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Author Topic: Most annoying historical myths?  (Read 17802 times)

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Offline IStateYourName

Re: Most annoying historical myths?
« Reply #350 on: January 03, 2014, 12:09:54 PM »
Don't get me started on that ancient aliens crap. I could fill another book with my complaints about show.

Oh yes.  A hallmark of pseudoscience is filling in every area that's blank or vague to conventional science as "aliens did this!"

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Re: Most annoying historical myths?
« Reply #351 on: January 03, 2014, 12:23:37 PM »
And a hallmark of bad video games is filling in those blank or vague areas with 'A wizard did it!'  (TV Tropes warning!)

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: Most annoying historical myths?
« Reply #352 on: January 03, 2014, 12:44:50 PM »
Oh yes.  A hallmark of pseudoscience is filling in every area that's blank or vague to conventional science as "aliens did this!"

Title of a book I saw, the writer styled himself an ifologist (as in identified flying objects): "The Teapot Tea Saucer People are Watching Us!"  :D

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: Most annoying historical myths?
« Reply #353 on: January 03, 2014, 01:00:54 PM »
With the other 60% being "Nazi's were bad".

Nah, the age of the Hitler Channel is long past. Nowadays it's Aliens and Apocalypses, the only time Nazis get mentioned now is if it's a special about Nazi Aliens.

Offline TheBlackRider

Re: Most annoying historical myths?
« Reply #354 on: January 03, 2014, 01:11:32 PM »
Nah, the age of the Hitler Channel is long past.

"Ahh, the Luftwaffe--the Washington Generals of the History Channel."


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Re: Most annoying historical myths?
« Reply #355 on: January 03, 2014, 04:48:47 PM »
I seem to recall some genetic research that showed commonalities between some Pacific Coast tribes and some Siberian bloodlines...

(Journal article here, but here's a quick overview.)
That I already knew. The genetic link between certain ethnic groups in Siberia and the native peoples of North America was something I had long suspected before actually reading about it. I may not be able to speak any of them fluently, but I noticed some rather blatant linguistic similarities between Native Siberian groups and various Native American languages. Not to mention the mythological similarities in the beliefs of the northern most native groups.

As for historical myths...Wicca is an ancient religion. It is a new religion based in old wisdom but an ancient spiritual lineage it is not.

As for something said about Buddhism earlier. Buddhism is actually at it's core non-violent and in the oldest of branches, Theravada, the Nirvana Sutra is not canon. Not all Mahayana subdivisions adhere to that notion of violence either. So you're not only talking about a later development, but something that is even further from the original words of the Buddha than even the earlier texts written after his passing. This sutra must not be confused with a similarly named sutra of the Pali canon which is different in its content. I say one is a fool to not recognize that at its heart it is unambiguously peaceful, but humans will twist even the most sacred words to their own ends. One should also be careful not to confuse the wrathful deities of esoteric Buddhism for reigning over literal violence. They instead reign over the sort of drive and ambition it takes to remain pure in the face of a world filled with wickedness. They reign over a wrath that is metaphorical in nature. These are from the Vajrayana tradition. In the earliest of Buddhist texts no such statement is made. One might also be mistaking literal for metaphorical as well(not to mention that the mentioned information comes from only one text out of hundreds of sutras). It was in all likelihood not even written in India or Nepal, the cradles of Dharmic religions.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2014, 05:41:48 PM by Lux12 »

Offline Sabre

Re: Most annoying historical myths?
« Reply #356 on: January 18, 2014, 04:35:15 AM »
They were, although the "No Muslim countries in Europe!" thing is more of a modern political point than a historic one. Historically one of the key issues of the early middle ages (roughly 700-800AD) were the Muslim invasions of Western Europe; originally the invasion of Hispania (which destroyed the Visigothic Kingdom) and then in turn the invasions of Gaul/Modern France. While the Muslim advance into France was halted by about 721 and then finally thrown back by the 750's, the Umayyad dynasty (and its successors) ruled Hispania and much of Northern Africa till the 11th century and despite then splitting into city states and gradually losing ground to the Reconquista it wasn't until the late 15th century and the fall of Grenada (the last Islamic city state) that there wasn't an Islamic ruler of part of Hispania.

