Peloponnesian War Causes

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The Peloponnesian War was a long war fought by the two Greek City-states Athens and Sparta. The Athenian empire was on the rise and had control of the sea with the most powerful navy of the time, whereas the Spartans controlled the Greece mainland with the one of the most powerful armies of its time as well. The resulting conflict between the two led to a 30 year period filled with battles, treachery, and large amounts of unexpected consequences. At the conclusion of the long war, Athens was no longer the empire it had once been and although Sparta was considered victorious, neither side emerged unscathed from the hardships the long war had brought. This paper aims to fully dissect the Peloponnesian war and it’s outcome by looking at the events …show more content…
The exact time of the formation of the Peloponnesian League is unknown, although it can be traced as far back as the alliance known as “the Spartans and their allies” [3]. The Alliance began as towns asking Sparta for protection from the aggressive city-state known as Argos. Over time these alliances grew to result in the formation of the Hellenic League, which included almost all Greek-city states including Athens. During a war between the Achaemenid Empire of Persia and the Greek-city States, better known as the Persian War, the Spartan leader Pausanias was unable to keep the allies of the Hellenic League together [3]. Two separate alliances emerged from the disbanded Hellenic League, the restored Peloponnesian League which consisted of Sparta and many main-land Greece city-states, and the Athenian’s Delian League. The Delian League was a force of Greek-City states whose goal was to continue the fight against the Persians by conquering the Persian’s colonies and adding them to their empire. With the founding of the Delian League the remaining Persians and their colonies were quickly and easily defeated. The quick and forceful rise of the Athenian Empire and their Delian League caused many Greek-city states to fear the Athenians and their naval capabilities. As the Athenian historian Thucydides said, “The growth of the power of Athens, and the alarm which this inspired in Lacedaemon, made war inevitable”.[5] Over the next half-century following the Persian war the two dominant city-states and their respective Alliances developed a sort of rivalry which slowly led to an inevitable showdown between the two

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