I was just reading A.fm.'s comment on this question.
[… ] and history shows democratic states don't fight one another.
At first I thought this statement was wrong, but thinking further I couldn't find any example of two unquestionably democratic states engagint a war with eachother. I can only find examples of democracy declaring war to a dictatorship (USA invading Irak in 2003) or a dictatorship invading a democracy (for example Germany invading Czechoslovakia in 1938). Cases of two dictatorship attacking eachother are unfortunately too common so that no example is needed…
The best counter-example to A.fm.'s claim I can find is Austria-Hungary declaring war to Serbia in 1914… but both of those countries were more hybrid regimes than full democraties it seems.
France declaring war to Prussia in 1870 is also borderline making it, but both countries were kind of hybrid/half-democraties at this point of time.
The Indo-Pakistan War of 1971 was fought between Pakistan and India. Both were run by democratic governments at the time. Obviously there was also the matter of the secession of East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) so it was at least half a civil war, but still two democratic powers fought.
Another conflict, on a smaller scale, between India and Pakistan (the Kargil War) occurred in 1999. Again both sides had democratic governments. Here you could argue that Nawaz Sharif did not know about the military action - i.e. it was a military adventure - at least that is what he says about it. But I think that must count.
Although Pakistan has had periods of military rule, I don't think anyone could seriously question Pakistan's democratic nature in 1999.
Does the War of 1812 count as two democracies? Enfranchisement was incomplete for both countries, and one even had slavery, but they were still democratic states. Or do those two qualities make them questionable?
What about World War I, and specifically Britain versus Germany? Both were parliamentary democracies with robust opposition parties, a relatively free press, rule of law, independent judiciaries, but in both cases with a superimposed hereditary monarchy.
Liberal internationalism: peace, war and democracy
Peace and democracy are just two sides of the same coin, it has often been said. In a speech before the British parliament in June of 1982, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed that governments founded on a respect for individual liberty exercise “restraint” and “peaceful intentions” in their foreign policy. He then, perhaps unaware of the contrast, announced a “crusade for freedom” and a “campaign for democratic development.” 2
In making these claims the President joined a long list of liberal theorists (and propagandists) and echoed an old argument: the aggressive instincts of authoritarian leaders and totalitarian ruling parties make for war. Liberal states, founded on such individual rights as equality before the law, free speech and other civil liberties, private property, and elected representation are fundamentally against war, this argument asserts. When citizens who bear the burdens of war elect their governments, wars become impossible. Furthermore, citizens appreciate that the benefits of trade can be enjoyed only under conditions of peace. Thus, the very existence of liberal states, such as the United States, the European Union and others, makes for peace. And so peace and democracy are two sides of the same coin.
Building on a growing literature in international political science, I question the pacific liberal claim by identifying three distinct theoretical traditions of liberalism: liberal pacifism, liberal imperialism, and a liberal internationalism that combines elements of both the previous two.
Despite the contradictions of liberal pacifism and liberal imperialism, I find with Immanuel Kant and other liberal republicans that liberalism does leave a coherent legacy on foreign affairs. Liberal states are different. They are indeed peaceful. But they are also prone to make war. Liberal states, as Kant argued they would, have created a separate peace. They also, as he feared they might, have discovered liberal reasons for aggression. I conclude by arguing that the differences among liberal pacifism, liberal imperialism, and Kant’s liberal internationalism are not arbitrary. They are rooted in differing conceptions of the citizen and of societies and states.
Democrats Are the Real Party of War
Between the fall of Mosul to ISIS militants, the POW trade with Taliban officials and the revelation that almost every phone call made in Afghanistan since the US invasion has been recorded by the NSA, this month has seen politicians and journalists briefly (and perhaps reluctantly) turn their attention back to the chaos produced by American warmaking.
Since Obama’s election, few Americans have wanted to talk about Afghanistan, our longest war ever, now in its thirteenth year, nor the continuing violence in Iraq, which has claimed over 4,000 lives in 2014 to date. Liberal pundits have remained similarly quiet on Obama’s drone wars in Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen and Syria, while cheering the attack on Libya. Meanwhile anti-war and feminist sentiments have been deployed to organize “grassroots” campaigns demanding further U.S. intervention in central Africa and Nigeria against Joseph Kony and Boko Haram.
Many of the liberals who rally around Obama and the flag probably don’t actually have a principled opposition to war. But what about those who do? They are trapped in the cognitive dissonance produced by one of America’s fundamental political falsehoods: that the Democratic Party is opposed to war.
The young anti-war activists who put their hope in Obama in 2008 can perhaps be forgiven this mistake. Coming of age under Bush, whose swaggering cowboy belligerence seemed to define modern conservatism, it was possible to believe the Democratic party—riding a wave of victories in 2006 midterms built almost entirely on opposition to the Iraq war—would recognize why they were elected and change the direction of the state. After all, in the massive wave of anti-war protests in 2003 many Democrats came out and marched together against the invasion. By betraying his anti-war supporters, however, Obama was part of a much richer Democratic tradition then he would have been if he had actually ended the wars.
An adept lawyer and legal scholar, Obama didn’t technically violate a promise about leaving Iraq. On the campaign trail he never said he would end the Iraq war immediately on gaining office, only that he would start ending it immediately, the kind of technically-not-lying he excelled at in 2008. In playing three-card monte with anti-war sentiment, Obama imitates no-one so much as Democratic predecessor Woodrow Wilson, who was narrowly reelected in 1916 on the slogan “he kept us out of the war.” Strictly speaking, this was true, but Wilson had also spent 1916—against the will of a powerful, mobilized and largely forgotten peace movement—preparing and expanding the armed forces. Within five months of his reelection, the United States entered World War I.
Indeed, all of the major U.S. wars in the 20th century—World War I, II, Korea and Vietnam—were entered by Democratic administrations. Harry Truman, a Democrat, is still the only world leader to use a nuclear bomb on a population. And with the exception of World War II, where almost all anti-war sentiment collapsed after Pearl Harbor, these wars were entered over the objections of the left wing of the Democratic Party. But while the presence of that left wing has guaranteed that anti-war liberals rally to the Democratic side, it not yet stopped a Democratic administration from going to war.
What about the way that war has been used throughout the 20th century to stomp on Civil liberties? Certainly the Republicans hold more responsibility for the Cold War and “patriotic” repression? It’s true that we tend to think of right-wing nationalist “Cold Warriors,” of Joseph McCarthy sneering at Hollywood screenwriters or Reagan yelling at Gorbachev in absentia. But blocking out the role the Democrats played in the Red Scare is a victory of liberal historicism, nothing else.
McCarthyism’s founding political act was an executive order by Harry Truman creating the “loyalty review boards” for federal employees. Under the review boards’ auspices, mere suspicion of any communist leaning was grounds for firing and blacklisting. And it was Democrats who founded and first staffed the infamous House Committee of Un-American Activities (HUAC). These organizations were the legal backbone and administrative agents of McCarthyism.
Furthermore, many of the more extreme strategies of McCarthyism go back to the first Red Scare of 1917-1920. Coordinated by the FBI’s predecessor (the Bureau of Investigation), the Committee on Public Information (Woodrow Wilson’s war-propaganda branch), and Wilson’s attorney general Mitchell Palmer (of Palmer Raids fame), Democrats gave the Federal government extraordinary legal powers to repress radical groups. The first Red Scare saw anarchists, communists, peace activists, immigrants and labor organizers targeted with arrest, detention, deportation and vigilante violence.
But the Democratic Party wasn’t only at the heart of the anti-communist witch hunt and its attendant restrictions of free speech and civil liberties. It is Truman’s administration that developed the doctrine of Containment that would set the bloody and disastrous course for the Cold War to come. And while JFK may have prevented nuclear apocalypse in the Cuban Missile Crisis, it was his administration’s hawkish deployment of missiles in Turkey, alongside their botched invasion of Cuba that brought the crisis to a head. Meanwhile, it was Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford who began the détente with China and the USSR, an easing of military tensions that Nobel peace-prize winner Jimmy Carter would end in a cynical (and failed) reelection ploy.
Considering the bloodthirsty militarists that make up today’s party, it can be hard to remember that for most of the 20th century Republicans were (at least avowedly) isolationist. Which is not to say that Nixon, Eisenhower, or Teddy Roosevelt weren’t all proponents of imperialism and violence. But since Reagan, the Republican right has come snarling out of its isolationist bunker. Ronnie and both Bushes started foreign wars of choice, each bigger and more deadly than the last. The aggressiveness with which Republicans have wrapped themselves in a blood-drenched flag since then encourages us to falsely project that kind of positioning backwards into the past.
