The Instigator
thesouthwillrise
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
Adam2
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

The United Stares of America is an empire.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/12/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 925 times Debate No: 56507
Debate Rounds (4)
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thesouthwillrise

Pro

Hello and thank you for accepting to my opponent.

I believe that the US fits the very definition of an empire: "Lands ruled by a single authority: Groups of nations ruled by a single authority, usually by an emporer or an empress."

Definition of "nation": "People of same ethnicity: A community of people who share a common ethnic origin, culture, historical traditions, and frequently, language, whether or not they live together in one territory or have their own government."

So by these two definitions, this proves that the us is indeed an empire, as it comprises multiple nations that are united by the US constitution.

Again, thank you to my opponent, and hopefully this can be a polite debate.
Adam2

Con

Same here.
There is a fundamental problem with how you describe "empire," my friend. An empire is when a country conquers multiple lands by force and coersion. Now this title might have applied to the USA a long time ago, but it's not the case anymore. Most of the Native Americans have rights now that were unimaginable centuries ago. Now the Brits and Danes that can be considered an empire. To this day the Danish still have Greenland in their possession, treating them like garbage as a result. The Brits are doing slightly better as they've let go of their colonies, with the exception of Northern Ireland. But today, though it's not perfect, the USA is a democratic country that for the most part, though with its flaws, does not believe in empire building. The invasion of Iraq can be debatable, but... in the USA's case it was an occupation to give relief to people in Iraq some relief. I will argue that Brits and Danes did it out of conquest, though.
The USA is a union, much like the union between Austria and Germany during World War II. Meaning the two wanted it to happen. In a similar fashion the USA is that.
Debate Round No. 1
thesouthwillrise

Pro

"An empire is when a country conquers multiple lands by force and coercion."

I will give some examples of this, some in fairly recent history: Northwest Territory (aka the Midwest,), gained after the revolution, The Louisiana Purchase, 1803, The Annexation of the Republic of West Florida, 1810, The Cession of what was called East Florida (regular Florida today), 1819, The Annexation of the Republic of Texas, 1845, Mexican Cession, more commonly known as the Annexation of The Republic of California, 1846-1848, Gadsden Purchase, 1853, Alaska Purchase, 1867, The Annexation of the Republic of Hawaii, 1893, after the Spanish-American war in 1898, Spain ceded Cuba, Puerto Rico, The Philippines, and Guam, the American Samoa was ceded from the Samoa natives due to a civil war in 1899, and the Purchase of the Virgin Islands in 1917. So as you see, most of these are annexations or cessions, with few of them being purchases. So, while it's true that the US has not annexed territory for over 100 years, I believe that the US is still an empire.

"The invasion of Iraq can be debatable, but..... In the USA's case it was an occupation to give relief to people in Iraq."

There have actually been calls in the US for the annexation of basically the entire Middle East, including Israel.

"The USA is a union, much like the union between Austria and Germany during World War ll."

First of all, in WW2, Germany annexed Austria, making Germany an empire, not a union. Secondly, the US can no longer be classified as a union, because a union has to be voluntary, and when the South seceded in 1861 to form the CSA, the US took it back by force, immediately ending the union between the north and the south. The only original territory that was voluntarily united that can still be considered part of that union is the Northeast.
Adam2

Con

I will give some examples of this, some in fairly recent history: Northwest Territory (aka the Midwest,), gained after the revolution, The Louisiana Purchase, 1803, The Annexation of the Republic of West Florida, 1810, The Cession of what was called East Florida (regular Florida today), 1819, The Annexation of the Republic of Texas, 1845, Mexican Cession, more commonly known as the Annexation of The Republic of California, 1846-1848, Gadsden Purchase, 1853, Alaska Purchase, 1867, The Annexation of the Republic of Hawaii, 1893, after the Spanish-American war in 1898, Spain ceded Cuba, Puerto Rico, The Philippines, and Guam, the American Samoa was ceded from the Samoa natives due to a civil war in 1899, and the Purchase of the Virgin Islands in 1917. So as you see, most of these are annexations or cessions, with few of them being purchases. So, while it's true that the US has not annexed territory for over 100 years, I believe that the US is still an empire.
The USA has given rights to the Native Americans. We've even given land to many of the Nations.

There have actually been calls in the US for the annexation of basically the entire Middle East, including Israel.
Proof that the USA wanted to annex Israel? Last time I checked that never happened. There might be a case about the Arab countries, but even then the USA didn't. Blame Britain and Denmark for invading Iraq.

First of all, in WW2, Germany annexed Austria, making Germany an empire, not a union. Secondly, the US can no longer be classified as a union, because a union has to be voluntary, and when the South seceded in 1861 to form the CSA, the US took it back by force, immediately ending the union between the north and the south. The only original territory that was voluntarily united that can still be considered part of that union is the Northeast.
No it was voluntary. Hitler was actually an Austrian. The majority of people in Germany and Austria, with good reason, supported Nazism, and it was a union they craved.

The USA is not an empire anymore. If anything the only countries with empires are Denmark and Britain. Denmark still mistreats the Inuits like it's nothing, and their attitude is one of "I don't care."

