Total Posts:8|Showing Posts:1-8
Jump to topic:

European Conquest of British Lands

ColeTrain
Posts: 4,291
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/23/2015 4:58:16 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
I'm going to post an argument that, on balance, the European conquest of British lands was justified...

Introduction
Long before the United States became the powerhouse of the world, Natives lived their lives on the soil we today use as residential, commercial, and industrial property. A vast overhaul of various economic, social, and political ideals are accredited with this massive transformation from a primitive society to arguably the most advanced the world has seen to date. Justification is explicitly present for the conquest of these lands that US citizens now call home.

Contention I: Primary Intent and Benefits of Intent
First of all, the intent of European society was not to "steal" Native lands. As it initially took place during the Renaissance Period [1], the primary driving force behind the exploration was solely economic. [2] By this token, the Europeans had little interest in actually harming the Natives in the first place. Because their primary purpose for exploring and attempting to colonize the Native lands, it is revealed that doing so was justified.

This is recognized by a variety of instances. For example, many people are persuaded to believe common misconception dubbed the "Black Legend." Essentially, this is the belief that Spaniards and other European nations solely wreaked havoc and destruction on Natives, without any form of compensation. However, this is historically false. Countless examples exist of the benefits the explorative and economic intentions of European nations. For example, not only did these European nations create formidable empires, but also crafted widely popular laws and culture. [3]

The unification and order which Europeans made the precedent were inherently beneficial. It instilled order and the bonding together of nations. In turn, this allowed nations within the Native lands to excel in a unified manner, rather than sporadic uprisings of obscure societies. In the past, these conflicting societies would hinder each other's advancements by seeking power of their own. With the colonization help of Europeans, these ideas were merged into fewer and larger idealistic and advanced societies.

Contention II: Rights of Conquest and Inevitability
Another common misconception is that European nations "stole" the lands as a thief would. This is once again empirically false. To "steal" land would require that one body of people actually possess ownership of it in the first place. Instead, Natives simply occupied the land, with no internationally-recognized ownership. Thus, the conquest of land was not done in an illegitimate manner. Since there was no prior perception of property rights existing in the New World before Europeans came, Natives logically had no rights to the property themselves. Furthermore, the land was unsettled and unestablished. Native tribes rarely settled in an area permanently.

To further exemplify my point, I will provide a circumstantial anecdote. Let's say I go to a sporting event, specifically a football game. Law requires I buy a ticket for the seat in which I wish to sit. By doing so, I am not granted ownership of the seat, I merely access authorization to sit in that seat for the duration of the game. The same, Native Americans simply occupied the territory of land until a stronger or more advanced tribe came along and took it from them by means of conquest. This displacement of society was common and accepted in Native lands prior to European influence or entrance. There was no justification for the accepted practices to be altered when Western civilization came to the Native lands, especially considering the benefits provided by European impact on life.

Besides this, the Europeans didn't necessarily force Natives to give up their land anyways. Historian Stuart Banner elaborates on this idea, "At most times, and in most places, the Indians were not exactly conquered, but they did not exactly choose to sell their land either. The truth was somewhere in the middle." [10] Furthermore, there was documented kind treatment to Indians. Professor of Law Eric Kades notes, "Undoubtedly many easterners were sincerely benevolent, and this sentiment motivated them to push (sometimes successfully) for laws intended to safeguard Indian lands and rights." [11]

Moreover, philosopher John Locke explains, "Nobody has originally a private dominion exclusive of the rest of mankind." [8] This referred to a principle commonly known as vacuum domicilium, which refers to the inviolable rights of land assured to whomever "taketh possession of it and bestoweth culture and husbandry upon it." [9] Because the Europeans were able to overpower and successfully bestow culture and cultivate the land, they are by this philosophy morally justified in the conquest of the lands. It's illogical to assume this wouldn't have eventually happened with juxtaposed Native tribes later; they already sparred with each other on a regular basis.

Furthermore, eventual conquest was ultimately inevitable. The land would be found at one point or another, and the more advanced European society and civilization would have dominion over the primitive societies of Native America. There was no reason to prolong the process as it is natural tendency for civilizations and nations to seek power and economic superiority. In the scenario coined by the resolution, the Native lands were primed to be discovered, with the Renaissance taking place around the globe and nations such as Spain (whom had in 1492 defeated the Muslim Moors [5]) striving to maintain and extend economic power and sustainability.

Contention III: Consequences of Conquest
Though widely interpreted as the contrary, the consequences of European conquest were largely beneficial. Though it's simply false to believe that no injustice was served to Natives as a result of conquest, it is imperative, to look at the overall and balanced effect. We are obligated to recognize its justification, for a variety of positive consequential reasons, regardless of smaller detriments.