Similarly, the Democratic Party’s domestic policy has been generally more progressive than the Republican Party’s, although there are major exceptions. For instance, when it comes to attacking the social safety net and deregulating international trade, Democrats are much better at pushing it through see Clinton “reforming” welfare and de-regulating the financial industry, or Obama passing the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
The (relative) progressive positioning of their domestic policy, along with the vulgar patriotic chest-thumping of Republican populism, and the fact that, when they’re out of power, Democrats loudly and publicly oppose war on principle, are all used to produce a false history of Democratic opposition to military intervention and war. But in fact, whenever they get a chance to vote on it, a majority of Democrats in power turn out to be hawks.
This is not to say that Republicans are in any way preferable to Democrats. Rather that the narrative that the Republicans have historically been the party of war, and Democrats all peace-loving doves, is an absurd fiction, one that both parties benefit from. And it’s a false narrative that keeps winning the Democrats the votes and loyalty of people who should know better.
It’s important to face this fact squarely: in the 20th century, it was the Democratic party that was the more aggressive pursuer of foreign wars. You can make whatever claim you like about historical contingency, necessity, or immediate context. None of them should convince anyone that the Democrats, as a party, are opposed to war. They’re not even more opposed to war than Republicans. They are a party of warmongers.
Many of those young anti-war Obama voters learned a hard lesson: when you put your faith, energy or activism into electing Democrats, no matter what domestic policy you support, you’re also putting your weight behind militarism, a crackdown on civil liberties, and foreign wars of aggression. Perhaps the most surprising thing about Obama’s wars, ultimately, is how, despite it all, many continue to hope for change from the Democratic Party.
A Tale of Two Hegemons: The Anglo-American Roots of the Postwar International System
In 1921, the United States convened a disarmament negotiation among the naval powers of the Pacific. At the Washington Naval Conference, France, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, and the United States agreed to discontinue their capital ship programs and build no more for ten years, to reduce their fleets of battleships and carriers to agreed ratios, and not to fortify their holdings in the Pacific.
The agreement was a triumph for America. President Warren G. Harding recognized flagging support for the aggressive 1916 ship-building program and bartered it away, gaining equality with the world’s dominant maritime power, containing Japan’s rise, and reducing the threat of Anglo-Japanese cooperation. Harding’s administration believed the Washington Treaties would prevent war, cost less, and have more public appeal than continued naval building programs. The president drew worldwide acclaim for his opening statement claiming that “our hundred millions want less of armament and none of war.”
The United States viewed the fleet ratios capping its navy and Great Britain’s at parity as a way for London to limit those challenging to its supremacy of the seas. By contrast, Britain viewed the limit as pejorative, given the three-ocean requirement of its empire. The British were, however, wholly ineffective in convincing the Harding administration that the Royal Navy ought to have its superior requirements acknowledged. Even worse from the British perspective, “this conference worked because the U.S. threatened to enter into an arms race with Britain and bankrupt her if Britain did not agree.” The United States also forced an end to the Anglo-Japanese defense alliance that Britain relied on to balance its exclusion from European alliances, manage its trading interests in China, and protect the approaches to the jewel in the crown of its empire, India. A risen America was willing to impose its power on Great Britain to achieve the broader goal of shaping the international order.
The most striking element of the Washington Naval Treaties is that their fundamental purpose was to prevent Anglo-American competition. Britain was still the world’s paramount naval force. In tonnage and number of ships, the Royal Navy equaled the rest of the world combined. But America and Japan were rising fast. Postwar Britain, conscious of its evaporating hegemony, was unable to match their naval spending. For all the political, economic, and cultural similarities celebrated in the Great Rapprochement between Britain and the United States, by 1922 it was American power — not Japanese — that most concerned the British government. Winston Churchill cautioned that the United States would “have a good chance of becoming the strongest Naval Power in the world and thus obtaining the complete mastery of the Pacific.” Britain had enabled America’s rise. As America pulled abreast, both countries ceased to believe their mutual interests were indivisible. If the British did not regret their policy of enabling America’s rise, they unquestionably saw the error of assuming that an imperial America would behave in the same manner as imperial Britain did.
Britain’s choices as a declining hegemon faced with a rising power created the model by which the United States shifted the paradigm of international order after 1945. The Anglo-American peace is thus key to understanding the constitution of the contemporary international system. The absence of centralized political authority did not force states to play competitive power politics, as realists would have us believe. Rather, an international order emerged modeled on the Anglo-American relationship, a convergence of values shifting the security landscape from competition to cooperation among like-minded states.
What Do We Talk About When We Talk About Hegemony?
Relations among states have three modes: anarchy, in which no order exists balance, in which states form either transient or enduring alliances to prevent one becoming dominant and hegemony, where one state is powerful enough to establish order.
At its most basic, hegemony is the ability to set the rules of international order. It occurs when a state has a predominance of power and can impose its will on other states to create and enforce behavior. An asymmetry of power combines with the ambition to impose terms on weaker societies. Powerful states contest for the ability to establish rules that advantage them, enforcing the rules while they are able through military might and incentives for cooperation. When that state’s power abates, challengers arise.
Some of the most interesting international relations theorists have attempted to go beyond this minimalist definition of hegemony, to festoon it with more liberal trappings. Richard Ned Lebow and Robert Kelly make a distinction between control and “legitimated leadership,” which operates by consent. They even steal realists’ favorite historian, Thucydides, in support of the argument that justice as perceived by weaker states is an essential component of a hegemon’s authority. Ian Clark goes even further into consensual definitional territory, arguing that hegemony is “an institutionalized practice of special rights and responsibilities conferred on a state with the resources to lead.” That very European approach would shift hegemony from something wrested by the strongest to something given approvingly by lesser powers with a shared normative framework.
Daniel Deudney and G. John Ikenberry argue that American hegemony has unique attributes that perpetuate it through consensual practices and make it less onerous to countries than have been previous hegemonic orders. They argue that the United States has established a liberal international order characterized by “co-binding security institutions, penetrated American hegemony, semi-sovereign great powers, economic openness, and civic identity.” The practices of American hegemony, then, made the United States a different kind of dominant power.
Turning to Constructivism
What information do we need to predict and explain state choices in the international order? Realists and neo-realists posit that the distribution of power is sufficient. States have interests, and they use their power in service of those interests. Knowing a state’s military strength determines its ability to preserve its sovereignty and expand its influence.
Yet the richest countries do not always dominate, the strongest militaries do not always derive from the most prosperous economies, armed forces prove more brittle than anticipated in combat (and adversaries more determined), and wars won do not always translate into increased power or autonomy. As Samuel Eliot Morison succinctly puts it, “history is chancy.”
Perhaps most important for conceptualizing the international order is that the distribution of power alone does not explain why states do not fight. Why do strong powers permit the rise of rivals and what triggers decisions to fight? If interests are immutable, why are states not perpetually in conflict?
Alexander Wendt posits the distribution of power approach as “undersocialized” — that is, it treats the social science of international relations theory as though it were a natural science of immutable laws. It presumes state behavior is dictated according to enduring interests and the material conditions needed to advance them. Realism thus becomes “a self-fulfilling prophecy.” Wendt relaxes realism’s iron fist of determinism, instead positing national identity as socially constructed and therefore malleable. Social structures and arrangements can be formed on the basis of identities, and those affect both the definition of national interests and the identification and creation of means to secure those interests. So what might have caused war between, say, Britain and Germany in one epoch would not in another because how those states view their interests and each other’s behavior would have changed.
Wendt outlines a “constructivist” theory of international relations in which the zero-sum power politics of realist theory is an institution of one kind of international order, not an essential feature of all kinds of international order. He argues:
[T]he structures of human association are determined primarily by shared ideas rather than material forces, and that the identities and interests of purposive actors are constructed by these shared ideas rather than given by nature.
The trajectory of relations between Great Britain and the United States from 1923 through the transition of hegemony and into the post-World War II era illustrates how profoundly constructivism’s description has contributed to understanding state behavior in the international order. In the British-U.S. transition, material conditions clearly mattered. America would not have been of interest had it not thundered to prosperity and sought an international role. But ideas also mattered.
