I’ve long wondered why my 6th great grandfather left Europe in 1752 to come to America. I suspected he wanted to avoid conscription.
A dive into European history supports the idea. He was born in Koblenz, a part of the Holy Roman Empire then under Austrian archduchess Maria Theresa. The Austrian War of Succession concluded four years previously., with 350,000 dead among the countries fighting. Europe had no less than 17 wars from 1700 to 1750. A reading of history is appalling. The nobility constantly sacrificed their subjects to aggrandize themselves at the expense of other nobles.
My ancestor left Europe before he would have been forced to fight and die for the ambitions of whoever happened to hold the title then. It gives me a different outlook on the hereditary nobility of today: the heirs of selfish bastards whose goals were more power and more wealth.
I’m relieved that my ancestors were commoners, as far as I can tell.