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Old 06-27-2005, 06:31 PM   #1
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The Libertarian West

These revisionists' history, unlike the one now fashionable in academia, is not a grim saga of settlers exploiting one another, annihilating natives and despoiling nature. Nor is it like the previously fashionable history depicting the settlers as heroic individualists who tamed the frontier by developing the great American virtue of self-reliance.

The Westerners in this history survived by learning to get along, as Terry Anderson and Peter Hill document in their new book, "The Not So Wild, Wild West." These economists, both at the PERC think tank in Montana, argue that their Western ancestors were usually neither heroic enough to make it on their own nor strong enough to take it away from others.
Roger McGrath, a historian who studied dozens of Western mining camps and towns, found a high rate of homicide in them mainly because it was socially acceptable for young, drunk single men to resolve points of honor by fighting to the death. But other violence wasn't tolerated, he said.

"It was a rather polite and civil society enforced by armed men," Dr. McGrath said. "The rate of burglary and robbery was lower than in American cities today. Claim-jumping was rare. Rape was extraordinarily rare - you can argue it wasn't being reported, but I've never seen evidence hinting at that."

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Old 06-27-2005, 11:51 PM   #2
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hmm.... fighting for honor??

Amd low rape rates??!!??

Sounds interesting....
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