There are a couple of really interesting... and important... parts of European history that tend to get completely overlooked. Those early Islamic invasions are one... if the Battle of Toulouse in 721 had gone the other way European history would have almost certainly been massively different. Likewise the conflict between the post-Crusades Knights Hospitaller and the Ottoman Empire (notably the two sieges of Rhodes and the siege of Malta) really should have more emphasis put on them; while it wasn't really till the Treaty of Karlowitz in 1699 that the very real threat of the Ottoman's taking over continental Europe disappeared, the successful defence of Malta prevented the Ottoman's from having a navel base in a strategically vital location that would have opened up Europe's soft underbelly to raids and it robbed the then sultan Suleiman of his most capable admiral, corsair and privateer (and arguably someone who himself should have more recognition then he currently gets), Turgut Reis/Dragut.

Most people writing about the long centuries of war between Europe and the Islamic world, and especially the critical first few centuries, just completely miss out on how the Byzantine empire shielded Europe from an Arab invasion through Syria, Asia Minor, Greece and Italy. That kind of inroads could have been a good deal more powerful and sustained than the drive through the Visigoth kingdom in Spain and into southern France, and seen from the Middle East it was a primary target. The local kings, counts and chiefs in Italy and the mid-to-northern Balkan were totally inadequate to fend off an Arab army or fleet in the 8th to 10th centuries, but the Eastern Romans took the heat of that frontier again and again, at sea too. They slipped out the back door of mainstream European history though - first because they were Greeks (not so much part of the Latin speaking world) and then getting slammed as inept, dogmatic and decadent by Edward Gibbon in Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, so that side of the story is still very overlooked in most history books.


(In a smaller way, the last Byzantine emperors delayed the Ottomans along some of the same route for a hundred years or so, but the real duel happened back in the early middle ages - and by 1500, the nations of Europe were much better equipped to fight the Ottomans than they were back in the 8th and 9th century)

The Byzantine Empire in general gets a pretty rough deal from history in general (or at least Western History). Unless you actively decide to go out and look for details on it the take on the history of that part of the world (in England at least) essentially goes Persian invasion of Greece, Alexander the Great (and to pick up on another theme Phillip rarely gets the credit he deserves), Rome appears, Rome splits, Western Roman empire falls... oh, hey, Crusades! For basically 1,000 years the Byzantine empire was the super power of the world... economically, culturally and militarily with incredibly interesting people, periods, ideas and actions... yet it's generally treated as an afterthought, a bit part character that is only really referenced as a side-part of the Crusades or if you're a legal scholar as the source of the Justinian reforms and codex.
[/spoiler]

Interestingly, I would say some of the above are themselves myths.  Myths to fight myths from the very same source: the same Gibbons that talks of the weakness of Byzantium is also the same Gibbons that began the idea that Tours was a pivotal moment that made history.  Similarly, the providential status of Byzantium may be overstated as a means to counter the old prejudice and bolster the small but growing Byzantine studies specialty.

Much of the history of Moorish and Visigothic Spain is written much later, and the more its culture is studied the more suspect the 9th century sources become as a neutral, factual account of history.  Traditionally the story goes that one Tariq ibn Ziyad conquers all of Spain in revenge for the abduction of a North African beauty.  Later, ten thousand Syrians in Algeria are suddenly stranded without their master in hostile territory and make a long, fighting march and then settle in Spain.  Then later still the last scion of a massacred lineage from the east comes to the west, and founds the great caliphate in Cordoba.  An interesting series of tales that may be true, but is also familiar if one has just read his Classics - these stories are eerily similar to the Iliad, the Anabasis, and the Aeneid.

