A feud (pron.: /ˈfjuːd/), referred to in more extreme cases as a blood feud, vendetta, faida, beef, or private war, is a long-running argument or fight, often between social groups of people, especially families or clans. Feuds begin because one party (correctly or incorrectly) perceives itself to have been attacked, insulted or wronged by another. Intense feelings of resentment trigger the initial retribution, which causes the other party to feel equally aggrieved and vengeful. The dispute is subsequently fuelled by a long-running cycle of retaliatory violence. This continual cycle of provocation and retaliation makes it extremely difficult to end the feud peacefully. Feuds frequently involve the original parties’ family members and/or associates, can last for generations and may result in extreme acts of violence. They can be interpreted as an extreme outgrowth of social relations based in family honor.
Romeo and Juliet
Is a great example of a feud between two families, the Montagues and Capulets. A tragedy written early in the career of William Shakespeare about two young star-crossed lovers whose deaths ultimately reconcile their feuding families.
Cain vs. Abel
These two biblical brothers birthed the family feud. The sons of Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel grew up outside the Garden of Eden thanks to Mum and Dad’s fruit binge. Firstborn Cain worked the fields while Abel tended the sheep. According to the story in Chapter 4 of Genesis, when God favored Abel’s sheep offering over Cain’s garden sacrifice, an enraged Cain killed his brother, thus introducing murder to the world. God sent Cain away to live “east of Eden” in the land called Nod. But in a last-minute moment of grace, God put a mysterious mark on Cain to save even the killer from being killed by strangers.
Hatfields vs. McCoys
There’s simply no feud more noteworthy than the legendary conflict between West Virginia’s Hatfield family and Kentucky’s McCoys, which has come to be the most famous historical example of the destructive power of vendettas. The differences between the wealthy Hatfields and the more working class McCoys started during the Civil War. The pro-Confederate Hatfields made no secret of their disdain for the McCoys support of the Union, and they were even suspected of killing one of the McCoys who served in the Union army. But the feud didn’t really begin to gain steam until 1878, when a dispute over ownership of a pig ended with the McCoys killing one of the Hatfields.
Al Capone vs. Bugs Moran
Prohibition-era gangsters Al Capone and Bugs Moran managed to control the Chicago underworld for most of the 1920s. They ran liquor, operated casinos, and opened brothels, all with little fear of retaliation from the police. What both men did fear, though, was each other. For years prior to Capone’s imprisonment, the two engaged in a bloody feud that included robbery, arson, and murder. The trouble started when Capone’s Southside Italian gang started to rise to power through violence and intimidation. Moran’s Irish Northsiders took a strong dislike to Capone’s brutal tactics, and Moran himself regularly lambasted Capone in the press, calling him “Scarface” and a “grease ball.” On more than one occasion, Moran and his associates performed drive-by shootings on Capone’s cars and businesses, and both men had properties owned by the other burned to the ground.
The Wars of the Roses
Were a series of dynastic wars fought between supporters of two rival branches of the royal House of Plantagenet: the houses of Lancaster and York (whose heraldic symbols were the red and the white rose, respectively) for the throne of England. They were fought in several sporadic episodes between 1455 and 1485, although there was related fighting both before and after this period. They resulted from the social and financial troubles following the Hundred Years’ War.
Is an American game show starting in 1976 pitted one family against another for fun!
My point is… this is not a new idea and it’s not restricted to the rich and famous, large families, religious, ethnic or mixed families. So why do some people feel that their family is strange or unusually different to the rest of the world.
Why do we worry about it so much that we continue the feud?
I know my family is not really that different to all the others out there but it’s my family so I have an emotional investment in the day to day issues whether I like it or not. And turning off the care factor is something that we all try to do from time to time to get a bit of peace from the ongoing issues but I have found you can never really turn it off.
Some battles are straight forward… you and another person in your family have an issue and it’s going to cause issues until you have it out or let it go… but then other family members feel the need to take a side and before you know it you have teams. Now it’s a sport. Our team needs to win at all cost because it’s now a matter of pride. But just when you think you can win this one… one of the family changes teams and your side is now the underdogs. The other team has the inside track as the defector has all the secrets your team was using to win.
So how do you get the upper hand? Play dirty, that’s how!. It’s on and they are going down no matter what it takes.
Step forward a year or more… What was the initial fight about? Who were the two that had the first issues? Anyone know?