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The US should sponsor a referendum in Texas (and make a secret pact with Mexico at the same time).

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/1/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,094 times Debate No: 26788
Debate Rounds (2)
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There are growing calls from the people of Texas to succeed from the United States of America. With this being the case, it is only right and proper that they are allowed to exercise their democratic right to determine the future political status of their state through a free and fair referendum.

Naturally, it is vitally important that the wording of such a ballot is as simple and concise as possible, for example: "Should Texas remain part of the United States of America? Yes or No?"

If the result of the referendum is "Yes" then separatist organisations such as the Texas Nationalist Movement would have to accept the will of the Texan people to remain part of the US and discontinue their campaigns.

If, on the other hand, the result is "No" then the President of the United States should address the people of Texas along the following lines:

"My former Americans, the outcome of the referendum was clear and decisive, and I fully respect the result. That's why I have acted in accordance with the will of the Texan people to separate from United States of America by selling Texas to Mexico, ha-ha-ha! Good night and God bless."

Now, Texas has some valuable assets and America could get a very good price for it, so much in fact that Mexico would have to pay for it in instalments over a number of years, and this cash windfall could be used to cut taxes for loyal Americans in the remaining states.

But how likely is it that the US could make a mountain of money by offloading this renegade state? Of course, it would only be possible if the majority of the Texan electorate voted "No" in the referendum, which is actually quite likely because over a third of Texans owe their ethnic and cultural heritage to the days prior to 1836 when Texas was a Mexican state and, therefore, they have no historical allegiance with America. Furthermore, most non-Hispanic Texans are staunch Republicans and polls show that half of Texan Republicans support succession from the United States.

So, the game is afoot: the US should now seize the opportunity to make a lot of money to fund tax cuts for loyal Americans by sponsoring a referendum in Texas (and making a secret pact with Mexico at the same time).

Thank you.

Texas Nationalist Movement:
Mexican Texas:
Republican Texan poll:
Texas demographics:


Both the original and current Texas Constitutions state that political power is inherent in the people and (just as the Declaration of Independence declares) "the people have the right to alter their government in such manner as they might think proper."

Argument A
Technically, one could argue the United State's constitution permits state succession.

"That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness." -Declaration of Independence

However, the context was relating to our separation from England. And a common occurrence in history, the 'victors' tend to write it. Meaning, in 'Americans' eyes, our separation from England was a revolution. But if you ask England, they'd call it a cilvil war and an act of treason.

The Fact of the matter is, we have no legal precedent of a state attempting to succeed the Union. It would fundamentally come down to a court ruling and it would be a highly impacting decision. (For both the present and future)

Argument B

The above example would be a case of 'non-violent' succession. However, we have had scenarios in American history of violent successions. The Civil War being the most prevalent example. Technically at that time, several states were no longer part of the 'United States of America' and were in fact a 'sovereign' nation. But as history showed, it did not remain that way and many scholars feel that the civil war in essence proved that militaristic forms of succeeding are highly unlikely as a lasting effect.

That is even more true today with the advancements of the military. I'm not saying Texas isn't tough, but when you you're fighting a war machine the odds are slim.

Argument C

See Family Guy Season 2 Episode 18

Peter creates his own country 'Petoria' after realizing his house did not fall in the U.S. jurisdiction during a zoning dispute. And while it's comical and not 'factual' the acts in which they turn off his lights, water, etc is a realistic concept. If were Texas were to succeed (through arms or legality) major issues would be raised because the U.S. invested in this state. We built roads, communication, fire stations, army bases, and I doubt the keys would just be handed over.


If the task of succeeding were so simple the very concept of the USA would be in jeopardy. Anytime a state felt it could do better on it's own, it would leave just like that and pretty soon we would have 50 sovereign nations in the once land space of 'America.' It is the federal government interests as a whole to prevent this from happening.

From a violent standpoint, it would be downright near impossible. The Civil war as proven that.