As voting reforms democratized Britain in the mid-19th century, conquest of the West gave America an imperial cast of mind. As the exigencies of early industrialization pushed both economies out into the world, the two countries began looking alike to each other. The sense of sameness was not just racial, although it certainly had some racial characteristics. But, crucially, the sense of sameness precedes its congealment into a racialized Anglo-Saxonism. This sameness owes as much to the end of slavery in America, the hard realities of administering control over foreign territories, the peaceful expansion of franchise in Britain and its settling into lawfulness in the United States, patterns of transoceanic investment and capital-intensive infrastructure, and trading advantages to early industrializing economies (which both Britain and the United States were). What began as wariness in mutual perception became a celebration of characteristics the two countries considered themselves to uniquely share.
The exclusive nature of the convergence between Britain and the United States evaporated relatively quickly, by 1920 or so, precipitated by American involvement in World War I. Americans quickly became disaffected by European squabbling to uphold an international order that they didn’t consider worthy of preservation.
The asymmetry in British-American relations was made manifest in the 1923 Washington Naval Treaties. As Adam Tooze has argued,
The train of crises that reached their nadir in 1923 ended Lloyd George’s tenure as Prime Minister and exposed for all to see the limits of Britain’s hegemonic capacity. There was only one power, if any, that could fill this role—a new role, one that no nation had ever seriously attempted before—the United States.
It was only after the cataclysm of World War II that America committed to establishing and enforcing order in the international system. When in 1945 the United States did become the hegemon of the international order, it consciously constructed an order of cooperative security among states that shared its domestic political principles. Britain sought to, and to some extent did, sustain a privileged partnership with the United States. As Martha Finnemore’s work explores, rules and institutions gave participants in the order overlapping interests. She argues that those practices led to fundamental shifts in state identity in which the distribution of power was replaced by a structure of common values that created a collective identity.
Shared Values and a Shifting Order
At the inception of the hegemonic transition, Britain viewed itself as a liberal government and the United States as a reckless usurper, an irritant and a danger to the rules-based order Britain had established. It neither sought nor would welcome a strong America active in the international arena. And the United States viewed Britain with an especial hostility, having fought it twice and defined its sense of itself as a nation in contravention to Britain.
Over the course of a century, both nations and their perceptions of each other changed. The debate within Britain about political liberalization revolved around the American experience, both as hope and as cautionary tale. The industrial revolution was changing the country profoundly, increasing pressure for political inclusion and requiring the British government to take public attitudes into account in foreign policy. That accounting dramatically favored the United States because of its political creed and because immigration to the United States from Britain positioned America uniquely to affect British domestic political debate.
Britain also began to feel the weight of its international commitments. The summation by Henry John Temple, Third Viscount Palmerston, of Britain as having no permanent friends, only permanent interests was ideally suited to a maritime power, but was called into question as continental European powers began aligning. Recognition of its isolation led Britain to actively seek to share its burden through American involvement in the Western Hemisphere, the Pacific region, and eventually Europe itself.
Britain’s search for partners occurred just as the United States began uncharacteristically behaving as a traditional great power. The United States had always loudly championed its republican principles and insisted that this made the nation exceptionally virtuous, even as it fought wars to acquire land in every direction there was contiguous territory. But the United States had refrained from international involvement, considering itself unlike other nations and principally consumed with consolidating its domestic empire. With the advance of industrialization and the closing of the American West, the United States began looking abroad. America was in some cases a reluctant colonizer (Cuba), and in others an enthusiastic one (Hawaii), but it had given cause enough for the British government to believe America’s desire for influence and need for open markets could dovetail with Britain’s interests.
And those interests did dovetail for the crucial years of passage from Britain leading the international order to the United States replacing Britain in that role. A more democratic Britain and a more internationally engaged America felt similar to each other and different from other states. More than an alignment of interests, there also grew an affectionate regard between the governments and between the publics of Britain and America. Charles Campbell notes that “if a more democratic Britain had greater appeal for the ordinary American, the United States no longer seemed a subversive rabble-rousing republic to upper-class Britons.” Their national identities, if not collective, overlapped much more than either perceived they did with other countries. Britain materially assisted America’s defeat of Spain in 1898 and supported American expansion across the Pacific. America became the enforcer of Britain’s interests in the Caribbean and reinforcer of Britain’s side in World War I. Adversaries saw the United States, ostensibly neutral, as an ally of Britain.
The international order also changed, but only after the transition in hegemony. While the affectionate relationship between Britain and the United States has survived, the belief of being uniquely alike diluted once the United States became the dominant power. America proved itself not to be a traditional great power after all, episodically advocating and assisting self-determination across the international order — changing the rules in consonance with its domestic political values. The spread of American domestic political ideals around the world presaged the breakup of Britain’s empire and resulted in Britain being only one among many democracies that shared U.S. values. The United States, for its part, turned out not to behave as Britain had when dominating the international order. The increased acceptance within the international order of the political values Americans proclaim to be universal diminished Britain’s unique claim on U.S. cooperation.
A peaceful outcome of the transition in hegemony from Britain to the United States was by no means inevitable. In fact, it was exceedingly unlikely for a hegemon and a rising power to recognize commonality in each other and work to common international purpose. Peaceful transition was a highly contingent outcome, even between two countries with significant commonalities in history, philosophy, and language. It depended on the convergence of their foreign and domestic practices, the timing of domestic change, the alliance of continental European countries, technological innovation disrupting military advantage, the occurrence of international crises, and a lack of democratization in other countries. None of these variables could be controlled for, and they strongly suggest that future hegemonic transitions are unlikely to remain peaceful.
The complexity of this case suggests that for future hegemonic transitions to be peaceful, the hegemon being displaced would need to have a strong belief that the rising power shared both its interests and its values. Such similarity might allow the rising power’s effort to be considered additive to the hegemon’s, rather than a challenge. Only if the relative power of both states becomes less important in this way, as did happen between Britain and the United States, would the hegemon permit the rising power to replace it uncontested.
It also merits noting that even with the two nations’ wide cultural similarities and overlapping interests, Britain was disappointed in the end. A hegemonic America did not prove to be a faithful guardian of the order Britain bequeathed. Rather, it proved a revolutionary power that would change the rules such that its domestic order became the basis for the international order. Perhaps that is the most worrisome lesson for America as it contemplates other rising powers: Future hegemons, no matter how much similarity they exhibit through the passage of power from one state to another, will eventually seek to remake the international order in their own image, just as the United States has.
Dr. Kori Schake is a distinguished research fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. She teaches Thinking About War, and is a contributing editor to War on the Rocks and also the Atlantic. This is an excerpt from her book Safe Passage: The Transition from British to American Hegemony.
- Congressional Research Service, April 18,2014, Declarations of War and Authorizations for the Use of Military Force: Historical Background and Legal Implications
- U.S. Senate, accessed Nov. 1, Official declarations of war by Congress
- The Guardian, Sept. 10, 2011, Jimmy Carter: 'We never dropped a bomb. We never fired a bullet. We never went to war'
- History.com, Aug. 21, 2018, Eisenhower doctrine
- History.com, March 14, 2019, How the Vietnam War Ratcheted Up Under 5 U.S. Presidents
- RealClearPolitics, Aug. 24, Gaetz: Trump The First President Since Reagan Not To Start A New War
- John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, accessed Nov. 1, The Bay of Pigs
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What This Cruel War Was Over
The meaning of the Confederate flag is best discerned in the words of those who bore it.
This afternoon, in announcing her support for removing the Confederate flag from the capitol grounds, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley asserted that killer Dylann Roof had “a sick and twisted view of the flag” that did not reflect “the people in our state who respect and in many ways revere it.” If the governor meant that very few of the flag’s supporters believe in mass murder, she is surely right. But on the question of whose view of the Confederate flag is more twisted, she is almost certainly wrong.
Roof’s belief that black life had no purpose beyond subjugation is “sick and twisted” in the exact same manner as the beliefs of those who created the Confederate flag were “sick and twisted.” The Confederate flag is directly tied to the Confederate cause, and the Confederate cause was white supremacy. This claim is not the result of revisionism. It does not require reading between the lines. It is the plain meaning of the words of those who bore the Confederate flag across history. These words must never be forgotten. Over the next few months the word heritage will be repeatedly invoked. It would be derelict to not examine the exact contents of that heritage.
