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The Contender
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The United States lost the War of 1812

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/15/2016 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 932 times Debate No: 88261
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (49)
Votes (2)




I believe that the United States was defeated by the British Empire in the War of 1812.


I am assuming this round is for acceptance. I look forward to reading a constructive case by the affirmative not to exceed 10,000 characters.
Debate Round No. 1


1st round was for acceptance. I'm pretty new and forgot to mention it, sorry.

The reasons for declaring war was over impressment, the act of kidnapping men and enslaving them on foreign ships, the British trade restrictions, which the United States felt violated their neutral rights, and the alleged aid given to the Native Americans. American war goal was to defeat the British in Canada and force concessions over those violations to American sovereignty and rights.

Britain's main war goal was the defense of Canada and their secondary objective was to establish a Indian buffer state.

My reasoning for the United States losing the war is based these things.

1. The United States suffered more casualties fighting a smaller force. The United States lost an estimated 15,000 from all causes, 2,200 in combat, 4,505 wounded. The British lost 1,600 in action, 3,321 from disease, and 3,679 wounded. When tallied the British inflicted more casualties on the United States then suffered.

2. The British also won more battles against the United States than lost. American invasions of Canada were defeated and ended up with the occupations of most of the Michigan territory, Maine and the occupation of Washington DC and then the British left after burning it down.

3.The United States gained none of the changes in British policy it set out to win, it failed to achieve its military objective, and damaged to the country"s commerce.

The United States fought a war to force the British to cease their maritime policies of impressment and the trade restrictions. Britain was not forced to end those policies, France was defeated and Britain no longer needed to enforce their policies. The United States objective to force the British to the negotiating table by taking Canada was not achieved and instead they lost 40,000 square km themselves. The attempt to stop British trade restrictions by going to war brought about a blockade throughout most of the United States' coast and our oversea commerce tanked.

Britain being in a much larger war in Europe forced the British to fight a more defensive war in North America. In the end, Britain protected their possessions in North America, captured enemy territory and kept it until the end of the war, damaged their enemy's commerce, won more battles, and killed more enemy soldiers. The treaty of Ghent did not resolve the main grievances that brought about the American declaration of war, it did however set everything to pre war conditions.

Britain being war weary for over 20 years war is what saved the United States from the full might of the British Empire after France was defeated.


In 1862 at the end of the Peninsula campaign President Lincoln was highly displeased with the performance of General in Chief George McClellan. The general defended himself famously telling the President, that he had, "not lost the battle, but merely failed to win."

This quote from McClellan well describes the resolution of many military engagements throughout history, but perhaps none better than the ultimate result of the War of 1812 between the United States and the British empire.

Wars differ from most contests we are familiar with in civilian life. Most sports require a clear winner and looser, and they also have very clear rules. War is not so neat and tidy.

My opponent raises some very good examples of American setbacks, and points out that it was the British Empire that gave better than they took in terms of casualties and numbers of battles won. Nevertheless, those examples don't constitute a win or a loss for either side in the overall conflict. For example, during the American Civil War there were several battles where the rebels took less casualties than the Union, nevertheless the Union ultimately prevailed at that war's conclusion.

This also applies to the example of number of battles fought and won by the British. During the American Civil War, particularly in the east, Joe Johnston and Bobby Lee won the majority of battles between 1861 to the first half of 1863. Winning more battles doesn't necessarily mean winning the war. Lee surrendered to the Grant and the Union without conditions on April 9th 1865. Johnston surrendered to Sherman seventeen days later. The war was over and the Confederacy no more, despite some of the most amazing generalship in history and despite every victory of the South.

To evaluate this kind of debate we need a definition for loosing a war, and my opponent did not provide one. As such I have offered one below.

To lose a war: surrender or capitulation to a foreign military

This was not the result of the war of 1812 for either side. It was the final outcome of conflicts like the American Civil War and WWII (Robert E Lee surrendered to Grant, Karl Doenitz surrendered to Eisenhower, Hideki Tojo to MacArthur)

In reality the war of 1812 ended as a draw, however the British Empire arguably got the shorter straw in peace negotiations. The British demanded a UK sponsored Midwestern "buffer State" along with control of parts of the Mississippi River, and quickly dropped the conditions in order to normalize trade with the American States and focus on war in Europe, the net result was to return to antebellum conditions between the US and British Empire. A quote below of then American President James Madison very well summarizes the situation upon concluding peace with the Crown.