Then onto Tours, a battle supposedly fought between a great Moorish king and the grandfather of Charlemagne, and supposedly a followup to another great battle eleven years prior in 721, itself ten years after the first invasion of Spain.  Which is itself ten years after the final conquest of Tunis and in the midst of some very violent and turbulent Berber revolts and guerrilla wars.  And rather than the straightforward story of the vanguard of Arab conquest it began as a punitive attack on a Muslim Basque prince who allied himself with the Duke of Aquitaine against both Cordoba and Paris.  Coupled with the example of Saracen mercenaries in Italy, forces hired and imported by local Italians to fight other Italians and then later the subject of a lurid proto-Crusade led by the pope, it may just be that Spain was not invaded by single-minded armies of Muslims anymore than Sicily was overrun by a single Norman army led by a single man.  Instead we may have a case of Berber and Arab and Visigothic-convert mercenaries forming petty kingdoms in the wake of a crumbling Visigothic kingdom, then one single state - Cordoba - growing powerful enough to conquer all the rest except the northern Asturians (who themselves mythologize their origins) - and then spread propaganda of its righteousness and divine right to rule just like Charlemagne and the legend of Martel.


As for the idea of the Byzantines being Europe's shield, this is also questionable for many reasons.  Geographically the Empire was only positioned to shield the Balkans, a heavily forested, mountainous and undeveloped part of Europe inhabited by hostile Slavic tribes.  A region barely considered Christian by those on the First Crusade, and even the target of some crusades by the Germans and Hungarians.  A region that the Ottomans, with over a thousand years of advancements and development in civil engineering, military technology and tactics, logistics, and direct control, could stop their armies in their tracks and effectively stretched Ottoman expansion to its theoretical limit past the Danube.  The Byzantines themselves barely managed any further.  And with the propensity of Caliphates to simply fall apart within a generation, the status of Europe's shield from Arab/Islamic expansion must be seriously questioned - especially when Italy was horribly devastated by said shield and could not help but see it as a political and military threat for centuries, then see it as a ripe target for expansion for centuries afterward.

Sorry for coming out of no where with all of this, by the way.  I've been starving for a good historical discussion on top of Elliquiy posting for weeks!

Offline Ironwolf85

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Re: Most annoying historical myths?
« Reply #357 on: January 20, 2014, 04:56:52 PM »
The most pervasive I find are Historical revisionisim based on one's predjices and finding internet chats to support them.
I'll list the main bits.
The Southern Myth: "it was a patrotic war, not about slavery or racisim..." everyone outside dixie knows that's bullshit. Or the famious "Lincon freed the slaves earlier because he wanted to hurt the southern economy and din't care about black people." This does a disservice and proves a person's ignorance of history, lincon's stance went from "opposed on strictly legal ground" to "abolitionist rightiousness" after a trip to see a southern friend, and being confonted with how it actually worked. He didn't free them right away when he took office because if he had the border states would've gone over to the rebels, making reuniteing the country that much harder.


"innocent X's before evil Y's came along " I see this most often when people talk about wither Native Americans, pre-colonial Africa, and refering to pre-roman / pre-christian europeans. I think it does a disservice to paint these peoples as "Noble Savages" because it ignores their complicated civilizations, conflicts, daily struggles, their vitrues, and their vices. In favor of a whitewashed utopian narritive.
We have archological evidence to support Ceasar's accounts of druidic rituals involving human sacrifice, and cramming enemy warriors into a Wicker Man to set on fire. Native americans both north and south were split into many tribes and small nations, some were very developed, but they fought and politicked in complicated ways that rivaled europeans.
This one really bugs me, because I hate looking at history with rose colored glasses. But I still find greatness in causes and men on all sides of most conflicts.

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: Most annoying historical myths?
« Reply #358 on: January 20, 2014, 05:40:23 PM »
The 'American Civil War wasn't about slavery' myth has always confused the heck out of me...have the people saying this ever even read the Declaration of Causes of Secession? It explicitly mentions slavery (or anti-slavery) 38 separate times.

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Re: Most annoying historical myths?
« Reply #359 on: January 20, 2014, 05:58:51 PM »
Have to say, that's not a document that's often brought up in history classes.  Even before NCLB, I can't recall seeing it mentioned (we barely even covered the Articles of Confederation except as a quick lead-in to the Constitution/Bill of Rights.)

