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Trojan War c. 1200 BC lasted for approx. 9 years Greeks vs. people of Troy
Trojan prince Paris abducted Helen, wife of Menelaus of Sparta. The Spartans refused to return Helen to Sparta so Menelaus persuaded his brother Agamemnon to lead an army against Troy. They fought for nine years but never were able to defeat he main city. The Greeks then built a large wooden horse in which warriors were hidden inside. The Greeks appeared to leave and the horse was left at the front gates of the city. The Trojans brought the horse inside the gates and the other Greeks returned at night. The people hidden inside the horse opened the gates for these Greeks and they destroyed Troy. This war could also have another motive as to who controlled trade through the Dardanelles.
Punic Wars 264-146 BC Carthaginians vs. Romans
The Carthaginians and Romans fought in three different wars over the course of 118 years. Romans fought the Carthaginians to ruin their hold on a chain of islands that would let them control the Western Mediterranean. The Romans wanted to have control. They then fought over land in Italy, particularly Sicily. In the third conflict, Carthaginians tried to save their city and land from being taken over completely by Romans. In these wars, they mainly fought over trade routes in the Mediterranean. Each wanted power and more territorial possession.
Crusades (11th Century-13th Century) in the Holy Land
The emperor of the Byzantine Emperor was upset with Turks encroaching on his empire. He went to the Pope Urban II and complained. He made up atrocities about the Turks. In 1096, The Pope Urban II promoted the Crusade to reclaim the Holy Land from the barbaric Turks. These crusades lasted till the 13th century. In the process, Jews were persecuted and lots of looting took place. Many countries took interest in the Crusades because they were ready for travel and adventure. They wanted to expand trade with the Middle and Far East and so the Crusades gave them a chance to open up trade routes with those countries. They used Christianity to justify the Crusades. In reality, they wanted to expand trade and gain more territorial land.
Often countries or leaders try to put too many restrictions on their subjects or territories and then the people rebel.
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Seven Years War in 1756-1763 between France, Austria, Russia, Saxony, Sweden, and Spain on one side and Prussia, Great Britain, and Hanover on the other.
In this war, there were two main conflicts: colonial rivalry between France and England and a struggle for supremacy in Germany between Austria and Prussia. Before this war, the last of the French and Indian Wars in America and fighting in India between the French and British were going on. In North America, hostilities broke out which led to a treaty between Hanover and Prussia which guaranteed the neutrality of Hanover. In 1756, France and Austria became Allies. Frederick II of Prussia soon invaded Saxony, and in January 1757 was declared in the name of the Holy Roman Empire. Sweden, Austria, France, and Russia were allies. By the end of the war, Russia and Sweden made peace and Austria and French suffered defeats. France lost most of its overseas possessions. Great Britain ended up as the world’s chief colonial empire, their primary goal in the war. This was also the first venture of Russia into European affairs. This war was another example of countries wanting power over other countries and wanting to gain more territory.
War of 1812 conflict between US and Great Britain 1812-1815
Before the War of 812, there was hostilities between the US and Great Britain concerning blockades and trading routes. Around 1756, Great Britain started to seize US boats. They instituted a partial blockade of the European coast the following year. In 1807, the US supported a total embargo on trade to hopefully force the British to negotiate with them. However, it ended up ineffective. Neutral rights were infringed upon which lead to outbreak of hostilities. Also, Britain was suspected of attempting to prevent American expansion and of working with the Native Americans. Another reason was that frontiersmen wanted free land. War was declared on June 18, 1812. Besides wanting to expel Britain from Canada, the US also wanted to get West Florida from the Spanish. A treaty was signed two years later in 1814. The treaty, however, failed to deal with matters of neutral rights and impressments of Britain which were the “ostensible” cause of the conflict. The war did quicken American nationalism growth, though. The defeats suffered by Native Americans forced them to open their lands for American expansion and sign treaties with the US government. This war is another example of territorial expansion and countries controlling other countries. It showed that while countries may try to have control over other countries, they eventually become oppressive and the suppressed countries revolted
World War I
World War I also dominated the 20th century world. It occurred from 1914-1918. Communism, World War II, and Cold War origins can be traced back to WWI. This war marked the end of absolutist monarchy in Europe, and was a catalyst for Russian Revolution, which inspired revolutions in other countries. The defeat of Germany and issues not solved that had caused WWI in the first place, led to Nazism and WWII. This war also gave way for more modern form of warfare based heavily on technology. It was the war to end all wars which, of course, didn’t happen. People suffered from food shortage, starvation, genocide. This war was to help people in many ways and supposed to be the last “war.” However, this never happened. Some people did benefit from the war. Other countries and people didn’t benefit which led to resentment and reasons for World War II.