"I think you have no right, from the state of war, to demand any concession of territory from America ... You have not been able to carry it into the enemy's territory, notwithstanding your military success and now undoubted military superiority, and have not even cleared your own territory on the point of attack. You cannot on any principle of equality in negotiation claim a cessation of territory except in exchange for other advantages which you have in your power ... Then if this reasoning be true, why stipulate for the uti possidetis? You can get no territory: indeed, the state of your military operations, however creditable, does not entitle you to demand any."

Simply put, the British were in no position to level demands, especially after General Andrew Jackson's victory in New Orleans and in consideration of the state of British forces in America at the time, and the imperative to focus attention on France and Europe.

In fact the only real change from antebellum status quo at the end of the war was British concession to America, of fishing rights along the St Lawrence River. Perhaps not greatly significant, but it goes to show that the US in the end walked away with some level of concession whereas the British did not.

The US also garnered a less material but highly significant "win" from the conclusion, of national pride and identity. The war at the time of conclusion was seen by most Americans as a victory, galvanizing national pride and separating once and for all the sovereignty of the American States from the Empire. It also gave Americans a new song, " The Star-Spangled Banner."

In the final analysis of history it's probably fair to say neither side won, but the young American nation took away a renewed sense of nationalism, pride and independence; along with some fish. The British made no gains whatsoever.

Given the definition of "lose a war," surrender or capitulation, we cannot conclude that either side "won" per se. What we can conclude is that the American Nation, despite any setbacks inflicted upon them during the war, got the better end of the deal when the treaty of Ghent was signed. It's arguable in full scope fo teh war, the in fact teh Americans, not the British, took better than they gave, if you will.

Considering the definition of losing a war that is so critical for judging this debate, and the examples of positive American outcomes, a negative ballot is strongly urged.
Debate Round No. 2


I believe McClellan's quote simply tells us that he had to much pride to admit that he lost the battle that President Lincoln was displeased over. I would agree that wars differ from our daily friendly games racing, and Football. However, war can be thought of like boxing. Do we say that no one won a boxing match if neither boxer is knocked out (capitulate or surrender)? No, we look and analyze and compare performances. Who dodged and blocked blows (defend) and counter punched (offense) most efficiently? Which side had been knocked down most ect?

I will also disagree with my opponents definition of lose. Its merely an attempt to discard the victor and loser of this war and the real meaning of losing or winning war. Not that it doesn't mean surrender or capitulate but that isn't the only way one side can lose and therefore shouldn't ignorantly stick to the most extreme and humiliating form of lose. The more sensible definition from the most humiliating and extreme type of loss than my opponents definition is simply, "failed to win".

Wars are not only won or lost when one side surrenders or capitulates, they are won or lost when one FAILS TO WIN, fail to achieve their objectives that one went to war to achieve. My opponent, like McClellan, simply seems to have to much pride to admit that, we, the United States of America sometimes loses.

In the Korean War when North Korea invaded South Korea with the sole intention, objective, of conquest of South Korea, neither side surrendered nor capitulated. Does that mean it was a draw?... No, the main and or sole objectives of that war was the conquest or defense of South Korea and therefore though there were no surrenders, there were losers and winners. One side achieved 0% of objectives and the other at least achieved 50%. Therefore, despite no surrenders from either side, one side lost and one side won. When one side fails to achieve their objectives in the war and the other side does, you know who wins and who loses.

That is the case for the War of 1812 and any war. Simply ask yourselves a few questions.

Who declared war? The United States of America

Why? To force the British Empire to renounce their 'rights' of impressment and the trade restrictions.

How? By invading, defeating enemy forces, and capturing Canada.

Those were the objectives of the United States.

Most important question is, what was the outcome?

I feel I did quite will in the first round in explaining that just as con concedes to that. The United States indeed surrendered the Michigan territory and lost Maine over 40,000 square km and felt a crushing blockade on our coast and these territories were returned not because the United States was just defeating Britain left and right. It was due to the fact that Britain deployed a minuscule force of manpower to defend Canada, that they were more concerned with Europe than with North America. The war also was started cause Britain refused to renounce the rights they were exercising against the United States so they were also fighting to protect those rights as well.

