The USA should be a confederation.
Debate Rounds (3)
A Confederation is a union by compact or treaty between states, provinces or territories that creates a central government with limited powers; the constituent entities retain supreme authority over all matters except those delegated to the central government.
In this definition it explains that the Government of the Confederation would NOT have as much power as the United States Government does now. The US government is to big and has way to much power, and the states of this union have no say in the authority of the Federal Government.
I am not condoning the return of the Articles of Confederation, because (to be honest) that was a massive failure. That was created when the US was very very young and afraid of corrupt and powerful governments. The articles outlined what a true confederation should be, but it did not fill the spectrum.
However, before I go further into this debate I must include our once American brothers; the CSA or Confederate States of America.
Yes, indeed the CSA was a confederation, and for the most part, the whole process went very well, if you want more details on the endeavors of the Confederacy, just challenge me at this debate. I am not in any case a supporter of slavery, I find that to be inhumane.
To clarify before we really start this however, I would like to state that just because I'm on the Con does not mean I support the USA's government in its current form, in fact I don't. I think it requires a great deal of reform, but a Confederation is not the way to accomplish this.
I would also like to state (USA? State? Yes? No? Ok.) that I will be valuing Governmental Legitimacy.
With that out of the way I'd like to say good luck to my opponent and may the best case win.
I await your arguments,
I agree, the transformation from Federal Republic to Confederation will be very hard and may even damage things; as it did in the civil war. However in the long run, a Confederation would be a more formidable way of establishing and unionizing a nation. Just think, a government comprised of smaller governments! Genius!
The Iroquois Confederacy:
I am going to use multiple confederations to back my claim, the Iroquois Confederacy is one I will propose.
During the time of Native American inhabitants, there were many wars being waged over land, food, and basic recourses. Native American tribes would have constant borders frictions, mistaken identities, and overall a lack of union or organization.
The people of these tribes:
- The Seneca
- The Cayuga
- The Onondaga
- The Oneida
- The Mohawk
Were in constant rivalry with each other, for the reason stated above. They fought non-stop, without end, the rivers ran red. However after years of conflict two men Dekanawida, and Hiyonwantha brought forth a pact of peace called, "The Great Law of Peace". This ended the conflict with all of the nations and formed them into one union. However, they did not lose their sovereignty; the nations formed a counsel at Onondaga (the center most tribe), and formed the Iroquois Confederation. After that there was no war, no conflict, and the counsels and people of the 5 nations lived in peace. They together fought back many enemies, only to be destroyed by the Armies of the United States. (Damn Yanks! Just Kidding!)
The point I am trying to put across would be that, if we become a Confederation it would give the States more sovereignty, making it so the states governments are more important. However, we don't have 5 states, just times that by 10 and that's how many we have. It would be a tedious process of decision making through so many representatives and it is up to the people of the newly formed Confederation of states, to figure out how they want to be represented.
A more divided power would make it more difficult for corruption to spread, with so many governments and little power delegated to the central government, corruption would just have to look elsewhere.
I feel I must restate something, the Articles of Confederation were awful, and made an outline of an extremely loose and faulty Confederation. I will not use this document to back up my claim.
godridden95 (Count how many times I said confederation or confederacy!)
But let's get down to business, shall we? First, I will be going over my opponent's argument, and then making my own.
The main concept my opponent elected to use here is that of the Iroquois Confederacy, and how well it worked for them, thus we must make a similar transition so that it will work well for us. This, however, is a misguided view of how the things ought to be because it fails to take into account the way things were before the transition to confederacy.
The members Iroquois Confederacy were completely separate before joining the union. Before the union was formed, each and every member tribe was a separate entity from the other tribes. Each tribe had it's own identity, its own sense of self. The people's loyalty most likely went something like this:
4. Iroquois Confederacy
A confederacy which, at its core, values the rights of its member states ahead of the rights of the central government itself, is exactly what the people of those tribes needed at the time. They needed a system that grants both sovereignty and cohesion into one tight bundle, because the people saw themselves as Mohawk or Seneca before they saw themselves as Iroquois. The people were simply tribesmen before countrymen, and needed to be governed as such.
The people of the United States are completely different, however, as Americans don't see themselves in that same light at all. The status quo before the change would be modern day United States, and the modern day American sees themselves much more patriotic then their classical Iroquois counterparts. For starters, the modern American has been raised in an already formed country which enjoys mostly peace within its borders, far form the blood soaked battle grounds of the pre-Confederacy North American North East. The modern American has also been raised to be a zealous patriot and an individual, usually landing in one of those two extremes. As a result, most American's loyalties lie more or less like this:
The average American sees themselves as an American before they see themselves as a Californian, or Texan, or Nevadan. They value National Sovereignty over State Sovereignty. They have more loyalty to the country than to their state and deserve to be governed as such.
Con also never gives a reason why State sovereignty is better then National, except for a potential drop in corruption. This is not the case, however. It is much easier to corrupt and take over smaller, less powerful organizations then it is to corrupt large, powerful ones.
This isn't to say our government now isn't corrupt, it most certainly is, its just that a creation of small organizations is ripe for corruption.
Now on to my case.
(Apologies for everything after this, because I'm writing this at about 4 A.M.)
