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Skyrim: do the Stormcloaks have a right to secede from the Empire?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/13/2018 Category: Games
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 1,425 times Debate No: 113892
Debate Rounds (5)
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(Keep in mind, I do wanna keep this tame. Also real world examples are permitted)

To start things off, I start with the most basic declaration - that everyone should have the right to self-determination. No matter their race, culture or beliefs.

The Stormcloaks have made it clear to the Empire, that they don't want to be part of an Empire - that ignores their religious belief and customs. Nor are they okay, with the idea of having to play nice with a foreign power (Dominion).

Thus, since the Empire seems to be incapable of addressing it's faults and not wanting the falling Empire to pull down it's other provinces - I support the Stormcloaks idea to have Skyrim be freed from Imperial control and managed by a High King. Whose authority would be focus and be directed and having Skyrim become prosperous and successful - and not waste resources and men on an Empire, who has proven to be incapable.


Everyone should have a right to self-determination. Although it being a compelling and strong argument it is still unclear what are the principles that underpin the action of secession? Surely then, following your argument, once the Stormcloaks takeover, the Imperials could raise that democratic right? Skyrim would be in constant chaos and I am quite sure you wouldn't like Dovakin's family to live under constant fear of secession?

I propose this, make the right to secede democratic. Cast a vote in Skyrim to see who actually supports the Nordic cause and then decide, instead of supporting a rebellion without actual evidence people have suffered from the so called "fall of the empire". A majoritarian vote would then legitimize the action of rebellion, and could may well proof that no rebellion was needed in the first place, as Stormcloaks are nothing more than a bellicose power-seeking rebel group.
Debate Round No. 1


Ah, yes. The 'democratic process' argument - funny how hard such a thing is usually nearly impossible to determine or get. Since most such institutions that could initiate such a thing are controlled by the very Empire that likely wants them to stay.

Plus you already had the previous High King as a puppet of the Empire. In addition, like in many real-world examples, it is hardly peaceful when even countries who choose peace secession end up being replied with military force. (USSR collapse)


But moving on from the democratic ideal. The Empire in essence has banned Talos worship and is namely throwing into jail anyone who does so. Under the orders of a foreign power - that if anything diminishes it's authority even further.

Secondly, it lost against the Dominion when it had more or less all of the Provinces under it's control. Now it only has two left - and you expect me to assume, they can 'somehow' regain their strength - when they had lost back when they an united Empire?

Thirdly, the current Emperor isn't even of Septim blood - only being the son of a Warlord that managed to take the Throne. By that logic, Ulfric should have as much right as any to seceed. Since the current Emperor isn't even of the bloodline that forged the Empire - just a man with armies only.

Heck, the Dragonborn has a bigger legitimate claim to the Imperial Throne, since they have actual dragon blood.


Also, say that Skyrim stays and the Empire loses the next war? Then the Dominion demands that Empire has to pay say by giving them lands in Skyrim. Does that seem fair or just? No, but they are part of the 'Empire' and must swallow it's bad decisions.

Just like how Hammerfell was abandoned - one of it's key provinces and strongest at that. If the Empire is willing to abandon Hammerfell to save their own skin. What will prevent them from doing the same with Skyrim?


Yes, it is a hard process to determine indeed but one that renders your first argument rather weak. The right of secession should be triggered in complex circumstances, only when the life of the people in the empire are in actual danger. There should only then be a "remedial" right to secede, whereby people live under significant injustice. If you go around, merchants could not care less who is in command, which race or whose blood is running the empire. Under this line of words then the right to secede does not form a remedy to an issue because there is such issue...

What I am trying to say is that if a war can be avoided then it should be. Wars can be highly damaging to the economy and could polarize Skyrim even further than it was before Ulfric's rebellion started.

Following your line of arguments, the previous king (the High King Torygg) was actually murdered by Ulfric. Even if he was, for the sake of the argument, a puppet of the Empire, no one should have gained the right to get his life, nor to have acted in the way Ulfric did. Unilateral action should be punished surely, as it is morally wrong to disrupt everyone's lives, start a rebellion, take someone's life, and without having the majority's consent (if one assumes a majority legitimizes such action).

Moreover, just like you mentioned, the Talos Worship ban surely goes against everyone's right of freedom of religion. But as it wasn't enforced one could argue is not really a problem. Just look at Heimskyr's speech in Whiterun if you think the opposite. Perhaps we could even go further and suggest such worship is wrong, as no man should be able to become a divine and be worshipped. In fact, maybe that is what Ulfric wants once he becomes king: to raise and become immortal; even though he should not be not mortal should.

The fact that Thalmor could be, in a hypothetical scenario, claiming territories, is actually more legitimate than the Stormcloaks doing so in a civil war. My point being, if the supranational body decides to make a territory theirs (which they have the right to do) it is because they have the authority to do so. Perhaps one could go further and suggest they, more than anyone, know more about what is best than Skyrim than any other race. One has to respect such principles of authority, and as I have said before, if someone is against them the process of secession needs to be rightly supported by a majoritarian cause at least.

What is more, the nords, especially in Makarth, have always been quite suspicious of outsiders. If any they are the most xenophobic race against others, especially dark elves and argonians. They clearly would not have a mandate to secede even though they claim it. What would, for instance, stop them from imprisoning dark elves once they claim the throne? Or what would stop them from abandoning Windhelm's dark elves' district?
Debate Round No. 2


Does it really? Coming from someone who thinks rather naively of the possibility of 'fair and legal secession. It is a rather naive way of assuming, that if people aren't actively killed then they aren't oppressed or have legitimate grievances with the Emperor ruling over them.