As far as referendums, we would have to see the most controversial, highly published, highly political, displays of 'paperwork' for a legal 'non-violent' succession. It would in no doubt be decided by the Supreme Court and even if we had 9 of the most conservative justices that could be picked, I could never see them making a decision that set a legal precedent for any state to leave at will. It would destroy the concept and bedrock of the USA and would ultimately threaten national and economic security.

So in short, you're stuck with us.

Debate Round No. 1


I would like to thank nleeolson for accepting this debate and for his educated rebuttals, and I would like to respond to his arguments as follows:

Argument A - Succession
My opponent is perfectly correct in his assertion that "in 'Americans' eyes, our (America's) separation from England was a revolution. But if you ask England, they'd call it a civil war and an act of treason." Very true, indeed the highly-esteemed British historian, Professor Richard Holmes, made exactly this point when he wrote "The War of Independence plays such an important part in American popular ideology that references to it are especially prone to exaggeration and oversimplification. And two uncomfortable truths about it - the fact that it was a civil war (perhaps 100,000 loyalists fled abroad at its end), and that it was also a world war (the Americans could scarcely have won without French help) - are often forgotten."

The United Nations didn't exist back then but if it did then Britain would have had no complaint if the proto-Americans wanted to break away. That's because the United Nations Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights General Comment 12 - The right to self-determination of peoples states:

1. In accordance with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, article 1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights recognizes that all peoples have the right of self-determination;
2. Article 1 enshrines an inalienable right of all peoples as described in its paragraphs 1 and 2. By virtue of that right they freely "determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development". The article imposes on all States parties corresponding obligations.

This also means that, regardless of what is written in the American Constitution, if the people of Texas vote to succeed from the United States, then they are absolutely entitled to do so under international law.

If the United States refused to recognise the will of the people of Texas to succeed then America would be deemed to be illegally occupying Texan land, which would attract worldwide condemnation and make the United States position as a permanent member of the Security Council untenable.

Argument B - Civil Revolt
They say 'Don't mess with Texas' possibly because Texan citizens are notoriously keen on owning guns and always seem to be looking for an excuse to use them, but if the US sold Texas to Mexico, who would they fight and what would their demands be?

Would they attack American interest over the border in New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana demanding that they be allowed back into the Union? That would make no sense at all since they voted to leave in the first place, and, anyway, killing Americans would hardly endear them to their former compatriots.

Or would they attack their fellow Mexicans to the south demanding that they be allowed independence? This would make more sense, but since over a third of the residents of present-day Texas are of Mexican dissent, the Hispanic Texans would side with their cousins in the mother country, and any Caucasian and black Texan insurgents would soon be overwhelmed, with the last remaining die-hards likely ending up in some Waco-style siege on an isolated ranch - that sounds like quite a good plot for a movie, doesn't it?

Argument C - Repatriation of Civil and Military Infrastructure
The United States has, indeed, invested heavily in Texas, though it should be noted that Texans contribute more tax dollars to the Federal coffers than almost any other state. Nevertheless, prior to handing Texas over to the Mexicans, it would be reasonable for the US to remove any military hardware that wasn't actually nailed down. Everything else would be factored into the price that the US charges Mexico for the state.

Most American states are loyal to the Union and know that they better off in than out. Although there is a small separatist movement in Alaska it doesn't enjoy much popular support with the citizens of Alaska and the only state where there is any real prospect of the inhabitants voting to break away is Texas.

My argument is that the people of that sate should be given the opportunity to vote on the matter. If they choose to remain, fine, the issue is settled - at least for another couple of generations. If they choose to leave, however, the United States should put her own interests first and foremost and make sure they do not suffer financially by selling Texas to the Mexicans before they have the chance to declare themselves an independent sovereign nation.

Thank you.

American Revolutionary War:
UN Office of the Commisionner for Human Rights:


nleeolson forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Chicken 5 years ago
What is this I don't even...
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