If you've never watched "The Madness of King George", I highly recommend it. It's an absolutely smashing movie which takes place in a historical period I've always been fond of about a king I find rather fascinating.
Not 13 minutes into this movie, and I both had already fallen in loved AND was writhing in pain on the floor to my roommate's great amusement.
Now, there's a whole lot of historical inaccuracy I can overlook for the sake of plot, or for staging ease, or just because the director says "fuck all, it'll look cooler this way"*. I myself like it when things look cooler. The point is I CAN take historical inaccuracy with a grain of salt, because it's a MOVIE. It's FICTION (even when they are "Based on true events"). The point is to tell a story and that's THAT.
But nothing makes my jaw drop faster, my eyes roll backwards and foam start to come from my mouth than historical inaccuracy due to SHEER LAZINESS.
I know this is a very petty thing to get hung up on, but for ME to notice it within the 1.2 seconds it on the screen makes it a GLARING act of LAZINESS, so much so that I must take issue.
I ask you my friends. For a movie taking place in 1789, what is wrong with this globe that King George is pointing too?
I'll give you a hint. Jefferson wasn't President yet. And John Quincy Adams wasn't busting Spanish balls for land yet. Oh, and Daniel Webster wasn't busting Canadian balls for land yet as well. Oh hell, just scroll down and I'll give you a brief history of American ball-busting for land pre-1850.
Oh god! Oh god the
Here's a brief review over why this map made my jaw drop (i.e. all the things that are on this globe that most definitely weren't there in 1789):
1) Louisiana Purchase, 1803: We all (mostly) know this one. Napoleon--having realized that creating an empire takes a lot of moolah, and having failed to re-enslave the newly independent Haitians (aw, SHUCKS /sarcasm)--decides to sell the Louisiana Territory ('tehrritorie', if you are saying it in an OUTRAGEOUS French accent). Jefferson hits that like the first of an angry god with a cool $11+ million, PLUS the cancellation of some $3.75 million of debt. Which, THINK ABOUT IT: Alexander Hamilton managed—through the consolidation of individual states' war debts into a national debt, the creation of a Federally-control National Bank (with a big FUCK YOU to Jefferson while doing so), and by pushing for a pro-Federal interpretation of the Constitution (again, another fuck you to Jefferson)—managed to make the American market legit enough by 1804 that France was hitting the U.S. up for cash, cash we could give them. EVEN THOUGH America had suffered CRIPPLING DEBT due to that whole 'War for Independence' thing almost 20 years before.
...Have I ever mentioned how much I LOVE Alexander Hamilton?
Anyway, Jefferson, in his usual move of saying one thing and doing the exact opposite in real life, takes that money and COMPLETELY oversteps the Constitutional limitations of his presidential powers to authorize buying the whole kit and caboodle.
Proof, of course, that Jefferson always WINS, even when by his own philosophy, he shouldn't.
2) Adams-Onis Treaty, 1819: This treaty, signed in 1819, was the diplomatic equivalent of John Quincy Adams** sitting on top of the Spanish foreign minister Luis de Onis and threatening him with a wet willy and a sound pounding unless he cried "UNCLE!! UNCLE!!! FLORIDA IS YOURS!! EVERYTHING ABOVE THE 42 PARELLEL AND TO THE PACIFIC IS YOURS!! THE RIVERS ARE YOURS!! JUST LET ME GO FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!"
Needless to say, John Quincy Adams (and a lot of historians afterwards) considered this act of diplomatic bullying his single greatest contribution to American diplomacy.
3) Treaty of 1819: 1819 was a good year for American land grabbing. Not only did we wrestle the Spanish government into submission, but we got our 49th parallel border between us and Canada ok'ed by the British government. However, this line wouldn't be really set in stone until the Oregon Treaty of 1846 and the Webster-Ashburton Treaty of 1849. Which leads me to my LAST point…
4) The Webster-Ashburton Treaty, 1849: This mother fucking treaty wasn't signing until 1849! And yet there's Maine in all of it's glory on Georgie's globe!
GOOD GOD, IT'S LIKE THE DOCTOR OF GLOBES!!
This treaty was a sneaky, sneaky back handed win on Webster's part, which cemented the border between Maine and Brunswick, as well as cemented the eastern border between America and Canada at the 49th parallel, and extended that border to the Rockies. Also—as I recall from my high school history textbook—the only reason we have all of what we have of Maine is because Webster's ace-in-the-hole was "Franklin's map"; a map SUPPOSEDLY draw by Ben Franklin which proved that America had owned and therefore STILL owned more of Maine than Brunswick would have liked.
Conclusion? American: 1. Canda: PWNED!1!1!!!
So, just to recap...
I know what you're thinking; "my God, Nella, don't you have anything BETTER to do?" But COME ON. This movie takes place RIGHT AFTER the American Revolution had been won (…make that lost, as this is a movie about King George). You don't go out of your way to draw attention to King George's anger and disappointment over losing the colonies and then bullshit with a globe laying out 1850-ish American geography!
FOR SHAME, Movie, FOR SHAME.
And the Footnotes of my short rant…er…treatise…
*See Ridley Scott's Gladiator for an example of this.
** The then Secretary of State who would later be forced, while PRESIDENT, into giving an interview to a female journalist because he had a habit of skinny dipping in the Potomac that she found out about, and exploited to her journalistic advantage. HELLO WHY HAS NO ONE MADE A SKETCH ABOUT THIS?!?!?! Or, if someone has, WHY has it not been brought to my attention yet!