War sometimes are necessary, since rarely if ever - a secession has been achieved with peaceful means. Throughout our own history, we've had people form their own states from the remains of old Empires. Whom now are rather decent places of living - yet back then, they had to follow lock-step and any attempt to secede was brutally crushed. (Points to Austro-Hungarian Empire, Ottoman Empire, Russian Empire)


Perhaps, but this is the medieval era - duels over honor, grievance and justice were fought. In Nordic Culture there are legitimate ways of doing this. King Torygg knew about Ulfric and what the man could do and he lost. You can argue, that Ulfric 'cheated'. But most people state that he used the Thu'um to achieve victory - NOBODY states anywhere, that utilizing the Shout was against Nordic Duel rules.

Plus as usual, the despite these being Nordic customs and part of their old culture - the Empire states these are null and void. Rather nice to know, that the Empire 'respects' the cultures of its provinces - or rather not, when it suits their purpose. Plus, as it was stated - Torygg accepted the duel. Also - Ulfric does have support of namely half of the Jarls of Skyrim. I think that can be considered a 'majority' in agreement. Four Jarls, which is half of Skyrim - supported his cause.


Also, after the Imperials win in Whiterun - did you know that Heimskr is jailed? Also, here is where your arguments fall completely apart.

One. People should have the right to worship in any way they want, whomever they want. History has shown trying to oppress these people based on their religious beliefs always ends badly.

(Look at Europe, and how many Catholics wanted to convert numerous Protestants to the 'right' religion. Did it matter much? They worship the same God anyway, so they likely shouldn't have any problems then following our rules? Wrong. People have the right to worship who they want - oppressing that, even lightly can lead to major issues)

Secondly. Ulfric has never, ever, stated that he wants to do that. He has stated numerous times, he wants to have Skyrim become independent from the Empire. Remove the Imperial presence from Skyrim and also remove the Thalmor presence from Skyrim. The same High Elves, whom are allowed by Imperial Decree - to maintain an 'Embassy' in their lands. Which is surprise, surprise - a way for them to gather information on their enemy and also imprison people there.

Ulfric has always stated, that he wishes to return Talos worship - as it should be, without any legal or illegal laws holding it down. Also, while he constantly states he wants to stick it to the elves - he always directs that towards the Thalmor and the Dominion


Also. Seriously? You are honestly stating, that the Thalmor and the Dominion - whom are engaging in espionage, sabotage and by rumors, perhaps even engaging in racial purification against non-elven in their controlled territories. Have MORE legal reason to take territory - than the Nords, who simply wish to gain Skyrim independence...

As I stated above, he does have the support of almost half of the Jarls. With only Jarl Balgruuf having remained neutral, until the Stormcloak-Imperial War kicks off.


And here again, we reach the length of 'Nords are racist' - newsflash. So are nearly ALL of the other races in Skyrim. The High Elves for centuries have deemed themselves better than non-elven. The Argonians keep ALL races away from the center of their homeland. The Dark Elves, enslaved Argonians under their leash, worshiped Daedra and thought that all other elves were beneath them.

The Dunmer, the Nords and the Argonians have been fighting each other for centuries - yet several times, the Nords have proven they aren't mindless berserkers looking for a wild battle. During the Second Era, they had formed together with the Dunmer and the Argonians to form the Ebonheart Pact for mutual protection. Also, back when Red Mountain exploded - the High King of Skyrim had gifted land to the refugees, namely in the form of Solstheim.

Does that sound like the most xenophobic race to you? Not to me.

Also, why would Ulfric or any other Jarls do that? They have no legal, economic or political reason for doing so. During the war between the Imperials and Stormcloaks you have Dunmer living in Windhelm - whom beyond the occasional drunk Nord, haven't been kicked out or imprisoned by the Jarl' degree. Also, if you are surprised to hear this there is an actual High Elven merchant also working and living in Windhelm. The so called 'Haven of Nordic Racism' - who states herself, that the Dunmer should work more harder to improve their lot in life instead of complaining,

Also, they have provided the Argonians a place to work at the docks, and a place to stay. Plus, before you get in my face about they are kept out of the city - you have to remember, that both of these races hate each other, due to their mutual history. Yet despite this, Ulfric hasn't kicked out either one by his rule. He simply has kept one side outside city limits to prevent sectarian violence from engulfing his Hold. That doesn't sound like a racist to me, more like a pragmatic statesman.

Ulfric himself has stated, when problems about the Grey Quarters are brought to him - that he is currently busy fighting a war and likely doesn't have the time or resources to focus on the poorer section of his Hold currently. Also, in that same regard I ask - what is to stop him from improving the lot of the Dunmer, once the Imperials are defeated. They are living after all in his Hold and allowing poverty and crime to fester there wouldn't be good for anyone.


A mandate? Really? Look how much that has worked, compared to fighting for your right to your own state. Hammerfell is independent. Black Marsh is independent. Morrowind is...abandoned by both Imperials and Dunmer. Why aren't the Nords allowed to exercise their right to rule themselves?

Jarl Dengeir of Falkreath stated it best - that while Ulfric might have some ulterior motives, at least Ulfric is ruler, whom is living in Skyrim. Knows how the people are living and whose actions they at least known/understand. Compared to the Emperor in the Imperial City far away - whom likely sees Skyrim as nothing more than lands for resources and men.
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Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 5
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