For example, one of the results of conquest was some of the world's most stable democracies. [4] The United States is a prime exemplary nation to measure the long-term effects of the conquest, and justify its aftermath. The US not only provides a relatively stable and successful environment in which Natives can work, but also provides them with benefits because of harm caused in the past. [6] These include the following: "education, social services, law enforcement, courts, real estate services, agriculture and range management, and resource protection." Beyond those benefits, the conquest ultimately allowed an enhanced quality of life for Natives, allowing them to participate in an active and successful economy and ensure security from the biggest military superpower in the world. [7]

Conclusion:
Essentially, there are economic, social, and political reasons that the conquest of Native lands by Europeans was justified. Economically, Europeans crafted society that improved economy and quality of life. Socially, this society influenced religion and other social aspects that were an improvement to primitive society. Politically, there was no right to ownership prior to Europeans coming over. By Locke's reasoning, Europeans gained legitimate access to the land because they were able to fulfill the two aspects he deemed imperative: bestowing culture and husbandry. Also, the land was simply repossessed as Native culture was acceptant of in the past. Conclusively, there are plenty of pragmatic, feasible, and supported reasons as to why the conquest of Native land was justified.

Sources: http://pasted.co...

Feel free to critique the argument and post your thoughts. :)
"The right to 360 noscope noobs shall not be infringed!!!" -- tajshar2k
"So, to start off, I've never committed suicide." -- Vaarka
"I eat glue." -- brontoraptor
"I mean, at this rate, I'd argue for a ham sandwich presidency." -- ResponsiblyIrresponsible
"Overthrow Assad, heil jihad." -- 16kadams when trolling in hangout
"Hillary Clinton is not my favorite person ... and her campaign is as inspiring as a bowl of cottage cheese." -- YYW
ColeTrain
Posts: 4,291
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/27/2015 2:25:17 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Bump... I'd really like some response...
"The right to 360 noscope noobs shall not be infringed!!!" -- tajshar2k
"So, to start off, I've never committed suicide." -- Vaarka
"I eat glue." -- brontoraptor
"I mean, at this rate, I'd argue for a ham sandwich presidency." -- ResponsiblyIrresponsible
"Overthrow Assad, heil jihad." -- 16kadams when trolling in hangout
"Hillary Clinton is not my favorite person ... and her campaign is as inspiring as a bowl of cottage cheese." -- YYW
j50wells
Posts: 345
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
11/1/2015 10:07:40 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
People love to throw dirt on the USA for their supposed evil past. Like arm chair quarterbacks, they come up with all kinds of arguments that don't add up with the whole picture. For one, the subjugation of the natives happened over a long time period. We read history in a couple of hours. That's a very short time period. Also, from our frame of reference, we are looking through glasses that only understand our frame of reference for time. Therefore, it's easy to read a page in five minutes and then decide that the Americans must have been some horrible people.

The time period or the subjugation of the natives was nearly three hundred years. Not only that, but it came in spurts. For instance, there might be a small skirmish. The natives didn't have modern weapons, so they lost. The land in dispute was handed to the Americans. This wasn't about arrogance, or one race above another, rather it was about survival. Without the land, one race would die. Obviously, the knee jerk reaction is to survive. The fight ensues. The superior weapons win the skirmish, This is how it worked.
Over a 40-50 year period, a swath of land on a waterway might be seized, again, for survival. And it wasn't just survival. Americans saw the natives in the same way that we might see ISIS today. They were barbaric, brutal, and dirty. It was nothing for a native to rape and torture a woman taken in battle. They treated their own women pretty bad sometimes too. Throwing a wife out of the tepee one night for something better happened in native villages all the time. To Americans these practices were despicable. So the cultures clashed. as they always will, even today, which is why the Left loves blending cultures because it keeps us from fighting so that they can gain more power over us. They will have their one world government whether we like it or not, after all, damn the people, and praise the great leaders. Anyway, I digress.

