What Single Shot Changed The Course Of World History The Most? (for Better Or Worse)


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sonny
January 12, 2003, 07:21 PM
For all you history buffs.....what do you think?

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thisaway
January 12, 2003, 07:34 PM
Well, there is the "shot heard 'round the world" fired by the American colonist at the British soldiers in Lexington (although this is possibly apocryphal). And now, after our war of independence and the evolution of our country since then, it can certainly be proven that the USA has influenced how the world has turned out.

A much more well-documented "shot that changed history" was that fired by the Serbian nationalist Gavrilo Princip which slew Archduke Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary in 1914, and led to the Great War.

Yohan
January 12, 2003, 07:37 PM
There's also the shot which assasinated many of our US presidents, such as Lincoln and Kennedy.

Jim March
January 12, 2003, 07:39 PM
American history: the one into the back of Lincoln's head.

While Lincoln had his share of problems, he was in favor of reintegrating the South with the least amount of tensions possible. He also may have had an effect on USSC picks. Between 1866 and 1870 the Northern legislature attempted to give the newly freed blacks (plus Union loyalists of all races in the South) full civil rights. It failed mainly due to the US Supreme Court, which was the most racist portion of the gov't between 1870 and 1900. John Bingham and others tried to stop 'em but didn't have the moral authority and sheer power Lincoln would have had.

Hence the civil rights movement was stalled until 1954.

World history: the shot that started WW1, in Serbia, when the head of the Austrian Empire was geeked by an idiot assassin.

pax
January 12, 2003, 07:57 PM
The first one.

pax

History is a thing of the past. – Mason Williams

Mal H
January 12, 2003, 07:59 PM
(Saw Red Dwarf last night sonny? :) )

I would agree that the Lincoln and Kennedy assasinations rank at or near the top on the list.

Who knows how differently the Viet Nam War would have proceeded if LBJ had remained in the background? Who knows how differently the "Great Society" would have been treated?

Bumper sticker: "Don't ask me what I think of LBJ"

HS/LD
January 12, 2003, 08:03 PM
I shot a kid in the arse in New Zealand for stealing the milk money out of my Mum's letter box.

I used a Webley Senior .177 air pistol and decided, after watching him drop the money and run off crying and grabbing his arse, that I would joing the Army and shoot ALL bad people in the world in the arse!

I was shot in the arse in the Army and got out soon there after.

I can't decide which shot changed MY world more. :)

regards,
HS/LD

stellarpod
January 12, 2003, 08:06 PM
Perhaps the bullet that killed Anwar Sadat in Egypt.

stellarpod

4v50 Gary
January 12, 2003, 09:26 PM
G. Princep when he shot Archduke Ferdinand. Gave us WW I, which begat WW II & the Cold War, Korea & Vietnam - in short, almost a century of warfare.

AZTOY
January 12, 2003, 09:35 PM
What Single Shot Changed The Course Of World History The Most? (for Better Or Worse)

The one Hilter put in his head!!

Blackhawk
January 12, 2003, 09:42 PM
"By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April's breeze unfurled.
There the embattled farmers stood,
And fired the shot heard round the world."


(Had to memorize that in HS, and finally found a use for it.)

That's the one -- the American Revolution MOST changed the world, and for the better.

happy old sailor
January 12, 2003, 09:48 PM
have to go with the First One.

very soon after inventing a working model gun, someone loaded it and fired a shot. whether lead ball or rock, that started it all, making all shots thereafter possible.

do guns cause crime ? not between Caine and Abel. greed or anger at the root of it all.

mad at me ? want what i got ? come on over.

Jim March
January 12, 2003, 09:59 PM
I don't think Kennedy's death made much long-term difference. The policies of him, Johnson and Nixon regarding 'Nam were pretty much identical. Sigh.

4v50Gary: The issue isn't what things were like by 1890 in terms of north/south relations. Yes, the rift had healed a lot, but race relations were just crippled...God, "crippled" doesn't begin, "completely screwed" is closer. You can't even begin to understand the magnatude until you read two US Supreme Court cases, Cruikshank (1875) and Williams (1898).

http://laws.findlaw.com/us/92/542.html

http://laws.findlaw.com/us/170/213.html

If you haven't read those, you don't understand how racism became so ingrained into US society. That in turn lead to the ghettos, the sharecropping, the rise of the KKK and our current horrendous welfare state problems in the inner cities.

We're still paying for the mistakes of 1870-1900. No guarantees, but Lincoln might have helped.

Jim March
January 12, 2003, 10:09 PM
Oh, and Hitler had a choice between a German bullet now and a Russian one later. Didn't make much difference.

gwalchmai
January 12, 2003, 10:48 PM
Huey Long was shot in what, 1935? He was on his way to a serious bid for the presidency. Things could have gone much differently had he won.