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: Most annoying historical myths?
« Reply #360 on: January 20, 2014, 06:07:02 PM »
I'll be honest, I read it for the first time last year in a history elective course. But I had always known slavery was a core issue of the Civil War, even before that.

Offline Ironwolf85

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Re: Most annoying historical myths?
« Reply #361 on: January 20, 2014, 06:16:43 PM »
Exactly, it's rarely examined by most history classes, and I'm pretty sure it's not covered in social studies in the south. Historic revisionisim in absance of information bugs me.

Offline Valthazar

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Re: Most annoying historical myths?
« Reply #362 on: January 20, 2014, 06:21:48 PM »
The 'American Civil War wasn't about slavery' myth has always confused the heck out of me...have the people saying this ever even read the Declaration of Causes of Secession? It explicitly mentions slavery (or anti-slavery) 38 separate times.

I'm not a history whiz or anything, so I could be wrong. 

But when we visited the Gettysburg historical museum, one of the things they said was that secession was due to the federal government issuing a national anti-slavery mandate, with little regard for how the individual states of the south felt about the issue.  Many individual Southern states felt that slavery was an issue that they, as individual states, had the authority and autonomy to determine ethics/morality of.  So from my understanding, while the Civil War did have to do with the issue of slavery, the much broader cause was a dispute over the authority of the federal government to start issuing national mandates.

It would be like us telling China to stop using child labor in sweatshops.  The Chinese would be saying that the US government has no authority to start dictating to them, as a sovereign nation, what their ethics and morals should be.  The southern states of that time period had a similar sovereign view of their states.  Again, I'm no historian though.

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: Most annoying historical myths?
« Reply #363 on: January 20, 2014, 06:31:46 PM »
That's fairly accurate, though I'm no history whiz either. The people who say it was about states' rights and not slavery are right and wrong...it was about the states' rights to practice and maintain slavery, which the more industrialized Northern states were putting pressure against to maintain their economic dominance against the agricultural South. They needed it economically to stay politically relevant, and also didn't like being bossed around by the federal government on an issue that they didn't think the federal government had any authority over.

http://sunsite.utk.edu/civil-war/reasons.html

It's fairly long, and I was paraphrasing heavily in my initial comment.

Offline Neysha

Re: Most annoying historical myths?
« Reply #364 on: January 20, 2014, 06:38:49 PM »
Slavery was the main reason, but saying the American Civil War was just about slavery is like saying World War II was just about invading Poland and bombing Pearl Harbor. There are main reasons, and then there are secondary reasons.

Offline Ironwolf85

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Re: Most annoying historical myths?
« Reply #365 on: January 20, 2014, 06:41:49 PM »
I'm not a history whiz or anything, so I could be wrong. 

But when we visited the Gettysburg historical museum, one of the things they said was that secession was due to the federal government issuing a national anti-slavery mandate, with little regard for how the individual states of the south felt about the issue.  Many individual Southern states felt that slavery was an issue that they, as individual states, had the authority and autonomy to determine ethics/morality of.  So from my understanding, while the Civil War did have to do with the issue of slavery, the much broader cause was a dispute over the authority of the federal government to start issuing national mandates.

It would be like us telling China to stop using child labor in sweatshops.  The Chinese would be saying that the US government has no authority to start dictating to them, as a sovereign nation, what their ethics and morals should be.  The southern states of that time period had a similar sovereign view of their states.  Again, I'm no historian though.

