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The US is responsible for the majority of death amongst Native Americans

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Voting Style: Open Point System: Select Winner
Started: 10/18/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 797 times Debate No: 81093
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (8)
Votes (1)




I believe the US is not responsible for the majority of death amongst Native American between first European contact and 1875 (around end of wars with Native Americans).

3 Rounds of Debate:
1st: Acceptance: Just accepting and basic argument. Introduction. Nothing to serious.

2nd: Main argument: Period of debate. No claims against opponent or dissing them. Just stating what you believe with factual, debatable belief. As much space as needed although short is best in this case.

3rd: Rebuttal: Period of rejecting and rebutting what opponent states. Make arguments against statements of opponent and claims against their facts if you believe if untrue. Final statements are also recommend and supported in this stage.


Not Many but a few
No untrue claims: You can't state something like "the US bombed the heck out of them" as that is wrong.
Have fun: It is only 3 rounds as it isn't the most serious debate of a topic.
Be nice: Generic enough, but saying people are stupid (unless they are making stupid claims) is well... stupid.
Have Fun and let the Debate Race start!


Hello, I accept this debate happily and believe that I can argue effectively as pro for the topic, "The US is responsible for the majority of death(s) amongst Native Americans". Hope we have a good one.
Debate Round No. 1


Thank you for accepting my challenge and let the best debater win. Best of Luck.

I will be putting 3 reasons why while the US was not responsible for the majority of death of Native Americans.

1. Time period: The US was formed/in place by 1776. This gave them 99 years to do what they would of with the natives. By the time the first (successful) British colony was around it was 1607 (Jamestown) or about 169 years of interaction with the natives. That is a difference of 70 years. This tells me that the amount of death caused by Europeans/Americans would be at a difference of 70 years.

2. Number of Factions: While the US is one whole country, there were 3 prominent ones in North America at the time. Spain, France, and England. While France was more peaceful, Spain and England had much more loose cannons on them and were usually violent towards them. The US had 90 years of doing away with the natives and were the only real threat. The Europeans had 160 years and 3 factions. This brings me to the much more important point.

3. Disease: When the Europeans arrived on North America they had disease that the Native Americans at the time had no knowledge or protection against. Their immune system was so weak a bloody nose could kill them. But what came was much worse. Small Pox was a huge problem in Europe and even more so among the natives. It is estimated by many sources that up to 75% of natives died from disease.


(I know this is rather long in terms of what you were asking for, sorry, but I had a lot of fun with it.)

These are questions I must raise for my argument in the context of this topic. Who are the natives? What does it mean to be known as a native American?
Do they have to be the indigenous(original) race? Or can they simply be *people who are born in the Unites States?*

I have a firm belief that native Americans should simply be considered as people who are born in the United States, meaning, on U.S. soil. The opponent has installed this instruction/regulation for the 2nd round of the debate: "...stating what you believe with factual, debatable belief...". As a disclaimer, this is not a claim "against" my opponent, I am merely acknowledging this rule. This belief is in relation to what it means to be a native of a certain area. One of the definitions for native American: "a person born in the United States" ( This definition is the one I will adhere to in accordance to what I "believe".

Now, before anyone claims that this argument is one based on semantics, since I have a firm "belief" (strongly emphasizing this) that the term "native Americans" is one that should be considered as for people born in the US, I have read the description of the topic using my 1st choice of the definition of a native American. This is of course, primarily not a debate centered on what the definition of a native American is and again, the matter of the regulations for the debate , so I cannot be held accountable for not following any other intentions of the usage of the definition.

Now, I will address the issue of the topic directly in my argument. Is the US responsible for the majority of deaths among Native Americans? In my context of the definition of native American, that is virtually the same as asking: Are native Americans responsible for the majority of deaths among native Americans? I would say this is true in respect to evidence of US campaigns within the time period of 1776 to 1875.

During this time period, there was notably the Civil War that started in 1861.For the most part, native Americans had fought against native Americans. The Civil War was 85 years later than when the United States officially became a country. One counter to my argument-in-progress would be that this was a time of immigration and that Civil War soldiers likely comprised also of immigrants. However, discussing the demography of Civil War soldiers, it is said that young native Americans had largely been in the majority considering that the population of the US expanded more people were born on US soil and had been drafted by the union and confederate side of the Civil War. "In fact, far more of the rural, native-born poor were forced into service than their urban immigrant counterparts" (Meyers).