Also, FDR was saved from assassination in 1933 when the assassin missed and killed the mayor of Chicago. Sometimes gunshots make a difference by missing. We may never had Social Security.


Resp.
g ;)

dev_null
January 12, 2003, 11:39 PM
Oh, you mean LITERAL single shot, not Single Shot (in caps). I was gonna say the Sharps rifle, or maybe the Trapdoor...

-0-

Hkmp5sd
January 13, 2003, 02:55 AM
What Single Shot Changed The Course Of World History The Most? (for Better Or Worse)

The one that was never fired. During the revolutionary war, English Captain Patrick Ferguson of the 70th Foot designed a breech loading rifle based on the French Chaumette system. Ferguson was allowed to recruit 100 men for a corps of skirmishers using this new and very accurate rifle.

On one day, Ferguson spotting an American Officer on horseback. Before he could take the shot, the American turned and began riding away. Furguson didn't think it was honorable to shoot a man in the back, so he allowed the officer to ride off.

The Officer was General George Washington.

Hkmp5sd
January 13, 2003, 02:57 AM
What Single Shot Changed The Course Of World History The Most? (for Better Or Worse)

The one that was never fired. During the revolutionary war, English Captain Patrick Ferguson of the 70th Foot designed a breech loading rifle based on the French Chaumette system. Ferguson was allowed to recruit 100 men for a corps of skirmishers using this new and very accurate rifle.

On one day, Ferguson spotting an American Officer on horseback. Before he could take the shot, the American turned and began riding away. Furguson didn't think it was honorable to shoot a man in the back, so he allowed the officer to ride off.

The Officer was General George Washington.

Mike Irwin
January 13, 2003, 03:09 AM
Lincoln? Maybe, but probably not. With the war over, and the Federal government pretty much grown as much as it was going to, Lincoln went out at the pinnacle. His second term wouldn't have been anything as dramatic as the first.

Kennedy? Definitely. Contrary to popular belief, Kennedy wasn't all that effective a president alive, but was very successful dead. Johnson was able to use his ghost to pass a LOT of legislation, and stayed Kennedy's course in Vietnam.

Martin Luther King was also a groundshaking assassination for America.

Kennedy and King's kilings together gave impetus to a lot of gun control legislation.

For the all-time most signifant, I have to agree, the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand. It didn't just lead to World War I, his killing also laid the groundwork for the rise of Hitler and World War II.

One dead guy, good for the two most catastrophic wars the world has ever seen.

Jim March
January 13, 2003, 03:50 AM
Mike, does the name "John Bingham" and the phrases "Privileges And Immunities Clause" and "full incorporation" ring any bells?

Something very important in US history happened between 1870 and 1900. Or more correctly, FAILED to happen when it should have - full equal protection plus forcing the states to honor the full Bill Of Rights.

I still say Lincoln could have helped. He had one HELL of a lot of "political credibility" stored up and Bingham was one of his political allies.

Mike Irwin
January 13, 2003, 03:55 AM
God, I haven't heard of that for a LONG time, Jim, but dredging up stuff from ancient memory...

Lincoln had a lot of political capital saved up, yes, that's true.

But I think it's also true that Reconstruction would have robbed him of a lot of that capital.

Jim March
January 13, 2003, 04:02 AM
Mike, if everything Martin Luther King Jr. and company fought for in the 1960s had happened back in the 1870s, I think that would have qualified as a "big change".

And we came within a whisker. I think Lincoln could have made the difference.

Mike Irwin
January 13, 2003, 04:13 AM
"if"

The most dangerous word in the world, Jim...

If Lincoln/Kennedy/Roosevelt/Garfield/Archduke Ferdinand had lived...

If Wilson's 21 points had been adopted...


While I need to do some reading to refresh myself in this area, I think HAD the states been held to this, one major thing would have happened...

The internal bloodletting between blacks and whites in the South wouldn't have been just an occasional trickle.

It would have been a continuous, unremitting flood.

As I said, I don't think Lincoln's political capital would have lasted very long in the post war environment.

A recent example is George Bush I. His political capital lasted for about 30 minutes after he declared "Agression is defeated."

Granted, an entirely different situation, but comparable in many ways.

4570Rick
January 13, 2003, 04:14 AM
The one fired by John Parker or one of his fellow countrymen.

2dogs
January 13, 2003, 10:44 AM
JFK.

The shot that signaled the beginning of the moral and social decline of the USA.:uhoh:

2dogs
January 13, 2003, 10:47 AM
JFK.

