Decision 1980: A Referendum on America

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During President Carter’s first term in office, America faces many crises.

 

At home, Americans are facing stagflation: a phenomenon so devastating that economists believed it to be impossible. High inflation, low economic growth and high unemployment plague the U.S. economy. An energy crisis at home, spurred by war in Israel, rocks the nation and a national “crisis of confidence” rocks trust in the Carter administration. Abroad, a fundamentalist government in Iran takes fifty-two Americans hostage in their embassy, following the overthrow of the U.S.-backed Shah. As American flags burn in the streets of Tehran, the Soviet Union invades Afghanistan, attempting to bring communism to the Middle East. To the dismay of their archrivals, the U.S. responded with a boycott of the 1980 Olympic Games, which polarized the voting public.

 

After facing Ted Kennedy in a rocky and unprecedented primary, Carter is ready to lead the Democratic ticket and defend American liberalism. On the right, Ronald Reagan, Governor of California, triumphs in the packed and hotly contested Republican field. Will Reagan awake the silent majority and convince Americans to support supply-side economics and hawkish foreign policy? Or will Carter defend his dovish record and defeat the right?

 
 

The Iroquois Confederacy

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We welcome the great leaders of the Mohawk,

Oneida, Cayuga, Onondaga, and Seneca people to a meeting of minds and cultures. The Great Peacemaker founded this confederacy in 1142 and the first Great Law of Peace continues to bind us in the pursuit of prosperity and wellbeing. Despite our best efforts, all is not well. Before this great peace was great war— cultural discrepancy and resource conflicts once isolated us and are remembered in the context of our laws. Despite a promised era of cooperation, rumblings of mysterious and unsettling events echo throughout our tribes. A destabilizing force is at work that could shake the foundations of what promises to be the longest standing participatory democracy the world has ever seen. There has never been a more urgent time to convene and investigate the fabric of our rich heritage. Join us for a weekend of mystery, treachery, and suspense as we attempt to save this amazing achievement of government and compromise… or destroy it in the process.

 
 

JCC: Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan, 1978

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Afghanistan: the Graveyard of Empires.

Alexander the Great, the British Empire, Tsarist Russia, the USSR, and today, American and NATO forces have all become embroiled in brutal conflicts in Afghanistan. It is now April 1978: the Saur Revolution has just occurred, displacing the secular and ostensibly non-aligned government. Afghanistan must redefine itself in the middle of the Cold War, and external powers are looking to get involved. The Soviet Union is worried about the rise of a new anti-Soviet regime; meanwhile, western forces led by the United States are looking to shift the balance of power in their favor, and people across the Muslim world are concerned about a threat to their faith. How will these competing interests play out? Will communism rise in Afghanistan? Will another superpower be able to carry out an invasion in the midst of a decades-long struggle between superpowers? How will the role of Islam in politics evolve at the end of the 20th century? All of these questions you, delegates, will be able to answer.

 
 

The Monuments Men

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It is the height of World War II and the Allies are hard at work fighting against Nazi Germany and struggling to maintain the upper hand.

The war has torn through many regions of Europe and displaced countless people. A guaranteed side of effect of war, this conflict has led to the theft and destruction of hundreds of artistic, cultural and historic monuments. This time, delegates, you have a chance to make a difference. The committee, the Monuments Men, has been brought together by President Roosevelt to seek out, protect and preserve key historical monuments like churches, sculptures and priceless works of art. It is your job, brave academics, to work alongside the Allied military efforts and save as much cultural history as you can without interfering too much or derailing the efforts of the armies. You must find the stolen art, make sure it is returned safely, and most importantly, keep yourselves alive.

 
 

Moros y Cristianos: Islamic Spain in the 11th Century

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The sun shines fiercely on Iberia in 1080.The once-glorious Caliphate of Córdoba has shattered with the death of the Caliph Abd ar-Rahman II. In its place, six taifas compete for the land and prestige it once commanded. At their helms are emirs, formerly subordinate to the Caliph, and now unleashed to pursue their own ambitions. 

 

However, the old Visigothic kingdoms, inheritors of the Christian legacy of Rome, have not been watching idly. Driven to the mountainous north hundreds of years ago by the Arabs, they hope to seize the opportunity provided by the Caliph’s death to take back what they see as their rightful lands. 

 

Nevertheless, make no mistake - this is not a religious issue so much as a territorial one, for the Christians and Muslims would as soon as conspire against their coreligionists as against their enemies. In this age of ambitious emirs, greedy kings, and ruthless mercenaries, the only true gods in the Iberian peninsula are wealth, land, and power. 