The main focus currently in my argument, will be on Civil War battle statistics concerning the battle deaths that resulted from the Civil War. Indirect deaths will not be counted as battle deaths are more than sufficient for this argument, even though the US is responsible for starting the Civil War by itself and therefore can potentially be seen as being held accountable for other related native American deaths such as disease. US battle deaths in the Civil War were estimated between confederacy and the union. Calculating both together, the estimated battle deaths for the Civil War is 214,938 (calculated from estimates on Estimated battle deaths from the War of 1812 up until the start of the Civil War were 4,993 (Not factoring in the American Revolution as the US was not officially a country for the most part in the duration of that war).

In the time period you had given, "between first European contact and 1875", the time period from the first point of time (around 1500 perhaps) up until 1776, when the US as a country had been created and the declaration of independence ratified, is irrelevant in regards to my belief, since the landmass/territory was not considered the United States until after that time. This is stated in order to refute possible statements and not as a direct rebuttal to your main argument you have created, such as if I am purposefully disregarding deaths of some other group of people you would place under as native Americans.

Therefore, who is responsible for the "majority of death(s) amongst Native Americans?"

Mathematically, from the perspective of debatable belief I have provided with factually created points, the US is the one primarily responsible for the majority of deaths among native Americans in the topic creator's given time period, and not any other group of people such as the Europeans.

Sources utilized:

^ (click for quote: )

Debate Round No. 2


While a rather interesting perspective, I will agree to the argument presented to me and rebut it.

Before my main argument I will state this. My opponent makes a case by saying that "Native Americans should be considered as people who are born on US soil". While I am fine with the statement because it is his belief, I must mention something. Would a person born in the soon-to-be US be native American? It brings another question forward of mine. If those people aren't Native Americans, then are all the ones born during or after 1776 in the US Native Americans?

To start my main argument, my opponent, based on his beliefs, is stating my question as "Are Native Americans responsible for the majority of death amongst itself? in essence. But what about people coming from Europe? The are the people I put guilt on. They can't be considered Native Americans because they weren't born in North America. Many sources say that 90% of death amongst Native Americans were caused by disease ( brought over by Europeans, who can't be considered Native Americans. By the time the Euro is out and the US is in, the Native American population is already low. One interesting fact I found was before Euro contact and 1900, the Native population dropped >10 million people to 530,000. (

To finish out my rebuttal, I will put in words what I believe my opponent comprehends as my question. Are people born in Europe or in the US more responsible for the death of people born before and after Native Americans with European descent? There would be two answers to that question. The first one would be Europeans. They would be more responsible with it before Native Americans with their descent. The second would be the US (i.e NA with Euro s). This is directly because their were no Europeans at the time and the wars the US had internally. In this case though, if I would put into context my belief here's how it would go. Are Native Americans with euro descent (US) or Europeans responsible for the most deaths of NON-EURO Native Americans. The obvious answer would be Europeans as they put 90% of them off the map by 1875 roughly through disease.

Final statement: My final statement is through my opponents view, it would be both sides. Before, Europe, After, the US. But in my belief it is a clear answer as they are responsible with 90% of death amongst non-euro NA (which far outnumbered in death the US caused), it is Europe.

I will accept my opponent's argument and await response.



For my first rebuttal, I will first consider your main argument that you presented.

One of the strongest differences between my main argument and your main argument in the 2nd round, is that you have likely made one assumption that I arguably have not. You seem to have assumed the definition of a "native American" whereas mine is merely a belief. Though, should you be held at fault for that? Not really, as that coheres to the general modern usage of the term and so is understandable, but is still considerably something your main argument lacks.

In your main argument, you seem to be viewing responsibility as a "cause" in terms of how you are explaining it, and not whether or not Europeans should feel "guilt" as you have mentioned in your last comment. Considering your perspective of your main argument, why should they feel "guilt" if they indirectly killed them through disease? Is that not irrelevant in terms of who was the most responsible as the cause for the majority of deaths?

For your rebuttal, why is my belief placed into your context of belief? That seems confusing. "...death of people born before and after Native Americans with European descent?" I am guessing that you are referring to the aboriginal race. Also, if you use the term "NON EURO native Americans" in my context of belief, then you are also implying those with African descent, and that is irrelevant to both mine and your main arguments.

We as debaters for this topic, could arguably not reach a common ground for the topic since we have different perspectives of the topic, and therefore, the debate itself can be deemed as inconclusive. However, that does not imply that the arguments themselves are faulty.

