the factor of the British siding with the Americans it is clear Napoleon has the advantage.

Sources
1. http://books.google.com...

2.http://books.google.com...

3.http://books.google.com...
4. http://books.google.com...

5. http://books.google.com...

6. http://books.google.com...

7. http://www.napoleonguide.com...

8. http://books.google.com...

9. http://books.google.com...

10. http://books.google.com...;

I barely have any time left so I will continue next round.
Stephen_Hawkins

Con

Anglo-American relations

US preparations for war with Britain were clearly addressed, both in the hypothetical and in the analysis I posted. The casus belli for war and the others were mentioned. Regarding impressment, the French committed it, if not moreso[1]. In fact, the US was similarly divided on war with the French[1]. The division that would occur over war with france instead of Britain in hypotheticals is the same as the division that occurred with war with Britain instead of France, between the Federalists and Republican-Democrats. The claim of the British being against the Americans is clearly rebuffed due to the election of the pro-American tory PM. The source my opponent gives for evidence of the British being against America is firstly American, not British, and secondly a Democrat-Republicanwho was horribly bias against britain anyway[2]! My opponent is clearly ignoring the evidence on this issue.

To make this clear, my opponent's argument against Britain siding with America is thus:
  1. The American population was against alliance with the British
  2. The Americans were impressed by the British, which is why the Americans would not side with them.
To rebut these points, I pointed out that the American population was just as against the French as they were the British politically, and that the French impressed American soldiers - meaning that both arguments my opponent uses against me, actually are also against him. However, historically we notice that America only waged war with one country, not two, out of pragmatism. So the additional war with England is explicitly going against history as well. Further, he has no response to the change in PM making an impact. The pro-US tory PM is another reason that America would not wage war on Britain as well. Further, the buildup of support for the Federalists was because of the trade barriers which resulted from the rules of British law, which my opponent does not respond to and essentially drops. With this removed, the casus belli for war from the Americans would be, in short, that Jefferson did not renew a treaty. Hardly a serious infringement caused by Britain at this time.

Napoleon's naval strength

My point still stands: France's navy wouldn't get out of the docks. France's army was the best of the world, but it's navy was a laughing stock. Note my opponent has not provided reason to believe France has the naval strength to cross the pacific, yet alone break the blockades of the British fleet which was, again, larger than all other nations combined. Further, Napoleon's naval strength is either completely inexistent, for never leading a naval battle, or is a severe liability, for he constantly seemed to lose battles at sea, as previously stated and is uncontested. Also, notice how my opponent fails again to give a precise number of the French fleet. This is because it was constantly and consistently destroyed and reduced to nothing, due to the British fleet crushing it repeatedly, and doing so as recently as 1810. The navy would have to break British blockade, then manage to transport masses of soldiers as well. The french navy could never group together due to all of Britain's successful blockading. There is simply no chance of it ever being successful.

Canadian influence

This point is quite short. My opponent has interpreted an unreadable book (saying "it's in this book" which is rare and unaccessible anywhere) to state New Orleans as a nation committed to a rescue effort with amazing loyalty, and all of Canada rallied around Napoleon like flies to a light. In reality, Canada had no greivances at Britain: "On the whole, however, the country was prosperous and the people were generally contented with British rule...the great majority of the eighty thousand inhabitatnts...were Loyalists or descendents of Loyalists".

And even then, let's suppose that the British nation of Canada's eighty thousand civilians where "the total militia did not exceed four thousand men, the majority of whom had little or no knowledge of military discipline". How are they going to reinforce the French? Especially when major places like Quebec and "Halifax were in a dilapidated condition"[4]. And this supposes that rural farmers speak for the majority of the Canadians.

New Orleans

New Orleans, a city with a population at the time 17,000[5] - and when sold off only a population of 5000[5] - would support Napoleon is only founded on the idea, according to my opponent, that New Orleans sent a grandiose attempt to rescue Napoleon. In reality, the pirate Lafitte from New Orleans went to Elba, successfully rescued Napoleon and they lived out their days in Louisiana together[6]. If one thinks this is convincing enough to show New Orleans supported Napoleon, go ahead, I really can't begin to convince you. However, I think it's clear that New Orleans didn't send a fleet to Elba. Further, the region, now majority American, would have severe problems internally of declaring support to Napoleon anyway.

Supply Lines

Let me make this clear: with the British blockades, the supply lines would be non-existent and cannot help at all. With supply lines, they shall be stretched over ten to fourteen weeks[7], so long that any soldiers would starve. The trips alone for immigrations used to starve, but the military ships would be weighed down massively with soldiers, weaponry, cannons, etc. and thus the food supply would be even worse. Not only would most suppplies take so long to arrive the soldiers would starve, but much of the supplies wouldn't even get there. This ignores the British destroying any supplies that would be sent off[7]. Supply lines with Canada would firstly be massively stretched due to the region's size, and New Orleans still wouldn't support the Grandé Armée, which needed all of continental Europe to support it.

