16 History Buffs Rant About The Common Misconception That Drives Them Nuts

If you’re someone who loves history in general, or even someone who has a niche interest that has consumed them at one time or another, there’s a good chance there’s at least one thing that people always get wrong that totally drives you up a wall.

These 16 history buffs are ranting about their own personal dislikes, and I’ve gotta say, there are way too many totally wrong things that too many people believe!

16. Marriage was never for love.

That if you were a Peasant you could marry who ever you wanted for love and if you were a noble, royal or the like you could only marry for power During the Medieval period.

Higher class people could and did (though it wasn’t common) marry for love and most of the time Peasant marriages were arranged for the same reason as noble ones were, to link two families together, you very rarely got to marry who you liked it was usually who your parents liked.

Also Prima nocta has, as far as I know was never actually being recorded as a thing.

15. I hate this entire situation.

Louis-Michel le Peletier cast the single vote that sentenced Louis XVI

Actually the vote was a pretty clear majority in favor of execution.

To my knowledge they did heavily debate doing something with Marie Antoinette besides killing her, but the rumors at the time and how hated she was by the general public felt like too good of an opportunity to pass up.

14. Plenty of people fought back.

That Jewish people and other victims of the Holocaust went willingly to their death and no one fought back.

While it’s true that a lot of victims did not believe the genocide was occurring and they were simply being relocated (Nazis/Hitler were very persuasive and no one could imagine a genocide), plenty fought back.

There were resistance groups all over the place as well as people fighting from their homes when they were being taken for deportation.

Guns were used, makeshift bombs, stolen bombs, etc. Not everyone was going to go to the concentration camps/death camps/detention centres without a fight.

Been studying the Holocaust since 2008.

13. A select few.

Only around 40% of colonists supported the American Revolution.

Another 40% was indifferent, and about 20% sided with the British. Most Americans think that it was the vast majority who wanted Independence.

I heard that those who wanted to break away from Britain at that time were considered extremists, and they only started gaining traction after things like increase in taxes and quartering and the Boston Massacre.

12. Life spans weren’t as short as you think.

People didn’t die at 30-40. The high infant mortality rate skews the average.

If you could survive into your teen years you had a pretty good chance of living into your senior years. Obviously there are a lot of factors to consider(eg class, gender, occupation, where you lived, etc.)

11. Different priorities.

That people from the past were just less intelligent than modern people. Fact is, humans from even 15,000 years ago were just as intelligent as modern humans (intelligence being the ability to learn and apply knowledge). They just had different things to worry about and had not discovered everything that we know today.

The whole of modern civilization is built on discovers made thousands or tens of thousands of years ago. Our ancestors, starting with nothing but stone tools and basic survival skills, created agriculture, writing, mathematics, standardized language, the wheel, metallurgy, ship building, architecture, trade routes spanning all of afro-eurasia, currency, banking, cross breeding of animals and plants to create better strains, the list goes on.

If I plucked a human baby from thousands of years ago, properly immunized it to modern diseases, and raised it as any other child today, you would be unable to tell the difference between them or any other child.

Fact is the only difference between us and our ancient ancestors is the discoveries, philosophies, technology and effort performed, created and understood by the hundreds of generations between us.

Our ancient ancestors were simply smart in different ways because we only really learn what we have to. Ancient Polynesians literally memorized the night sky for navigating the innumerable islands of the Indo-Pacific and Oceania, Norse people’s built ships capable of sailing from Europe to America using only hand tools, wood, linen, nails and rope. Ancient east Asian cultures built massive temples out of wood using only precisely crafted wood joints and no nails. Rome built, well, Rome, with hand tools and hand calculated math. Same can be said of the wonders of Egypt, India and mesopotamia.

Then there is Göbekli Tepe, an amazing structure of precisely placed monoliths, engraved walls and cobblestone paths built nearly 12,000 years ago. Which is nearly 6000 years prior to our earliest records of advanced civilizations.

We stand on the backs of thousands of years of knowledge painstakingly collected and handed down for millennia to us who have taken it and created wonders our ancestors would attribute to gods.