So land was taken bit by bit over 30,50, 80, 160, and 320 years. It really wasn't planned that way, rather it just happened that way. In fact, the government went to lengths to stop the spread of white men into Indian territory, but it didn't work. The territories were too big, and wide spaces ruled the day. Men couldn't resist the money that furs, buffalo hides, and gold could bring. They began to spread into more and more Indian territories. And bit by bit, we took more land. This should be a lesson to us. Think of the internet as a landscape of power, just like land. What things could take place over the next three hundred years regarding the internet? What things are taking place right now? And how do we cash in and jump on the boat and gain power ourselves? These are good questions to ask. If we don't take it, someone else will. And that's really what America was about. There are the victors and the losers. It will always be this way. Someone thought Communism was the answer, but it only made everyone losers, and a small handful of people the winners.
Some say that we are doing the same thing in Africa that we did in America. This is probably true, even if we don't want it to be. China is definitely trying to take Africa. We will no doubt be forced to take Africa like we did America because a Communist China in Africa is a terrible thing for the whole world. And just like America, in three hundred years we might look at a map and see an Africa that belongs to some nation.
ColeTrain
Posts: 4,291
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
11/3/2015 8:33:54 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/1/2015 10:07:40 PM, j50wells wrote:
People love to throw dirt on the USA for their supposed evil past. Like arm chair quarterbacks, they come up with all kinds of arguments that don't add up with the whole picture. For one, the subjugation of the natives happened over a long time period. We read history in a couple of hours. That's a very short time period. Also, from our frame of reference, we are looking through glasses that only understand our frame of reference for time. Therefore, it's easy to read a page in five minutes and then decide that the Americans must have been some horrible people.

I think this is pretty accurate, although a more thorough examination of history can yield juxtaposed results.

The time period or the subjugation of the natives was nearly three hundred years. Not only that, but it came in spurts. For instance, there might be a small skirmish. The natives didn't have modern weapons, so they lost. The land in dispute was handed to the Americans. This wasn't about arrogance, or one race above another, rather it was about survival. Without the land, one race would die. Obviously, the knee jerk reaction is to survive. The fight ensues. The superior weapons win the skirmish, This is how it worked.

Exactly. I think it's important to realize the culture of Natives even before Europe entered the "New World." They engaged in skirmishes *ALL* the time. It wasn't uncommon for entire tribes to be decimated simply because another tribe wanted/needed the land for themselves. Culturally, the concept of conquest was already prevalent in native lands. The only difference was the manner by which the land was conquered. The foreign use of guns was unheard of in the "New World," and so they weren't able to effectively defend themselves from it. However, even that wasn't an outrageous concept. The adoption of horses in Native lands gave huge advantages to the tribes who adopted them first. It's illogical to say that the conquest by Europeans was objectively unfair to Natives, specifically, because it was already a large part of their culture.

Over a 40-50 year period, a swath of land on a waterway might be seized, again, for survival. And it wasn't just survival. Americans saw the natives in the same way that we might see ISIS today. They were barbaric, brutal, and dirty. It was nothing for a native to rape and torture a woman taken in battle. They treated their own women pretty bad sometimes too. Throwing a wife out of the tepee one night for something better happened in native villages all the time. To Americans these practices were despicable. So the cultures clashed. as they always will, even today, which is why the Left loves blending cultures because it keeps us from fighting so that they can gain more power over us. They will have their one world government whether we like it or not, after all, *censored* the people, and praise the great leaders. Anyway, I digress.

This is relatively accurate. I think your interpretation is a little far-fetched, but overall, this is the right idea. It was the clash of cultures that facilitated adverse practices.

So land was taken bit by bit over 30,50, 80, 160, and 320 years. It really wasn't planned that way, rather it just happened that way. In fact, the government went to lengths to stop the spread of white men into Indian territory, but it didn't work. The territories were too big, and wide spaces ruled the day. Men couldn't resist the money that furs, buffalo hides, and gold could bring. They began to spread into more and more Indian territories. And bit by bit, we took more land. This should be a lesson to us. Think of the internet as a landscape of power, just like land. What things could take place over the next three hundred years regarding the internet? What things are taking place right now? And how do we cash in and jump on the boat and gain power ourselves? These are good questions to ask. If we don't take it, someone else will. And that's really what America was about. There are the victors and the losers. It will always be this way. Someone thought Communism was the answer, but it only made everyone losers, and a small handful of people the winners.

You were doing well, then you strayed from the OP and went off on a tangent. ;) Otherwise, I think you have a reasonable interpretation.

Some say that we are doing the same thing in Africa that we did in America. This is probably true, even if we don't want it to be. China is definitely trying to take Africa. We will no doubt be forced to take Africa like we did America because a Communist China in Africa is a terrible thing for the whole world. And just like America, in three hundred years we might look at a map and see an Africa that belongs to some nation.

I don't think anyone will ever *take* Africa... it's really of no substantial use (except for certain parts) to a developed nation. Territorial claims would only increase poverty (as most Africans are impoverished) and would drain the economy to help them. Regardless, this isn't necessarily pertinent to the OP, so let's try to stay on topic. :)
"The right to 360 noscope noobs shall not be infringed!!!" -- tajshar2k
"So, to start off, I've never committed suicide." -- Vaarka
"I eat glue." -- brontoraptor
"I mean, at this rate, I'd argue for a ham sandwich presidency." -- ResponsiblyIrresponsible
"Overthrow Assad, heil jihad." -- 16kadams when trolling in hangout
"Hillary Clinton is not my favorite person ... and her campaign is as inspiring as a bowl of cottage cheese." -- YYW
Socraticdeathwish
Posts: 41
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
11/3/2015 9:23:18 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
What a confusing title for a pretty simple debate! How about European colonialism? The Portuguese never conquered any British lands, nor did many other European countries.