This examination should begin in South Carolina, the site of our present and past catastrophe. South Carolina was the first state to secede, two months after the election of Abraham Lincoln. It was in South Carolina that the Civil War began, when the Confederacy fired on Fort Sumter. The state’s casus belli was neither vague nor hard to comprehend:
… A geographical line has been drawn across the Union, and all the States north of that line have united in the election of a man to the high office of President of the United States, whose opinions and purposes are hostile to slavery. He is to be entrusted with the administration of the common Government, because he has declared that that “Government cannot endure permanently half slave, half free,” and that the public mind must rest in the belief that slavery is in the course of ultimate extinction. This sectional combination for the submersion of the Constitution, has been aided in some of the States by elevating to citizenship, persons who, by the supreme law of the land, are incapable of becoming citizens and their votes have been used to inaugurate a new policy, hostile to the South, and destructive of its beliefs and safety.
In citing slavery, South Carolina was less an outlier than a leader, setting the tone for other states, including Mississippi:
Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery—the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth. These products are peculiar to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and by an imperious law of nature, none but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun. These products have become necessities of the world, and a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization. That blow has been long aimed at the institution, and was at the point of reaching its consummation. There was no choice left us but submission to the mandates of abolition, or a dissolution of the Union, whose principles had been subverted to work out our ruin …
As a separate republic, Louisiana remembers too well the whisperings of European diplomacy for the abolition of slavery in the times of annexation not to be apprehensive of bolder demonstrations from the same quarter and the North in this country. The people of the slave holding States are bound together by the same necessity and determination to preserve African slavery.
Upon the principles then announced by Mr. Lincoln and his leading friends, we are bound to expect his administration to be conducted. Hence it is, that in high places, among the Republican party, the election of Mr. Lincoln is hailed, not simply as [a] change of Administration, but as the inauguration of new principles, and a new theory of Government, and even as the downfall of slavery. Therefore it is that the election of Mr. Lincoln cannot be regarded otherwise than a solemn declaration, on the part of a great majority of the Northern people, of hostility to the South, her property and her institutions—nothing less than an open declaration of war—for the triumph of this new theory of Government destroys the property of the South, lays waste her fields, and inaugurates all the horrors of a San Domingo servile insurrection, consigning her citizens to assassinations, and her wives and daughters to pollution and violation, to gratify the lust of half-civilized Africans.
… in this free government all white men are and of right ought to be entitled to equal civil and political rights that the servitude of the African race, as existing in these States, is mutually beneficial to both bond and free, and is abundantly authorized and justified by the experience of mankind, and the revealed will of the Almighty Creator, as recognized by all Christian nations while the destruction of the existing relations between the two races, as advocated by our sectional enemies, would bring inevitable calamities upon both and desolation upon the fifteen slave-holding states …
None of this was new. In 1858, the eventual president of the Confederacy Jefferson Davis threatened secession should a Republican be elected to the presidency:
I say to you here as I have said to the Democracy of New York, if it should ever come to pass that the Constitution shall be perverted to the destruction of our rights so that we shall have the mere right as a feeble minority unprotected by the barrier of the Constitution to give an ineffectual negative vote in the Halls of Congress, we shall then bear to the federal government the relation our colonial fathers did to the British crown, and if we are worthy of our lineage we will in that event redeem our rights even if it be through the process of revolution.
It is difficult for modern Americans to understand such militant commitment to the bondage of others. But at $3.5 billion, the 4 million enslaved African Americans in the South represented the country’s greatest financial asset. And the dollar amount does not hint at the force of enslavement as a social institution. By the onset of the Civil War, Southern slaveholders believed that African slavery was one of the great organizing institutions in world history, superior to the “free society” of the North.
From an 1856 issue of Alabama’s Muscogee Herald:
Free Society! we sicken at the name. What is it but a conglomeration of greasy mechanics, filthy operatives, small-fisted farmers, and moon-struck theorists? All the Northern men and especially the New England States are devoid of society fitted for well-bred gentlemen. The prevailing class one meet with is that of mechanics struggling to be genteel, and small farmers who do their own drudgery, and yet are hardly fit for association with a Southern gentleman's body servant. This is your free society which Northern hordes are trying to extend into Kansas.
The last sentence refers to the conflict over slavery between free-soilers and slaveholders. The conflict was not merely about the right to hold another human in bondage, but how that right created the foundation for white equality.
You too know, that among us, white men have an equality resulting from a presence of a lower caste, which cannot exist where white men fill the position here occupied by the servile race. The mechanic who comes among us, employing the less intellectual labor of the African, takes the position which only a master-workman occupies where all the mechanics are white, and therefore it is that our mechanics hold their position of absolute equality among us.
Black slavery as the basis of white equality was a frequent theme for slaveholders. In his famous “Cotton Is King” speech, James Henry Hammond compared the alleged wage slavery of the North with black slavery—and white equality—in the South:
The difference between us is, that our slaves are hired for life and well compensated there is no starvation, no begging, no want of employment among our people, and not too much employment either. Yours are hired by the day, not cared for, and scantily compensated, which may be proved in the most painful manner, at any hour in any street of your large towns. Why, you meet more beggars in one day, in any single street of the city of New York, than you would meet in a lifetime in the whole South.
We do not think that whites should be slaves either by law or necessity. Our slaves are black, of another and inferior race. The status in which we have placed them is an elevation. They are elevated from the condition in which God first created them, by being made our slaves. None of that race on the whole face of the globe can be compared with the slaves of the South. They are happy, content, unaspiring, and utterly incapable, from intellectual weakness, ever to give us any trouble by their aspirations. Yours are white, of your own race you are brothers of one blood. They are your equals in natural endowment of intellect, and they feel galled by their degradation.
On the eve of secession, Georgia Governor Joseph E. Brown concurred:
Among us the poor white laborer is respected as an equal. His family is treated with kindness, consideration and respect. He does not belong to the menial class. The negro is in no sense of the term his equal. He feels and knows this. He belongs to the only true aristocracy, the race of white men. He blacks no masters boots, and bows the knee to no one save God alone. He receives higher wages for his labor than does the laborer of any other portion of the world, and he raises up his children with the knowledge, that they belong to no inferior cast, but that the highest members of the society in which he lives, will, if their conduct is good, respect and treat them as equals.
Thus in the minds of these Southern nationalists, the destruction of slavery would not merely mean the loss of property but the destruction of white equality, and thus of the peculiar Southern way of life:
If the policy of the Republicans is carried out, according to the programme indicated by the leaders of the party, and the South submits, degradation and ruin must overwhelm alike all classes of citizens in the Southern States. The slave-holder and non-slave-holder must ultimately share the same fate—all be degraded to a position of equality with free negroes, stand side by side with them at the polls, and fraternize in all the social relations of life or else there will be an eternal war of races, desolating the land with blood, and utterly wasting and destroying all the resources of the country.
Slaveholders were not modest about the perceived virtues of their way of life. In the years leading up to the Civil War, calls for expansion into the tropics reached a fever pitch, and slaveholders marveled at the possibility of spreading a new empire into central America:
Looking into the possibilities of the future, regarding the magnificent country of tropical America, which lies in the path of our destiny on this continent, we may see an empire as powerful and gorgeous as ever was pictured in our dreams of history. What is that empire? It is an empire founded on military ideas representing the noble peculiarities of Southern civilization including within its limits the isthmuses of America and the regenerated West Indies having control of the two dominant staples of the world’s commerce—cotton and sugar possessing the highways of the world’s commerce surpassing all empires of the age in the strength of its geographical position and, in short, combining elements of strength, prosperity, and glory, such as never before in the modern ages have been placed within the reach of a single government. What a splendid vision of empire!
How sublime in its associations! How noble and inspiriting the idea, that upon the strange theatre of tropical America, once, if we may believe the dimmer facts of history, crowned with magnificent empires and flashing cities and great temples, now covered with mute ruins, and trampled over by half-savages, the destiny of Southern civilization is to be consummated in a glory brighter even than that of old, the glory of an empire, controlling the commerce of the world, impregnable in its position, and representing in its internal structure the most harmonious of all the systems of modern civilization.