World War II 1939-1945 British Commonwealth, France, US, Soviet Union and China vs. Germany, Italy, and Japan
This war was the most costly armed conflict in the history of the world. Approximately 55.5 million lives were lost. The first and only use of the atomic bomb occurred. This war led to the finding of United Nations to prevent another world war yet wars still going on. More civilian causalities came from this war than any other war in history. Because of industrial age technology, mass killing was enabled. One main cause of the war was because of the war reparations demanded of Germany after World War I. Hitler had complete control in Germany. His ways helped to start World War II. During his reign, he tried to exterminate all Jews in Germany. He Hitler was a main reason for Germany’s downfall in World War II. Many of the conflicts not resolved from World War I or came about because of World War I led to World War II. Results of this war led to the Cold War. World War II is just one example of how issues at the end of one war can lead to another war. No war will ever be the last because someone always has a problem or issue that will lead to another war.
Korean War 1950-1953 communist North Korea vs. anti-communist South Korea and proxy war between US and Soviet Union
In this conflict, South Korea had allies of US, Australia, Canada, United Kingdom and allies of North Korea included the People’s Republic of China and the Soviet Union. Before the end of WWII, Korea was a Japanese colony. After the war, there was an agreement that Japanese forces north of 38th parallel would surrender to the Soviet Union and south of 38th parallel surrender to the US. It was to be a unified, independent country under an elected government. However, when elections were held in 1948, the Soviet Union refused to allow participation in their occupied zone. They gave power to the communist party under Kim II-Sung. The South elected nationalist exile Syngman Rhee. War is most often blamed on Kim II-Sung who convinced Joseph Stalin into supporting it. Also there is belief in western and South Korean provocation for the war as well. Both the South and North Korean leaders wanted to unite Korea under their own system. In 1950, North Korean forces started to attack the South taking them by surprise. During this conflict, many countries got themselves involved. This was the first armed confrontation of the Cold War. This is an example of one country wanting to gain power over another country.
Iraq Invasion March 2003-present
Supposedly the purpose of this invasion was to depose of the Ba’ath Party regime government and to rid the country of weapons of mass destruction. Saddam Hussein has been captured and the Ba’ath government “destroyed.” However, no weapons of mass destruction have been found and there’s still trouble going on in Iraq. Lots of looting has taken place during this invasion. The US also used this invasion to “secure Iraq’s oil fields and resources.” It was also a chance to eliminate terrorism. The information that George W. Bush used to justify his attack, however, has since been discredited. At first, the US government had information about an alliance between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda, which was not true. They had believed Iraq posed a threat. This invasion was also a chance to end human rights abuses supposedly. Today, there’s controversy over whether the US broke international law or not. Controversy over whether U.S. broke international law. This is an example of the government using one reason for war to gain advantages for its own country. US used its said reason for war to really get rid of Saddam Hussein and have more access to oil fields and resources.
As history shows, people use many justifications for war. They have the outer/spoken reasons for the war but also hidden agendas or reasons for each war. Most wars are actually conducted to gain territory, gain power, gain advantage over other countries. They often use religion to justify war, which is just a cover up for the real reasons for war. People are doomed to repeat history, which is evident in the numerous wars that have occurred in the world. Results of one war tend to lead to the occurrence of another war.
In The Wasteland, T.S. Eliot discussed wars and history. He used the poem to analyze history and to break the historical cycle that is going on. He mentions Punic wars in his play. With this war he showed that we don’t learn from our mistakes. He says that science and technology make wars worse, which is true. The timeline above shows that science and technology has made wars more destructive. Eliot believed that another world war is coming. We should take heed to his belief as history shows that we should expect another world war. To break this cycle, we should return to nature and love.
Sources: www.bartleby.com/65 and www.worldhistory.com