In the treaty of Ghent, the British still wasn't going to listen to the demands from the United States that brought about the declaration of war in the first place, the rights that molested the United States. The United States knew that and not only dropped those demands but never even mentioned them nor Madison's suggestion to hand over Canada due to the fact the United States was in no position to make ANY demands. whereas the British who controlled 40,000 km2 of the United States' territory, occupied the White House and ate the president's dinner before destroying his home, achieved their military objectives on the battlefield more than not, and inflicted more causalities did.

Status Quo Ante Bellum was a desired outcome for the British Empire from day one of the War of 1812, the British didn't want war, they wanted peace. It was the United States that wanted change by means of war.

The United States didn't continue the war cause they were losing, the British didn't pursue the war cause they wanted normal relations with the US like they wanted it from day 1 of the War of 1812 so that they can focus on France.

I'll try to summarize this.

Objectives of the United States.

`88; Force the British Empire to renounce the right of impressment. (Failed)
`88; Force the British Empire to renounce the right to impede American commerce (Failed)
`88; The acquisition of Canada (Failed)
`88; Defeat British Native American allies to continue westward expansion (Achieved)

Objectives of the British Empire.

`88; Defend Canada (Achieved)
`88; Retain the right of impressment if needed (Achieved)
`88; Retain the right of impeding American commerce if needed (Achieved)
`88; End the war ASAP to focus on European affairs (Achieved)
`88; Establish an Indian buffer state for their Native American allies. (Failed) Due to the Indian coalition defeat, not British.

The United States achieved 25% of their objectives, most important ones were not even mentioned cause they no longer wanted war. The British achieved 80% of their objectives and didn't want to pursue the war cause it was never their interest nor intention to go to war with the United States. American aim to take possession of Canada led to them surrendering Michigan, led to them losing Maine, and to the nation's capital to fall to the enemy. American aim to protect their commercial interest led to a devastating blockade that ruined their commercial interest and led to near bankruptcy. American aim to force the British to renounce impressment never happened and they didn't even have the stomach to demand that it to never happen again cause they had considerable difficulty dealing with around 8% of British military strength, they didn't want to deal with say 50% or 100% and leave defeated France to the rest of Europe.


This debate boils down to two questions; the definition of losing a war, and the takeaways for the British and Americans at the end of the War of 1812. I will address both questions in my response, and respond in the sequence of argument(s) offered by my opponent in their last constructive.

For starters, my opponent misunderstands the context of the George McClellan quote. The quote was offered to demonstrate the overall war of 1812 was not a contest with a clear winner or looser. It bears mentioning though, while my opponent suggested McClellan was obfuscating a loss, the reason his commander in chief was upset was not because of a failure per se, but rather because McClellan has the best opportunity to defeat Lee's army up until that time, and had apparently missed with window.

My opponents misappropriation of this example exposes how he (my opponent) tries to shift on definitions of win or loose over the course of his arguments. By the metrics he tries to apply, McClellan won the Peninsula Campaign during the civil war. Here's why;

1) McClellan did more damage to Lee's army than Lee had don't to the Army of the Potomac
2) McClellan was fastidious about minimizing casualties, and suffered on balance significantly less casualties than not only his enemy, but than other Union generals in field at the time.
3) McClellan, "could hear the bells of Richmond," by the end of the campaign. Jeff Davis was in fact preparing to evacuate Richmond when McClellan relented.

In this example someone my opponent characterizes as a battlefield looser fulfills my opponents criterion for a victor. That's perplexing...? No, it's called shifting.

To be completely clear, my opponent never offered a clear definition for "lose a war" when he presented his first constructive, and debate conventions hold that he missed the opportunity, since definitions are integral to overall case structure, organization and advocacy.

Then after a concrete definition was offered by the negative, "surrender or capitulation," they tried to turn General McClellan's famous quote into a definition for lose, however when this example is examined in full context, my opponent's attempt to turn the example falls apart, because it doesn't support his definition of, "lose a war," it better supports the negative understanding of what it means to win, lose or tie.

He tries to use the example of a boxing match in how we evaluate the give and take in military conflict, but deliberately suppresses that a boxing match can end in a draw, just like the war of 1812.

