Foreign Policy Motivation In The Peloponnesian War

1073 Words 5 Pages
A Path To War: A Critique of “‘Chiefly for Fear, Next for Honour, and Lastly For Profit’: An Analysis of Foreign Policy Motivation in the Peloponnesian War”
What caused Athens to clash with Sparta? Democracy, Imperialism, Greed, Patriotism… several of these acted as variables on the road to the Peloponnesian War, but fear was a guiding lantern. Chittick and Freyberg-Inan start by laying out different types of reactions people have to threats in the international environment and pointing out the three main types of motives in making “foreign policy decisions”, which they say are fear, profit, and social recognition (Chittick 70). Using this base, they set out to discuss and analyze the reasons for the second Peloponnesian War. They make it
…show more content…
Our purpose in examining each of these occasions in some detail is both to determine which attitudes towards which foreign policy motives and goals were expressed on each occasion and to understand how the relative potency of motives helped determine decisions and actions at these critical junctures”. They discuss each debate in chronological sequence, starting with the debate over the Corcyrean Alliance (433 BC): this deals with the allegations that Corinth puts forth in an attempt to draw Sparta into the war. The debate is in Athens and most of the debaters are Athenians representing Corinth, and Corcyra. According to Chittick and Freyberg-Inan, this discourse illustrates all three of the aforementioned foreign policy motivators. The Athenians basically negotiate to acquire an ally while simultaneously protecting their own interests (Chittick 77-78). The two debate at the Lacedaemonian Congress. (432 BC): The took place at the Congress in Sparta. The first debate, Corinthians try to persuade Sparta to go to war. They employ the “‘honour’” tactic by comparing the greedy nature of Athens’ empire, and the passive nature that has taken hold in Sparta. Athenians deny any possibility that they are a danger to Sparta. In the second debate, the Spartans discuss among themselves the danger of Athens. King Archidamus thinks the threat posed is meager and circumstantial, not warranting a military intervention (Chittick 79-80). Then in the fifth year, there took place another round of negotiations. The debate over Mytilene (427 BC): After a Mytilene rebel is thwarted, Cleon, leader of the Athenian war party, thinks that all the males should be put to death, and Diodotus disagrees. One of the motivations of this

Related Documents