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There are many strange and ridiculous wars that have occurred throughout history. All of these wars were caused by a singular and very minor dispute.

The Aroostook War, 1838-1839:

The first of these strange and ridiculous wars is one the United States itself was involved in. In the early 1800’s, Canada (then under the governance of the United Kingdom) and the United States had not agreed on a border between the two countries. This resulted in much controversy, as the people living in the land claimed by both nations had no clue as to which country’s laws applied to their own land, and numerous arrests were made against “trespassers”. It was only a matter of time before the dispute boiled to a head. In 1838, a farmer from the United States lost a pig that he owned, and began searching for it. While doing so, he crossed into the modern-day Canadian province of New Brunswick (a disputed territory at the time), and killed a few pigs owned by a British farmer there. The British were angered by this “act of war,” and thus New Brunswick was authorized to raise an army of volunteers to defend British territory. In response, the United States state of Maine was given $10,000,000, and militias were raised. The “war,” though undeclared, would last about a year (1838-1839). In 1839, peace was achieved, and in 1842, a treaty was signed, finally settling the dispute and fixing the border.

The Soccer War, 1969:

Also known as the Football War, the Soccer War occurred in Central America, and was the result of a conflict between El Salvador and Honduras over which country had won  a soccer match. This soccer match was important because the winner would qualify for the 1970 FIFA World Cup, and the match was won by El Salvador 3-2. However, El Salvador accused Honduras of cheating, and took the next logical step: it invaded Honduras with full military force on three fronts. In a war that lasted four days, over 300,000 civilians were displaced and around 3,000 more were killed. El Salvador qualified for the World Cup, although its temper tantrum did not help it win the World Cup.

The War of the Bucket, 1325:

This is possibly the most ridiculous war ever recorded, and my personal favorite to share. The war was between the city-states of Bologna and Modena in Italy. Disputes between the Papacy and the Holy Roman Empire were tearing the Italian cities apart. Modena was on the side of the Emperor, while Bologna supported the Pope in the dispute over who controlled Italy. In 1325, some Modenese soldiers stole a bucket from the main city well in Bologna, and Bologna, humiliated, declared war on Modena. However, the army from Bologna that invaded Modena was routed, with 4,000 men being killed during the course of the battle. The Modenese army then marched to the Bolognese capital and stole another bucket from the gatehouse before leaving. Both buckets reside in Modena to this very day.

You might have noticed a recurring theme here: all of these wars were caused by a minor dispute that turned into a full-on confrontation. The reasons for that were pride and greed. These countries were only looking for an excuse to declare war, and how the disputes occurred just shows how desperate they were for it. These wars are very strange to consider, but aren’t all wars ridiculous?

 

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