AH Challenge: Make dueling a way to settle disputes in the Current Age

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by hammo1j, May 15, 2019.

  1. hammo1j Member Donor

    Apr 29, 2005
    Dueling, where a man challenges his peer to Pistols at dawn was a popular and manly way to settle disputes up until the 1820's.

    Clearly the public interest will be piqued and the outcome is not necessarily the death of one of the combatants. The belief of the challenger must be such that the risk of injury or even death is worthy of the dispute, the winner by God's will, the winner of the argument.

    In obvious addition it should be added that the right to challenge persons of high order shall be determined by the court. A personality such as Boris Johnson or Jeremy Corbyn would otherwise be subject to constant challenge. Suffice to say a standoff with pistols should only be possible for those of equal status: Thus Jeremy could challenge Boris, but the rest of the country, even with sufficient grudge as now is the case, could challenge neither.

    How would the outcome of such masculine determination be reported in the press. Would the best events be televised?

    For the more mundane disputes of "Were you looking at me" would the virtuous triumph due to their sober nature or would the animal instinct of the baser man be racking up scores like a German fighter pilot on the Eastern Front?

    I, of course, as a civilised man of this TL, find this whole concept despicable. But if by some warp and weft of God's will, it became possible, I am asking the collegiate of this forum to describe the very possible monstrosity this might entail.
    TheKutKu and Zagan like this.
  2. interpoltomo please don't do coke in the bathroom

    Sep 18, 2007
    avoid the world wars and chances are it'd possibly be revived as a thing
  3. overoceans Well-Known Member

    Jul 5, 2012
    If it had died out by the 1820s, why would it suddenly come back into vogue in the early-to-mid 20th Century?
  4. interpoltomo please don't do coke in the bathroom

    Sep 18, 2007
    Aristos overcompensating in response to things like income/wealth taxes being a thing.
  5. Dorknought Well-Known Member

    Mar 8, 2018
    Use robots. Here meet my stand-in K2S0.

    Or you could go steampunk if it’s 1800’s
    TheKutKu likes this.
  6. TonyA Curmudgeon like, but nastier

    Jul 5, 2015
    South Florida
    What an amusing thought, specially, when combined with the women's movement...
    Dorknought likes this.
  7. Stenz Don't judge the past by the standards of today... Monthly Donor

    May 18, 2016
    Leafy Southern Blighty
    Have German Mensur-style duelling societies expand rather than decline after WWII. Have duelling scars all over the place. Over the years post-WWII, have the scars associated with machismo, higher education and personal honour all over Europe. Maybe it spreads?
    hammo1j and Dorknought like this.
  8. Meordal Well-Known Member

    Jul 9, 2017
    The Art of dueling died when governments decided that a sword wasn’t fashionable enough to be worn in the streets. Honestly, as soon as plebian individuals and nobles stopped wearing a sword (and thus learning how to use this weapon), sword duels slowly disappeared in those populations, even if it was/is still popular in the military and Germanic universities, even in Switzerland.

    The result was the introduction of pistol duels that too often resulted in the death of one of the participants, which is why it became illegal. Losing hundreds of fine soldiers and officers or civil influential gentlemen didn’t please the authorities.

    I have a solution, let’s turn dueling into a popular non-lethal sport in early 1900’s. The idea is to keep this bloodless duel alive long enough for lawmakers to find a way to forbid the deadly forms of duels (first-blood and to-death), but not wax-bullet duels. Later as the public is used to it, we just need to wait until lawsuits make wax-bullet duel a legal way to solve a dispute. I am happy and proud to introduce you to

    Wax bullet duels and Olympics


    Dueling gentlemen

    Duelling was a sport at the 1906 Olympics and 1908 Olympics. In the 1906 Olympics, male competitors fired duelling pistols at plaster dummies from 20m and 30m. In the 1908 Olympics, duelling was a demonstration sport, and featured two male competitors firing at each other with duelling pistols loaded with wax bullets and wearing protective equipment for the torso, face, and hands.

    Prior to The Great War the brief popularity of this new and innovative sport even spread across the Atlantic with the Carnegie Sword and Pistol Club in New York and the New York Athletic Club, in particular, sponsoring competitions (OTL).

    There is sill a need to turn an upper-class leisure into a more popular and widespread activity.

    ITTL, wax-bullet pistol dueling is added to the 1912 Summer Olympics in the new modern pentathlon (POD).


    Who did participate in the modern pentathlon event at 1912 Summer Olympics for the United States team?

    Patton and the military

    After WW1, the sport of pistol dueling is lobbied by the military and sponsored by governments in various countries as a way to prepare future soldiers for war. Germany and Japan even made the practice compulsory in schools during the Interwar period. It quickly becomes a part of military training in 1920’s, especially in countries with compulsory military service like France or in a gun-loving country like United States or in the pragmatic United Kingdom. This military training method is quickly adopted around the world after WW2 and civilian clubs are crowded during Cold War.

    This static training was later modified in the sixties with the use of paint-bullets and instinctive (simultaneous) shoots. During Vietnam War, Marines further modified this training by testing groups-tactics through realistic scenarii. It was the birth of the paint-bullets battles.

    Civilian popularity :

    The IOC recently amended its rules finally introducing paint-bullets equipped handguns, instead of wax-bullets.

    Nowadays pistol dueling clubs are popular in United States, thanks to NRA. Pistol dueling clubs are also numerous in Europe, Japan or Russia.

    You can also find a lot of practitioners of pistols dueling in poorer countries, where defending yourself makes the difference between life and death. Paint-bullets battles for civilians are growing in popularity among veterans and gun-loving civilians, but are heavily regulated in USA.

    Honor, laws and bloodless duels

    With the use of wax-bullets instead of real ones, modern pistol duelling turned into a less violent way to solve honor and legal disputes without blood shedding or death. Military institutions were the first ones turning a blind eye on this practice and trying to regulate it with new duel codes and specific laws during WW1 and WW2.

    After WW1, the practice of "bloodless duels" was common among veterans and members of the traditional gentlemen's club who considered it as a way to distinguish themselves from the plebeian masses in a world turned upside-down.

    The Interwar period also saw a wave of legalizations of those duels in Europe to counter the human thirst for blood. The British Commonwealth (1921) and France (1923) were soon followed by the former central powers and Italy (1925-1929).

    The legalization and democratization occurred after WW2 in a traumatized world. The United States legalized duels in 1947, Japan and Communist China in 1970.

    Soviet Union kept prohibiting this practice until its collapse.
    Last edited: May 18, 2019 at 11:21 AM
  9. HB of CJ Well-Known Member

    Feb 21, 2018
    42N-123W Kinda SW Oregon USA
    Pistols at dawn could end up quite fatal. How about edged weapons? First blood? Sword fighting. Or, if ones emotions are really running high and you intend to gut your adversary how how Bowie Knives?
  10. John Fredrick Parker Donor

    May 22, 2010
    Los Angeles
  11. Noscoper Well-Known Member

    Jan 8, 2015
    You could have it as an way of settling gang disputes and/or part of inner city culture .