Ah, prohibition. “The Noble Experiment,” kick-started by the 18th Amendment
Wars have been fought since man discovered the weapon. They have been fought for many reasons some good (as good as reasons to go to war can get), some bad, and then there are the following wars. The following is a small list of ridiculous reasons for war that I could find.
The War of the Golden Stool (1900)
The 1900s were just a bad time for Africa and Britain, what with all the conquering going on. In 1900, the British governor demanded the Ashanti people fork over their Golden Stool so he could sit his royal behind in it. The Golden Stool was a symbol of Ashanti sovereignty, so the demand for it by the British was naturally met with discord. The war lasted from March to September and ended with the Ashanti people keeping their de facto independence and the British never did get to sit on the Golden Stool.
The Football War (1969)
As an American who is a non-sports fan I get a lot of grief during certain sporting events but no one takes Football more seriously than South America. In 1969, El Salvador played Honduras in a friendly game of which they lost. And like any sore loser they declared war on Honduras and commenced killing people. 100 hours (yes, hours) later, the Organization of American States demanded a cease-fire, and it was over. 3,000 people died.
The War of the Stray Dog (1925)
The First World War left Greece and Bulgaria at odds with each other, and when a man chased his dog over the Bulgarian border he was shot. In retaliation, Greece sent troops over the boundary the very next day and declared war. For ten days, the war waged until The League of Nations told Greece to take their ball and go home. Greece was sanctioned and told to pay Bulgaria for damages (45,000 pounds) but not before 52 people died.
The War of the Fleeing Wife (1879)
You might think the last fight, you had with your significant other was war, but in 1879 a woman fleeing her husband, Chief of the Zulu people, hid in the British territory. The Zulu chief sent his people to find her and when they did they shot her dead. The British took this as an opportunity to have another war against African people and destroyed them. Over 6,000 people died.
The Battle of Karansebes (1788)
The Austro-Turkish War of 1787 may not have started because of a silly reason, but one battle within it did. In 1788, the Austrians were setting up camp around Karansebes (now in modern Romania) after purchasing some Schnapps from locals. When some of their hussars (light cavalry) arrived, they demanded some of the alcohol. The drunken soldiers wouldn’t share and set up fortifications around the barrels of Schnapps. A fight broke out when a soldier fired a shot, and they began battling each other. At some point, one of the men yelled “Turks!” and most fled but not before shooting at each other thinking they were Turkish soldiers. Two days later the actual Turkish army arrived and found 10,000 dead and wounded, which made taking Karansebes extremely easy.
The War of Jenkins’s Ear (1739-1742)
In 1731, eight years before this war started, Robert Jenkins was accused of smuggling as he tried to board a boat. Captain Juan de Leon Fandino sliced off his ear and told him to tell the King he would do the same to him! Eight years later he was called to testify in the story and, rumor has it, he presented his severed ear for all to see. The incident was considered to be an insult to British honor and a war began. In total 24,500 people, died.
The Great Emu War (1932)
The Great Emu War is the only war on this list that was between people and giant birds. Australia was overrun with Emus in 1932 (around 20,000) and we destroying farmer’s crops. The response? To send in the military of course, armed with machine guns! However, after a week the army got fed up and quit. The Emus proved to be quite the adversary and even when they were shot multiple times they still ran away. At the end of the “war”, they only managed to kill 2,500 Emus out of 20,000.