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What if the Americas never existed?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Dec 2009 at 16:07
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

By the way, at least in the Americas, Latinos may have some differences with the U.S. but we usually recognize the importance of the U.S. constitution in the creation of modern democracy.
On the record, one finds it difficult to recognise Latin Americans as authorities on democracy.
 
But they are, gcle, they areEvil Smile! With all the concommitant warts Aristotle expounded upon. The minute some Latin American politico starts blathering on about la democracia you had best make haste for more settled parts. The Cuban Constitution of 1940 is a sterling document on government and social justice...and we all know how well it was observedConfused...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Dec 2009 at 16:08
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

In the Americas and Asia, at the very least, the model is the American.
Asia? India is firmly based on the British tradition - so was Pakistan at the start. China goes its own way, but it has nothing in common with the latter-day US tradition of nodding to democracy: if anything China still is Marxist-Leninist (or Platonic) politically even if it has changed economically.
 
Israel is based on the same dethroned British model (dividing the head of state from the head of government) as Germany. Thailand is the pure British model, and Malaysia is similar though federal. Most of the rest are some kind of more-or-less authoritarian monarchy or other autocracy. Iran goes its own way. Maybe you can claim the Philippines. 
 
Quote
The important point is that the French Revolution followed the U.S. Independence, and not the other way around. Besides, there aren't kings in the Americas, not even as touristic attractions.
 
A not unimportant point is that the guiding light of both those revolutions, the Englishman Thomas Paine, was jailed by the French Republic, and left to die penniless and starving in the American
 one.
 
Before you make that kind of silly remark about kings, you need to study the difference between a republic and a democracy. You might then regret not having kings (incidentally you forget Canada and Belize and the Caribbean in general.)


Edited by gcle2003 - 15 Dec 2009 at 16:11
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Dec 2009 at 16:35
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

, I do believe our dear Pinguin needs a refresher course in the Cortes of the Iberian peninsula and the evolution of Fueros during the Middle Ages. ...
 
There is no need to remember them. I know it. However, those were just a small steps in the right direction. It was in the U.S. when the figure of the King (or equivalent) become irrelevant.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Dec 2009 at 16:53
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

, I do believe our dear Pinguin needs a refresher course in the Cortes of the Iberian peninsula and the evolution of Fueros during the Middle Ages. ...
 
There is no need to remember them. I know it. However, those were just a small steps in the right direction. It was in the U.S. when the figure of the King (or equivalent) become irrelevant.
 
Er, Pinguin, poor George III was not the cause of the Revolution...in fact he was behaving in full accord with the English Constitution in supporting the Acts of Parliament! Thomas Jefferson's facetious numbering of his crimes is pure taurus foeces and interestingly, the premise was nothing more than a recourse to an old Jacobean argument: divine sovereignty! As for the "king" being irrelevant in American political thought, where do you believe the principles of executive orders and executive privilege originate if not within the royal prerogative?
 
Now you know why people seldom quote the Declaration of Independence in full.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mixcoatl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Dec 2009 at 18:47
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

, I do believe our dear Pinguin needs a refresher course in the Cortes of the Iberian peninsula and the evolution of Fueros during the Middle Ages. ...

 

There is no need to remember them. I know it. However, those were just a small steps in the right direction. It was in the U.S. when the figure of the King (or equivalent) become irrelevant.

And the Netherlands and Switzerland and Corsica and Venice and half a dozen other Italian city states. Several of the Hanseatic cities were republics as well.

Iin fact it's often claimed here that the Americans got the idea from the Dutch war of independence - I don't to what extent that's true, but getting rid of a monarch was definately not something new.

Quote In the Americas and Asia, at the very least, the model is the American.

Coincidentally the United States has so far been the only country in the world that has developed a stable presidential system. Much of Latin America's political troubles in the past 200 years have been caused by power struggles between the executive and the legislative. A crisis like the one in Honduras would be impossible in a parliamentary system (either republic or monarchy).

Interestingly the most stable Latin American country, Chile, is also the most parliamentary one.

