FlashPoints / Conflicts

Problably no moment in American history better symbolizes a flashpoint reached by two cultures of opposing world views than the Battle of the Little Big Horn, depicted in this painting by western artist Charles M. Russell.

       The 'flashpoints and conflicts' you find documented here are by no means a complete catalog of the crisis points western civilization has encountered over the past eight centuries. Each of them marks a convulsive moment in the extraordinary history of 'national expansion' that took place thanks to the 'treaty-making era' in the 18th and 19th centuries. 

       Like the 'events and landmarks' category, most of the flashpoints cited here were the result of a shift in human history that preceded it.  As the philosopher Hegel observed, history is an unfolding 'dialectic' that runs by herky-jerky movements from thesis to antithesis to synthesis (synthesis being a resolution of the tension between the first two). Certainly, the flashpoint we choose to lead this page - a rendition of the Battle of the Little Big Horn - is an excellent example of a crisispoint in our history that resulted from an amalgam of historical antecedents.