Would you call a person born in the modern US who is not of aborigine ancestry a "native American"? Likely not. Most people would not since people of aborigine descent that are born in the US in a modern setting are seen as the "native Americans", however, in terms of the definitions individually of both words, that is definitely a paradox.
Even though that person does not have aborigine ancestry, they would still be considered a native with those terms. What I am arguing can be virtually considered as a critique on certain aspects of modern society"s common terminology, especially in regards to race, except that it is in the context of this debate topic. As to conclude, I am mostly in agreement with my opponent"s final statement of how we mutually conclude opposite answers and yet, both are arguably coherent to the debate topic. So then, the voters should simply decide who was the most "convincing" in relation to the arguments in general. Although, I guess I would still be very happy if I received a tie, considering what the topic statement I am advocating is.

It was a very tough topic to configure an argument as pro that would not be utterly false in my opinion, since they teach people as young as those attending elementary school to automatically disagree with this sort of topic statement because they learn about "native Americans" as the aboriginal race and consider their downfall as a large population to have been caused by the diseases of the Europeans.

As a disclaimer, I am readily aware of how such an argument is true since the Europeans are indirectly responsible, as the cause, for the "majority" of American aborigine deaths. Thank you again, for this challenging debate Leprechaun. I do not state that in an offensive manner. My intent is more of an amiable manner.
Debate Round No. 3
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by whiteflame 2 years ago
>Reported vote: I-DrankYourMilkShake// Mod action: Removed<

7 points to Pro. Reasons for voting decision: Attuned and extensive argument in analyzing.

[*Reason for removal*] This vote includes no justification and doesn't even seem to address the arguments given.
Posted by Blade-of-Truth 2 years ago
Judges Note: For this *unique* debate, I will base my judgement solely on content of arguments in terms of validity, impact, and sourcing. I believe everyone can agree that both debaters tackled the resolution while standing at opposite ends of the wrong fields.

Summation: Con held a position in which the United States were not responsible for a majority of Native American deaths. Pro held a position that U.S.-born citizens *are* native Americans and are responsible for a majority of native American deaths.

(Impact) From the start, Con approached this as expected for someone in his position. He established a timeline and presented his argument that Europeans were the ones responsible for the majority of deaths via transmitted diseases. Pro then presented his argument that native Americans are responsible for the majority of deaths among native Americans via the Civil War and other campaigns that took place under the given timeline. This is where a debate-breaking problem arose for me as a judge - Pro states, "In the time period you had given, "between first European contact and 1875", when the US as a country had been created and the declaration of independence ratified, is irrelevant in regards to my belief, since the landmass/territory was not considered the United States until after that time."

This divided the instigators' meaning of the resolution into two fundamentally different contexts. Con should have never allowed this tactic, and in doing so, this debate effectively became null - as it was no longer a debate but rather two contenders at opposing sides arguing under their own contexts rather than meeting on the level. Thus I vote this debate as a tie, due to their being no direct impacts made by either side that truly defeat the other.

(Validity & Evidence) Both Pro & Con presented valid arguments supported with linked evidence. On this front, it is again a tie.
Posted by Meropenem777 2 years ago
Rebuttals aside, there might be some things that are unclear in my argument, but I will have those be mended in my final statements. I believe I followed all the instructions you have provided with certainty.
If not already so, realize that this is a debate and I am not trying to slander your method of making instructions for a debate in any way, just providing what is asked. Thank you and looking forward to seeing what you make of my argument in the 3rd round.
Posted by Meropenem777 2 years ago
I will wait till you come back online, but I definitely want to have a debate with you on this.
Posted by Meropenem777 2 years ago
Is it maybe because I am still in the process of completing 3 debates, inadequate rank, or age? Please check.
Posted by Meropenem777 2 years ago
i cannot accept the debate since I do not meet the required age or rank. Debate creator, can you change the settings perhaps? I don't really understand why I can't accept since I am fairly new.
Posted by Meropenem777 2 years ago
Well, I would say the winner is the one who is the most "convincing" to the voters in all, and that sometimes may or may not be relevant to accuracy. Since I am looking for a very challenging debate, I will accept this debate happily.
Posted by TheJuniorVarsityNovice 2 years ago
lol, whoever accepts this should lose without a doubt
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Blade-of-Truth 2 years ago
Who won the debate:--
Reasons for voting decision: Reason for Decision is located in the Comments section due to the need for additional character space.