What ruined it: A random nutcase with a tomahawk, and the fact that Washington didn't know French.
At the Battle of Jumonville Glen on May 28, 1754, the fate of the entire Western world resided within the brain of a Frenchman named Joseph Coulon de Jumonville. He was captured by the young Washington (who was fighting on behalf of the British at the time, this being well before the Revolution). The Frenchman told Washington that he was in fact there on a diplomatic mission to negotiate with him.
Thankfully, this was before the Willis style of combat negotiation.
But before Washington could respond or make a deal, an Iroquoian chief named Tanaghrisson decided to send a loud and clear message to tomorrow's textbooks that history is not boring. He split de Jumonville's head open with a tomahawk, "took out his Brains and washed his Hands with them and then scalped him."
Naturally, the French were pretty pissed over de Jumonville getting brained, and in response they eventually captured the young Washington at the Battle of Fort Necessity. It wasn't that big a deal until Washington formalized his surrender, at which point the French tricked him into signing a document declaring that he, George Washington, had "assassinated" de Jumonville -- we're guessing by tomahawk -- while under his care as a P.O.W.
Washington's signature immediately turned into a diplomatic nightmare for the British Empire that exploded into the first world war faster than Michael Bay could film it. It was the largest and most expansive conflict the world had yet seen, and it was all made possible thanks to young Washington signing a document he couldn't read, because he flunked French in middle school.
Once more, an inspiration for children everywhere.
Had things been different:
Had Tanaghrisson not gone all Patrick Bateman or had Washington not slept his way through French class, the Fates would have rewritten history so radically that we'd somehow have the dinosaurs back.
Would the British have passed the Stamp Act of 1765 without the Seven Years' War killing their credit? Would the American Revolution had been avoided, or even flat-out made unnecessary? Would there have even been a United States, a French Revolution, a Napoleon, or ... hell, a Hitler? Your guess is as good as ours. All we at Cracked know is that when de Jumonville's brains were still intact, the French-speaking world looked like this (the blue part):
Yeah, it's a little different today. That's why you don't try to pull the wool over George Washington's eyes, kids.
For more incredible war stories, check out The 5 Most Badass Prison Escapes in the History of War. Or learn how else the modern world was shaped, check out 6 Random Coincidences That Created The Modern World.
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