Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department / School



National intercollegiate debate propositions have dealt with topics of national or international concern since 1920. In A History of Speech Education in America, L. Leroy Cowperthwaite and A. Craig Baird stated that the subjects selected for debate propositions have clearly reflected the political, 'economic, and sociological issues of the time. Since the topics selected for intercollegiate debate refer to national and international subjects that are reflective of timely issues, it may be beneficial to those concerned with topic selection, and. anyone else involved. or interested in debate, to determine to what extent the national intercollegiate debate propositions have been reflected in national programs or acts. The purpose of this inquiry is to determine the legislative efforts made by the federal government, during the five years subsequent to the date the question was debated, to enact into law the sense of selected national intercollegiate debate propositions dealing with domestic concerns from 1920 through 1967. The following sources were utilized in gathering information relevant to the history of debate, and more specifically, the history of the national intercollegiate debate proposition: (1) Decision by Debate; (2) Discussion and Debate, Tools of a Democracy; (J) Directing Forensics: Debate and Contest Speaking; (4) Argumentation and Debate - Rational Decision Making; (5) A Short History of the British Commonwealth; (6) Competitive Debate - Rules and Techniques; (?) "A Historical Sketch of Intercollegiate Debating: I and II," The Quarterly Journal of Speech; (8) A History of Speech Education in America; (9) other miscellaneous sources. The information was then arranged chronologically beginning with the European and Asian origins of debate through the development of the national intercollegiate debate proposition.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Debates and debating

Forensic orations



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University