Wild West – The ‘Gunslinger’ Myth

Crimescribe

The stylised version of a Wild West gunfight. These almost never happened. The stylised version of a Wild West gunfight. These almost never happened.

The Wild West, home of many colourful (often disreputable) characters. Native Americans, gold prospectors, gamblers, cattle ranchers, miners and immigrants scrambled to extend the new frontier. They spread further West in search of their fortunes. With law-abiding, hard-working citizens came criminals. The most notorious were gunslingers, hired guns who’d rob a bank one month, protect a cattle baron the next and then be hired as a town Marshal the month after that. Being a gunslinger didn’t automatically make a man a criminal, some of the best-known were both law enforcers and lawbreakers at different times.

Gunslingers in popular culture.

The popular image of gunslingers comes from cheap novels and films and it’s far more fiction than fact. Hollywood would have us believe that hired guns were either all good (like Gary Cooper’s portrayal in the classic film ‘High…

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The Russia-American Special Relationship that Saved the Union

Life in Russia

thoughts of an expatThis is a part of American history that I wasn’t aware of, it made me wonder how many others don’t know as well. It seems that when America was in it’s deepest turmoil unlikely as it seems Russia sent warships to protect the ports not only on the east coast but west coast as well. In Great Britain the powers of the time considered both America and Russia the oppressors. Times have changed but people and governments haven’t, even the locations look similar. Today in the eyes of some all they done is changed hats.  Isn’t it the fear-mongers who create these situations. True cooperation doesn’t come from fear, but should come from mutual respect for one another. Governments come and go and the people endure, it will be the truth that sets people free. During the Civil War in America, Russia helped it remain free.

extremes-meet-67b5a-0c611 At the point…

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World War One: A Centenary

beetleypete

I hope that nobody is unaware of the fact that 2014 marks the one hundredth anniversary of the start of the First World War, in August 1914. To many of you, especially those still young, it might seem like a dusty old piece of history, played out on TV in black and white. You may well consider that it has no relevance any more, and it is of no interest to you whatsoever. You will have no intention of sitting through the endless documentaries, dramatised reconstructions, or worthy coverage of commemorations. Please think again. We can all learn much from the follies of this tragic conflict, and the reasons that it began.

My own grandparents were born in the year 1900. Both of my grandfathers were lucky enough to not have to serve in this war, as they only reached the required age of 18 as the war ended. Other…

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6 Ridiculous Lies About the Founding of America

hipmonkey

For instance …

#6. The Indians Weren’t Defeated by White Settlers

The Myth:

Our history books don’t really go into a ton of detail about how the Indians became an endangered species. Some warring, some smallpox blankets and … death by broken heart?

When American Indians show up in movies made by conscientious white people like Oliver Stone, they usually lament having their land taken from them. The implication is that Native Americans died off like a species of tree-burrowing owl that couldn’t hack it once their natural habitat was paved over.
But if we had to put the whole Cowboys and Indians battle in a Hollywood log line, we’d say the Indians put up a good fight, but were no match for the white man’s superior technology. As surely as scissors cuts paper and rock smashes scissors, gun beats arrow. That’s just how it works.

This is all the American history you’ll ever need…

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