Historical misconceptions and/or myths that really anger you

Status
Closed

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
22,745
SoCal
Which historical misconceptions and/or myths really anger you? For me, one of them is the belief that Irish, Italians, Poles, Jews, et cetera weren't actually considered white in the US before the mid- or late 20th century. AFAIK, this belief is completely inaccurate and one can demonstrate this by looking at historical US Census entries for people who were born in countries such as Ireland, Italy, Poland, Russia, et cetera and see just how many non-whites among these people you will find; my suspicion is that almost all of the people who were born in these countries were classified as white on the US Census throughout its entire history. AFAIK, anti-miscegenation laws also never actually prohibited Irish or Italians or Poles or Jews from marrying white people; rather, they were always allowed to marry white people even in US states that did, in fact, have anti-miscegenation laws.

Anyway, what historical misconceptions and/or myths do you personally really dislike?
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
22,745
SoCal
That people thought the world was flat
Interesting!

FWIW, some people did previously believe that the world was only 6,000 years old. In fact, a few of them still exist today. They're called Young Earth Creationists.
 

Edric Streona

Ad Honorem
Feb 2016
4,530
Japan
Pretty much every public perception of the 2nd Boer War....

1) Boers were super guerilla bush warriors.
2) The British started the war to take the Boers gold mines.
3) The Brits invented the concentration camp.
4) concentration camps were designed to inflict misery on Boers... and they were the only reason they lost.
5) The Boers tied down 500 000 British soldiers with just a handful of commandos.
6) That the Boer was some kind of noble oppressed victim that just wanted to be left alone.
7) British toff aristocrats clueless and getting run rings around by crafty Boers.

Not a single one holds up to any deep scrutiny of the war... it’s basically a combination of aparthied era school textbook lies and left wing anti-imperialistic nonsense.

1) the number of competent Boer bush fighters was tiny, they boosted their ranks with unreliable, inexperienced and unwilling conscripts. Their performance was frequently terrible including refusing to obey orders, spitefully ignoring rivals, laziness, preference for looting and banditry over doing what was needed, war crimes, mass panics and routs...

2) theBoers started the war, with the view of kicking the British out of Africa completely. They had designs on the Natal diamond fields. The Goldmines in Transvaal were mostly owned by British, French or German companies or individuals so Britain could not take them if they wanted to.

3) concentration camps were not new, they were being used by both Spain and the USA. The USA had been putting Indians in camps for decades.

4) Concentration camps were a necessary evil. They saved the Boer race from huge demographic losses. Hobhouse, who had an anti war agenda already, visited a new camp which was still being built and made huge unfair criticisms that were either errors or deliberate lies. The Boers themselves acknowledged the camps saved their people and even said the camps KEPT them fighting for longer. At the camps, and boers were allowed to leave the camps as they pleased, Boer women were taught nursing, schooling was available and everyone was taught basic hygiene... which Boers lacked.

5) 86 000 Boers were mobilised at the start of the war, against 12-20 000 British. They still couldn’t win. British peak deployment was about 200 000 I think...

6) The Boer Transvaal republic was an aggressive, extremist white supremicist state... one of the key reasons they hated the Brits was British treatment of native Africans was too fair. look up the Boer practice of “apprenticeship” ... murder, child abduction and slavery. Let that sink in... they were anything but noble. Shooting the injured, raising white flags to shoot the parley parties, wearing stolen uniforms, shooting stretcher bearers.

7) The Boers had a few good commanders, and lots of bad ones who were lazy or selfish. Several who may have been there under duress. Remember the war was pretty much the wish of Kruger and the Transvaal, OFS had good relations with the British and had been anti war... Kruger directly meddled in their affairs to engineer a pro war candidate could get power. As stated they were a truculent bunch who could not work together in any kind of coordinated manner, they fudged the whole campaign. Most of the British officers knew what they were doing.. and did it well enough in the early stages. The Boers lost the war through bad soldiering.

all that grinds my gears.
 
