cause of war and peace

cause of war and peace - The Causes of War and the...

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The Causes of War and the Preserving of Peace In the age before any collective security agreement, wars were fought between different nations, city-states, or tribes if the reward of success was greater than the risk of failure. States would go to war with other states in order if they believed they could succeed in their aggressions without much consequence. Stronger nations would look to expand their power by way of conquest. As the Athenians commonly said, “the strong do what they have the power to do and the weak accept what they have to accept.” (F & S, xii). Nations went to war to protect and strengthen their realm. With the conquests of Napoleon Bonaparte during the early nineteenth century, the nations of Europe wanted to create a viable international system to prevent unbridled conquest. With the Congress of Vienna, a collective security agreement was reached in which the nations of Europe agreed to try and preserve peace within their countries. Strong nations wanted to preserve peace and the status quo, even if they had the power to dominate weaker nations. Nations go to war if it is in their best interest politically and nationally, but also try to prevent it, even during times of crisis. Many believe that humans, by nature, are driven to war with each other. Lawrence Keeley, in his book War and Civilization , argues against this statement. He explains that humans are no more aggressive than other animal protecting their own “territory, sexual access, or social dominance.” (K, 158). Instead of being biologically aggressive, Keeley discusses that humans are tribal by there nature. The tribes, or groups of people, work together to survive and will protect that survival. Whether that means going to war with
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another tribe to avenge a murder, or going to war because of economic troubles, humans do what is in their power to protect the survival and to strengthen their position over another tribe, which are seen as ‘them’. The costs and risks of war, especially in small and poor tribal societies, make war more common in larger, more powerful city-states and empires. A nation decides to act aggressive toward another nation with the creation of a conflict that motivates war. Depending on the type of regime and political leader, a nation can be motivated to war for many different reasons. The main conflict for war is to protect the security of a nation if it fears another state. If there is a fear that another nation is gaining too much strength or might be hostile in the future, a nation might preemptively strike and be the aggressor. Other motives for war include economic gain, domestic political interests, ideology, and glory. With Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire up to early modern Europe with Napoleon, Europe was constantly war torn over battles over honor, religion, and pure conquest. In the fifteenth century, European powers also began to make wars on indigenous nations in the Americas for economic gain. Empires rose and fell in the will for power.
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This essay was uploaded on 04/16/2008 for the course PSCI 260 taught by Professor Mckeown during the Spring '07 term at Kenyon.

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cause of war and peace - The Causes of War and the...

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