Edward Pollard, the journalist who wrote that book, titled it Black Diamonds Gathered in the Darkey Homes of the South. Perhaps even this is too subtle. In 1858, Mississippi Senator Albert Gallatin Brown was clearer:
I want Cuba, and I know that sooner or later we must have it. If the worm-eaten throne of Spain is willing to give it for a fair equivalent, well—if not, we must take it. I want Tamaulipas, Potosi, and one or two other Mexican States and I want them all for the same reason—for the planting and spreading of slavery.
And a footing in Central America will powerfully aid us in acquiring those other states. It will render them less valuable to the other powers of the earth, and thereby diminish competition with us. Yes, I want these countries for the spread of slavery. I would spread the blessings of slavery, like the religion of our Divine Master, to the uttermost ends of the earth, and rebellious and wicked as the Yankees have been, I would even extend it to them.
I would not force it upon them, as I would not force religion upon them, but I would preach it to them, as I would preach the gospel. They are a stiff-necked and rebellious race, and I have little hope that they will receive the blessing, and I would therefore prepare for its spread to other more favored lands.
Thus in 1861, when the Civil War began, the Union did not face a peaceful Southern society wanting to be left alone. It faced an an aggressive power, a Genosha, an entire society based on the bondage of a third of its residents, with dreams of expanding its fields of the bondage further South. It faced the dream of a vast American empire of slavery. In January of 1861, three months before the Civil War commenced, Florida secessionists articulated the position directly:
At the South, and with our People of course, slavery is the element of all value, and a destruction of that destroys all that is property. This party, now soon to take possession of the powers of the Government, is sectional, irresponsible to us, and driven on by an infuriated fanatical madness that defies all opposition, must inevitably destroy every vestige or right growing out of property in slaves.
Gentlemen, the State of Florida is now a member of the Union under the power of the Government, so to go into the hands of this party.
As we stand our doom is decreed.
Not yet. As the Late Unpleasantness stretched from the predicted months into years, the very reason for the Confederacy’s existence came to threaten its diplomatic efforts. Fighting for slavery presented problems abroad, and so Confederate diplomats came up with the notion of emphasizing “states rights” over “slavery”—the first manifestation of what would later become a plank in the foundation of Lost Cause mythology.
The first people to question that mythology were themselves Confederates, distraught to find their motives downplayed or treated as embarrassments. A Richmond-based newspaper offered the following:
“The people of the South,” says a contemporary, “are not fighting for slavery but for independence.” Let us look into this matter. It is an easy task, we think, to show up this new-fangled heresy—a heresy calculated to do us no good, for it cannot deceive foreign statesmen nor peoples, nor mislead any one here nor in Yankeeland … Our doctrine is this: WE ARE FIGHTING FOR INDEPENDENCE THAT OUR GREAT AND NECESSARY DOMESTIC INSTITUTION OF SLAVERY SHALL BE PRESERVED , and for the preservation of other institutions of which slavery is the groundwork.
Even after the war, as the Lost Cause rose, many veterans remained clear about why they had rallied to the Confederate flag. “I’ve never heard of any other cause than slavery,” wrote Confederate commander John S. Mosby. The progeny of the Confederacy repeatedly invoked slavery as the war’s cause.
Here, for example, is Mississippi Senator John Sharp Williams in 1904:
Local self-government temporarily destroyed may be recovered and ultimately retained. The other thing for which we fought is so complex in its composition, so delicate in its breath, so incomparable in its symmetry, that, being once destroyed, it is forever destroyed. This other thing for which we fought was the supremacy of the white man’s civilization in the country which he proudly claimed his own “in the land which the Lord his God had given him” founded upon the white man’s code of ethics, in sympathy with the white man’s traditions and ideals.
The Confederate Veteran—the official publication of the United Confederate Veterans—in 1906:
The kindliest relation that ever existed between the two races in this country, or that ever will, was the ante-bellum relation of master and slave—a relation of confidence and responsibility on the part of the master and of dependence and fidelity on the part of the slave.
And in 1917, the Confederate Veteran singled out one man for particular praise:
Great and trying times always produce great leaders, and one was at hand—Nathan Bedford Forrest. His plan, the only course left open. The organization of a secret government. A terrible government a government that would govern in spite of black majorities and Federal bayonets. This secret government was organized in every community in the South, and this government is known in history as the Klu Klux Clan …
Here in all ages to come the Southern romancer and poet can find the inspiration for fiction and song. No nobler or grander spirits ever assembled on this earth than gathered in these clans. No human hearts were ever moved with nobler impulses or higher aims and purposes … Order was restored, property safe because the negro feared the Klu Klux Clan more than he feared the devil. Even the Federal bayonets could not give him confidence in the black government which had been established for him, and the negro voluntarily surrendered to the Klu Klux Clan, and the very moment he did, the “Invisible Army” vanished in a night. Its purpose had been fulfilled.
Bedford Forrest should always be held in reverence by every son and daughter of the South as long as memory holds dear the noble deeds and service of men for the good of others on, this earth. What mind is base enough to think of what might have happened but for Bedford Forrest and his “Invisible” but victorious army.
In praising the Klan’s terrorism, Confederate veterans and their descendants displayed a remarkable consistency. White domination was the point. Slavery failed. Domination prevailed nonetheless. This was the basic argument of Florida Democratic Senator Duncan Fletcher. “The Cause Was Not Entirely Lost,” he argued in a 1931 speech before the United Daughters of the Confederacy:
The South fought to preserve race integrity. Did we lose that? We fought to maintain free white dominion. Did we lose that? The States are in control of the people. Local self-government, democratic government, obtains. That was not lost. The rights of the sovereign States, under the Constitution, are recognized. We did not lose that. I submit that what is called “The Lost Cause” was not so much “lost” as is sometimes supposed.
Indeed it was not. For a century after the Civil War, White Supremacy ruled the South. Toward the end of that century, as activists began to effectively challenge white supremacy, its upholders reached for a familiar symbol.
Invocations of the flag were supported by invocations of the Confederacy itself. But by then, neo-Confederates had begun walking back their overt defenses of slavery. United Daughters of the Confederacy Magazine claimed that:
Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, Thomas Jonathan Stonewall Jackson, Nathan Bedford Forrest, Raphael Semmes and the 600,000 soldiers and sailors of the Confederacy did not fight for a “Lost Cause.” They fought to repel invasion, and in defense of their Constitutional liberties bequeathed them by their forefathers …
The glorious blood-red Confederate Battle Flag that streamed ahead of the Confederate soldiers in more than 2000 battles is not a conquered banner. It is an emblem of Freedom.
It was no longer politic to spell out the exact nature of that freedom. But one gets a sense of it, given that the article quickly pivots into an attack on desegregation:
Since the Supreme Court decision of May 17, 1954, reversed what had been the Supreme Law of the land for 75 years and declared unconstitutional the laws of 17 states under which segregated school systems were established, the thinking people have been aroused from their lethargy in respect to State’s Rights.
In this we see the progression of what became known as the “Heritage Not Hate” argument. Bold defenses of slavery became passé. It just happened that those who praised the flag also tended to praise the instruments of white supremacy popular in that day.
And then there were times when the mask slipped. “Quit looking at the symbols,” South Carolina State Representative John Graham Altman said during a debate over the flag’s fate in 1997. “Get out and get a job. Quit shooting each other. Quit having illegitimate babies.”
Nikki Haley deserves credit for calling for the removal of the Confederate flag. She deserves criticism for couching that removal as a matter of manners. At the present moment the effort to remove the flag is being cast as matter of politesse, a matter over which reasonable people may disagree. The flag is a “painful symbol” concedes David French. Its removal might “offer relief to those genuinely hurt,” writes Ian Tuttle. “To many, it is a symbol of racial hatred,” tweeted Mitt Romney. The flag has been “misappropriated by hate groups,” claims South Carolina senator Tom Davis.
This mythology of manners is adopted in lieu of the mythology of the Lost Cause. But it still has the great drawback of being rooted in a lie. The Confederate flag should not come down because it is offensive to African Americans. The Confederate flag should come down because it is embarrassing to all Americans. The embarrassment is not limited to the flag, itself. The fact that it still flies, that one must debate its meaning in 2015, reflects an incredible ignorance. A century and a half after Lincoln was killed, after 750,000 of our ancestors died, Americans still aren’t quite sure why.
Who Won the American Revolution?
Guy Chet is Professor of American History at the University of North Texas, and author of The Colonists&rsquo American Revolution: Preserving English Liberty, 1607-1783 (Wiley, 2019). Portions of this essay are drawn from the book, with Wiley&rsquos permission.