Jun 2017
604
maine
Living in just about the only state in the union that doesn't dislike him, I admit to being annoyed at how little regard is given to Benedict Arnold. Just the name alone is synonymous with "traitor" and few people know about his very real contributions. He was a complex man and the situation that brought about his downfall is neither as clear cut as most people think nor as one sided. He did great service to Maine in earlier times. Most French-Canadians in New England and a lot of Irish and Scots-Irish came down along what is called "the Old Arnold Trail". His documented trip up the Kennebec and into Canada was important to the understanding of the river and the lands around it. His resting spots are marked (there is one opposite the genealogical library where I volunteer and he spent several days resting in the town in which I live because it is just above one set of falls and before another).
 

MG1962a

Ad Honorem
Mar 2019
2,172
Kansas
Interesting!

FWIW, some people did previously believe that the world was only 6,000 years old. In fact, a few of them still exist today. They're called Young Earth Creationists.
Sure, and they base that belief in a holy book. And even that is not an ancient belief. Nowhere in the bible does it give that figure. Someone from the 'Enlightened era' worked backwards through all the begetting and came up with an answer. As misguided as it was, it did try to apply logic to the problem using all the available data

With the flat earth it is just a modern invention to make us feel superior.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Futurist
Jul 2019
809
New Jersey
Sure, and they base that belief in a holy book. And even that is not an ancient belief. Nowhere in the bible does it give that figure. Someone from the 'Enlightened era' worked backwards through all the begetting and came up with an answer. As misguided as it was, it did try to apply logic to the problem using all the available data

With the flat earth it is just a modern invention to make us feel superior.
The earliest record of the traditional Jewish dating system (we're currently in 5780) appears in Seder Olam, written by Yose bar Halafta c. 160 CE.

In any event, one who goes by that chronology can simply believe that the world was created already old. One needn't deny his senses. To be a flat earther, though, one needs to rejects heaps and heaps of mathematical evidence in order to embrace a wild conspiracy theory.
 
May 2019
191
Northern and Western hemispheres
The vilification of NATO for invading Afghanistan in 2001.When someone brings down a couple of your skyscrapers and strikes your nation's capital you're not just going to sit on the bench and twiddle your thumbs. You're going to fight back at the perpetrators (who might be from Israel or Saudi Arabia). I do think there could have been a more thorough investigation to the perpetrators in the fall of 2001 and that military operations should have been carried out more differently. Afghanistan was a war ravaged mess and a failed state long(due to the Soviet Afghan War and the Afghan Civil War) long before the 2001 NATO Invasion. I find the concept that the Americans or other NATO members should feel bad about fighting the Taliban and Al Qaeda to be quite nonsensical.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Abraham95

MG1962a

Ad Honorem
Mar 2019
2,172
Kansas
The vilification of NATO for invading Afghanistan in 2001.When someone brings down a couple of your skyscrapers and strikes your nation's capital you're not just going to sit on the bench and twiddle your thumbs. You're going to fight back at the perpetrators (who might be from Israel or Saudi Arabia). I do think there could have been a more thorough investigation to the perpetrators in the fall of 2001 and that military operations should have been carried out more differently. Afghanistan was a war ravaged mess and a failed state long(due to the Soviet Afghan War and the Afghan Civil War) long before the 2001 NATO Invasion. I find the concept that the Americans or other NATO members should feel bad about fighting the Taliban and Al Qaeda to be quite nonsensical.
Who vilified NATO for invading Afghanistan? Iraq yes, but I cannot recall hearing any complaints about that one.
 
May 2019
191
Northern and Western hemispheres
Who vilified NATO for invading Afghanistan? Iraq yes, but I cannot recall hearing any complaints about that one.
I've seen folks online do that. The invasion of Iraq in 2003 was a huge mistake as it allowed the rise of ISIL and lead to instability in other Arab Countries and can be validly criticized.
 
Status
Closed