That is largely true, but when it boils down, it was over the right of a state to decide who is, and is not, a human being in the eyes of the law. Giving states that power is a dangerious precident to set legally.
That's not even adressing the morality issues.
It was also over the economics of slavery. The wealthy planter class was quickly depleting the soil with their massive cotton crops, to support their economy they needed new soil, new lands, in which to put new plantations.
Lincon said he would not attack slavery in the south, but would not allow it to spread to the new western states, land that the plantation owners needed to continue to earn their profits. Profit margens even higher than those enjoyed my modern international corporations. They didn't get their man in office, and didn't get their way, so they stolked the fires of resentment and anti-federal sentiment into full blown revolt.
It was also over culture & race, plain and simple. The attatude in the south towards "colored folk" was one of racist jingoisim, the north was beginning to view things diffrently. With the industrial North was overtaking the rural South in almost every way tension was mounting. Formerly the south had overwhelmingly controled american politics, with it's wealth, and high population (slaves couldn't vote, but were counted for state votes in the census.) The election of Lincon, who got no southern votes or support, made one hell of an splash.

It all comes back to south VS north, with slavery in the middle of it.

Offline Valthazar

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Re: Most annoying historical myths?
« Reply #366 on: January 20, 2014, 07:04:24 PM »
That is largely true, but when it boils down, it was over the right of a state to decide who is, and is not, a human being in the eyes of the law. Giving states that power is a dangerious precident to set legally.

Don't get me wrong, I'm glad things turned out the way they did, and the fact that we no longer have slavery.  But I can at least understand why the South was up in arms over the way the federal government went about their objectives.

Our personal belief is that each human being merits one vote under the law, but the legal authority to thrust that view onto other legally autonomous entities is murky.  We may feel that women are equal, and have a voting voice equal to men, but do we have the right to thrust this moral view onto other societies?  The US was founded as a set of sovereign states with individual state legislatures and governing bodies that were merely centralized for the purposes of national security.

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: Most annoying historical myths?
« Reply #367 on: January 20, 2014, 07:13:06 PM »
Don't get me wrong, I'm glad things turned out the way they did, and the fact that we no longer have slavery.  But I can at least understand why the South was up in arms over the way the federal government went about their objectives.

Our personal belief is that each human being merits one vote under the law, but the legal authority to thrust that view onto other legally autonomous entities is murky.  We may feel that women are equal, and have a voting voice equal to men, but do we have the right to thrust this moral view onto other societies?  The US was founded as a set of sovereign states with individual state legislatures and governing bodies that were merely centralized for the purposes of national security.

Only originally, under the Articles of Confederation. The Constitution was America 2.0, and explicitly not a group of independent sovereign states simply sharing security concerns. It laid out exactly what the Federal government was permitted to do, and assumed anything else mentioned was the purview of the states - sovereign except in the areas that the Federal state was given precedence.

Offline Neysha

Re: Most annoying historical myths?
« Reply #368 on: January 20, 2014, 07:21:14 PM »
The Supremacy Clause of the Constitution did state that the Constitution was the supreme law of the land. But it was largely interpreted as the limits of Federal authority was also strictly defined by the Constitution. IOW the Supremacy Clause, to some, only applies when the federal government is working in pursuit of its Constitutional powers. Anything beyond that, and the State legislatures and their State constitutions and so forth should be followed.  Those more liberal interpretations of States Rights and the Constitution were decided rather decisively in the nationally celebrated case of North v. South which North won rather completely and which... also... decided the issue of slavery in America.

The War... especially viewed in hindsight, was about slavery. But there were many other issues on the table. Outside of the Northeastern states which were bastions of abolitionism, the thought that the primary motivation for thousands of young men enlisting and politicians supporting the North, wasn't so much slavery (although it was still a reason for many) but moreso due to the issues tied up with secession and preserving the Union, the betrayal of the South, and issues such as the expansion of either the Southern (slave using) economy to the West in direct competition to that of Northern sensibilities, as well as a myriad of many other issues such as the economic and political marginalization of the Southern States whether in representation politically, trade, industrialization, tariffs, and a plethora of other issues. I can state... with a fair bit of confidence, many of the reasons why those who volunteered in the 1st Minnesota Regiment and similarly in many other Western Northern States, was not so much slavery, as it was for issues pertaining to the preservation of the Union and what they saw as a betrayal or desertion of the South etc.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2014, 07:27:06 PM by Neysha »

Offline TheBlackRider

Re: Most annoying historical myths?
« Reply #369 on: January 20, 2014, 09:06:59 PM »
I'm not a history whiz or anything, so I could be wrong. 

