World Values and Cultures
Phase 1 Individual Project
With Multiple Colonial American customs, dueling was imported. It started within the Middle Ages, European nobles had used man-to-man battles to defend honor and integrity. In 1777, Irishmen added a code system in dueling practices. The document is called the Code Duello. “The Code contained 26 specific rules outlining all aspects of the duel, from the time of day during which challenges could be received to the number of shots or wounds required for satisfaction of honor (PBS 2000).” The American version of the Code was founded in 1838 by South Carolina Governor John Lyde Wilson.
In a duel, the offended party sent a challenge through his second, the offended parties messenger. If the recipient apologized, the situation was resolved. If chosen to fight, the recipient chose the weapons and the time and place of the duel. “Edward Doty and Edward Lester fought the first recorded American duel in 1621.(PBS 2000)” Both men fought, with swords, and sustained minor injuries. Among duels most parties chose guns as their weapon of choice. The chance of dying in a pistol duel was slim to none. In America; duels were fought by men from all forms of salad. Most of America's important citizens defended their honor on dueling grounds. Religious and civic officials worked hard to stop duels. Benjamin Franklin and George Washington were among the most prominent Americans to condemn dueling. Anti-dueling ordinances ended up failing to prevent blood shed. Due to the partisan nature of their work, politicians frequently received challenges -- as did newspaper editors and attorneys. As a young man, attorney Andrew Jackson, future president of the United States, earned a reputation as a formidable duelist. His honor suffered, however, after a duel against Charles Dickinson in 1806. In the South, where the chivalry had its prominent hold, dueling remained the preferred way to defend one's honor. An offended lover only needs to wait for a rival's insult, or even manufacture one to persuade her suitor. He was then free to challenge and kill the rival without condemnation. For the men who reveled in the glory of the duel, there were many others who often feared it. Alas, avoiding a challenge wasn't easy. Especially for men in the south, refusers names were posted on town memos, along with a statement accusing them of being a coward. Dueling had begun an irreversible decline, by the time of the Civil War, even in the South. What had once been a chosen formal process to avoid violence and resolve disagreements had thus turned in to cold-blooded murder. Legislation had decided if America was to become a truly…