He claims a war is lost when a side fails to win, which is patently false, and if that were a good measure of lose, then some of his later examples go up in smoke, like the example of the Korean War. Here's why:

By my opponents measure, North Korea lost the Korean War. Hooray! I will call our embassy in Seoul right now and relay the good news. No need to worry about Kim Jung-un or any missile tests either, after all, they lost that conflict 63 years ago according to my opponent, because they "failed to win." What's that you say..? The regime in North Korea is alive and well. Dang, my opponent had really raised my hopes for a moment.

He claims his "definition," makes more sense, but actually it makes no sense at all. To be a good definition it has to be fairly accurate in most cases, and my opponent's definition is not accurate even within his own case. He even tries to say this definition works for any war. Again, this is demonstrably false.

By his measure both sides lost the cold war. This is absurd, neither side lost the cold war, and neither won it, otherwise we likely wouldn't be here. It gets even more absurd when you apply it metaphorically. Have we lost the war on Cancer, or merely failed to win it..?

This is a fallacy of false equivocation on the part of my opponent, its the third chapter of your college logic textbook (Hurley's Logic) Failure to win is not the same thing as losing, plain and simple.

Lets move on to the takeaways of the war.

My opponent tries to make boil this down to four examples on the American part, and five on the British part. He completely ignores any other aspects of the wars conclusion, as well as again falsely equivocating these examples on either side (in his percentage breakdown)

The reality is that not all war aims are created equal, and this very conflict, even some of the elements in my opponents case, prove it. If all war aims were actually equal, (they aren't) the British would have put the same premium on winning this conflict as it did the conflict in Europe with Napoleon, but defeating Napoleon was far more important. What's more, my opponent misrepresents some of the end results of the War of 1812;

Objectives of the United States.

Force the British Empire to renounce the right of impressment. (Failed)
Incorrect, the issue of impressment was nullified by the abdication of Napoleon, and the Orders in Council relevant to the War were repealed just five days after the war was declared. More expedient trans-Atlantic communication could have prevented the whole thing altogether

Force the British Empire to renounce the right to impede American commerce (Failed)
Incorrect again, this was nullified by the defeat of Napoleon.

The acquisition of Canada (Failed)
The battles in Canada were not so much a land grab, but for leverage on the part of the US to force resolutions to the maritime issues that began the war. The end of the Napoleonic wars made the issue moot. And there was no loss of national pride for having not annexed Canada

Defeat British Native American allies to continue westward expansion (Achieved)

Here my opponent is correct, the British failed at this goal, which was the only important objective in limiting US expansion. Not only did this come out in the US favor, it paved the way to the US we see today, the "Continental US" which overall was the greatest national aim of the United States before the war and for nearly a century after.

This disperses the claims made about the British achievements as well.

Objectives of the British Empire.

Defend Canada (Achieved)

Not significant to the US. The US only attacked Canada as a fast track attempt to leverage the negotiation of maritime issues causing the war. Moreover, those maritime issues were rendered moot when Napoleon abdicated.

Retain the right of impressment if needed (Achieved)

Rendered moot by the end of Napoleonic French regime.

Retain the right of impeding American commerce if needed (Achieved)

Napoleon's abdication ended the blockade of continental Europe, and this issue was rendered moot.

End the war ASAP to focus on European affairs (Achieved)

False; if they had wanted to end the war asap there were any number of alternate options. Instead they (the Brits) chose to fight fire with fire when the house next door (Europe proper) was already burning down. One of the primary reasons for pursuing it was to create a buffer state between the United States and the Pacific coast of North America, which failed.

Establish an Indian buffer state for their Native American allies. (Failed) Due to the Indian coalition defeat, not British.

Regardless of the reasons, this British objective failed, and paved the way to the Continental United States, and for the ultimate British exit from North America by 1867 (Creation of the Dominion of Canada after two revolts in Canada against the crown, inspired the the mythology of Canadian militia during the war of 1812)

Otherwise the conditions at the end of the war were the same as prior, aside from a significant lasting sense of renewed American independence from the British Empire that would shape the destiny of the United Sates for generations to come, and American fishing rights along Labrador and the St Lawrence River. Don't forget the Star-Spangled Banner!

Nevertheless, the American takeaways of the war do outweigh the total positives (zero) for the Brits. And the final resolution paved the way to the Continental United States, formally recognized in a treaty with the empire just three years after, the treaty of 1818.

