i heart learning

i heart learning

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

pig war

Day #2 of Nelson's challenge.
This challenge is not easy. It is very hard to learn about something you don't know about. Like how could I be expected to wash if I have never heard of soap? Get it? You just don't know what you don't know - so research for Nelson's challenge has not been a clear cut case of following the yellow brick road.

Luckily for me, the internet works like broken telephone. This is how Youtubers can sit and watch viral videos all day long. You start by watching an informative video on how to darn socks and a few video links later you are rooting for the guy dressed as an oompa loompa in a pickle eating contest.

So I googled:
          1. 'American President vrs Canadian Prime Minister' (a suggestion starting point from Nels) 
which led me to:
          2. 'American-Canadian borders'
which brought up:
          3. 'Conflicts in deciding American-Canadian borders'
which linked to:
          4. 'The Pig War'
which is where I stopped.


I was intrigued. The only Pig War I've heard of is when relatives duel over who gets the last piece of crispy bacon at Sunday brunch.

But this Pig War was a true Canadian versus American war, even though it is considered to be the most perfect war to have ever been waged. In the 12 years it lasted, the only bloodshed was from that of a big black piggy - which is how the war started in the first place.

Back in 1846, Canadians and Americans argued over which country the San Juan islands between Washington and Vancouver should belong to. An agreement could just not be made and so no official border existed.


So we shared.
Both countries claimed sovereignty over the islands until the dispute could be resolved. And for 13 years a small population of both American and Canadian citizens lived there in peace and harmony without issue.

You don't need Michael Moore to shoot a new documentary to tell you what happened next.


An American shot and killed a Canadian's pig that he found rooting around in his potato patch.

Don't eat my tubers!
The American didn't wanna pay for the dead Miss Piggy because she was trespassing. And the Canadian felt the American should've guarded his potatoes better so the pig wouldn't have trespassed in the first place....so as you see there was no other way then to war about it.

Canadians enlisted the British to come arrest the American.
Americans sent soldiers to prevent the Brits from coming to make the arrest.
Brits sent military ships to counter American soldiers.
America had cannons.
We had ships and guns.


It was the best war ever.
Both sides had been given orders to defend themselves, but not be the first ones to shoot. So they all sat twiddling their thumbs and throwing 'yo Mama' insults at one another, hoping to incite war. But no one lost their cool for the next twelve years while the territory negotations were being decided. Over thirteen years, the two sides developed a looney-tune-like relationship, hanging out and partying on weekends and holidays.

"hi Sam"
"hi Ralph"
"hi Canada"
"hi America"
What a war. I've had bigger fights with my sisters.
Eventually, for whatever reason, the international arbitration involved finally awarded the Americans the San Juan islands in 1872. A proud moment for the NRA, no doubt.

ye-haw and woohoo for gunnin' pigs and winning territory!
I learned today that important facts can be fun. And American's like guns because history dictates they win when they use them.

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