The United States should not become a Confederacy because it would harm governmental legitimacy. A government is only legitimate if it is able to serve the needs of it's people effectively. Becoming a confederacy would ensure that the government of the United States would be, in essence, weaker then the state governments. This government wouldn't be able to effectively serve the needs of the people as the only governments that would be able to effectively serve its people would be the state's. The USA would become little more than a consortium of states following their own agendas rather than a truly united nation.
The United States should not become a Confederacy because it goes against the will of the people. As I previously said, most Americans think of themselves as Americans before they think of themselves as Texans, Californians, ect., ect. To govern these citizens in a manor that makes them Texans (or whatever) before Americans, as the US government would have no real power, is simply and utterly wrong.
The United States should not become a Confederacy because it would harm us on the global stage. As allready stated about a quadrillion times, the US government would be rendered extremely weak by becoming a Confederacy. That weakness would show globally, as it would reduce one of the most unified and powerful nations on earth to fifty bickering states, all following their own prerogatives.
I await your rebuttal,
When I read your argument it hit me right in the gut, I was literally dumb founded to see that you pulled that one out. The examples you put out are quite intriguing, I almost agree with you.
I can see how the country comes before the state in the eyes of an American, but they do not have to lose their title just because the states become a little more sovereign. As I have seen through my research of Confederations of history, I see a common pattern of them constantly falling, however, confederations are usually formed during war time. Having multiple nations come together against a foreign enemy.
The United States is at War, weather or not you believe ISIS to be an Enemy Combatant or an Enemy Nation, it comes down to the fact the when states are tested they Unionize into one Confederation. In the case of the United States, the states of the union are a little too unionized.
Take the Swiss Confederacy for example, during their time, they had a lot of success not only in battle but with relations amongst themselves, originally starting out with 3 nation states, they expanded to have 13. However, if you read more into the Swiss Confederation, you can see the confederacy collapsed due to the rise of Protestantism in the north and the more Catholic south.
As you can see from the Swiss Confederation, all of those people classified themselves as a citizen of their specific state. Other than being a citizen of the Swiss confederation.
Where I'm going with this is, if we become a confederacy, states will definitely want the citizens to be called a member of that state other than a member of the whole country, it's pretty much required for them to do so, or it would be funny going to Idaho, and someone asks you where you are from, and you say America.
The citizens are going to have to get used to new conditions, such conditions however are not difficult to get used to, I would not mind to call myself a Pennsylvanian other then an American, and I can find many people who agree as well.
I see that you were concerned about Government legitimacy, and rightfully so. However, I can rebuttal that statement. During the time of the Confederate States of America, the states of the confederation had a specified amount of sovereignty, states had more of an impact on the people living within them. However, the national government of the Confederate States was actually pretty strong (of course not as strong as the USA, but we are getting their.) and the decisions of that government had a massive impact on the country. Things such as law making, and military were mostly delegated to the national government by the states themselves. So to summarize, it really depends on how the states react to increased sovereignty and power over the National Government.
I understand the fact that in a Confederate America the Government will not be as strong as it is now. However, states governments would combat this greatly, I love to think we are not led by a bunch of idiots, and believe that if we become a Confederation, the states would delegate a large portion of power over to the central government. I would also like to say, states today already have a hard enough time changing borders, or trying to add a claim on an island owned by another state. I can see many instances where a state government wants something done, but cannot because the Federal Government sees it to be unnecessary. If changed to a Confederation, states would have a little more leeway in what they can get away with, states may split, states may form together, the options are endless. It would be like, like minded children running around in a big playground. All having fun and getting along, with a couple cuts and bruises here and there.
I admit, a Confederate America is far fetched and definitely has it's pros and cons, but anything could be better than what the US has become today.
I will now rebut my opponents case.
Rebuttal to Argument 1
Your main argument here seems to be that the states need to deunoinize in the face of a common enemy. This rather awkward concept is not rather realivent, because ISIS is not any threat to the U.S.
Don't get me wrong, ISIS is serious, but not serious enough to require a change in government. This isn't the British, or the Nazis, or even the Vietnamese. This is a desert rebellion 9,000 miles away. Nothing the government has to consider a confederacy for.
Also the biggest issue in your case is, again, you never give a reason why a confederacy would be beneficial to the U.S. Just because it worked for the Iroquios, and it worked for the Swiss, doesn't mean it will be beneficial to us. Feudal government worked well for mideval Japan and England, but that is not cause for a governmental shift. Your "they'll just have to get used to it" attitude is unessesary as the benefits of a confederacy have yet to be states.
Rebuttal to Argument 2
The issue at hand is if a state could overrule the government in this change to a confederacy. If the State has more sovereignty, has more power than the actual national government. As long as that is a yes that will happen, has long as that's possible, the national government is illegitimate by its own incompetency.
Rebuttal to Argument 3
We can't justify a change in government because the states will have slightly more breathing room. There is no real reason to change into a confederacy. Increased state rights, addresses of issues facing states, corruptionese are issues solvable under a federal system, a confederacy is an unneeded remedy to these problems.
Its clunky and hard to work with, impossible to make the states do anything for the good of the country. A confederacy is not the answer for our issues. For these reasons and more, I stand in the firmest negation of the concept of the US becoming a confederacy.
Thank you to everyone,
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: pro proved that the states would gain more power through a confed., but con suggested that then the USA would not be U-sa (it would be separate states instead).
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