Does britain siding with the US matter?

Let's assume that Britain does not side with the US for a moment, defying all logic. Let's assume, for example, that the US declare war on Britain. Let's call that war the war of 1812. Do British blockades disappear? No! What my opponent has to do is show how better relationships with britain would somehow mean that britain does worse on the naval front in their blockades. As already stated, the french navy could not amass. They could not even create a substantial fleet. Yet my opponent is suggesting they can and will, given the British navy being larger and less spread out. There is some serious lack of communication going on here...

Washington's Wars

Napoleon won no wars outnumbered: he won battles outnumbered. This is completely different. In war, washington essentially survives, and that's all he has to do. Napoleon's army suffers the attrition of being so far away from its supply lines and communication lines that all nations did, are, and shall.

Conclusion

The only way for France to win is the following:

1) France create a massive navy, the likes of which the world never known, because Britain is in the same situation it was last month.
2) France somehow, lacking naval officers, defeats the best naval minds in battle, even though they are well known for using out of date, horrid tactics[8] at sea.
3) France then manage to stock masses of soldiers and supplies and cannons to travel over the Pacific, with a navy consisting of thousands of ships of the line, requiring more than a century to build, which outnumbers the current british navy.

Thank you.



1 - http://histclo.com...
2 - http://en.wikipedia.org...;
3 - http://tinyurl.com... 110
4 - Ibid, page 112
5 - http://mapserver.lib.virginia.edu...;
6 - The Pirates Laffite; http://www.wtblock.com...;; Wikipedia, etc., combined with no other mention of New Orleans mounting an expedition in any other form.
7 - http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk...;, Glorious First of June, etc.
8 - http://www.thedearsurprise.com...;, previously stated.
Debate Round No. 3
1dustpelt

Pro

With school starting and many family issues coming up, I must leave DDO for the time being. It has been taking up too much of my time. I have to travel to another state for a funeral, so I apologize to the people I am currently debating.

Stephen_Hawkins, if you want, we can try our debate again next summer when I come back.

Stephen_Hawkins

Con

No problem. If you ever want to finish the last two rounds of this, feel free to message me on this. And thank you everyone who has read: feel free to vote on convincing case dependent on the last two rounds.
Debate Round No. 4
1dustpelt

Pro

I apologize for this. Please vote my opponent.
Debate Round No. 5
22 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by DeFool 4 years ago
DeFool
This is a repeat of an earlier debate that I enjoyed very much. As this one has concluded, I must note a few things regarding Britain's role in this hypothetical scenario:

It does not matter if Britain and the US would have joined in a formal alliance against Napoleon. An informal wartime alliance would have resulted no matter what - since Great Britain would have burned down the whole world in order to annihilate Napoleon. British attacks against the French emperor would have continued no matter what the Americans did, just as it would not have mattered what the Prussians did, or the Italians, or the Russians. The British, famous for their "keep calm and carry on" stoicism, were in a rare state of near-fanatical rage against Napoleon, a fury that the world would not see again until Hitler's blitz.

It should be paralleled: Remember that Hitler made repeated peace offers to Great Britain. From a position of strength, Hitler had Great Britain surrounded, outnumbered and bloodied, yet he all but prostrated himself in his efforts to end the war with Britain. (Churchill's response: "What kind of people do you think we are?") These people were not willing to stop the fight - even at a time when it seemed the fight would destroy their nation. I cannot imagine that this culture would so easily forgive Napoleon, or allow him to stupidly launch a naval assault on North America. (Remember Canada...)

Had Napoleon loaded his ships for New Orleans, or Haiti, the French would have been blasted to the bottom of the sea. The British, once fully enraged, will attack an enemy remorselessly and relentlessly forever... had Napoleon attacked the US in force, the outcome would have been no different than if he had attacked Russia. The British would have instantly slaughtered him. George Washington could have sipped mint julips and read about "his" wartime victory over Napoleon from his porch-swing.
Posted by iamnotwhoiam 4 years ago
iamnotwhoiam
Such a shame this debate wasn't finished. It was very interesting. I hope you can revive this debate some time.

I am not sure what the British would have done in 1812, but I enjoyed your discussion.

I think page numbers are a good idea when books are cited.
Posted by DeFool 4 years ago
DeFool
What a fascinating debate.

Napoleon was never in any position to fight a three front war that might have involved America. Not in 1812, or ever. In fact, I am convinced that it was unlikely that he could have even secured lasting victory in Europe.