Plus, Brazil, Mexico and Haiti first opted for monarchy when they became independent. They only chose for a republican system when the monarchies turned out not to function well.

Edited by Mixcoatl - 15 Dec 2009 at 18:48
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Dec 2009 at 19:25
It's worth specifying that the US system is rare (apart from outright autocracies) in having an elected (in a fashion) President who is both head of state and head of the executive. There are a lot of presidential systems in which the president is head of state with a prime minister or chancellor as head of government - non-hereditary constitutional monarchies in effect.
 
As for not having kings, whatever title the leader has, the authors of the Federalist Papers were keen to point out that he would have all the executive power of a king.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Dec 2009 at 00:48
Interesting topic. And yes, presidential and parlamentarian democracies are different things. It is curious that they share the same name: democracies.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Panther Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Dec 2009 at 06:54
Without the Americas i would be sitting somewhere in Europe contemplating suicide in a unimaginable world without tomatoes or pecans too supplement my diet of hamburgers & fries followed with a nice big thick piece of pecan pie for dessert. ... (drool!)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Dec 2009 at 10:48
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Interesting topic. And yes, presidential and parlamentarian democracies are different things. It is curious that they share the same name: democracies.
Not really curious. Everyone nowadays wants to be called a 'democracy': it doesn't mean it has anything to do with the Aristotelian definition.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mixcoatl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Dec 2009 at 11:13
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Interesting topic. And yes, presidential and parlamentarian democracies are different things. It is curious that they share the same name: democracies.

But the United States only pioneered the presidential system, which has been copied mainly in Latin America (and if the Americas never existed systems of government in Latin America wouldn't have been much of an issue anyway), and very unsuccesfully at that.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Panther Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Dec 2009 at 11:36
Originally posted by Mixcoatl Mixcoatl wrote:

Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Interesting topic. And yes, presidential and parlamentarian democracies are different things. It is curious that they share the same name: democracies.

But the United States only pioneered the presidential system, which has been copied mainly in Latin America (and if the Americas never existed systems of government in Latin America wouldn't have been much of an issue anyway), and very unsuccesfully at that.


Ummm let's see the Presidential system outside of the Americas:

Afghanistan (Currently)
Armenia
Belarus
Cyprus
Indonesia
Iran
Kenya
Liberia
Nigeria
Philippines
Seychelles
South Korea
Sri Lanka
Sudan
Tanzania
Uganda
Sierra Leone
Zambia

Then again, I couldn't care any less about this issue.

Wait... what are we talking about?Big smile



Edited by Panther - 16 Dec 2009 at 11:38
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Dec 2009 at 11:36
Originally posted by Mixcoatl Mixcoatl wrote:

...But the United States only pioneered the presidential system, which has been copied mainly in Latin America (and if the Americas never existed systems of government in Latin America wouldn't have been much of an issue anyway), and very unsuccesfully at that.
 
The problem of Latin America historically has been poverty, and the chaos that follows, not the presidential system. Something that is changing quickly in the last 20 years. For people of the Americas in general, with the exception of Canada, democracy means a presidential system. It is really strange for us to see Prime Ministers in some countries that are in charge for decades... Confused. That would be called a dictator in a presidential system LOL


Edited by pinguin - 16 Dec 2009 at 11:37
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Dec 2009 at 13:59
Originally posted by Panther Panther wrote:

Originally posted by Mixcoatl Mixcoatl wrote:

Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Interesting topic. And yes, presidential and parlamentarian democracies are different things. It is curious that they share the same name: democracies.

But the United States only pioneered the presidential system, which has been copied mainly in Latin America (and if the Americas never existed systems of government in Latin America wouldn't have been much of an issue anyway), and very unsuccesfully at that.


Ummm let's see the Presidential system outside of the Americas:

Afghanistan (Currently)
Armenia
Belarus
Cyprus
Indonesia
Iran
Kenya
Liberia
Nigeria
Philippines
Seychelles
South Korea
Sri Lanka
Sudan
Tanzania
Uganda
Sierra Leone
Zambia

Then again, I couldn't care any less about this issue.

