Famous Feuds Throughout History

Think your fight was a doozy? Check out these fallouts from the annals of history.

Elizabeth I, Queen of England, and Mary, Queen of Scots

After imprisoning her cousin Mary for almost two decades, Elizabeth condemns her to death when evidence of an assassination plot is uncovered. Mary is beheaded in February 1587.


Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr

Tensions simmer for years between the bitter political and personal rivals, culminating in a duel on the morning of July 11, 1804. Hamilton, the former secretary of the treasury, is shot and fatally wounded by Burr, who is, incredibly, the vice president of the United States at the time.


The Hatfields and the McCoys

The supposed theft of a pig starts the bloody feud that rages for more than a decade between the Hatfields of West Virginia and the McCoys of Kentucky. The families, who intermarried in happier times, will jointly lose more than 10 members before the fighting ends, in 1891.


Al Capone and George “Bugs” Moran

Members of Capone’s gang cap off a Chicago turf war by machine-gunning six members of Moran’s crew (plus a seventh victim, who was not a crew member) on Valentine’s Day 1929. Capone, conveniently on vacation in Florida, is never charged.


Joseph Stalin and Leon Trotsky

In the wake of Vladimir Lenin’s death, Stalin and Trotsky struggle mightily for power. Stalin outmaneuvers Trotsky, leading to the Trotsky’s expulsion from the Communist Party, exile from the Soviet Union, and assassination in Mexico in 1940.


Olivia de Havilland and Joan Fontaine

The sisters’ lifelong strained relationship reaches a breaking point in 1941, when both are nominated for the Oscar for best actress. Fontaine’s win sparks an all-out feud that the sisters, now both in their 90s, continue to this day.