Washington, on the other hand, would not have fought fair. He would have defended his continent against an invasion from Haiti, the only reasonable front against Napoleon, and New Orleans would have presented as insurmountable a target as it proved to be against the UK. The most likely outcome of a war involving these two men " in my view " would have been the military conquest of New France (purchased in 1803, but presumably France would have attempted to reclaim this territory) and the defeat of Napoleon by Great Britain and Russia (and others) as a result of the attempt against Washington.

Washington had no taste or talent for stand up conflict. His gift was subterfuge and espionage, which would have perfectly suited him for a long-distance war against Napoleon.

I agree with Hawkins.
Posted by adontimasu 5 years ago
adontimasu
It's a shame this debate did not see a conclusion. I'm not going to lie: Washington wasn't that great of a general. I think he lost almost all of the battles he commanded.
Posted by Nur-Ab-Sal 5 years ago
Nur-Ab-Sal
Then yes, we agree that page numbers are absolutely necessary.
Posted by Stephen_Hawkins 5 years ago
Stephen_Hawkins
Nur, I don't we've misunderstood each other, so let me make this point as clear as I can, so we can get over this, because I agree with most of what you wrote.

1) Citing an unverifiable expert which goes against popular consensus is like citing an unreadable book which goes against popular consensus. Both do have, by virtue of their status, credibility enough to not be dismissed out of hand, but if they cannot be checked as being true, then one really cannot be expected to accept it.

2) If you cite ten 300 page books, page numbers are near enough essential, or at least quotations so one can search the books.

3) The point of limiting resources on the internet was not one I made. I don't understand where that came from, but let me try and reiterate what I meant: when we cite something, the purpose is that the claim is substantiated. An .edu source is one of the best ways in this format, because of who writes the sources. They are usually short and easy to access, that's why I use them a lot.

Personally, I feel one should not use very obscure sources, and should always double-check to make sure the source is accurate to some extent. Further, I feel one should always put the page reference to make it clear where the information comes from, and try to get a quotation in. Otherwise, you start stating things are in 300 page books that no-one has the ability to read, and everyone gets in massive problems. I'm not 100% sure on the format for other evidence-reliant debates, but in the policy ones I do, we have to give all evidence on a clear piece of A5 paper where the evidence can be accessed, and no more, per claim. If you want to cite The Campaigns of Napoleon, in short, you need to point to where it is in the book.
Posted by Nur-Ab-Sal 5 years ago
Nur-Ab-Sal
Wow, it's not like citing "an expert" at all, unless you specify exactly which "expert," and a record of his discussion or lecture somewhere.

Bottom line, restricting it to only websites on the Internet is unfair to the debater who is familiar with the subject primarily through literature. For instance, I am personally a huge fan of Napoleon, and have collected a substantial amount of books on his life and wars ... but you're telling me that since my opponent doesn't have access to the entirety of David Chandler's "The Campaigns of Napoleon," I'm not allowed to cite it?

I agree with page number citation, and I do believe that 1dustpelt should have specified the exact page(s) he found the information in the book. However, I do disagree with limiting what resources can be cited to only what is on the Internet ... it's simply unfair. Scholarly books are *still* more reliable and *still* have valid information that a debater can cite to substantiate his claims ... if a debater is dishonest about his citations, that is a question of ethical debating, but we still should not limit resources based on such a practice.
Posted by Stephen_Hawkins 5 years ago
Stephen_Hawkins
Nur-Ab-Sal, a print book which cannot be read is no source at all. It's like me citing "an expert", when the opinion cannot be found anywhere else nor can the original source be read. Otherwise, I might as well start citing a load of unreadable books as evidence so I can make random, wild claims to justify my argument using evidence.

Similarly, saying "here's a 300 page book, the evidence is in there" ten times is just as useless. The evidence cannot be checked anywhere else, nor is there any reason to believe the evidence is in that book anymore than in the first case: I could just as easily start spamming 300 page books to provide evidence.

However, .edu sites are just as reliable as books as they are written by either undergrads or better qualified, with a lot of fact-checking, which is why I use them a lot. When citing a long source, though, I always try to make clear the region I am referring to, stating a page reference or a quotation which can be looked up.
Posted by Nur-Ab-Sal 5 years ago
Nur-Ab-Sal
@Stephen, I understand your point, but I disagree to an extent on what can be used. I think print book sources are more reliable than the Internet to begin with.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by DeFool 4 years ago
DeFool
1dustpeltStephen_HawkinsTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: The debate was conceded.
Vote Placed by Altilongitude 4 years ago
Altilongitude
1dustpeltStephen_HawkinsTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 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
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture
Vote Placed by Nur-Ab-Sal 5 years ago
Nur-Ab-Sal
1dustpeltStephen_HawkinsTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Dusty left before the debate was finished, securing Con the conduct and arguments points. Good job Con.