Wait... what are we talking about?Big smile

For starters Sri Lanka has a parliamentary system (i.e. the 'president' is techincally responsible to parliament and ministers must be members of parliament). I don't think many of the rest would stand up as examples of the US model either. Just having someone called the 'president' doesn't mean it's a presidential system (i.e. where the president is - more-or-less - directly elected by the people, and the executive which he heads is separate from the legislative and judicial branches.) 
 
Afghanistan now (I believe) and Liberia are built on the US system for obious reasons.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Dec 2009 at 14:13
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Originally posted by Mixcoatl Mixcoatl wrote:

...But the United States only pioneered the presidential system, which has been copied mainly in Latin America (and if the Americas never existed systems of government in Latin America wouldn't have been much of an issue anyway), and very unsuccesfully at that.
 
The problem of Latin America historically has been poverty, and the chaos that follows, not the presidential system. Something that is changing quickly in the last 20 years. For people of the Americas in general, with the exception of Canada, democracy means a presidential system. It is really strange for us to see Prime Ministers in some countries that are in charge for decades... Confused. That would be called a dictator in a presidential system LOL
 
Has it ever occurred to you Pinguin, that Jamaica, the Bahamas. Trinidad and Tobago as well as other islands in the Caribbean do not have "presidents"? As for "poverty" that is a highly relative term and one of interest soely to the orgiastically Materialist!
 
Incidentally, there is no "dictator" in any presidential system and then there is the strange case of Dr. Jose Gaspar Rodriguez de Francia y Velasco, erstwhile Consul de Paraguay and titular El Supremo of the country. But it is best not to look too closely at the purported "influence" of the US Constitution...


Edited by drgonzaga - 16 Dec 2009 at 14:34
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mixcoatl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Dec 2009 at 14:48
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

It is really strange for us to see Prime Ministers in some countries that are in charge for decades... Confused. That would be called a dictator in a presidential system LOL

If they say that it means they don't understand what a presidential system is. A prime minister doesn't hold remotely as much power as a president - if a prime minister would try the kind of tricks Chávez or Ortega, or in the recent past Fujimori and Menem, are pulling, parliament would most likely depose him. The fact that presidential republics need a ban on re-election only proves that it is much easier for a presidential republic to slip into a dictatorship than it is for a parliamentary one.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Dec 2009 at 15:08
Well, it is clear then than without the Americas there wouldn't be a presidential system...
 
But what is the conclusion in general. How would be the world today without it?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Dec 2009 at 15:18
Well, there would be no fascinating Native American cultures to learn about and admire.


Edited by Carcharodon - 16 Dec 2009 at 15:18
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Dec 2009 at 15:32
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Well, it is clear then than without the Americas there wouldn't be a presidential system...
Not at all. I suppose you can say that without the US here wouldn't be a US system exactly, but there are many varieties of presidential system that don't/didn't need any American precedent, including various Fascist/Falangist/etc states.  
 
Actually of course without the Americas there wouldn't be a United States of America - that's a pretty safe bet. However there would still have been a USA.
Quote  
But what is the conclusion in general. How would be the world today without it?
Much the same.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Dec 2009 at 15:40
Originally posted by Carcharodon Carcharodon wrote:

Well, there would be no fascinating Native American cultures to learn about and admire.
 
Absolutely! There wouldn't be no fascinating Latin American art and culture either LOL... Just imagine this world without gringo cowboy culture, or without the mounted police of Canada. Quite a boring world, indeed. Food would be quite boring, too, without chocolate, bubble gum, pop corn, kepchupt and thousand of products that were breed in the Americas.
 