As for the Civil War, it's hard to say exactly, what the war was really about.
Debate Round No. 2
thesouthwillrise

Pro

"The USA has given rights to the Native Americans. We've even given land to many of the nations."

What you seem to not understand is that the US doesn't have to be evil to be an empire. It is a benevolent empire that gives rights and land, for the most part, to all the minorities it conquered, as long as, of course, they remain in the empire and follow their rules.

"Proof that the USA wanted to annex Israel?"

I will be honest, there is no proof of this. This was something that I had heard, and I thought I might as well mention it. But as to the Rest of the Middle East, yes, some politicians have said that we should just annex it, make them/it a state(s), and then move on. The reason for this is so the US can get the oil in the Middle East.

"No It was voluntary."

It may have been the will of the people of those countries, but the government of Austria did not want to be annexed, for obvious reasons. There was not a sense of democracy back then in Europe, so most peoples fully depended on their governments to make decisions, so it was not a union, it was an empire.

But back to the civil war: when the south seceded, it formed a true union, also known as a confederation. This form of government was very similar to the European. Union. The US, however, has gained land by conquest, automatically making it an empire. We can give all the rights in the world to the peoples of these lands, but they still must obey the laws set by the federal government instead of being independent. If the US were to give full independence to these nations, and those nations asked ( asked, not forced,) to rejoin the US, that would be a true union. In the beginning of these territories, they had no option to join or not join the US. They were owned by the US, but with less rights, similar to Puerto Rico and Guam today. (Although most people believe that Puerto Rico is another country, it is still a territory.)
Adam2

Con

What you seem to not understand is that the US doesn't have to be evil to be an empire. It is a benevolent empire that gives rights and land, for the most part, to all the minorities it conquered, as long as, of course, they remain in the empire and follow their rules.
Sorry there is no such thing as a benevolent empire. That is a well-recognized oxymoron. An empire has to be with greedy and ruthless intentions. Britain and Denmark were vicious and ruthless empires in their day. Denmark ruthlessly mistreated the native Greenlands (raped their women as a form of controling the natives), and Britain, well everyone knows, looted from them. The USA has another type which was expanding settlement. The USA soliders were ruthless as well.

I will be honest, there is no proof of this. This was something that I had heard, and I thought I might as well mention it. But as to the Rest of the Middle East, yes, some politicians have said that we should just annex it, make them/it a state(s), and then move on. The reason for this is so the US can get the oil in the Middle East.


It may have been the will of the people of those countries, but the government of Austria did not want to be annexed, for obvious reasons. There was not a sense of democracy back then in Europe, so most peoples fully depended on their governments to make decisions, so it was not a union, it was an empire.
First of all, Hitler was Austrian, so the Austrian government did want to be in a union with Germany. There was no government in exile there.
http://en.wikipedia.org...

But back to the civil war: when the south seceded, it formed a true union, also known as a confederation. This form of government was very similar to the European. Union. The US, however, has gained land by conquest, automatically making it an empire. We can give all the rights in the world to the peoples of these lands, but they still must obey the laws set by the federal government instead of being independent. If the US were to give full independence to these nations, and those nations asked ( asked, not forced,) to rejoin the US, that would be a true union. In the beginning of these territories, they had no option to join or not join the US. They were owned by the US, but with less rights, similar to Puerto Rico and Guam today. (Although most people believe that Puerto Rico is another country, it is still a territory.)
The Native peoples are given tax breaks. The Native Nations have autonomy for the most part. They almost don't need to follow the laws of the USA. When we were an empire, we drove them off their land and emprisoned them in reservations. That was no freedom.
With Puerto Rico and Guam it's a bit more complicated. But make no mistake, the situation with Puerto Rico and Guam is nothing compared to the mistreatment Denmark imposed on Greenland.

No there is no such thing as a benevolent empire. The USA is not an empire in any sense. It was back then, but not anymore.
Debate Round No. 3
thesouthwillrise

Pro

"The Native Peoples are given tax breaks."

Definition of Native:Born or originating somewhere in a particular place.

This means that anyone born in a certain area is native to that place, therefore, anyone born in America is a Native American, and not all of them get tax breaks. But, as to what you are talking about, the Indians, the lakotah people are in a state of poverty much worse than in an area like Mississippi.

"There is no such thing as a benevolent empire."

Definitions of benevolent and empire:

Benevolent: Kind: showing kindness or goodwill.
Empire:A group of nations ruled by a single authority.

As you said, the US is being much more kind to the Indians by giving them more rights and land. Most of them, that is. And the US is a country of multiple nations, so it fits the very definition of a benevolent empire.

Plus the Indians only gt those extra rights, free land and tax breaks if they live on the reservations permentally . This has been a good debate and I thank you for participating.
Adam2

Con

No, the USA is very racist against them, so there is no benevolent empire.
A case can be made about Puerto Rico, but that is still not the same Denmark and how they've treated Greenland with disregard and complete garbage.
Than you pro.
Debate Round No. 4
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