But when we visited the Gettysburg historical museum, one of the things they said was that secession was due to the federal government issuing a national anti-slavery mandate, with little regard for how the individual states of the south felt about the issue.

Nope. There was no anti-slavery mandate that spurred the southern states to rebel. Lincoln did not believe the President had any power to eradicate slavery during peacetime, and so while he was anti-slavery, he believed that the Constitution prevented him from taking action. Now, he did want to limit slavery in the new territories, and that's what riled the Slavers in the South. Lincoln hadn't even had time to do anything before states started seceding; Buchanan was still in power when South Carolina seceded, for example.

The Civil War is a very complicated issue, but one thing that's pretty clear is that the states which seceded did so explicitly because they felt their right to own other people was threatened, even though no laws had been passed to annul slavery in the slave states, and likely wouldn't have been if they hand't delved straight into the self-fulfilling prophecy that was secession.

Offline Ironwolf85

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Re: Most annoying historical myths?
« Reply #370 on: January 20, 2014, 09:21:31 PM »
Black Rider's got the right of it.
I hate the myth because it's left over from reconstruction, is like most myths, a half truth at best. it's also often used to drum up "southern patrotisim" by groups like the Klan and Skinheads.
"The Noble Losers" Myths around like this act as a rallying cry for the ignorant, the hateful, and other types of minuplitive political jackasses.

Offline Neysha

Re: Most annoying historical myths?
« Reply #371 on: January 20, 2014, 11:23:27 PM »
Two myths come to the forefront of my mind, though like before with other myths, I don't find them annoying.

One was proposed by Niall Ferguson in his excellent book, War of the World, which I wholeheartedly recommend to anyone to read and it's further expanded on by certain 'apologists' (and I mean this not that they're apologizing for the Axis, but merely in how they are attacking the conduct of the prosecution of the war by the Allies) but also by revisionist authors, many of whom may happen to be Japanese, but also German and Russian and American in fact.

The myth being that the Allies prosecuted their War against the Axis and in that effect, were just as brutal and barbarous as the Axis. Citations of this include, most obviously, the Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, as well as the Allied Strategic Bombing Campaign over both Germany and Japan, which killed tens of thousands of people, the proposed Morgenthau Plan, the demand for Unconditional Surrender from both Germany and Japan, the Allies collusion with the purely evil Soviet Union as well as the very myopic arguments, such as the brutality of certain Allied units whether in regards to population or prisoners of war, the starvation/winter privation of the Lowlands in 1944 etc.

I find such arguments lose their luster for several reasons:

1) When the Allies occupied Germany and Japan, the Western Allies took a great deal of care at great expense, in rebuilding both Germany and Japan into prosperous, functioning, democratic societies that even until now, have (controversies aside) renounced militarism in large part even now. Conversely, from history, we know that German and Japanese occupation of Europe and Asia was marked by inequality, brutality, oppression, villainy, looting, exploitation, slavery and savagery and there is no reason whatsoever to think it would be mitigated in a Japanese occupied North America or German occupied United Kingdom.

2) The 'brutality' of the Allies was incidental to the prosecution of a war and had increased in intensity for both sides as the war continued. There were massacres, and civilian death at the hands of Allies, but there was never an intentional or systematic targeting of certain minorities, party members, or civilians in general or other forms of ethnic or any other kind of cleansing/genocide. GI's and Tommies didn't even drag former Nazis to the gas chambers. The extremely mild Nuremburg Trials in fact, then and now, have actually still faced a great deal of scrutiny for their dubious legality in prosecuting the most inhumane mass murderers in human history.

3) The choice of war wasn't something the Western Allies wanted. Even the liberals in Britain and France found they were pushed too far by March 1939 that they felt compelled to offer a security guarantee with Poland that Spring. But when war was forced upon them, they realized they had to fight and you don't fight wars of national survival against insatiable fascists through half measures. You fight them by pursuing a Total War doctrine. And that means that when you are prosecuting that kind of war, especially with the level of technology and resources in their possession, and considering that the leadership of both Germany and Japan were more then willing to lay waste to their own lands and populations, terrific casualties even amongst the civilians maybe unavoidable.

