The Frequency of Armed International Conflict In the 20th Century
In 1962 there was a conflict between three nations so grim their actions could have affected the entire world. The Cuban missile crisis of 1962 was a very tense moment in history; these nations were almost at the brink of nuclear warfare. This is one of many armed international conflicts in the 20th century. Another name more commonly recognized for these conflicts is war, which means disputes between two governments or more. What causes nations to fight amongst each other threatening lives and risking their own as well?
The immediate causes behind armed international conflicts are land & need of natural resources, religious beliefs, nationalism, and economics. History has taught us that many battles have been fought over land and need for natural resources. It is the basis of supply and demand, but the method used in order to meet equilibrium is more aggressive. For example a nation is very overpopulated and the people are suffering because there is a lack of resources. The neighboring nation has a low population and they have a large surplus. The extreme measure is that they will be taken over by a country in need or they will fight to defend themselves. Religious conflicts are very common and they range in differences such as land or dispute in beliefs. Many fight over land they believe it is sacred to their religion because it is a historical monument supporting their beliefs or of great significance. People are very patriotic towards their homeland and believe that it is superior towards opposing nations. Nationalistic behavior can range from a simple citizen would pays taxes and support his country to a person who is willing to inflict destruction in order to help his country prosper even die for them. Economics is very large incentive in international conflicts because money is very important to every nation. Many fight everyday just because of economic issues such as land that has a very high value and much more.
The most significant of all the causes that steer towards international conflict are religious beliefs, nationalism, and economics. Religious beliefs is of great importance because is has been the cause of many conflicts in the past and it is in the present. Religious beliefs during International conflicts have been the root to mass persecution and acts of terrorism. A primary example of this is the continuous fight between the people of Palestine who are mainly Muslim and Israel who are mainly Jews. Both nations have been fighting with each other over lands that they both claim to be very sacred to their own religion. They have both used military power to fight for this important area and even the people of both nations have gone further to fight in the streets throwing stones at soldiers armed with guns. They believe in what they are doing and are willing to die for it. Nationalism is the promotion and emphasis of one country and culture. This is not necessarily a bad thing but it can very easily get out of control to the point where it is dangerous. In 1933 the Nazi Regime came to power in Germany lead by Adolph Hitler. He believed that the Aryan race was superior and that other ethnic groups were bridling the success of their nation. He believed that these people should be done away with this term was called ethnic cleansing. At the time there was a dense population of Jews in Europe. They remained in terror from about 1933 to 1944 while Hitler was in power and he spread almost all cross Europe. Under his power millions of Jews were slaughtered in both work and death camps. One of the most important of all causes of international conflicts is economics. Many have fought over land that is of value because money matters in life. In the beginning on the 20th century Britain concluded a war with the Orange free States called the Boer War. Britain had settled colonies on the most southern tip of Africa now Cape Cod and after sometime Britain stopped supporting them and left. Right after the release of the colony large quantities of gold and diamonds were discovered. Britain tried to just resume control of the colony but the people fought back. The War lasted for 4 years until it ended leaving Britain the victor. During the war Britain made loans to keep the war going, because they believed that if they win it would pay off in the long run. The British would have never taken interested had not these materials been discovered in those colonies. A more recent example was Operation Dessert Storm when Iraq invaded Kuwait, a place that’s economy is based on oil. Iraq, lead by Saddam Hussein wanted to spread their power taking over other neighboring countries. Many nations formed an alliance that fought in the defense of Kuwait stopping Iraq’s advance. Some argue that the intent of the alliance was to aid Kuwait and stop Iraq but some contend it was all about oil. The region of the Middle East is well known for its excessi ve amount of oil, which is one of the most important natural resource to us today. When Iraq invaded Kuwait they financially endangered many nations who depend on oil within that area.
The ultimate cause to the frequency of armed international conflict in the 20th century is human nature. It is human nature for man to fight against man especially if he feels threatened or if is the only way to survive. In human nature if a person is push beyond logical reasoning such as talking about things he instead react in a way that is beyond his control. When watching the news you can see people in Palestine throwing rocks at soldiers who are armed with guns and they know they are no match. They are fighting and killing over something that is of religious value to both of them. In all religion it teaches you to love thy neighbor but that is not even recognized by the people fighting. They are so determined to prevail that they are willing to kill or be killed in the process.
Armed international conflicts in the 20th century are caused by need for land & natural resources, religious beliefs, nationalism, and economics. But it is ultimately caused by human nature within us.
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