When you say it was justified, what do you mean? It was justified at the time, definitely, by those doing the conquering. Whether it was justified morally is a harder question, as you would either have to use a racist or historical materialist argument, or a utilitarian one. I have no truck with the former, so allow me to set out the rules for the latter. You would have to show that the European colonialism increased the total happiness in the world.

The question then is how you quantify happiness. The best you could do, I fear, is narrow it down to a few metrics, such as life expectancy or literacy. Then you have to decide how to weigh these different metrics. If you weighted it heavily in favour of literacy, colonialism would come out in the black, but if you weighted it the other way it may well come out in the red, depending on when you end your study (at Independence, before or after?). If I recall my undergraduate studies, the slave trade caused around 10 million deaths, and I"m sure the epidemics the Europeans introduced killed a similar number.

If you say you should study the whole period from the first voyages of exploration up to now, European colonialism may end up being in the black now, but it may well end up being in the red in the future, due to factors such as underdevelopment and neo-colonialism.
ColeTrain
Posts: 4,291
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
11/6/2015 2:08:24 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/3/2015 9:23:18 PM, Socraticdeathwish wrote:
What a confusing title for a pretty simple debate! How about European colonialism? The Portuguese never conquered any British lands, nor did many other European countries.

I am sorry... the title should read "European Conquest of Native Lands," referring to the Americas... my apologies.

When you say it was justified, what do you mean? It was justified at the time, definitely, by those doing the conquering. Whether it was justified morally is a harder question, as you would either have to use a racist or historical materialist argument, or a utilitarian one. I have no truck with the former, so allow me to set out the rules for the latter. You would have to show that the European colonialism increased the total happiness in the world.

By 'justified' I'm implying it was 'okay' or 'acceptable' to conquer the lands via the methods they did (because of the reasons I mentioned, not that I condone some of their specific actions).

The question then is how you quantify happiness. The best you could do, I fear, is narrow it down to a few metrics, such as life expectancy or literacy. Then you have to decide how to weigh these different metrics. If you weighted it heavily in favour of literacy, colonialism would come out in the black, but if you weighted it the other way it may well come out in the red, depending on when you end your study (at Independence, before or after?). If I recall my undergraduate studies, the slave trade caused around 10 million deaths, and I"m sure the epidemics the Europeans introduced killed a similar number.

I mentioned the benefits the European developed world brought... They're quite extensive and go a long way to describe "happiness," or at least bring justification to the situation. Culture, religion, cultivation, etc.

If you say you should study the whole period from the first voyages of exploration up to now, European colonialism may end up being in the black now, but it may well end up being in the red in the future, due to factors such as underdevelopment and neo-colonialism.

I'd say, on balance, the debate refers to the specific time periods from closely pre-Columbus to the present... so essentially the entirety. However, it was all conquered within a few hundred years; the latter is simply the ramifications of conqeust.
"The right to 360 noscope noobs shall not be infringed!!!" -- tajshar2k
"So, to start off, I've never committed suicide." -- Vaarka
"I eat glue." -- brontoraptor
"I mean, at this rate, I'd argue for a ham sandwich presidency." -- ResponsiblyIrresponsible
"Overthrow Assad, heil jihad." -- 16kadams when trolling in hangout
"Hillary Clinton is not my favorite person ... and her campaign is as inspiring as a bowl of cottage cheese." -- YYW
tejretics
Posts: 6,083
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
11/13/2015 12:58:30 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
European conquest of British lands? I think you mean Native American lands...
"Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe." - Frederick Douglass
ColeTrain
Posts: 4,291
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
11/13/2015 2:19:25 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/13/2015 12:58:30 PM, tejretics wrote:
European conquest of British lands? I think you mean Native American lands...

I did, you can see my post above. Sorry!
"The right to 360 noscope noobs shall not be infringed!!!" -- tajshar2k
"So, to start off, I've never committed suicide." -- Vaarka
"I eat glue." -- brontoraptor
"I mean, at this rate, I'd argue for a ham sandwich presidency." -- ResponsiblyIrresponsible
"Overthrow Assad, heil jihad." -- 16kadams when trolling in hangout
"Hillary Clinton is not my favorite person ... and her campaign is as inspiring as a bowl of cottage cheese." -- YYW