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Author Topic: State secession petitions.
Kwea
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
You know, you don't actually have to be stupid. You can try not to be.

Actually, I am afraid he can't. More's the pity.
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AchillesHeel
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Jones County Mississippi voted against secession, but being almost entirely inhabited by dirt farmers who could barely produce extra crops to sell after tending to their families no one cared. That is until the confederacy needed bodies holding guns, then they remembered very well where the poor farmers who couldn't afford to buy their way out of the draft were.
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Vadon
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quote:
Originally posted by King of Men:
quote:
Let's pretend that in those ten states the "secede" vote only got 60%. What happens to that 40% of voters who didn't want to secede? Are they free to leave and move to another state? Why should they leave if they've lived there for generations? They have family, friends, a job, a mortgage, memories, etc.
Dude, total status-quo bias. Run it the other way: Suppose a secession petition fails because 60% of the people vote against it. What happens to the other 40%? Oh right, sucks to be them. That's the nature of a democracy, or indeed of any form of public decisionmaking. Sometimes a decision goes against you and it sucks to be you. You can't make that a reason to just keep the status quo at all times.

Additionally, please observe that at the time of the American Rebellion, roughly one-third of the population were committed Loyalists and another third didn't really care about the issue. You don't hear a lot about those people, partly because the other guys won and partly because they were intimidated by mob tactics and outright terrorism. So, by your logic, the colonies should not have revolted against George III. A point I quite agree with, actually; but I suspect nobody else does. So, what exactly is different about the situation in 1779, such that "what about the minority" is not compelling? Especially since, in that case, it was actually a majority that didn't particularly want to secede.

I admit to having status quo bias. But I will note that my point was that it's a logistical nightmare. It may be the case that it's worth it. It's something that needs to be considered when evaluating whether secession is a good idea. Either way, someone is getting a bum deal.

ETA: And you're not the only one.

[ November 26, 2012, 07:39 PM: Message edited by: Vadon ]

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Blayne Bradley
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I point out KoM that the non issue of minority issues and pointing that out does smack a bit of historical relativism. Sure no one cared back then due to enduring concepts such as the Westphalian order made it so. However the situation isn't true today because now we do ingrained in international law even, the conceptual ideal of the right of self determination of minorities. In Quebec this is significant because of how narrow the margin of oui/non was for separation of Quebec from Canada would likely leave a soon to be oppressed anglophone minority in its wake (not hyperbole). Right now one of the strongest arguments against and one that manages to rally the anglophone community against the idea of separation is the mounting evidence that the Parti Quebecois would not be even handed stewards of a united Quebec, but would aim to benefit the French tribe over the English tribe.


So sure, back then no one cared, but now there is a rather enduring push back of "hey, minorities, shouldn't they get a say?" For example geopolitics notwithstanding there's always South Ossetia as a good example.

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by King of Men:
... the colonies should not have revolted against George III. A point I quite agree with, actually; but I suspect nobody else does.

Suspicion wrong.
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Rakeesh
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Oh, I don't know. Hard to fault anyone wishing to no longer be governed by an *aristocracy* of all things, and if a revolution is needed...

I'm considering it as read, btw, that yes the replacement bore many very real similarities to a nation of aristocrats, but it was a decisive step in the right direction. It's very difficult to say what the world would have been without it.

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Blayne Bradley
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Britain was just as laissez faire as the United States for the longest time, and much more progressive. Likely slavery would've been abolished much sooner despite the likely larger pro-slavery lobby in Whitehall as a result of the Americans. Dominion status would've been a given sometime mid 19th century simply because of economic and demographic factors as the population reached the British and surpassed it. The Indians would've likely still retained their fully soveriegn nations in the hinterlands and Canada would be larger (we would likely have Ohio valley).

WWI would've likely still been an Entente victory simply due to the fact that nothing short of chronic warfare or natural disaster would've given the historical fact of British laissez faire economics and free trade stopped the American 19th century economic boom. Huge industries and population would've meant that the American Commonwealth would've likely deployed soldiers and significant munitions much sooner, Russia might remained stable and not collapsed into revolutionary war if say, the war ended early 1917 wherein I believe the Germans were first beginning to run out of steam.

However likely no League of Nations, not unless "Prime Minister Woodrow Wilson" was still a politician in position to suggest it, maybe the British would have had the economy to keep Germany down maybe not. WWII gets fairly iffy but Russia if it remained stable might have became a sort of pre Cold War antagonist much sooner if the Leninist New Economic Policy of some form could have taken off in roughly the same time period.

Even if Russia excited the war victorious I don't see it stopping Russia reforming into a Constitutional Monarchy guided by the mensheviks of the original provisional government resulting in economic growth with peace of some form, especially with Germany so weakened.

But after that speculation becomes rather useless.

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Rakeesh
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Only after that, eh?
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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
... it was a decisive step in the right direction.

Hard to say, given the pretty high cost to the world of what actually did happen. It is always of course possible that we could have a "going back in time to kill Hitler, turns out Gobbels was even worse!" outcome where the alternative is even more horrifying, but the optimist in me likes to think that the US would have eventually have had a much more agreeable Canadian-like Negotiation of Independence as opposed to a War of Independence.
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Rakeesh
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Do you think the fact of the War of Independence had any impact on making negotiations for Independence more amicable and smooth?
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Mucus
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I don't think it was in Trudeau's mind in 1982 if that's what you mean.
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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
... it was a decisive step in the right direction.