"The Battle of Lexington," Amos Doolittle, 1775, based on Doolittle's interviews with town residents and militiamen.
The American War of Independence broke out on this day (April 19) in 1775, when 70 Massachusetts militiamen confronted 700 British troops on the Lexington green. Six years later, the last engagement of the war ended with the surrender of a British army to George Washington&rsquos Continental soldiers in Yorktown, Virginia. The contrast between the two types of American troops &ndash the citizen-soldiers of the militias and the professional and uniformed soldiers of the Continental Army &ndash was a meaningful one to Americans during the war years, and has remained important ever since.
Local governments prioritized their own armed forces (the state militias) over the Continental Congress&rsquos army with regard to provisioning. Civilians likewise were more supportive of militia (with provisions and hospitality) because militiamen were locals, whereas Continentals were strangers from distant states. Moreover, militia provided various services for local communities &ndash from regional and town defense to suppressing Loyalist opposition &ndash which Continentals did not. These factors explain why civilians were much more likely to perform their military service in the militia &ndashwhich they did in vast numbers &ndash than in the Continental Army. As a result, the Continental Army struggled to maintain its numbers and became increasingly populated by socially marginal Americans &ndash men at the bottom rungs of the socio-economic ladder and at the outskirts of society &ndash whereas militias featured a more representative cross-section of the male citizenry.
After the war, Americans overwhelmingly credited the militia for the victory in the war. Not only did militiamen serve as combatants alongside Continentals, they also did combat in their localities against Loyalist militias, Britain&rsquos Indian allies, and British foraging and raiding parties. The militia was also the key to Patriot civic control in countless American towns, which enabled Patriots to sustain the Continental Army with provisions and recruits, while denying these invaluable resources to the British Army. In the twentieth century, however, Americans transferred the laurels of victory from the militia to the Continental Army. Thus, when historians and laypeople now consider the Revolutionary War, they focus primarily on the national army&rsquos operations and are generally dismissive of the militias. This is reflected in both academic and popular histories, as well as in museum exhibits, documentaries, literature, and film.
This modern view is supported by the testimony of George Washington himself, who deemed militiamen as unreliable soldiers &ndash &ldquomen just dragged from the tender Scenes of domestick life,&rdquo unaccustomed to military life and to combat, and naturally &ldquotimid, and ready to fly from their own Shadows.&rdquo Washington also thought that the sudden change in militiamen&rsquos lodging bred physical illnesses among them, and &ldquoan unconquerable desire of returning to their respective homes,&rdquo resulting in high rates of desertion. &ldquoMen accustomed to unbounded freedom, and no controul, cannot brooke the Restraint which is indispensably necessary to the good Order and Government of an Army.&rdquo
This question &ndash whether it was the militia or the army that won the war &ndash has never been purely academic. Rather, this historical question was intimately related to the way Americans organized their political lives in any given era since the Revolution. The militia and the army are emblems of adversarial administrative systems &ndash the state governments and the national government &ndash that have competed with one another over jurisdiction and authority since the birth of the republic. In the centuries that followed the Revolution, Americans engaged in fierce contests over the proper roles, jurisdictions, and powers of the Federal and state governments. The competing narratives about the Continental Army and Revolutionary militias illustrated the political and administrative principles that Americans championed in their various contemporary debates over Federal power and states&rsquo rights.
Thus, the idea of an effective militia that was the backbone of the war effort served Americans in the early-republic as a testament to the efficacy of democratic civic institutions. It taught that the states had led the war effort and won the war, and should therefore take the lead in administering public life in the young republic. By contrast, the twentieth-century narrative of a feckless militia and strong army was a testament to the need for professional expertise to run important executive bodies. It taught that the national government had won the war, and that it should therefore direct public policy.
Federal power and states&rsquo rights were intensely contested issues in the early republic, with the advocates of states&rsquo rights largely winning the ideological, political, and public-relations battle. It should come as no surprise, then, that Americans in Revolutionary America and the early republic &ndash living as they did in a states&rsquo rights republic &ndash largely judged the militias favorably, as the bulwark of American independence. By contrast, during the Progressive Era (1890-1930) and increasingly ever since, the United States has transformed into a modern nation-state, in which states&rsquo rights have receded in the face of Federal power. It makes sense, therefore, that during this time, Americans have shifted their historical understanding of the Revolutionary War, determining that the Continental Army had won the war, rather than the militias.
Rocky from the start
So began the marriage between radicals and the Democratic Party that continues today. It has been rocky from the start and there have been several near-divorces as leftists at some moments retested the strategy of independence.
In 1948, as the Truman administration geared up Cold War policies at home and abroad, former Vice President Henry Wallace agreed to mount a third-party challenge. Supported by the Communists, Wallace failed to pull most leftists away from the Democratic Party. Truman won reelection and the left lost credibility. For the next two decades, the Democratic Party was decidedly centrist at all levels and almost every state.
The radicals who built new social movements in the 1960s around civil rights, black power, feminism, environmentalism and opposition to the Vietnam War had no tolerance for the centrist Democratic Party, especially after Lyndon Johnson guided the nation from cold to hot war. The alienation yielded a new third party, the Peace and Freedom Party, that secured a position on the ballot in several states in the contentious 1968 election. Mostly, however, the New Left shunned electoral politics in the late 1960s. Their revolution was taking place in the streets.
Then in the early 1970s, the marriage resumed. It started at local levels and had much to do with African-American activists mobilizing for municipal elections and with feminist campaigns to see more women in office. When George McGovern won the Democratic presidential nomination in 1972, he was carried along by millions of young people determined to end the war abroad and transform society at home. McGovern lost, but the activists reformed the party, rewriting nomination and convention rules in ways that would encourage grassroots activism and insure significant roles for women and communities of color.
Exclusion, Then Mobilization
Asians came to the United States in significant numbers starting in the mid-1800s. For a century, they were seen primarily as economic migrants-occupying special occupational niches or fulfilling certain economic needs, but not deserving of the kinds of political rights or public recognition accorded to white, European immigrants.
After the Civil War, the United States signed treaties with China to encourage Chinese immigrants to come to work on the western railroads, but unlike their Irish counterparts who worked on the eastern railroads, the Chinese were not eligible to naturalize as U.S. citizens. The 1880 Angell Treaty declared that Chinese laborers would have "all the rights, privileges, immunities and exemptions which are accorded to the citizens and subjects of the most favored nation." But, in practice, they were not protected against attacks by local mobs or discriminatory treatment. Indeed, local resistance to Chinese immigration was so strong that California wrote anti-Chinese provisions into its 1879 Constitution, and the state lobbied the federal government to pass anti-Chinese laws such as the 1875 Page Act and the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act.
Later waves of immigrants from Japan and British India also learned the hard way that economic gains did little to foster social and political integration. In fact, economic gains without political integration bred resentment and further calls for exclusion. In the early 1900s, for example, California and a few other western states passed "alien land laws" to limit the economic advancement of Japanese and Indian immigrants in agriculture. Most dramatically, the United States stripped Japanese Americans on the West Coast of their fundamental constitutional rights during World War II, forcing them into internment camps.
Given these dramatic, and often draconian, moves toward Asian immigrant exclusion, Asian Americans might have become more politically engaged after the end of World War II. There is some evidence for a spike in political interest in the postwar period. For example, Dalip Singh Saund, an Indian immigrant who received a doctorate in mathematics from Berkeley in 1924, helped push for the rights of Indian and Filipino immigrants to naturalize under the Luce-Celler Act of 1946. Soon after being naturalized himself, Saund won elected office, first as a local judge and then as the first Asian American member of Congress. After World War II, the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) pushed for the repeal of alien land laws and helped to establish the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights. In Hawaii, Japanese American farmworkers became highly politicized in the 1950s, helping to overthrow the ruling Republican Party in territorial elections and ushering in a new era of statehood and Democratic Party dominance. Except for these few examples, however, Asian Americans largely stayed on the margins of political life until the civil-rights era.
The 1960s proved critical in mobilizing a new generation of Asian American youth into politics and social movements.
The JACL participated in the 1963 March on Washington and pushed for the repeal of anti-miscegenation laws, while Asian American organizations in San Francisco fought against community displacement resulting from "urban renewal" programs. Several other developments during the 1960s-anti-war protests, Third World freedom struggles, civil-rights demonstrations, and the formation of ethnic studies departments-helped to usher in a new wave of Asian American political empowerment.
