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Lions and Donkeys


moonraker
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The first World War is like all wars incredibly sad but for me moreso and the reason is so many went off for the right reasons but ALL classes did not know what was going to happen, so many volunteered and so many never came back.

One positive from it was the break down of the class society that bound this Country for nearly a 1000 years, sure not as much as we would like but it did break it down, the reason was the near annihilation of the upper/middle classes, the price for that also was the death of the Empire.

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Related to myth 1 on Dan Snow’s list, Steven Pinker’s The Better Angels of Our Nature contains a list compiled by Matthew White, entitled the 20 Worst Things People Have Done To Each Other, where the death tolls are similarly ranked as a proportion of the world population at that time. I was quite surprised to see that WWI only comes 16th in the list.

 

If anyone finds anything contentious about the list can they please take it up with Matthew White, and not with me – I hadn’t even heard of some of these events before I read Pinker’s book!

 

http://necrometrics.com/pre1700a.htm#20worst

 

1. An Lushan Revolt (8th Century) 36,000,000 deaths

2. Mongol Conquests (13th Century) 40,000,000 deaths

3. Mideast Slave Trade (7th to19th Century) 19,000,000 deaths

4. Fall of the Ming Dynasty (17th Century) 25,000,000 deaths

5. Fall of Rome (3rd to 5th Century) 8,000,000 deaths

6. Timur Lenk (Tamerlane) (14th to 15th Century) 17,000,000 deaths

7. Annihilation of the American Indians (15th to 19th Century) 20,000,000 deaths

8. Atlantic Slave Trade (15th to 19th Century) 18,000,000 deaths

9. Second World War (20th Century) 55,000,000 deaths

10. Taiping Rebellion (19th Century) 20,000,000 deaths

11. Mao Zedong (mostly government caused famine) (20th Century) 40,000,000 deaths

12. British India (mostly preventable famine) (19th Century) 17,000,000 deaths

13. Thirty Years War (17th Century) 7,000,000 deaths

14. Russia’s Time of Troubles (16th to 17th Century) 5,000,000 deaths

15. Josef Stalin (20th Century) 20,000,000 deaths

16. First World War (20th Century) 15,000,000 deaths

17. French Wars of Religion (16th Century) 3,000,000 deaths

18. Congo Free State (19th to 20th Century) 8,000,000 deaths

19. Napoleonic Wars (19th Century) 4,000,000 deaths

20. Russian Civil War (20th Century) 9,000,000 deaths

21. Chinese Civil War (20th Century) 3,000,000 deaths

Edited by Halo Stickman
corrected death toll for Mao Zedong
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Related to myth 1 on Dan Snow’s list, Steven Pinker’s The Better Angels of Our Nature contains a list compiled by Matthew White, entitled the 20 Worst Things People Have Done To Each Other, where the death tolls are similarly ranked as a proportion of the world population at that time. I was quite surprised to see that WWI only comes 16th in the list.

 

If anyone finds anything contentious about the list can they please take it up with Matthew White, and not with me – I hadn’t even heard of some of these events before I read Pinker’s book!

 

http://necrometrics.com/pre1700a.htm#20worst

 

1. An Lushan Revolt (8th Century) 36,000,000 deaths

2. Mongol Conquests (13th Century) 40,000,000 deaths

3. Mideast Slave Trade (7th to19th Century) 19,000,000 deaths

4. Fall of the Ming Dynasty (17th Century) 25,000,000 deaths

5. Fall of Rome (3rd to 5th Century) 8,000,000 deaths

6. Timur Lenk (Tamerlane) (14th to 15th Century) 17,000,000 deaths

7. Annihilation of the American Indians (15th to 19th Century) 20,000,000 deaths

8. Atlantic Slave Trade (15th to 19th Century) 18,000,000 deaths

9. Second World War (20th Century) 55,000,000 deaths

10. Taiping Rebellion (19th Century) 20,000,000 deaths

11. Mao Zedong (mostly government caused famine) (20th Century) 17,000,000 deaths

12. British India (mostly preventable famine) (19th Century) 17,000,000 deaths

13. Thirty Years War (17th Century) 7,000,000 deaths

14. Russia’s Time of Troubles (16th to 17th Century) 5,000,000 deaths

15. Josef Stalin (20th Century) 20,000,000 deaths

16. First World War (20th Century) 15,000,000 deaths

17. French Wars of Religion (16th Century) 3,000,000 deaths

18. Congo Free State (19th to 20th Century) 8,000,000 deaths

19. Napoleonic Wars (19th Century) 4,000,000 deaths

20. Russian Civil War (20th Century) 9,000,000 deaths

21. Chinese Civil War (20th Century) 3,000,000 deaths

 

I also enjoyed the Dan Snow piece, really challenges some of the long-held perceptions of WW1.

 

Looking at that list, you have to feel sorry for the people of Russia. No wonder they always look so miserable.

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So its the people of China and its various neighbours who have had it hardest at 157m deaths compared to Europe's (ex Russia) 55m. Also I assume WWI and WWII had a higher proportion of deaths to combatants than the many of the others.

 

Most studies seem to determine that approx 1/3 of WW2 deaths were military, and about 1/2 for WW1, so I would think you're probably correct as most of the list is composed of civil wars and genocide.

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