Yet we ignore the gargantuan effort that our long dead kin have contributed to our success and even view them with distain. Calling them savages, ignorant and fools. Truly we are the ungrateful child looking down on the gracious teacher that our ancestors were.

We are the summation of all of humanity, just another step in a long history of advancement, not a separate holy being above it or separate from it.

10. Not a nice old lady.

That Rosa Parks was just some nice old lady who wouldn’t give up a bus seat.

She was a political activist who meticulously planned that specific instance of civil protest.

To clarify, my comment was not intended to be negative or derogatory toward Mrs. Parks or her contributions to racial activism in any way. I merely wanted to highlight the inconsistencies in how we learned history and how the narrative can shape our perceptions without us questioning anything.

I think it is important, especially within the discipline of history, to seek out answers for ourselves and make our own determinations.

9. He wasn’t shouting.

During Paul Revere’s Midnight Ride he did not shout “the British are coming!” The mission depended on secrecy so shouting loudly the “British are coming” kinda defeats the whole purpose.

According to several sources (e.g., eyewitness accounts) his warning was likely “the Regulars are coming out” or some variation of that and probably not loud enough to wake up a village (as I’ve seen in some media renditions).

8. They were just bullies.

Knights weren’t exactly chivalrous. It was a concept designed to make them appear magnanimous, and to justify their brutality among the common folk of their enemies when they weren’t at war.

Knights could even pay their respective kings to chicken out of fighting in a war if they were summoned to do so, which many did to keep on pillaging hovels full of bumpkins because it was easy sport.

In short, a lot of Knights were rich, murderous bullies with too much free time on their hands.

7. Bread is life.

“Medieval peasant food was bland”

People seem to think peasants only ate bread and potatoes with no seasoning. In reality, while salt was indeed a luxury they often couldn’t afford, they had access to plenty of herbs to flavor their food. They also had access to things like fish and other meats, so they weren’t just eating bread, though it was an important staple of their diet.

If you’re interested in how a bunch of civilizations ate throughout history, check out Tasting History on YouTube. It’s a great source of historical information and entertainment.

6. That’s not exactly tall.

Just recently learned that Napolean being short was a slam campaign. And Hitler wasnt that short. About 5’9.

5. He had his flaws, but…

I have had way too many of my university students tell me that Lincoln owned slaves.

Listen guys, Lincoln was awesome in many ways and I’m personally a fan of the guy—but he was not a hardcore abolitionist like the “Great Emancipator Myth” claims. Lincoln had his flaws and shortcomings just like everyone else.

4. Sadly, she did.

The belief that Anastasia did not die with the rest of her family.

There were two romanovs found away from the rest, but Anastasia was not one of the two. I know it was Alexei and one of her older sisters. I believe it was Tatianna.

Anastasia was found with the rest, but because of the time frame they were found, it was hard to tell who was who amongst the girls. I believe once the second grave site was found, they were able to confirm who was who.

Upon further research, it was Maria found with Alexei.

3. Their brains were bigger than ours.

That Neanderthals were monosyllabic brutes.

There’s no evidence of that whatsoever. Their brains were bigger than ours and casts of the inside of their skulls show that they had all the same structures our brains had.

Their tool making was comparable to any Homo sapiens’ took making (at least before the Great Leap Forward) and they lived in communities just like we did.

We also regularly mated with them and had kids, which I really don’t think we would if they were little more than quasi-gorillas.

2. Total slander.

Marie Antoinette’s famous “let them eat cake” or “let them eat brioche”. She literally never said it. She was 9 at the time and it was entirely made up.

plus, she was incredibly naive, educated just as royal women of her era were and constantly sheltered

in the court she had quite good reputation

1. Not so different from us.

There is no record of Queen Victoria ever saying “We are not amused”.

And Roman gladiator fights usually weren’t just pointless, bloody, fights to the death for scumbag convicts. The gladiators themselves were very highly trained celebrities who were very well looked after. It was entertainment done for show, much like WWE or similar today.

My answer to this would be basically anything to do with Marie Antoinette.

What’s your answer? Our comments are open!