The shot that signaled the beginning of the moral and social decline of the USA.:uhoh:

PageField
January 13, 2003, 11:22 AM
The one that popped Ferdy. Was he riding in an Hispano-Suissa?

cuchulainn
January 13, 2003, 11:46 AM
Archduke Ferdinand? Yeah, probably.

But in contention is the first shot of the Russian Revolution -- the twentieth century (includingt WWI and WWII) would have been a lot different without a Soviet empire but rather a Tzarist Russia.

Also in contention, IMHO, is the first shot of the Engish against the Spanish Armada. Would England have colonized North America if it had fallen to the Armada in 1588? If not, there would be no United States, not to mention no British Empire ... different India, different Pakistan, different Middle East, different Africa, etc.

Viking6
January 13, 2003, 01:31 PM
I'd have to agree with the shot Ferguson didn't take at Washington. He also invented one of the first breech loaders.

Col. Mustard
January 13, 2003, 01:50 PM
On the American history side, I'll suggest the shot that killed Stonewall Jackson. Had he been alive to assist Lee at Gettysburg, the South might have won that battle, and the Civil War.

Keith
January 13, 2003, 02:15 PM
And the winner is... Colonel Mustard!

If Stonewall Jackson had not been accidently killed by his own men the South likely WOULD have won Gettysburg, splitting the US into two smaller states. If that had happened, the outcomes of both WWI and WWII would also likely have been changed. Or, if the British and French had not won in WWI, there likely would not have been a WWII to deal with in any case.

And it's all due to a messcook named O'Toole, who had neglected to get the coffee up to the picket lines! If those men had had their coffee they wouldn't have been so tired and cranky and willing to shoot at people without challenging them. O'Toole blamed it on a dog named Stinky which had bit him earlier that day and slowed him down. Stinky wasn't talking, but most people felt he was irritable because of all the shooting and furthermore had had his paw stepped on by some artilleyman's horse. Now, that horse...oh, never mind!


Keith

bogie
January 13, 2003, 03:01 PM
Conjecture: It's been hypothesized that Lincoln likely wouldn't have lived long, regardless of the terminal lead poisoning. He wasn't in the best health, and had several conditions which could have resulted in his demise.

Kennedy wasn't one shot.

I'd go with the start of WWI.

STW
January 13, 2003, 03:01 PM
We could really go back and follow the consequences if King Harold of England hadn't been shot (albeit by an arrow) in the eye in 1066 in the Battle of Hastings. If I had to stick to firearms, I'd have to go with Ferdinand and his wife in 1914. Note that the goal was an independent Serbia which WWI achieved. It's all those unintended consequences that messed things up.

Andrew Wyatt
January 13, 2003, 04:10 PM
I'd have to say the Martini henry.

Mike Irwin
January 13, 2003, 04:38 PM
Bogie,

Any of the shots that hit Kennedy likely would have been fatal.

Archduke Ferdinand wasn't a single shot, either. I think he was hit 3 times, his wife 2.

I really hesitate to say that a single battle would have hinged on a single person, but the supposition about Gettysburg is an interesting one.

Jim March
January 14, 2003, 12:13 AM
Harald wasn't hit until towards the end of the battle. His 5,000 peasants (local call-up) had already taken a major beating, and his 5,000 pros were tired from a forced march from Scotland. He never had a prayer against William's 10,000 mercs.

gburner
January 14, 2003, 10:22 AM
The bomb at Hiroshima...not as immediately lethal as the conventional B-29 raids but ushered in our inalterable ability to destroy all life on earth. Have a nice day!

I have become death, the destroyer of worlds!:fire:

mack
January 14, 2003, 01:07 PM
Shot - why the shot heard round the world - that lead to the birth of America


Death - a carpenter in Palestine

ACP230
January 14, 2003, 09:20 PM
Nobody mentioned the shot fired by Tim Murphy a member of Morgan's Rifles at the Battle Of Freeman's farm. The shot, from a Pennsylvania or Kentucky rifle, killed the British commander and the Brits "commenced to runnin...'" (The song this is from refers to the War of 1812, but I took some poetic license.)

That battle stopped Burgoyne from cutting the American states in two, and kept the Colonists in the fight. Without that win Washington might not have lasted long enough to beat Cornwallis in the south and the world might not have "turned upside down." (The World Turned Up Side Down was played at the British surrender.)

GeorgeAtl
January 14, 2003, 10:13 PM
Archduke Ferdinand.

It was my "Gut" answer, upon seeing the Thread Title, and upon browsing the thread, I see a lotta folks agreeing with me.

