The Peloponnesian War Essay

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For over 30 years, two of the world's greatest military forces of their time battled over supremacy of Greece. The elite navy of Athens and the powerful armies of Sparta and her allies dueled in an epic battle to determine the direction in which Greece was heading. Through the stories of Thuycides, we have the world's first eye witness account of a war from a great historian who lived through it. From this account we can analyze the war which can be interpreted as the first battle against imperialism. Through my analysis of this war, I plan to determine how Greece benefited as a whole.

In the wake of the Persian attempt to conquer the Greek city-states and valuable coastline, Athens emerged as the powerhouse in defending Greece.
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When Naxos again demanded to be freed, Athens invaded and tore down the walls surrounding the city. Feelings of unrest began to stir throughout Greece, but Sparta only sat and watched.

As time passed, Athens grew stronger and continued to demand tributary from the other members of the League. Pericles, the leader of Athens, fought to have the Delian League treasury moved to Athens claiming that was the safest place for it. The other members of the League denied Pericles his wish until in 449 when he signed a peace treaty with Persia. The treasury was then moved to the capital. Money from the treasury began being used to fix and beautify Athens only. Tensions throughout Greece began to escalate as feelings of fear spread throughout the Spartan allies. These tensions eventually evolved into small skirmishes between the two forces allies. In 445, The Thirty Year's Treaty was signed by both Athens and Sparta in hopes of preventing the outbreak of war. It was too little too late as a great war was inevitable at this point.

As Athens continued to grow in power they allied themselves with Corcyra, a colony of the Spartan ally Corinth. Corinth was a very important ally to Sparta because they had the second most powerful navy next to Athens. Sparta then accused Athens of aggression and breach of the treaty. The treaty lasted only seven years until Thebes, a Spartan ally, attacked Plateau, a close ally of Athens. Athens

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