Based on the observation that the war was by no measure a decisive win for the British, and the poor grasp my opponent has on what constitutes as win, loss or tie, the obvious choice is a negative ballot.
Debate Round No. 3


The reason I didn't define 'losing a war' is due to the idea that losing a war was such a commonly understood concept. You lose when you fail to achieve the objectives that a nation goes to war to achieve. It was also to be expected that I wasn't saying that we lost due to unconditional surrender nor conditionally surrendered. However, being that there have been two definitions offered.

Lose a war: By surrender or capitulation.


Lose a war: By failing to achieve the objectives that a nation goes to war to achieve.

We'll have to let the voters decide which is the best and most appropriate definition to use in this scenario.

The American Civil War campaign that my opponent is talking about was going well for the Union then ended with them retreating, cause McClellan lost his initiative and it displeased Lincoln. The objective was to capture the Confederate capitol Richmond and since it ended with them NOT capturing Richmond it was a loss for the Union.

I define loss as failing to achieve the objectives one goes to achieve. That is why despite taking less casualties the Union still lost. You've seem overlook my criteria. From least to most important, casualties, victories on the battlefield, achieving objectives that one felt was important enough to go to war to achieve.

I still believe it be the case besides your attempt to define it to such a degree. Its also understood that since North Korea invaded the South with only one objective, to conquer South Korea. That 63 years later there still stands a nation called South Korea and you having the ability to call a US embassy in South Korea instead of it being a Korea under communism with no US embassy that one wouldn't call it a draw but a victory for South Korea.

Would you call World War 1 a defeat for the Allies since Hitler took power afterwards and started World War 2? I mean Germany did surrender but a madman with the goal of conquest and death took root afterwards and then negated near all concessions in Versailles.

The United States took more casualties, lost more battles, and failed to achieve the objectives that they set out to achieve. War with Britain was about by the actions at sea. The war was set to be won by taking Canada. Britain would not have gone to war with their important trade partner for their Native American allies.

The the United States government was quite vocal about the reasons for war and how they intended to win it. The United States did not defeat the British on the battlefield nor did the win at the negotiating table. The British wanted an end to the fighting cause their efforts in Europe took priority. The United States having 40,000 square km of territory less, less victories on the ground, more dead, and financially exhausted was in no position of strength to make any demands.

Their win against their Native American enemies doesn't constitute a defeat for Britain. The United States didn't force Britain to concede anything. As you said, Napoleon's defeat brought about changes, not American war machine. Peaceful negotiations 3 years later brought about a deal that again had nothing to do with the reasons for declaring war in the 1st place. The exact same things would have happened had the United States not declared war against the British. The British would have ended its violations against the United States after Napoleon's defeat like it did and the United States would have still defeated the Native Americans and the British wouldn't have hampered American expansionism to the extent that they did during the War of 1812.

Since Status Quo Ante Bellum put everything to the way it was before the war and since it was the United States that declared war in order to force change on the British and since the British didn't concede to the United States. that it was other circumstances that brought the change, the United States didn't win. The British ceased its violations on their terms not on the Americans terms.

You don't claim victory against the British when the only objective that the United States achieved was against the Native Americans. The United States didn't achieve the war aims of the acquisition of Canada to achieve the objectives to force concessions from the British.

Based on the observations that the United States went to war to force the British to stop what they were doing ended with all territorial and political rights restored to pre war conditions in the treaty of Ghent. That the British ended their policies due to their terms and not due to the American war machine. That the British achieved the objectives that were established on the ground in those battlefields more than not, that they inflicted more death upon their enemy, that they put their enemy in financial ruin. Leads any rational person to conclude that America's war for concessions ended in failure due to the British not conceding anything that the peace treaty ended with Britain still having the rights to do exactly what they did that made the United States declare war.

Draws are when neither side achieves none of their goals. Or when each side comes out with equally acceptable terms. Neither of these describes the outcome of the War of 1812. America's goals for concessions didn't come to fruit and they accepted pre war conditions which pre war conditions is what caused the United States to go to war.


The reason we need good definitions is because those definitions become the weighing mechanism for every debate. This debate shows us there's varying understanding of what, "lose a war" is understood to mean. And yes, ultimately it's up to those judging to decide which definition is better. However, we need to vote for definitions that are consistent, and my opponents preferred definition fails that test across the board.

