Because some things are worth fighting for —- The War of Jenkins Ear
In 1732 Capt. Robert Jenkins was sailing his brig off the coast of Cuba when he was boarded by the Spanish Coast Guard. The Spanish searched the ship and found contraband aboard, and in anger the Spanish commander drew his sword and cut off Jenkins Ear.
Six years later Capt. Jenkins was ordered to repeat his story in front of Parliament. Still in possession of the severed ear, Jenkins recalled the dastardly mistreatments of his Spanish oppressors. Parliament probably didn’t give a damn about his ear, but the were spoiling for a fight with Spain over several political issues.
The war would last until 1748 when it was merged into the War of Austrian Succession. While the British made no direct attempts to invade Spain, conflict erupted all over the New World. Portabello would be captured by the British, Cartagena was attacked, and raids occurred all over the Spanish Main.
A forgotten part of American History is the war in Georgia. In 1740 Georgia Militia invaded Florida and layed siege to St. Augustine. Two years later the Spanish retaliated by invading Georgia. British soldiers, Georgia Militia, and Native Americans would unite to beat back the Spanish Invasion.
The War of Jenkins Ear cost the lives of around 20,000 men on both sides. The largest loss of life in history over an ear.