8 Of The Most Intense Historical Rivalries

As long as there’ve been multi-celled organisms, there’s been beef. Rivalries. Feuds. Here are some of the most memorable ones. Read up on the epic rivalry between Captain Morgan (yep, he was a real guy) and Don Alonso, as they battled all over the high seas.

1. 47 Ronin vs. Kira Yoshinaka

When a feudal lord named Asano Nagonori was forced to commit sepuku (ritualistic suicide) after attacking Kira Yoshinaka (he was asking for it, trust us) - the samurais that were under Asano’s command became Ronin. Ronin are warriors without a master or a purpose. The 47 of them laid low for a couple of years to lull Kira into a false sense of security, and then they struck. They cut off his head and placed it on Asano’s grave. Then they turned themselves in, and were all forced to commit sepuku. That’s…that’s nuts, right?

2. Al Capone vs. Bugs Moran

The Italian boss against the Irish boss in 20th century Chicago - these guys ran things, but were at each others’ throats the entire time. Robbery, arson, murder, they didn’t really have moral compasses. In the end, Capone served some time and was never able to build his criminal empire back up, and Moran died in jail while serving time for a bank robbery. That one sort of fizzled out.

3. Nikola Tesla vs. Thomas Edison

Arguably the two greatest minds of the 20th century were bitter rivals. Known for their inventions that revolutionized the way we live our lives, the two disagreed on pretty much everything. Tesla wanted Alternating Current to become standard for all electronic devices - Edison wanted Direct Current. When Edison died, Tesla wrote, in the New York Times, “He had no hobby, cared for no sort of amusement of any kind and lived in utter disregard of the most elementary rules of hygiene.” That’s cold.

4. Aaron Burr vs. Alexander Hamilton

Why doesn’t anyone duel anymore? Hamilton and Burr settled their political differences like gentlemen - with two pistols on the field of honor at dawn. Burr, the then-vice president, came out on top. For a meticulously accurate break down of the events of that July morning in 1804, peep this.

5. The Hatfields vs. The McCoys

One of the most well known family rivalries in American history - the wealthy Hatfields of West Virginia vs. the working class McCoys of Kentucky. For years these two families murdered each other - mostly over things like politics and civil war divisions - and one time over the ownership of a pig. A guy straight up murdered this other guy because they couldn’t agree on who owned the pig. Fun fact - today the two families are still around, but they’re all friends. They even appeared on an episode of Family Feud, and that’s not a joke.

6. Ernest Hemingway vs. William Faulkner

Faulkner: “[Hemingway] has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary.”

Hemingway: “Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words?” YA BURNT.

7. Michelangelo vs. Leonardo da Vinci

The renowned artists had a general loathing for each other, and no one really knows why. But apparently, after Leonardo told Michelangelo to explain something in detail, Michelangelo said to him - “No, explain it yourself, horse-modeller that you are, who, unable to cast a statue in bronze, were forced to give up the attempt in shame.” YOU HORSE-MODELLER. Always modeling horses, idiot.

8. Captain Morgan vs. Don Alonzo

In the late 17th century, the real Captain Henry Morgan was adored throughout the Caribbean. But along the Spanish Main, um… not so much. Don Alonzo was the mighty conquistador who finally had enough of Captain Morgan’s adventures. In 1668, Alonzo and his armada had Morgan surrounded. But the Don should’ve known better than to go mano-a-mano with the Captain. After a long standoff, Morgan and his crew sunk two of Alonzo’s heavily-armed ships and captured another. One of the many reasons why Morgan’s now a legend and Alonzo’s just a footnote.

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