My opponent tried to use the George McClellan quote I offered to extract a definition of merely, "failed to win." However, we have already seen why that is a very poor definition, because it is not true in many cases, and allows for inconclusive and/or inaccurate evaluations. The reality is falling short of one or more objectives does not constitute a loss in many cases. In fact I pointed in out in my prior constructive that this equivocation is fallacy of false equivalence. It bear mentioning my opponent failed to answer, address or defend against that observation.

We examined my opponents definition within the prism of his North Korea/Korean War example and found it severely lacking. The reality is that the Korean War resulted in cease-fire that exists to this day. Both regimes are alive and well. No decisive victory or loss ever came forth from that war.

By my opponents measure North Korea lost because they didn't annex South Korea. But South Korea fell short of it's war aims then too, so by my opponents definition South Korea also lost that war, by failing to eliminate the threat to the north. So in this example my opponent's definition yields two losers and no winners, but he calls it a winner in the south and loser in the north. It's not consistent.

I offered some other examples of this weakness in his definition, which he failed to answer. Lets look at those examples again. Neither side lost the cold war, or won it. Our continued survival is evidence of that. However by my opponents definition both sides lost, by failing to win.

In the second constructive my opponent offered the example of boxing to support his idea of "failure to win," while omitting that in reality that even a boxing match, much like the war of 1812 did, can end in a draw.

My opponent grabs a myopic definition and runs with it, all the while failing to acknowledge the glaring errors and poor evaluations his preferred definition yields. He seems to have failed to understand his own preferred definition in context, as well as failed to understand why definitions are so crucial for debate.

My opponent seems to prefer to evaluate all these examples selectively, with a definition of loss that lends to inconclusive evaluations, that could just as easily favor either competing opinion. The reality is wars are complex and varied. Each is unique and it can be difficult at times to extract a clear win, especially through the looking class of history. Sometimes there is not a clear winner at all. As such we need a concrete definition when debating their outcomes. We need a definition consistent enough to tell us if the final outcome is best described as a victory, loss or neither.

My definition is better because it give us the tool we need to judge this debate and the outcome of the conflict that is the center of this debate. My definition of loss allows us to fairly acknowledge when a war results in something other than a total win or loss. This as opposed to my opponents favored definition, that allows for an inconclusive outcome to be inaccurately called a win or loss when in reality it's neither, like in the war of 1812.

He gets really confusing when asking me how I would evaluate the end of WW1, but to answer his question, it was a win for the Entente (Allies) because it ended with Central Powers capitulation. It was arguably a stalemate in the western front, few meaningful gains were ever made there by either side. It bears mentioning that toward the end the final thrust of the German Imperial Army made significant headway in the west, but not enough to win, not with resources and morale so depleted.

Nevertheless, the central powers ultimately surrendered. That surrender is the reason it was a loss for the Central Powers and that surrender provided the opportunity for Hitler to rise to power. All this goes to show it was a surrender or capitulation that allows history to regard this outcome as a loss, not any count of bodies or battlefield victories. The German Imperial Army had given better than they took overall in the western front of WW1 and they still lost.

Final outcomes are just that, even in debate. One can offer the best argument and still loose, because it's votes, not arguments themselves that garner the final outcome.

Far more varied and unique are the outcomes of war. Consider the very concept of Pyrrhic victory; where one can win a nominal victory for the moment, but condemn themselves to ultimate loss.

Again within this example, by my opponents definition such an outcome constitutes a win, but in practical terms it is really a loss. Yet again, the definition preferred by my opponent is not accurate, Pyrrhus of Eprius won his battle, and lost his war. Moreover, history remembers the lost, not the nominal victory of the moment. Again and again we see that my opponents preferred definition doesn't pass muster, especially through the prism of history and upon the article of past wars.

The primary reason my opponents preferred definition doesn't work is because it's mercurial; it allows for inconclusive evaluations that could go either way. What we need in debate are concrete definitions, that in this case allow us to evaluate the outcome of a war as a win, loss or neither. My definition does this far better than my opponents.