 

Emir or King, Visigoth or Moor, the choice is yours - will you seek to unite Iberia - and perhaps further beyond - under your banner? Will you form alliances that cross religious, cultural, and ethnic boundaries, or will you backstab your way to the top? Will you be a hero, a villain, or an opportunist?

 
 

The New Order: Holy Britannian Empire, 2018 a.t.b

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The year is 2018 a.t.b and the world is experiencing the destructive effects of history’s most extremist dictator.

After seemingly liberating the territories and abolishing centuries worth of aristocratic institutions, Emperor Lelouch’s reign has upturned the equilibrium of Britannia and the entire world. Though Britannia has formally retreated from its colonies, Emperor Lelouch has taken visible steps to try to subjugate other countries with military might so he can assert uncontested power over the world.

 

As the most powerful people in the world next to the Emperor, the duty falls on you to figure out how to stop the Emperor and fix the issues that have emerged as a result of his actions. What does newly liberated Japan do with their narcotic crisis? Should weapons of mass destruction that could kill millions of innocent civilians be leveraged against the Emperor’s armies? What laws or policies should countries implement to recover from decades of colonization and cultural suppression? Regardless of what actions you all decide to take, this delegation must act in haste to stop the reign of the tyrant. The people of the world have called on you to act, and thus implore you: fix this.

 
 

Senatus Populusque Romanus, 67 B.C.

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Arma virumque cano, Troiae qui primus orbis. From the moment the Trojans landed upon ancient Etruscan lands destined to be the birthplace of Romulus and Remus, the fate of the Roman Republic was destined to be entangled with weapons and ambitious men.

Still reeling from the aftermath of a deadly servile uprising led by Spartacus, the men of the Roman Senate scramble to pacify their untrustworthy allies, instil confidence in their citizens and maintain dominance in the Mediterranean. All while seeking their own personal glory. Before the First Triumvirate came to be, before Julius Caesar met Cleopatra, he was amongst such company, simply striving for the highest ranks of Roman politics and a name for the ages. I therefore invite you to join him, fellow senators, in the governance of the Roman people and its legacy. Will you succumb to your own ill-sought ambitions and foreign enemies, or will you rise above and lead the Republic to everlasting glory?

 
 

The Thrill of the Chase: Forrest Fenn’s Treasure Hunt, 2019

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In 1988, art dealer and author Forrest Fenn was diagnosed with terminal cancer. During this time, he came up with the idea to hide a chest full of treasure for anyone in the world to find.

In 2006 he finally decided to fill a box full of gold nuggets, rare coins, jewelry, and gemstones worth over a million dollars and hide it somewhere in the Rocky Mountains. As a clue to the box’s location, he has released a 24 line poem with 9 clues, and still, over 10 years later, no one has found it.

 

Currently, there is a large and incredibly lively online community that continues to hunt daily for the treasure. Delegates will be challenged to use diplomacy and debate in ways like never before as they step into their roles as members of this community. More than the mystery of the treasure’s location, delegates will have to untangle the strings of who they can and cannot trust in their own community, where everyone hides behind the veil of a screen name. If you’re up for it – join us; there will be hidden alliances, dangerous trips through the untamed wilderness of the Rockies, and plenty of surprises along the way. No matter what happens, though, it’s all about the Thrill of the Chase.

 
 

The Weathermen, 1969

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It is 1969 and the Vietnam War has been waging for fourteen years, fueled by the mass conscription of young American men and omnipresent Cold War tensions.

 

The United States’ involvement in Vietnam has not moved forward without resistance. Throughout the 1960s, young leftists gathered in student protest movements to combat the injustices of American imperialism. Most prominent among these was Students for a Democratic Society, which held 50,000 members at its peak.

 

Yet ideological squabbling has caused the SDS to splinter, and from its ashes emerged the “Weatherman.” Named after a lyric from a Bob Dylan song, it declared itself a radical, leftist, and militant opponent to the pernicious forces of racism and imperialism that dominate the world.

 

But being a fledgling rebel group is difficult — hunted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, opposed by peaceful anti-Vietnam associations, and facing infighting among its own, the Weatherman have a series of important decisions to make. How far can they spread their message? How will they avoid the watchful eye of the FBI? And, most importantly, how much are they willing to sacrifice for their beliefs?

 

Only one thing is certain: the road to revolution will not be easy.

 

More committees will be posted soon.