The top ten worst decisions in history

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Byzantine fanatic, Nov 21, 2018.

  1. Clandango Disestablishmentarianist

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    Location:
    The Back of the Car
    It also goes into why anyone would die for the belief if they knew it was false, as thousands would have seen Jesus before and after his death to know about it, while the various Apostles and disciples would have been able to save themselves from horrible torture by just telling whatever authorities who had them that they were lieing. Apparently one of the Watergate people became a Christian because he looked at that and was amazed that people wouldn't rat each other out if it was all a lie,


    Anyways, stupid decisions... We are talking about things only stupid in hindsight, or stupid with what they knew at the time? Columbus would have been pretty stupid with his journeys due to the distances being wrong (and him claiming the Earth was shaped like a pear) but some suggest he had a good idea something was in sailable distance due to the driftwood that washed up on the Canaries. I also thing the Danes giving up Norwegian islands to Scotland as a dowry was pretty stupid, if we are going by hindsight. Imagine the fishing and oil rights. A,so would have made the Faroes much more closely linked to Denmark is the Shetlands were Danish. Then again, the English, Scottish, British, etc would have probably taken them at one point anyways. Though maybe they would stick to grabbing Man, the Orkneys, and the Hebrides.
     
  2. ennobee Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2015
    Location:
    Greater Houston/Galveston suburbia, Texas
    1) Die Hard 5
    2) Everything Hillary Clinton did after 2012
    3) The Israelites exodus from Egypt. It took them 40 years of wandering around and still they only got as far as Jericho. If Moses only had a better compass, they cold have traveled all the way to Jamaica in that time. The Middle East would not be such big a mess and church music would definitely be a lot more interesting.
    4) Disco music
     
  3. Byzantine fanatic Pasha of the Rumistan beylik

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2015
    Location:
    The Old World
    This reminds me of those people who say that agriculture was a mistake.
     
  4. Skallagrim Not the one from YouTube. Different other fellow.

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2014
    I agree on point 1; I would not touch point 2 outside chat even if I had a thousand-foot pole; and I don't give a single damn about point 4.

    But on point 3, let me bring up the fact that a lot of dates and ages and time-spans in the Bible become way more comprehensible when you realise that they probably meant 'months' where they said 'years' in many cases. Something to do with the lunar calendar being used, I believe. The point is, weird stuff like people being hundreds of years old suddenly make sense when you assume they meant months, and those ages in modern years turn out to be like 85 or something like that. In about the same way, the journey through the desert is probably meant to have taken what we would call 40 months or so. That may still seem long, considering the distance, but I think we're looking at a migration there, rather than just a coherent caravan moving very deliberately. The portrayal in the story is just written in a more symbolic way. When you take that into account, things make far more sense.
     
  5. dandan_noodles Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2015
    Xerxes's invasion of Greece shouldn't have been on the list; it failed because of bad luck and the Persians' own mistakes.

    More than the invasion of Russia, the Continental System should replace it. Even if it was easily enforced, it would still do more long term damage to the Continental economy than the British, and as it happened, enforcing it brought Napoleon into by far the most costly and punishing wars of his reign.

    If we're skirting into 20th century territory here, the German decision to resume unrestricted submarine warfare in 1917. Any hopes of forcing Britain out of the war through a submarine campaign were utterly illusory, and they so blundered away their brief advantage over the Entente through the withdrawal of Russia from the war. They then wasted all the strategic reserves they'd pulled from Russia in the disastrous spring offensive, while the Allies gained a new reservoir of manpower in America.

    The point for all the wandering was for the old generation of israelites to die off; their punishment for the Golden Calf was to never see the promised land. So even when the text was composed, the time period was understood to be long enough for a whole generation to die, which is probably much longer than just a few years, even in the desert.
     
