The Instigator
rgibson
Pro (for)
Losing
1 Points
The Contender
Mr.Alex
Con (against)
Winning
8 Points

The Constitutionality of Secession

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Mr.Alex
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/3/2008 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,819 times Debate No: 5875
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (2)

 

rgibson

Pro

This is the classic North v. South debate from the 1860s, but it is still a very heated argument. The question is whether or not the United States Constitution gives a state the right to secede. A state is being defined as any sub-national entity that shares its power with the federal government of The United States of America. Secession is being defined as leaving the United States of America to create a new nation or join another nation (whether currently existent or not). The first round will not be a round of definitions, but a round of debate.
Mr.Alex

Con

First I would like to thank my opponent for presenting this interesting case, and I look forward to our debate.
I accept the definitions provided above.

First off it is not a state's right to secede from the national or federal government that encompass them. A state/province willingly objectifies themselves to the laws and decrees of the national/federal government they are a apart of. So then is it within there right to exercise a right not given to them by the national government they are apart of? The fact is most secessions are due to disputes pertaining to differences between regional and national governments. A regional government does not have the right to dispute with it's national government because a regional government is ruled by it's national government, ergo they don't have the right.

Now many people will argue "What if that state is oppressed or under dictatorship?" A valid argument, but one my opponent's resolution does not address. I, however, will address this. Under the extreme cases of religious/political/ethnic oppression I do believe a state/province has the right to secede, that being said I don't believe that my opponent's example of the "old south" qualifies as this. The Confederates were trying to secede because of something highly immoral and unjust, and therefore this example is irrelevant and should not be a debatable point.

That's all I have to say, thank you and I look forward to a fun debate.
Debate Round No. 1
rgibson

Pro

First, I would like to apologize for my slow response and to thank my opponent for accepting my challenge. It is my belief that to deny a state the right to secede goes against the very principles this nation is founded upon. Our Declaration of Independence states that "governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed" and that "it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish" any government that becomes destructive to the rights of the people. One of those rights is the right to self governance. The people give the government its power. Whenever a government proceeds without the people, it is denying their right to self governance. When a government denies the people their rights, it is the right and duty of the the people to alter or abolish it. If the people of a state feel that the government is, for whatever reason, infringing upon their right to self governance, then those people have the right to secede. America itself exists because of the Founder's belief in the right to secede. America was less than a state, it was a colony of Britain. But, Britain infringed on that colony's right to self governance and that colony chose to secede. They felt overburdened by taxes and wanted to create a fairer government. They were exercising their right to self governance just as the South did in the 1800s.
Mr.Alex

Con

Before I start I would like to thank my opponent for his opinion and look forward to the rest of this debate.

My opponents claims-

1. to deny a state the right to secede goes against the very principles this nation is founded upon.

First I would like to note my opponent uses excerpts from the Tenth Amendment. The fast it the Tenth Amendment is not justifying succession, it is simply stating that the federal government of America is giving the regional government (the states) power to make there own decisions. If we took this amendment literally then the states would have power to massacre there citizens. Now if we look at this in a logical perspective, you'll see that the Tenth Amendment does not give all inclusive power to the regional government, but merely power enough so they can make decisions in the society.

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

"Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed" Notice it was, "from the consent of the governed". It does not say that a regional government has total power, and should be allowed to exercise thus. "It's my belief that to deny a state the right to secede goes against the very principles this nation is founded upon." This country was founded on the belief that a democracy with all it's parts working together, because this allows a nation to truly prosper. We were founded on a belief that is, if we work together we can achieve the unachievable. Not, "well I have to take care of myself, and forget the rest of the nation." Also give the readers one good reason a state would secede from the United States.

Thank you and I hope you enjoyed this round of debate.
Debate Round No. 2
rgibson

Pro

rgibson forfeited this round.
Mr.Alex

Con

My opponent has forfeited ergo he agrees with all my counterarguments, etc. etc.

Vote Con! Thank you.
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by JBlake 8 years ago
JBlake
Conduct: Con
- Both were satisfactorily courteous, however Pro forfeited the final round.

Spelling/Grammar: Pro
- Con made numerous spelling/grammar errors. Pro made a few as well. Con's major problem seems to be in proper use of the correct form of 'there', 'their', and 'they're'.

Convincing argument: Tie
- Neither side presented an argument at all. Neither side had a coherent progression of argument. Both sides provided opinion and did not back it up with facts or citation of relevent sources. In this instance, citing the contitution would be very relevent. Finally, I would like to remind Con that a failure on the part of Pro is not necessarily a default victory for Con. You must work for it as well. I suggest that in the future you make two separate sections. One for rebutting your opponent, another for developing your own argument. Also, be sure to make your progression of argument clear. For example:
1. The fact is that A.
a) I offer B as supporting evidence.
b) C also shows that A is true.
2. It is also true that D.
a) For D, I offer E as supporting evidence.
Conclusion:
Because I have shown A and C to be true, my conclusion, F, is true.

Sources: Tie
- Neither side made proper use of sources, despite the existence of many reliable ones (including the document in question).
Posted by rgibson 8 years ago
rgibson
Sorry for my lack of clarity. The resolution/my position is that it is a state's right to secede from the Untied States.
Posted by Mr.Alex 8 years ago
Mr.Alex
I don't really understand your position and the resolution, can you explain it more in depth please.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Mr.Alex 8 years ago
Mr.Alex
rgibsonMr.AlexTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Vote Placed by JBlake 8 years ago
JBlake
rgibsonMr.AlexTied
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Total points awarded:11