EDIT:

4) Almost forgot, there was a fourth reason, this in regards to Unconditional Surrender and the idea of isolationism following WW2. I believe in the pursuit of Unconditional Surrender completely in regards to WW2. And it was worth dropping two atomic bombs on Japan if need be even over a simple amendment such as keeping the Emperor in power as Head of State. World War Two, which killed tens of millions of people, was the outgrowth of the First World War, not just in Europe and as an outgrowth of Versailles, but also in the Pacific. In Germany in World War One, this would've perpetuated the "stabbed in the back" concept that was so pervasive after World War One. Germany, despite being starved, racked by civil disorder, its armies fleeing the fields of battle, and abdication of its governments, still believed, within a generation, it hadn't been defeated. By keeping the Japanese political and divine leader in place, regardless of his guilt, by not occupying Japan, by subordinating Allied authority to even one Japanese demand, meant that such a myth could prosper. Germany and Japan had to not just be forced to surrender, they had to experience defeat and the complete dismantling of the governments responsible for those actions and that could only be done by a surrender without condition and postwar occupation.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2014, 11:49:24 PM by Neysha »

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Re: Most annoying historical myths?
« Reply #372 on: January 24, 2014, 04:18:48 PM »
Inuits and related people are only found /discovered by westerners in Alaska, Canada, and Greenland. In fact a number of related tribes and ethnic groups are found in the north most part of east Asia, in the region commonly called Siberia.

Offline Torterrable

Re: Most annoying historical myths?
« Reply #373 on: January 28, 2014, 01:56:23 PM »
There is one in particular for me, although it's not quite a myth; it's more of a misconception, which I hope is okay.

"Romeo and Juliet had a perfect relationship."

Not quite.

Okay, I admit, they had that "sparks flying" thing that everyone who is looking for a life partner wants to happen to them. And I'll admit that Romeo's little balcony scene was cute, and that the barrier between their two families only made their romance that much stronger...but we do have some problems with "perfection".

Firstly, they died. You could even argue that Juliet killed Romeo by not ensuring that he knew of her plan. From what I've seen, heard, and experienced, communication is one of THE BIG ONES in a relationship. Chemistry, raw, sexual, whatever, is great, but if you can't talk with each other and bounce ideas for hours on end, there could be a problem. Romeo and Juliet had almost no completely serious conversations, and even their lovesickness for each other wasn't that beautiful. Oh, did I mention they died? I can think of no ideal relationship in my mind where both me and my ideal partner are dead, unless it entails us coming back to life thousands of years later with only each other to repopulate the earth.

Juliet was trying to escape. Romeo was her rescuer. Cute? Maybe, but she was also partially using him to get out of something else. So there might have been some actual love, but she also made him carry out random tasks and kept him waiting and generally acted like a bitch towards him. Not that she's the only bitch in the relationship; Romeo is also a pretty big asshole, what with his attitude and his killing of her relatives and whatnot. The family thing is supposed to be a barrier between their romance, of course, but if their relationship was perfect, shouldn't they be able to be able to ignore their families altogether so that they could just go for each other?

Oh right, Juliet is thirteen and Romeo is nineteen. Six years is not a big difference, but for heaven's sake, by modern standards, this is in no way an ideal relationship. We make enough fun of teen romances as is.


Also, the idea that Japanese and Chinese inherently hate each other bothers me. While it may be true, "Americanized" descendants of immigrants tend to not have the Rape of Nanking engraved in their minds as fiercely.

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: Most annoying historical myths?
« Reply #374 on: January 28, 2014, 02:24:29 PM »
Isn't the whole idea of R+J being a romance as we think of one today a 'historical myth'? Like you said, they were infatuated with each other primarily because of the family feud. They made utterly stupid choices over and over for their love, and in the end they both commit ironic suicide thanks to poor communication. It's a tragedy, the entire story is supposed to be sad and facepalmy.