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Jefferson vs Hamilton (BBC debate)

Discussion in 'Legal' started by iapetus, Jan 4, 2006.

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  1. iapetus

    iapetus Member

    Dec 12, 2003
    I thought you might be interested in hearing a debate on BBC radio about Jefferson and Hamilton's ideas on how America should have developed. You can hear it repeated here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/aod/radio4_aod.shtml?radio4/great_debates

    Any thoughts on how well argued it was? (It seemed well done to me, but I'm sure you gyes know more about the issues than I do).

    To keep it somewhat RKBA-related, I thought of an interesting alternative take on one debater's argument: he (English MP John Redwood, a Hamilton supporter) argued that with a Jeffersonian decentralized government, the US would be too weak militarily to defend itself against hostile powers, especially as a large proportion of the population were slaves, and so unarmed.

    Could it have been the case that if such a decentralised government had been in place, the threat of invasion and the need to have a larger militia/citizen army to counter it would have lead to the abolition of slavery sooner?
  2. Langenator

    Langenator Member

    Jul 30, 2003
    Ft Belvoir, VA
    I'm kind of wondering if the Hamilton debater was assuming the Jefferson would have favored the Articles of Confederation (under which the US fought for and won it's independance against one of the most preeminent powers of the day, BTW) over the Constitution (under which we suffered the only foreign invasion in US history and had our national capital sacked).

    Even under the Constitution, we didn't have much of a standing army until after the Civil War-a war which was fought using regiments of volunteers, regiments which technically belonged to the states, thus their designations as 20th Maine, etc. And the CSA managed to hold out for 4 years against the USA using pretty much only their armed, non-slave citizens. So even if the Spanish had invaded the South from Cuba, I think the southerners could have held out long enough for reinforcements to arrive from the Northern states.

    Also, in the War of 1812, many militia units proved to be a royal PITA when it came to national, as opposed to state, defense, as some units, after being mustered, refused to leave thier home states.

    To answer your
  3. MechAg94

    MechAg94 Member

    Apr 17, 2005
    Was the population of slaves that high pre-1800 in the US?
    Does anyone know the estimated proportions just before the Civil War? Just curious. I thought the South was still pretty much full of small farms and such. Most people were not slave owners if I remember right.
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