Joe Gunns
January 14, 2003, 11:09 PM
I can't agree that shots that started battles were in and of themselves significant since the battle would, in all cases cited thus far, have occured anyway.

The arguement for the immortal Jackson is interesting. Had he been present at Gettysburg he might have been successful where (was it Ewell?) failed in taking the hills south of Gettysburg, thereby turning the Union position. While it might have led to ultimate Northern defeat in the war, such does not automatically follow. Much of the Union army was still approaching, and Meade could have withdrawn to battle again on better ground. Grant still would have won at Vicksburg. There was still time before the 1864 elections for other victories to keep Lincoln in office.

In the Civil War context that shot that pinked Gen'l. Albert Sydney Johnson behind the knee, causing him to bleed to death at Shiloh is at least as significant as the one that got Jackson. Second in command Beauregard did not press the attack. Union reinforcements were gotten up river and the following day's counterattack gave Grant a victory. Had Johnson lived, Grant most likely loses, perhaps has his army destroyed -although that is less likely-, which severely handicaps his opportunities for later advancement given the already extant rumors of his drinking. No Grant on the Mississippi does Vicksburg get taken? No Grant in Virginia in 1864, does Lee get held in place and worn down?

Of the four presidential assassinations, Lincoln's had the greatest impact on US history. Regardless of how successful he could have been in promoting his let-'em-up-easy philosophy, the fight over it would have created a different chain of consequences. In another 50 years the tragic end of the sickly and vacillating Kennedy will be as dim as Garfield's or McK's.

Unlikely that the Kingfish would have been elected, although, had he lived, he might have drawn enough votes from Roosevelt so the Republicans won.

The non-shot at Washington, if not apocryphal (sp?), is certainly significant. But is, after all, an event that didnt happen. (What if Osama bin Laden had been eaten by that White shark while he was swimming in the Indian Ocean on a family vacation in 1974?)

Sadat was most likely dead sooner or later, he had stepped too far out of the box for most in his world to tolerate.

I think the shot/shots that did for the archduke Ferdinand get my vote. Unlikely that he would have been assassinated had Princip failed, based on subsequent survival rates of other world leaders following failed attempts. War might have come over some other issue, since the Kaiser was so hot to prove he could whip his cousins and uncles, but such an outcome is much less certain sans the dead archduke.

answerguy
January 14, 2003, 11:35 PM
Something very important in US history happened between 1870 and 1900. Or more correctly, FAILED to happen when it should have - full equal protection plus forcing the states to honor the full Bill Of Rights.

Imagine how much different the USA would be now if we had faced the problem of racism in the 1860's rather than the 1960's.
We may have freed the slaves during the Civil War but we only set them up for something almost as bad.

Uncle Ethan
January 15, 2003, 12:19 AM
And used by Billy Dixon at the 2nd Battle of Adobe Walls against the horde led by Quahna Parker. Billy's shot that shot an indian off his horse at 7/8ths of a mile made the indians a bit less enthusiastic. The out come of this battle marked the beginning of the Plains Indiansd being put onto Reservations. A single shot from a single shot.

Phantom
January 15, 2003, 12:19 AM
The Moon shot in 1969 by NASA.

106rr
January 15, 2003, 12:33 AM
There was a Dutch Resistance sniper who delayed the nazi occupation of the Netherlands by six months with 160 gr fmj from a 6.5 Mannlicher. He shot a German general in the head. The sniper waited until the staff car was driving directly at his position until he opened fire. The shot was placed through the windshield and maimed the officer but didn't kill him. The delay allowed the escape of tens of thousands of Dutch Jews from the Netherlands. Was this the most important shot? It was to the people who escaped! What other single shot saved so many lives?
The most important shot is the one that saves your life.

edited to read nazi occupation instead of invasion -- oops -- The nazis were already in country -- they just didn't have enough troops to fully occupy and control the country. It took several more months to get into position to start the "internment process" for the Jews

RON in PA
January 15, 2003, 02:35 AM
106rr: Could you please elaborate as this is the first time I've heard of this. Delaying the German invasion of Holland in 1940?. Don't believe it.

I'll have to agree with many of the others that suggested the shooting of the Austrian Archduke. Two world wars, the rise of Communism and the Cold War. That's a massive pile of corpses.

GoldenLoki
January 15, 2003, 03:05 AM
I'll nominate the shot Jack Ruby put into Lee Harvey Oswald. This launched a thousand conspiracy theories and a lot of distrust of our government. There is no telling what Oswald would have said had he made it to trial.

Probably not "the" most significant, but an important one none the less.

In my lifetime the most significant is the shot Lon Horiuchi put into Vicki Weaver. It caused me to look at our Government with a critical eye for the first time.

GL

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