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Should the U.S. break up into smaller distinct nations? Show more Show less
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The United States, the third largest country in the world, spans an entire continent and touches two oceans. A flight from coast to coast takes on average six hours, and a drive takes about 45 hours. It is an enormous place, encompassing dozens of ethnicities, states, ideologies, and dynamics. Such a large place brings with it disagreement, but whether those disagreements are large enough to result in the need for smaller nations is up for debate.

Yes, the US should break into smaller nations Show more Show less

The differences between the regions and states of the United States have become too stark. America is simply too large to achieve cohesion, and if any real progress is to be made in the country, it must change its thinking and become separate countries. This would afford the sharp regional differences to no longer hinder a federal government. Furthermore, there has long been a states’ rights mentality in the United States, to break down a step further is the logical progression. A situation like the European Union may be favorable.
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Differences are too sharp to foster progress

With the nation more divided than ever, especially visible by the nail-biting closeness of the 2020 presidential election, it seems that progress may be a thing of the past. With such different visions on how the country can improve, and a political system committed to running back the previous administration’s efforts, America may just be treading water by sticking together.

The Argument

Our current situation leaves us with a feeling of futility as the ground constantly changes beneath our feet. Americans, on either side of the aisle, are powerless to the whims of party politics, which have thoroughly flipped again and again since the start of the 21st century.[1] For instance, President George W. Bush did not like the Kyoto Protocol and pulled us out.[2] Barack Obama believes in climate change and supported the Paris Accord. Donald Trump does not and pulls us out. Joe Biden will make us reverse course and support it again. The next Republican will most likely pull us back out again. Is this any way to fruitfully initiate change? If the country were to break up, for example, along the lines of the Midwest, the East Coast, the West Coast, the Sun Belt, these various “countries” could decide for themselves what is appropriate. These populations overwhelmingly seem to agree and could initiate overwhelming change in the way they desire.[3]

Counter arguments

Differences aren’t entirely regional, so the solution may not be a breakup. For example, if Pennsylvania was to become its own state, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia are undoubtedly “blue” while the rest of the state is firmly conservative.[4] Pennsylvania as its own state does not solve the issue and it may well exacerbate it. America appears divided on a large scale, yet if one zooms in, the problem is not necessarily solved. Furthermore, diversity is a strength, not a weakness. Countries have thrived on homogeneity (i.e., Japan) – yet is this the kind of country the United States aspired to be?[5] Hearing different voices, balancing the needs and wants of many, that is what solidified the United States as a world leader in the first place.

Proponents

Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://theweek.com/articles/928371/could-america-split
  2. https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2018/11/maybe-its-time-for-america-to-split-up.html
  3. https://newrepublic.com/article/159172/united-states-break-up
  4. https://www.270towin.com/2020-house-election/states/pennsylvania
  5. https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20200131-is-japan-embracing-diversity
This page was last edited on Friday, 13 Nov 2020 at 18:55 UTC

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