  6. Workable Goblin Chronicler of the Pony Wars

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2009
    Location:
    Canterlot
    Well, you can think that "a bigger, Napoleonic France presumably lasting longer" wouldn't have been a particularly good thing while also thinking that Napoleon not taking the Frankfurt proposals was a terrible error in an objective sense. After all, not taking the Frankfurt proposals led to years of further war and thousands of deaths, not to mention creating certain tensions (if indirectly, through mechanisms such as the creation of the Kingdom of the Netherlands) that led to even more wars and deaths. Since Napoleonic France was not particularly uniquely bad, the best way to maximize the well-being of the inhabitants is to have peace, which the Frankfurt proposals offered and which Napoleon's actions forestalled, and therefore his rejection of them was a terrible mistake.
     
  7. Lenwe Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2015
    Location:
    Santiago
    So Genghis Khan used the Roman Method of Diplomacy well it worked
     
  8. mad orc Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2017
    Operation Barbarossa.

    There was no need of it.
     
  9. BellaGerant Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2017
    Of Hong Xiuquan's decision to rebel against the Qing dynasty, the Qing dynasty's Yong Ying system (that helped incubate warlordism), and the Juye Incident + Boxer Rebellion, I can't really say which was the worst of the bunch but they combined led to the disaster that was Chinese history in first half of the 20th century, with all the tens of millions dead from war, disease, depravation, and famine.

    But I'd personally include something from the Qing dynasty in the list, simply because of how rapidly and bloodily China declined in the late-19th and early 20th centuries, plus most of the bad decisions there were actually pre-1900.
     
  10. Escape Zeppelin Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2013
    Location:
    Last Tuesday
    I didn't mean Jesus was causing trouble but that his presence was causing trouble by riling up the priests. As a Roman administrator, removing Jesus from the situation was clearly the best of two bad options in order to keep the peace even it wasn't the right thing to do morally. Kill one travelling preacher and keep the peace or let him live and the High Priests instigate riots across the region. Killing the High Priests instead would probably have been Pilate's preferred solution behind closed doors but that would have been destabilizing and beyond consideration.

    Not only wasn't it a calamity, it wasn't even notable. Had the Romans not killed him there would have been calamity with the priests spreading unrest. It's only in the years following that his death took on any significance at all to the general public.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2018
  11. Coley Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2016
    Only a few,mostly modern.1-Mussolini tieing his fate to Nazis,a weaker Franco lasted till the 70s.2-GW Bush liberating Iraq,after all,welcomed American troops with open arms.3-USA looking at communism as monolithic,not looking at nationalism,might have not got bogged down in Vietnam.4-All of Argentinas decisions in this century,so much potential wasted.5-Trying to make a modern country out of Afghanistan instead of stomping Taliban and leaving,it is and always has been a mess.6-The French not slapping Hitler down early when they had chance.
     
  12. Jared Voldemort Jnr

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2004
    Location:
    Kingdom of Australia
    Coming out of the water, or at least failing to go back into the water when the opportunity presented itself. To paraphrase Douglas Adams:

    "Humans had always thought that they were more intelligent than dolphins because they had achieved so much - wars, the wheel, New York and so forth - while all the dolphins had done was muck about in the water having a good time. But dolphins has always thought that they were more intelligent than humans - for exactly the same reasons."
     
  13. Koprulu Mustafa Pasha Sadrazam of the Roman Empire

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2017
    Location:
    Sarajevo
    - Ottomans directly going for Vienna in 1683

    - Selim III abdicates rather than crush the Yamak rebellion in 1807

    - Anything the Dutch did that led to Belgian independence

    - Fernando VII of Spain
     
  14. Byzantine fanatic Pasha of the Rumistan beylik

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2015
    Location:
    The Old World
    I thought there was no historical evidence that the exodus ever took place? Although I'm not sure what exactly archaeologists would expect to find, at that distance so many centuries afterwards...
     