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Surprisingly, however, these civil rights–era developments among Asian Americans did not fully translate into party politics. In 1992, when national exit polls started counting Asian Americans separately, they showed a group that was mostly Republican. That year, Asian Americans supported George H.W. Bush over Bill Clinton by a margin of 55 percent to 31 percent and were twice as likely to describe themselves as conservative than as liberal. They were also less likely than African Americans and Latinos to believe that "government should do more to solve national problems." These national exit polls were limited in that they included no Asian-language support, and they were not designed to be geographically representative of the Asian American population (the same limitations hold true today). Still, the finding of a conservative-leaning Asian American electorate in 1992 corresponded to the pattern that many observers saw among political donors and other community notables.
Although not much was written on the subject at the time, some observers attributed the conservative leanings of Asian Americans to a combination of anti-communist sentiment among Vietnamese, Chinese, and Korean immigrants and a commitment to "hard work and family solidarity [over] … welfarism," as The Washington Post's Stanley Karnow wrote in 1992. Indeed, Karnow went on to note, "Asian Americans whose roots in the United States go back two or three generations are likely to be more liberal than recent arrivals. Familiar with American ways, they feel entitled to assert their rights." According to Karnow, the post-1965 wave of Asian immigrants served as a counterweight to the civil-rights era, shifting the Asian American community in a more conservative direction.
(Source: Roper Center for Public Opinion Research/Cornell University)
Did two unquestionably democratic states ever engage in war? - History
1. Perspective And Summary
2. International Relations
3. The International Actors
4. International Behavior Space-Time
5. International Expectations And Dispositions
6. International Actor And Situation
7. International Sociocultural Space-Time
8. Interests, Capabilities, And Wills
9. The Social Field Of International Relations
10. Latent International Conflict
11. International Conflict: Trigger, Will, And Preparations
12. The Balancing Of Power
13. Comparative Dynamics Of International Conflict
15. Empirical Dynamics Of International Conflict
17. Ending Conflict And War: The Balance Of Powers
18. The International Conflict Helix
19. Theoretical And Empirical Conclusions On Conflict And War
20. Principles Of Peace And Conflict
15A. Phasing Propositions and Their Evidence on International Conflict
16A. On Causes of International Conflict
16B. Propositions and Their Evidence on the Causes and Conditions of International Conflict Behavior
16C. Evidence on the Causes and Conditions of International Conflict Behavior
17A. Propositions and Evidence on the Causes and Conditions of Ending International Conflict Behavior
18A. Descriptive Propositions on International Conflict
19A. Overall Evidence on 54 Social Field Propositions on International Conflict
19B. Primary Propositions on Social Conflict
I. Unpublished Research and Results on International Relations
II. Event Data: Bases of Empirical Conflict Analysis
III. Characteristics of Published Quantitative International Relations Studies Other Volumes
Vol. 1: The Dynamic Psychological Field
Vol. 2: The Conflict Helix
Vol. 3: Conflict In Perspective
Vol. 5: The Just Peace Other Related Work
16.1 THE CAUSES AND CONDITIONS
What causes war? Why international violence? International Conflict? The answers are specific. International Conflict Behavior (as defined in Table 4.4) is caused by:
- opposing interests and capabilities (specific sociocultural differences and similarities between the parties),
- contact and salience (awareness),
- significant change in the balance of powers,
- individual perceptions and expectations,
- a disrupted structure of expectations,
- a will-to-conflict.
- sociocultural dissimilarity,
- cognitive imbalance,
- status difference,
- coercive state power.
Such are the general causes and conditions of international Conflict Behavior whether nonviolent conflict behavior, violence, or war. But, as pointed out in the Chapter 15, Conflict Behavior manifests a series of subphases in the balancing of powers . Each subphase involves different kinds of behavior. What, then, uniquely characterizes each subphase within the above framework of general causes and conditions.
In addition to the general causes of Conflict Behavior, nonviolent Conflict Behavior and minor low-level violence, are aggravated by:
In addition to the general causes of Conflict Behavior, violence (including war) is caused by:
- at least one party having an authoritarian or totalitarian regime ,
- status quo disruption,
- confidence in success.
- system polarity (centralization of coercive power),
- Big Power intervention,
- weakness of the status quo Power,
- credibility at stake,
- honor at stake.
- internal freedom,
- strength of the status quo Power,
- world opinion.
War is a particular type of intense violence and what generally causes, aggravates, and inhibits violence so affects war. In addition, war is uniquely aggravated by:
This list immediately raises a number of questions: How are cause and condition defined? What is the theoretical foundation for the list? What do the particular causes and conditions mean, such as power parity or class conflict? What is the evidence?
These are central questions, and must be answered. To best organize the relevant technical material and answers, three appendices have been prepared. Appendix 16A defines cause and conditions and considers their particular use here. Appendix 16B presents 33 propositions stating the specific framework for understanding each cause or condition, the theoretical basis, prediction, and evidence. Appendix 16C provides methodological detail and the sources for evaluating the evidence used in Appendix 16B.
16.2 THE PHASE MAP
Against this background and within the social field context, the causes and conditions of antagonistic 2 international conflict behavior are shown in the phase map of Figure 16.1. The base of this map pictures the theoretical and empirical supported phases of conflict and the subphases of conflict behavior discussed in the Chapter 15. Therefore, the figure is mapping the flow and process of conflict through time, from past to future, from left to right.
The level between double lines just above the phases, map as horizontal lines behavior manifesting a particular phase or subphase of conflict. The length of each line is congruent with the phase or subphases the associated behavior reflects. Thus, the line plot for intense military violence shows it to be congruent with a portion of the coercive violence subphase and the whole of the force subphase.
Above these phase plots for behavior, the causes and conditions are then mapped in ascending levels. Each cause or condition is shown as a line congruent to both the phase or subphases in which it operates and the conflict behavior it could produce or influence. A vertical line drawn anywhere in the phase-map, therefore, will locate:
- the phase or subphase of conflict,
- the types of conflict behavior a phase or subphase manifests,
- the manifest causes and conditions of these behaviors,
- the causes and conditions operating together in any phase or subphase of conflict.
This phase map is the basic organization (model) for interrelating the causes and conditions of international conflict. 3 And I will now focus on it in brief. 4
16.3 NECESSARY AND SUFFICIENT CAUSE:INCONGRUENT AND DISRUPTED EXPECTATIONS
A structure of expectations is based on a particular balance of powers between states. The balance may shift in time, however, and aggravated by sociocultural dissimilarity and cognitive imbalance, will produce incongruent expectations. Without such incongruency between two states there would be no conflict situation . There would be no mutual antiforeign riots or demonstrations, and tension, friction, and coolness in relations.
When incongruency occurs, such a conflict situation is produced tension and hostility are generated . 7
Incongruency is a latent situation of conflict ripe for disruption, for an eruption into manifest confrontation. This disruption divides in time, and thus in the phase map, the conflict situation from the situation of uncertainty and the balancing of powers. The disruption of expectations is the necessary and sufficient cause of intentional, state Conflict Behavior, whether negative communications, sanctions, or war. International Conflict Behavior assumes such a disruption has occurred its occurrence produces Conflict Behavior.
There are no other jointly necessary and sufficient causes. Incongruency and disruption are thus basic, and have been given considerable theoretical analysis in previous chapters and volumes, especially in terms of the conflict helix: structure of expectations become incongruent with the underlying--previously supporting--balance of powers, making disruption likely disruption generates the balancing of powers, which determines a more realistic, mutually perceived balance of powers this new balance forms a new, congruent structure of expectations this structure becomes in time incongruent and so on.
16.4 NECESSARY CAUSES
Considering the necessary cause of Conflict Behavior in general first (these are the lines beginning with the conflict situation or situation of uncertainty and running completely across the phase map ), one is the distance vectors between states in sociocultural space. These mirror the basic opposition between national interests and capabilities--they measure the relative position of states in their meanings, values, norms, status, and class. Opposing interests are necessary to the latent conflict situation and for the actual balancing that takes place. 8
Another necessary cause is a mutual awareness, a contact between states and mutual salience.