Hard to say, given the pretty high cost to the world of what actually did happen. It is always of course possible that we could have a "going back in time to kill Hitler, turns out Gobbels was even worse!" outcome where the alternative is even more horrifying, but the optimist in me likes to think that the US would have eventually have had a much more agreeable Canadian-like Negotiation of Independence as opposed to a War of Independence.
That supposes that, with the full power of the United States at Britain's disposal, history would have turned out exactly the same. That seems unlikely.
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Rakeesh
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quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
I don't think it was in Trudeau's mind in 1982 if that's what you mean.

I was thinking of the smaller steps taken over two hundred years more than the official conclusion-particularly the Constitution Act which, if memory serves, was the first time Canada had a representative form of government and was made law in...well, the late 18th century I know, I want to say mid 1790s?

Allow me to echo with emphasis Lyrhawn's 'unlikely', too.

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Blayne Bradley
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
... it was a decisive step in the right direction.

Hard to say, given the pretty high cost to the world of what actually did happen. It is always of course possible that we could have a "going back in time to kill Hitler, turns out Gobbels was even worse!" outcome where the alternative is even more horrifying, but the optimist in me likes to think that the US would have eventually have had a much more agreeable Canadian-like Negotiation of Independence as opposed to a War of Independence.
That supposes that, with the full power of the United States at Britain's disposal, history would have turned out exactly the same. That seems unlikely.
Actually for most of the 19th century history would've stayed the largely the same. Britain's role as a 'balancer' nation more concerned with its colonial upkeep with the occassional bit of continental diplomacy means that even with "America" still British, it isn't going to cause Britian to still rock the boat. It's the other nations who see such a supremely stronger Britain that might react differently.

There are trends and fairly extensive analysis of Britain's priorities available during the height of their Imperial strength and ambitions, it isn't one that is likely to have changed even if you doubled their relative share of GDP. They're not going to invade Europe or needlessly antagonize European Great Powers but do what they always did since before the American Rebellion and thats play ombudsman to Europeans power politics.

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BlackBlade
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Or, yano colonize Africa and the Middle East to a greater extent than they did?
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MrSquicky
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Plus, without the American Revolution and its weakening of England, would the French Revolution have occurred, and if so, been successful? That might have had some slight effect on European history.
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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
... but the optimist in me likes to think that the US would have eventually have had a much more agreeable Canadian-like Negotiation of Independence as opposed to a War of Independence.

That supposes that, with the full power of the United States at Britain's disposal, history would have turned out exactly the same. That seems unlikely.
I don't assume that at all.
I don't think Britain would have had access to the "full power" of the United States any more than British Canada had access to the "full power" of Quebec. I can imagine a world where the US didn't violently separate, I can't really imagine a world where Americans would be enthusiastic about it [Wink]

In other words, I fully expect that Britain and the proto-US would have bickered and quarrelled ala Quebec and the rest of Canada until a referendum event like we had in Quebec.

quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
I was thinking of the smaller steps taken over two hundred years more than the official conclusion

If you're thinking of Confederation, Canada was actually less independent at that point than Hong Kong is of China today. You have to go well into the twentieth century before Canada gains control over its foreign policy and its constitution which I think are the real hallmarks of independence.

If another country can declare war for you (WWI) or literally change the highest law of your land, I don't think you're independent in any meaningful sense of the word. This was of course a source of tension between British Canadians who thought of themselves as British subjects and French Canadians.

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
Or, yano colonize Africa and the Middle East to a greater extent than they did?

Would have made Liu Xiaobo happy (not sure it would actually happen though)
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Tuukka
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quote:
Originally posted by Xavier:
Some of these questions have surely been answered before, with actual balkanization in the past. I wonder how some of these things have been handled in the real world. The USSR collapse would seem to be a good first place to look.

Even that wouldn't seem very comparable.

The soviet countries didn't have private ownership of companies, or capitalistic economy. Most of them had their own languages, and their own national identity, despite decades of soviet rule.

Probably better examples could be found from colonial age, when countries seceded, yet kept the same language, culture and economic system they had before seceding.

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Blayne Bradley
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
Or, yano colonize Africa and the Middle East to a greater extent than they did?

Why would this happen? What aspect of British Imperialism made this desirable in Whitehall? That something happened ie as a result of WWI, doesn't mean that its something bound to happen "more" if only Britain was "more" powerful. Persia remained entirely independent for the longest time you know that right? Do you think this was only because Britain wasn't as strong as they could be?

Imperial interest doesn't automatically mean conquest, especially for an empire as mercantile as Britain's, it was sufficient to merely have preferential access to markets. Britain only resorted to the use of force in China because they couldn't have as much access.

quote:

Plus, without the American Revolution and its weakening of England, would the French Revolution have occurred, and if so, been successful? That might have had some slight effect on European history.

The economics are different back then, this is pre-industrial revolution. It's not like an independent USA was a serious distraction or anything during 1812 or before that.

Also the population of the US wasn't as large as it was later, Britain already arguably made fantastic amounts of money off of trade and tarrifs during the Napoleonic Wars with the US; still having them as colonies wouldn't have been that large of an increase of a tax base, nor does it translate into increased willingness to wield imperial power. Why would it have been in British interest to intervene earlier? Britain was a balancer not an oppressor when it came to the continent, too many toes to step on no matter how powerful you are and the more you are the more you need to be careful.

Remember the British Empire may have made the rules but they followed them (generally), if they kept America most of their interests as far as most of the world is concerned I am highly doubtful would have changed.

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