History Myths and Misconceptions of History you Hate

AndrewJTalon

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What are myths and misconceptions of history that you hate? This is the thread to complain about them in!

Columbus was not trying to prove the world was round: He was seeking a shorter route to India and China for trade and ran into the Americas. He also studied the calculations Eratosthenes had done on the size of a spherical Earth before leaving on his journey, but ultimately rejected them because he thought the Earth was smaller. If he hadn't relied on people who had done the math wrong, he may have never headed west in the first place.
 

Big Steve

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The Lost Cause and the idea that the Southern States opposed Lincoln on the subject of "states' rights". It's a myth that has been turned into historical fact and "heritage" and is especially galling given the South's record on the issue of state vs. federal power in the antebellum, when they were more than happy to apply federal power to protect slavery against Northern states' laws, even imposing Southern-style slave-hunting posses on the North with the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850.

Indeed the entire narrative of the South as being an oppressed minority of the Union that finally rose up is a blatant lie, not to mention the claims I've seen that the South was wealthier and more prosperous (likely from the Panic of 1858 not impacting the extraordinarily high global cotton prices, allowing the South to mostly escape the Panic's economic problems).

The fact is that the South had a disproportionate hold on federal power until the 1850s, really 1860, when Southern intransigence finally broke their hold on the Democratic Party. They won for the same reason all vocal minorities can dominate a majority; they shout louder and demand harder than the majority, who care about other issues so give in. Thus the South had disproportionate influence over the National Democratic Party, which was usually the majority party, so they often got things their way. Just look at the Presidency, ten Presidents before Lincoln were Southerners (Harrison was from Virginia), and of the remaining Northern presidents, all but one or two (depending on how you feel about John Quincy Adams' election and Clay's role) were publicly known sympathizers to the antebellum South.
 
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The idea that indigenous American cultures, which had mastered some of the most profound bioengineering in history to create their agricultural schema and engaged in vast geoengineering to the point that we now have evidence the Amazon Basin was essentially turned into a food garden for them, were somehow stone-age societies which needed to be uplifted by Europeans.
 

CarlManvers2019

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That the Church was 100% against all science and prospered off intellectual idiocy and didn’t have anybody at all who studied secular stuff or could have philosophical arguments and that they were 100% behind every single witch hunt and persecution

I’m pretty sure the Church long decided that witchcraft wasn’t fucking real even
 
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In fact, the Church only ever promoted science and worked to integrate it within a theological framework of the universe. The problems only came when very arrogant and irrational men decided that they should, instead, be able to define the framework of the universe as well. In general in the advancement of science as an art of technical achievement, this has brought us nothing, whereas most advancements would have continued with or without this philosophical arrogance. Copernicus did all the real work for example; Galileo simply became popular because of his arrogance.
 

CurtisLemay

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That the weather alone defeated the Wehrmacht at the gates of Moscow during Barbarossa. It played a big role, but it didn't help that OKH screwed up the entire logistical plan by the numbers. And also that the Germans dithered around using the panzers to crush the pocket near Kiev.

All of that conspired to give the Soviets the time they needed to rush fresh troops back to face an exhausted Wehrmacht.
 
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That Americans were handing out smallpox blankets left and right. There is exceedingly little evidence of this ever happening more than one time by one guy on his own and even less that it even worked and then some British officers discussing trying it.
What galls me is the people who generally say this kind of thing never make the slightest attempt to actually improve the rights of indigenous Americans. Hatred of indigenous peoples is one of the last "respectable" bigotries of the left, because they think they would be better off forced into urban housing projects and deracinated. Which, come to mind, brings up another esoteric traditionalist topic.
 

Big Steve

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People that treat Braveheart as a documentary. There are more historical inaccuracies in that film than Michael Bay's Pearl Harbor.
Scotsman: Why didn't you have the bridge at the Battle of Stirling Bridge?
Mel Gibson: The bridge kept getting in the way.
Scotsman: Aye, the English had that problem too.

Robert the Bruce really was more the author of the renewal of an independent Scottish Monarchy and independence, yes. But he doesn't make as heroic of a figure to make a movie about from the perspective of modern hollywood.
He certainly brought it to completion, but IIRC he had to do some nasty things to win and secure his throne (again IIRC one killing was even why the Pope excommunicated him), while William Wallace has the luster of being a martyr for his country.

That said I remember facepalming when the screen-writer of "Braveheart", coincidentally named Randall Wallace, told a History Channel documentary that "sometimes you can't let facts get in the way of the truth" when it came to the historical inaccuracies.
 

Vargas Fan

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Robert the Bruce really was more the author of the renewal of an independent Scottish Monarchy and independence, yes. But he doesn't make as heroic of a figure to make a movie about from the perspective of modern hollywood.
There is a film called Outlaw King, which I haven't seen but is meant to be reasonably good. However Braveheart has major problems like the use of kilts (which didn't yet exist), blue face paint (which had fallen out of fashion), showing the Scots as having no mounted forces to speak of and basically be a bunch of scruffs whereas there was an organised army of sorts. Albeit the English forces did have a large advantage in the use of heavy horse, and the much derided battle of Stirling Bridge....that didn't have the Bridge. And don't even get me started on Wallaces affair with the Queen of England.
 

Vargas Fan

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Scotsman: Why didn't you have the bridge at the Battle of Stirling Bridge?
Mel Gibson: The bridge kept getting in the way.
Scotsman: Aye, the English had that problem too.



He certainly brought it to completion, but IIRC he had to do some nasty things to win and secure his throne (again IIRC one killing was even why the Pope excommunicated him), while William Wallace has the luster of being a martyr for his country.

That said I remember facepalming when the screen-writer of "Braveheart", coincidentally named Randall Wallace, told a History Channel documentary that "sometimes you can't let facts get in the way of the truth" when it came to the historical inaccuracies.
Incidentally, I believe Randall Wallace is meant to be descended from the family of William Wallace, and I made the Pearl Harbor comparison and he was the screen writer there....soooooo
 

FriedCFour

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There is a film called Outlaw King, which I haven't seen but is meant to be reasonably good. However Braveheart has major problems like the use of kilts (which didn't yet exist), blue face paint (which had fallen out of fashion), showing the Scots as having no mounted forces to speak of and basically be a bunch of scruffs whereas there was an organised army of sorts. Albeit the English forces did have a large advantage in the use of heavy horse, and the much derided battle of Stirling Bridge....that didn't have the Bridge. And don't even get me started on Wallaces affair with the Queen of England.
Outlaw King is among the most historically accurate films I've ever seen down to even small details. Has the correct heraldy for most characters, includes the warwolf even. Highly recommend.
 
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Outlaw King is among the most historically accurate films I've ever seen down to even small details. Has the correct heraldy for most characters, includes the warwolf even. Highly recommend.
Noted, thank you for that recommendation. We rather need a movie recommendation thread, don't we?
 

Vargas Fan

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Outlaw King is among the most historically accurate films I've ever seen down to even small details. Has the correct heraldy for most characters, includes the warwolf even. Highly recommend.
There is another Bruce related film out, called simply, "Robert the Bruce", American produced. The SNP have been apparently using it as propaganda material at times and it does not get a great reputation. Outlaw King as far as I can make out is far superior.
 
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