Cause of War
Reverend Jesse Jackson once imparted, “Time is neutral and does not change things.
With courage and initiative, leaders change things.” (Jackson)
This can be applied to war and
man’s affinity to conflict.
Human nature has remained in a fairly constant state since the
beginning of man.
A man’s reactions to life, death, peace, and war are surprisingly the same
now in 2004 as they were in the mid-twentieth century or even 2500 years ago.
however– with its technologies, discoveries, and advancements in thought - has changed much
over time, and so, we are faced with a quandary.
Have the causes of war – whatever they may be
- changed significantly over time, hand in hand with society, or have they stayed more or less the
same over the span of two millennia?
The most efficient way to investigate the cause of war and
how it has changed over time is to scrutinize conflicts in history and search for trends.
Peloponnesian War, when compared and contrasted to the Vietnam War, provides an accurate
example of the changes and continuities in the patterns of war, or more specifically, the cause of
The Peloponnesian War is an ideal war to study when delving into the matter of time’s
effect on the cause of war.
It is one of the earliest international conflicts chronicled in depth by
a historian. Thucydides, the widely proclaimed Father of History and an Athenian general, gives
an extensive historical analysis of the twenty-seven year war in
History of the Peloponnesian
In 480 B.C.E., Greece was invaded by the Persians – making Greece the next
steppingstone on Persia’s goal of imperial conquest.
Much to Persia’s dismay, however, Greece
was not to be taken easily.
The Grecian city-states, most notably, Sparta and Athens, united to
drive away Persia and force them into defeat.
Following their victory, the two cities parted ways