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The Good Olde Days

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Is American society becoming more violent? Most people would probably say yes, and it's understandable considering all of the horrific stories that American's are fed on a daily basis. You'll hear tales of violent robberies, rapes and murders. You'll see shows on major TV networks about people like Scott Peterson and Jeffrey Dahmer that will give you statistics like, "the leading cause of death among (healthy) pregnant women is murder" and "there is one child molester per square mile in the United States, as estimated by the US Department of Justice". Pick up a newspaper and you're almost certain to find a disgusting account of child abuse, like poor Nixmary Brown's, earlier this year. Chained to a boiler, beaten and starved, it was the kind of story that turned your stomach. So it's no wonder you hear people say, "society is getting worse", "violence is getting out of hand" and "things like this didn't happen in the old days, life was so simple then". But if you take a close look at life in the old days, you can see that things weren't always picture perfect, as you might have imagined.

In the good old days of America, people were good; men were gentlemen, women were ladies and everyone went to church. So things must have been great and civilized, right? Like the Founding Fathers, for instance. The Founding Fathers of the United States are regarded as the most influential, respected people in American history. Brilliant men with an ingenious vision of a fair, organized and rational government, put in place to protect the people. And that is what they created by their definition. What is that definition? Let's remember that these people were slave owners. And how fair and rational were these men if they were solving their own problems and disputes through the old art of dueling?!? It wasn't just them; most men at that time solved their personal and political differences by challenging each other to a duel. Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr dueled over political issues, and some say adultery, resulting in Hamilton's death. Honest Abe himself narrowly escaped a duel by apologizing to his challenger. There were some sane people who opposed this crazy act, one of them being the founding father himself, George Washington. However, dueling remained part of American life through

the mid 1800's.

Like many things American, dueling was imported and dated back to the Middle Ages in Europe. It was a British custom, brought here by settlers and considered totally logical. There was even a specific code which contained 26 specific rules to be followed, including the time of day the fight was to occur and the number of shots or wounds required to receive the honor (victory). The American version of this code



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