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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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Americans see it coming and welcome it

George Washington once wrote, “The establishment of our new Government seemed to be the last great experiment for promoting human happiness.” Yet today, no American seems truly satisfied.

The Argument

Americans see the split of the country coming and might even welcome it. The enormity of the United States could facilitate this economic and social split.[1] For example, California on its own two feet has the fifth largest economy in the world, proving that it could certainly survive on its own. In fact, California has taken steps to do just that already. After Trump withdrew from the Paris climate agreement, Governor Jerry Brown of California — who has claimed “we are a separate nation in our own minds” — crossed the Pacific to negotiate a bilateral carbon-emissions pact with Chinese president Xi Jinping. “It’s true I didn’t come to Washington, I came to Beijing,” said Brown, who is often treated like a head of state when he travels abroad.[2] Already, a fellow international superpower like China recognizes the autonomy of a state like California. Californians, who may identify more so with the East coast than the country that divides them, may welcome this expression of individuality. Other heavy hitting states, for instance New York, Florida, and Texas, may be inclined to follow a similar model.[3]

Counter arguments

Complaining about the state of the country is a national favorite pastime, trying to succeed from it is a different ball game altogether. Americans will recall from history class, the last time someone tried, it didn’t go so well, with sudden surges of patriotism filling Americans everywhere.[4] Happiness is relative, if the nation were to break up, it would be very easy to find something else to complain about, very quickly.

Proponents

Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/political-confessional-the-man-who-thinks-the-u-s-is-better-off-as-a-bunch-of-separate-countries/
  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://thatdevilhistory.com/index.php/2015/07/04/what-the-civil-war-can-teach-us
This page was last edited on Friday, 13 Nov 2020 at 18:45 UTC

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