People Break Down Which Historical Figures Are Seen As Bad Guys, But Weren't Actually Bad

It's easy to assume things about history since we weren't actually there. We're taught to believe everything we read, but often times, it takes more research to figure out the truth.

There are a lot of historical figures we believe were bad based on what we first read or heard. However, upon further research, we find out they weren't actually that bad.

Some of them got a bad reputation even though all they did was make a mistake. Others just weren't appreciated for their ideas and inventions during their own time. Some of them are even heroes!

It seems Redditors did some of that extra research and are ready to share their findings.


It all started when Redditor jamespeech111 asked:

"Who is a bad guy in history who actually wasn’t a bad guy?"

Before His Time

"William Thomas Green Morton died broke defending his discovery of anesthesia. He was a dentist and didn’t get much respect from the doctors at the time. IMO one of the most important medical discoveries."

– tindalos

"anesthesia is arguably THE most important medical discovery in history. Modern surgery is literally impossible without it."

– pdlbean

The Wrong Story

"Richard Jewel - initially lauded as a hero and a brave man who ran towards the bomb to help…"

"then the FBI and media turned on him and accused him of doing the bombing himself… because;"

"he was actually just as f*cking outlandishly brave and ran toward the bomb to help people,"

"They took his truck for evidence, he had to go into hiding… made a villain by incompetent people… For YEARS… finally exonerated and dies shortly afterward"

– wagwa2001l

Aye Aye Captain

"Captain Bligh. His mistake was being too soft rather than too harsh. He let his crew slack off while they were waiting to make sure the breadfruit trees would survive transplantation, and they mutinied when he put them back to work."

– JJohnston015

"It should also be mentioned that when his some of his crew mutinied so many of them wanted to be allowed to leave with him on the ship's tiny open launch that even fully laden they would not all be able to go and had to draw lots to see who had to stay on The Bounty. Captain Bligh then had to sail the tiny overcrowded poorly provisioned boat 6700km to Timor using dead reckoning. He did not lose a single man."

"Absolute hero."

– cAt_S0fa

Legal Action

"The McDonald’s coffee lady - the woman who sued mcDonalds after she spilled coffee on her lap received 3rd degree burns in her pelvic area. She was hospitalized for 8 days and required a couple years of rehabilitation."

"The media jumped on the story making it a poster case for frivolous lawsuits."

– The-loon

"Omg I vividly remember this story! It was so sad tbh. At first I thought it was stupid too, but then I read she had severe burns and all. She really wasn’t overreacting."

– lizarkanosia

One Comment Changed His Life

"Niccolo Machiavelli. Machiavelli didn't invent the idea of lying or ruthlessness. He made an observation about what worked and tried to get a new gig."

"Now his name is synonymous with "heartless manipulator.""

– Sphinxofblackkwarts

"Agreed. People often reduce his message down to "you should be opportunistic and manipulative", which wasn't what he was saying at all."

"It was more that he recognised that the worst atrocities in society typically occur during or shortly after huge political upheaval, and believed that if preventing that sometimes requires being opportunistic and manipulative, then that is a price worth paying."

"And whilst we all have lines that we think a regime shouldn't cross, and limits to what power a state should be allowed to exercise, he did a have bit of a point. If we think of the worst atrocities across history, they do tend to follow political upheaval. Had the Treaty of Versailles not sought to punish a generation of Germans, Hitler may never have risen to power in the first place."

"Ironically, some of the people who were great admirers of Machiavelli's philosophy, like Joseph Stalin, were responsible for the very kind of terrible things Machiavelli was warning people about."

– Clem_Crozier

Queens On The Throne

"Pharaoh Cleopatra, she was actually a pretty good ruler with her focusing more on her nation than just abusing her position for her own benefit, there’s even some records saying that she wasn’t even all that beautiful, she was however very intelligent with stuff like how she learned around 10 different languages"

– No_Prize9794

"First member of the ptolemaic dynasty to bother learning Egyptian. She did amazing things in managing to actually expand Egypt's territory in a time of Roman dominance.... however in the end she monumentally screwed up/lost her nerve at the Battle of Actium and doomed pharaonic Egypt."

– menatarms

Money Talks...And Lies

"Captain Hazelwood of the Exxon Valdez."

"He is often pictured on the helm of the Exxon swaying drunkenly going full throttle into the reef talking like a "pirate.""

"What actually happened."

"Valdez's critical navigation equipment was out of commission, faxs sent to Exxon and Exxon told them to sail instead."

"Coast guard budget cuts removed vessel tracking in the area."

"Green and tired crew was on duty, request was made to relief crew. It was denied."

"XO who was on Conn at the time was inexperienced on the passage and neither requested pilotage."

"While Hazelwood did drink that day he was not in command of the conn at the time and was in his quarters resting."

"Hazelwood made a comment that "He needed a drink." Because of how upset he was over the situation."

"Exxon's PR paid off the media to blame Hazelwood."

"However Hazelwood was charged with only one charge which was for pollution. He proved he was not a drunkard and retained his captain's license. Even getting offers to sail again which he turned down."

"The real villains are mass media, False News, and comedians but Exxon's PRs spending power to keep the blame off them."

"Hazelwood passed away last year after the annv of the spill."

"Random fact the Valdez sailed until 2008 under different name Oriental Nicety"

– Iuka297

Not A History Book

"In brave heart, William Wallace gets betrayed by Robert the Bruce which never happened, he was loyal to the end"

– Paskyc

"That movie made me so angry. I grew up on it, and loved it for what I assumed was a historically accurate portrayal. Not only is the movie absurdly inaccurate, the real history is arguably more interesting that the movie! There was no need for "artistic restructuring". They could have just dramatized the actual events and it would have been a great movie"

– Youbettereatthatshit

Not Enough

"In the film Titanic the character Murdoch killed someone, took bribes and generally came across as a right sh*t. He was a real life person who was actually a hero and saved many lives. His living relatives were so disgusted that the VP of Fox travelled to Dalbeattie to personally apologise and presented a £5000 donation to Dalbeattie High School to boost the school's William Murdoch Memorial Prize."

– cooshed

"That movie's initial gross was over $1.8B! Donating £5000 is like the average US man giving them a dime and saying my bad"

– randologin

A Bad Accusation

"That woman who was accused of kidnapping children because her kids didn't have her DNA, but in fact her uterus had different DNA than the rest of her body."

– gavlegoat

"Lydia Fairchild. She has chimerism, so her uterus has different DNA from the rest of her body (the DNA of her absorbed twin)"

– Heart2001

"Tom the cat. Jerry is a menace."

– nocturnalfrolic

"There was a post the other day talking about them and how they are actually working together."

"As long as jerry keeps running around, the humans think they have a mouse problem so they keep the cat. As long as Tom keeps showing he’s making an effort they think he’s doing a good job. But they are both in on it and just do it to keep up appearances."

"There’s apparently an episode where they work together to get food from the fridge, then hide and share it as friends before going back out and chasing each other again."

– bunkscudda

I can so buy into that!

Well, this was more interesting than many of our history classes!

Do you have any interesting tidbits to share? Let us know in the comments below.

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