Indeed. It would be quite a different world.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Dec 2009 at 15:54
And without America Sweden would not have one of its most cherished Christmas traditions, the special Christmas Disney show every Christmas eve. This show has been sent more or less every Christmas since 1959 or 1960. Mostly it is the same short films that is included every year (often it includes a glimpse of the latest Disney film though). Some of the favourites are Santas Workshop, Lady and the Tramp, the bull Ferdinand (who likes the scent of flowers better than the fight in the Spanish bull fighting arena) and Donald duck as a koleric photographer in the jungle.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/From_All_of_Us_to_All_of_You
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Dec 2009 at 15:56
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

 
Actually of course without the Americas there wouldn't be a United States of America - that's a pretty safe bet. However there would still have been a USA.


How do you mean?



Edited by Carcharodon - 16 Dec 2009 at 15:57
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Dec 2009 at 15:58
Originally posted by Carcharodon Carcharodon wrote:

Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

 
Actually of course without the Americas there wouldn't be a United States of America - that's a pretty safe bet. However there would still have been a USA.


How do you mean?

 
USA...Union of South Africa.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Dec 2009 at 19:20

The South African union already exist...

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Panther Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Dec 2009 at 22:24
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

For starters Sri Lanka has a parliamentary system (i.e. the 'president' is techincally responsible to parliament and ministers must be members of parliament). I don't think many of the rest would stand up as examples of the US model either. Just having someone called the 'president' doesn't mean it's a presidential system (i.e. where the president is - more-or-less - directly elected by the people, and the executive which he heads is separate from the legislative and judicial branches.) 
 
Afghanistan now (I believe) and Liberia are built on the US system for obious reasons.


True, i did overlook that to an extent that Sri Lanka  (as an example representative of the others), does indeed have a parliamentary system in place when we look at it; And yet to complicate matters.... the President is the head of state, commander in chief of the military and head of government who is elected to a six year term, signs of  influence from both the UK/US modes of government.

When we think about it, a lot (not all) of parliamentary systems of the world wouldn't stand up as good examples of the UK model either. It seems that where US/UK influence merge in the world, most of these (not all) countries incorporate both systems that best accommodates their respective country's need.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Dec 2009 at 11:44
Agreed that hardly any governmental systems stick to a clear model as developed somewhere else. It's just that nomenclature isn't really a useful guide - whether a figure is called a 'king' or another is called a 'president' or another a 'Leader' is of itself not important.
 
Whether actual systems best accomodate their country's need is a pretty open question however.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fantasus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Dec 2009 at 20:18
I read a few days ago dinosaurs ancestors came from S. America. Birds are perhaps descendants. In short if we remove one continent it all ends up in scifi and You can imagine everything absurd as You want!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fusong Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Mar 2012 at 21:07
China and Japan might because of butterflies advance faster and prevent European Spheres of Influence.... 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Mar 2012 at 23:18
Originally posted by fantasus fantasus wrote:

I read a few days ago dinosaurs ancestors came from S. America. Birds are perhaps descendants. In short if we remove one continent it all ends up in scifi and You can imagine everything absurd as You want!


Indeed. And we shouldn't forget that horses and camels evolved in the Americas. Just imagine a human history without horses or camels.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Alesayr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Jul 2012 at 08:43
There is a book by Phillip Jose Farmer that examines this idea. The America's were lower than in history, and so were scattered islands instead of a major landmass. The people that would become the Amerindians never migrated across the Bering Strait (for obvious reasons) and instead settled in Mongolia... This meant that the successive waves of Barbarian invasions in Europe came closer together (due to more nomadic tribes).

Anyway, called the Gate of Time. Good book. Set in an alternate ww2, which is actually closer to ww1 in technology...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Henry Fleischmann Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Nov 2012 at 01:13
Assuming the world stays the same size  and the rest of the continents drifted to the exact same locations we have now, then we'd have a really HUGE ocean between Europe/Africa and China. We'd get some real mothers of all storms off it and I doubt we'd sail across it much, even now (It would be hard as hell and what would be the point?)
 
I dunno, this one is a lot like what if there was no moon. At first it seems like it would make little difference, but it turns out that somehow the moon has kept the earth from being almost impossibly windy for much of it's existence, and so life now exists. (No, I don't have a reference for this, can anyone provide it, or am I simply talking out my ass?)
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