    BrytteMyst likes this.
  15. Workable Goblin Chronicler of the Pony Wars

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2009
    Location:
    Canterlot
    There would be two primary indicators of a historical Exodus, provided that the Biblical story was accurate. The first would be historical records and archeological information from Ancient Egypt; while they themselves might not make a record of how they got the snot beaten out of them by a bunch of slaves, given their propensity for, at best, whitewashing, there would still be indirect indications of things like the plagues taking place, the sudden death of a Pharaoh and a large army, the departure of many slaves, and so on and so forth. Then at the other end there would be evidence of dislocation of populations in Israel, changes in material culture, and other evidence that a large invading force had come in and displaced people, as the Book of Joshua says. Finally, the Exodus did involve lengthy periods of inhabitation at fixed spots (Kadesh, mostly), so one might expect to find some evidence of inhabitation there.

    However, none of this evidence exists. Additionally, the Exodus narrative itself includes hints that it was largely written well after the purported time of the events it records, such as the use of place names for locations that weren't important at the supposed time of Exodus, so at best it is not likely to be a very accurate record of what happened. There may have been groups of slaves who escaped through the Bitter Lakes when their pursuers fell in the swamp and drowned, and they may have spent time wandering in the wilderness, and there was undoubtedly cultural change in Canaan at about the same time...but not a mass migration that displaced the peoples of Canaan and established a completely new religion, as claimed by the Bible.
     
  16. Umbral Member Monthly Donor

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2005
    I though Pilate had a particularly bad relationship with the people of Judea and got recalled after the people complained. Which was rather unusual for the Romans I think. And that he condemned Jesus because Jesus claimed to be king of the Jews -an act of rebellion as far as Rome was concerned.
     
    Lenwe likes this.
  17. Jared Voldemort Jnr

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2004
    Location:
    Kingdom of Australia
    To summarise, the archaeological evidence suggests that the people who became the Jews gradually emerged as a distinct people in the highlands of Palestine. There are various distinctive features of their inhabitation, most notably how they stopped consuming pigs - pigs formed a significant part of the diet of other peoples in Palestine but were absent here.

    There is evidence of the original worship sites being on hilltops (corresponding to the "high places" referred to in the Tanakh) and of multiple deities (Yahweh had a consort, for instance) which apparently gradually converted to henotheism and then monotheism.

    Some of the references in the Tanakh support that the worship at or around the Jerusalem temple included Yahweh's consort, referred to as Asherah, since Solomon's time until late in pre-exilic Judah.

    It's not impossible that some small band of people were in Egypt and came to Palestine where they gradually assimilated with the peoples who were already there, and that this event was the seed for the Exodus narrative. But the bulk of the people who became the Jews emerged in Palestine and stayed there.
     
  18. Fabius Maximus Unus qui nobis cunctando restituit rem

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2013
    Location:
    Perfidious Albion
    IIRC, "forty" in Biblical Hebrew could also be used to mean "many" (like "1,001" in Arabic). So it might just be that the Jews were meant to have wandered around for "many years" before reaching Canaan...

    Just a hunch, but I think something like the Exodus probably did happen. After all, the Jews' belief that their God was more powerful than any others is pretty bizarre when you think about it, especially when you remember that the ancients tended to see the relative power of countries as a reflection of the power of their deities, and even at its height ancient Israel was pretty small fry by Middle Eastern standards. On the other hand, if the early Jews did successfully escape from slavery in Egypt, this could easily have been taken as proof that their God was stronger than the gods of the Egyptians, laying the grounds for Jewish henotheism/monotheism.
     
    CtrlAltHistory and HelloThere like this.
  19. alexmilman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2018
    I would not exclude such a possibility :))) but this seems to be a broader cultural difference regarding this subject between the Mongols and pretty much everybody else who was (still) around: the Mongols had been considering execution of their emissaries as a direct offense to the Great Khan (which will justify the war) while others had been looking at them mostly from an annoyance perspective without a complete understanding who they are going to mess with. Of course, cases of the suicidal reaction were anything but a rule.
     
    BrytteMyst likes this.
  20. funnyhat Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2013
    And at that point (December 1813) France is no longer in position to dominate Europe, with or without Napoléon on the throne. It is exhausted militarily. This was shown in the 1814 campaign where his excellent tactics could not overcome the severe lack of manpower.
     
    BrytteMyst likes this.