Wars Fought for Ridiculous Reasons – It Takes a Spark

When we look at the world, we often see the best of it, from the small things that people do on a daily basis, like frequent video uploads, to grand gestures like purchasing someone a car of giving them a roof over their heads. Focusing on the positive is something humans do best, for most of the time.

The negative stuff, we all want to forget. But, some things are best remembered, as they can serve as a lesson to us all. War is one of those things. But, what about wars which were fought for the stupidest reasons of all? Yes, there were plenty of situations in history where a war was fought for the silliest of reasons, or it came very close to a war being fought. Here are those situations, in no particular order.

The Pig War

This is an interesting tale. Imagine a war being fought over a shot boar. The year was 1859, the location the San Juan Island, between the United States and Vancouver Island. British employees of the Hudson Bay Company were having tensions with US settlers. On June 15, a man named Lyman Cutlar shot a British-owned boar. The reason was the boar destroying his potato patch.

The American reported the incident to the military and received a captain, George Pickett. He declared the entire island a property of the United States, prompting the British to send a large naval force which stood nearby. There was a standoff which lasted until October of that same year. The two forces agreed upon joint custody of the island, thus ending the war without any bloodshed, save for a black boar.

The Pastry War

Mexico and North America, in general, was a troubled part of the world in the 19th century. In the year 1828, Mexico was ravaged by a riot. During that riot, a French chef named Remontel, lost his pastry shop due to the riots. He petitioned the Mexican government to compensate him, but he got nothing. He then petitioned the French. His pleas were heard, albeit 10 years later. King Louis-Philippe heard the man’s pleas and ordered Mexico to pay him 600,000 pesos for the shop. They refused. The king, angry because the Mexicans failed to pay a previous debt, sent a fleet which blocked the bay and started sieging the city of Veracruz. A retired Mexican general named Santa Anna came back to help the Mexican army fight off the French. In the end, the British intervened and a peace was brokered, with Mexico paying Remontel his 600,000 pesos.

The Toledo Strip

Michigan and Ohio are two neighboring states who went to war once, over a town named Toledo. Ohio decided to claim the small town, and Michigan refused, saying the town belonged to them. The two states rounded up militias and were on edge from 1803 until 1835, when president Andrew Jackson decided that Toledo would go to Michigan and that some parts of the Upper Peninsula would go to Ohio. Some people viewed this as a great injustice while others were happy. There was a report of a woman saying that she never liked the Michigan weather, thanking the Lord for such a change.

Wars can be fought for many reasons, like a woman, think Helen of Troy, or in this case, a town, a bunch of pastries or a pig, even. People will always find reasons to fight, most of which are not a reason to go to war and end thousands or millions of lives. Luckily, most of these wars were relatively tame, compared to other, bloodier wars.