What we can say about the war of 1812, is that neither side attained the surrender or capitulation of the other, and neither side achieve all of their war aims. That said the lasting impact of the war advanced the national aims of the United States significantly. The failure of the British Empire to secure a buffer state between the eastern US and the Pacific coast paved the way for the continental United States we see today. Almost every other war aim on either side was neutralized by the abdication of Napoleon, but not because of a resounding win on either side.

As I stated twice before, this war like many throughout history is best described at a tie, stalemate or inconclusive. The impact on the debate is that my definition allows for the most accurate evaluation of this war, and my opponents does not. By his measure maybe both sides lost, and maybe not. My opponent prefers arbitrary evaluations, but debate requires consistent evaluations. My definition serves that purpose infinitely better than the one preferred by my opponent.

My definition is consistent when evaluating the outcome of this war, and works well for evaluating any war, especially when we consider that this war concluded with a return to prewar conditions, plus a few significant and lasting benefits extracted by the US, even if those advantage are a result of happenstance.

The reality is we cannot conclusively say one side or the other won or lost, and it's best said that neither won or lost. It's certainly the overwhelming prevailing opinion of history, and it's accurate. Moreover it's far more accurate than the arbitrary, selective evaluation my opponent prefers.

My opponent claims draws are when, "neither side achieves none of their goals." And even forgiving the grammatical error in the statement, it is patently false. Draws in any contest are when both competitors fail to win, and in the war of 1812 both sides failed to win. We have already seen throughout this debate that failure to win does not equivocate to definitive loss. Moreover we have seen that such argument is a fallacy of equivalence.

Unfortunately for my opponent, his case relies far too heavily on this false equivalence (regarding the definition of 'lose a war') which is what allows for arbitrary and selective evaluation of historic conflicts. In debate, we need, and vote on, consistency.
Debate Round No. 4
49 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by airmax1227 6 months ago
Vote by "Everything", (5 pts to Pro, args and sources) has been disqualified and removed.

RFD: "i prefer pros definition of achieving objectives cause it makes most sense. cons definition of surrender is merely giving up on their objectives and letting their enemy achieve theres. both sides didnt give up but since usa didnt get what they were after then that means they lose. i give pro the vote for better sources cause cons didnt have anything to do with the war. there was no name calling and spelling and grammar looked good so yea.",

Gangsta_Bob and Everything need to contact me immediately.

Airmax1227 Moderator
Posted by Emmarie 7 months ago
'Everything' needs to examine this map to understand that was thought of as Canada. Although the US technically possessed the areas of WI and MI after the revolutionary war, No US surveyor entered this "buffer zone" until a decade or two after the war of 1812. Britain remained in the area and had good trade relations with Natives and French Canadians, so the Americans could not expand westward since Natives were on the side of the British. It wasn't until Britain gave up the buffer zone after Native forces lost to American forces, that the British withdrew to focus on the war in Europe. Britain didn't wanna colonize the buffer zone, they wanted to trade with French Canadians and Natives like the French had done. With the loss of so many Natives, they no longer reaped the same benefits from the territory and withdrew their troops.
Posted by Everything 7 months ago
still not verifying either. i would advice you though, i dont care. lol
Posted by DavidMancke 7 months ago
Still not a denial. I would advise you though, I understand multicounting to be against the terms of service.
Posted by Everything 7 months ago
so you want me to say im not bob? why? the only answer you would believe would be me saying i am. so why bother with your stupid paranoia? that is whats funny lol
Posted by DavidMancke 7 months ago
In the words of James Ashley, "You evaded my request for a denial."
Posted by Everything 7 months ago
Posted by DavidMancke 7 months ago
Also it bears mentioning that "Everything" is suspected to be a shell account that Gangsta Bob is using to vote up his own debates.
Posted by DavidMancke 7 months ago

Much obliged!
Posted by Everything 7 months ago
status quo = usa defeat

if the war was about territory like your now claiming then the usa lost cause it was all returned to the way it was before the war. and the song about it promoting victory was pretty funny cause it came about from the massive british bombardment where those people were helpless to fight off. the boxing comparison was bad but his definition with examples of past wars was rock solid and nobody has yet to debunk it.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by kasmic 7 months ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: In comments.
Vote Placed by Emmarie 7 months ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Full RFD in comments. Pro failed to offer BoP for resolution. Con negated resolution by stating US gains of Britain's failure of maintaining a buffer State.