In addition, perceptions and expectations specific to each actor (as described in Chapter 5) are necessary to their conflict. What the situational content of these might be depends on the actor. 9
Two necessary causes specifically underlie the disruption of the structure of expectations and the consequent situation of uncertainty and balance of powers. One is a significant change in the balance of powers. This is a change in interests, capabilities, or will (credibility) that causes one or both parties to feel that their understandings and agreements, the distribution of rights and benefits, duties and responsibilities--in short the structure of expectations--are wrong, unjust, inconsistent with their powers, and should and can be altered to the advantage of one or the other.
The second necessary cause of disruption is a will-to-conflict. No Conflict Behavior can occur unless the parties are willing to confront each other.
So far then, for Conflict Behavior to occur between two states there must be a particular combination of sociocultural distances between them (an opposition of their interests and capabilities), mutual awareness (contact and salience), a significant change in their balance of powers, disrupted expectations, and a will-to-conflict.
Besides these necessary causes of Conflict Behavior of all kinds, violence uniquely assumes the existence of three additional necessary causes, as shown in the phase map (Figure 16.1). One is the expectation of success. In their own subjective calculus of gains and losses, each party believes that the outcome of violence will be advantageous (even if it means for one invaded that it will at least succeed in forcing concessions from the aggressor).
A second necessary cause of violence is a disrupted status quo. The status quo defines for states the ideological and territorial distribution of who has what. It is the core of the structure of expectations. Without a disruption in the status quo the issues are neither important or clear enough to warrant violence.
The third necessary cause is that a party to the conflict be nonlibertarian (authoritarian or totalitarian). Violence will not occur between two libertarian (or liberal democratic) states: domestic constraints, cross-pressures and libertarian bonds makes violent alternatives unthinkable. Such is not the case for nonlibertarian states.
16.5 SUFFICIENT CAUSES: A SIGNIFICANTCHANGE IN THE BALANCE OF POWERS
Such change therefore has a dual effect. It produces a conflict situation, perhaps manifested in tension, hostility, friction, coolness, and antiforeign demonstrations. Interstate relations remain "correct," but beneath the pot is boiling. And this change is a necessary cause for the subsequent Conflict Behavior (as shown in the phase map ), once expectations have been disrupted.
Note that there is a logical relationship between incongruent expectations as a necessary and sufficient cause of hostility and tension, and a significant change in the balance of powers as a sufficient cause. "Significant" is defined in terms of those changes in the interests, capabilities, and wills comprising a balance of powers that creates a gap with regard to expectations. That is, what states want, can get, or are resolved to get are no longer consistent with their understandings or agreements.
16.6 AGGRAVATING CONDITIONS
Four such conditions affect international Conflict Behavior generally, regardless of phase or subphase. One is sociocultural dissimilarity, which makes opposing interest more likely and aggravates communications between parties. The second is cognitive imbalance, or the imbalance in relationships or status between parties. Such can create a pressure towards misperception and miscommunication, and necessitate a conflict aggravating readjustment.
A third aggravator is the overall status difference (distance vector), or rank between parties. Relative status is a basic force between states, as between individuals, and differences in wealth (e.g., a rich-poor gap), in power, and in prestige can interject status considerations into a conflict. And make it far more difficult to resolve.
And fourth is the coercive power of state . The more relative power a state has the more global its contacts and interests and the more concern over its reputation for power. Great power is not necessary or sufficient for conflict behavior. Weak states do conflict do go to war. But power does stimulate and aggravate issues, giving them a more global significance. And centralized state power means also that resources can be controlled and directed towards a conflict and domestic restraints manipulated. The more power the parties have in a conflict, the more conflict behavior there is likely to be.
The other aggravating conditions only affect certain phases and kinds of conflict. The first of these is cross-pressures, which deepens the situation of uncertainty, provoking status quo testing and stimulating nonviolent conflict behavior and even possible minor, low level violence.
While affecting some nonviolence also, most of the remaining aggravators primarily act on violence. First of these is Big Power intervention in the conflict, which may transform a local dispute into one involving the status quo among the Powers, and thus raise the stakes at issue. Such intervention also injects into the conflict greater resources for confrontation.
Two additional aggravating conditions of violence are the injection of honor and credibility (reputation for power) into conflict. If a leadership perceives its or the nation's self-esteem at issue, or if it feels that the outcome of a conflict will determine how others perceive their will and capability, then the conflict is more likely to escalate, be more intense, and be more difficult to resolve.
Another aggravating condition is the perceived weakness of the Status quo Power. A status quo will always involve some perceived unequal distribution of rights and benefits. As long as the major benefactor--the Status quo Power--has the strength to defend the status quo, however, this distribution is likely to remain stable. But if the Status quo Power becomes weak, which would be a significant change in the balance of powers, and its ability to defend the status quo is questionable, then attempts the realign the status quo by other parties are encouraged. And if violence occurs, it is acerbated.
Finally, polarity also aggravates Conflict Behavior and violence. International systems in which power is highly centralized assure that once conflict breaks out, it can easily involve the fundamental status quo among the Big Powers and become a test of the power-based international order, thus encouraging escalation and extreme violence.
Two conditions particularly aggravate intense violence and war. One is coercive power parity. The more equal in this power two states are, the more objectively ambiguous the outcome and the more both sides can believe in success.
The second is class conflict. Class is a relationship of power regarding the status quo, where the superordinate class most benefits from the status quo. The subordinate class comprises the "outs." The more this class division puts states in the same one-up or one-down position on international rights, privileges, and benefits, the more likely conflict will become intensely violent.
16.7 INHIBITING CONDITIONS
Many of the aggravating conditions of Conflict Behavior are inhibitors if their values are reversed. Whereas, dissimilarity aggravates, similarity inhibits. Likewise, cognitive balance, status similarity, and weak state power are the general inhibitors of Conflict Behavior.
Focusing now on particular subphases of conflict, there are only two inhibitors of nonviolent conflict behavior and low-level violence. One is polarity, or the centralization of power within the international system. In centralized systems, except for extreme violence Conflict Behavior tends to be dampened and repressed. Such conflict is largely controlled, for it might escalate and involve the Big Power(s), or affect the general status quo. Polarity is a dual condition, therefore. It dampens nonviolent conflict behavior and low-level violence while aggravating major violence.
The second inhibitor of low-level conflict is a stable status quo. Even though there may be an intense nonviolent dispute, as long as the status quo between the parties is unquestioned, the conflict is restrained and escalation to violence is unlikely. Except for isolated low-level violence, coercive violence and force are over a disrupted status quo. Therefore, the line representing a stable status quo in the phase map must end where a disrupted status quo (the necessary cause of violence) begins.
Turning now to inhibitors of violence (which may also inhibit some nonviolent Conflict Behavior), the first is the strength of the Status Quo Power. Its weakness aggravates conflict, making violence and escalation more likely. And its strength inhibits the escalation of conflict into violence and war.
The second inhibitor is cross-pressures, which like polarity has a dual causal role, but in opposite directions. As a result of diverse, contending interests, cross-pressures encourage Conflict Behavior, but bleed off, segment and confuse this conflict so that violence and war are inhibited.
As generators of cross-pressures, libertarian (liberal democratic) political systems are inhibit in their involvement in extreme conflict and violence, especially in initiating violence. It is usually in defense of the status quo against authoritarian or totalitarian initiatives or aggression that libertarian states will be involved in violence, if at all.
Finally, there is world opinion, which if vocal and focused can inhibit the occurrence and escalation of violence. Allies can threaten to withdraw support friendly countries can turn hostile, thus affecting other issues besides those in the dispute. In other words, world opinion can raise the cost of a conflict to the parties.
Aside from the inhibitors of violence, war as a type of violence has only one special inhibitor: coercive power disparity. Power parity makes escalation to and in war more likely. The ambiguity of power enables both parties to expect success. A power disparity that makes clear the power dominance of one party over the other tends to discourage war.
16.8 TRIGGER CAUSES
One class is of those events perceived by one or both parties as showing opportunity, threat, or injustice.
Opportunity could be indicated by some event displaying the weakness of the other party, such as its withdrawal from a local conflict with an apparently inferior party, mutiny of a garrison, or a coup d'état. Threat may be perceived in an assassination plot financed by the other party, or discovery of the development of a secret weapon, or declared alliance between the other party and another adversary. And injustice may be seen in the other sinking one's passenger liner, harboring or supporting terrorists, or refusing to concede territory one feels the other illegally occupies.
The second class of triggers are those which occur suddenly, provoking surprise, and crystallizing will and opposition. These are the crises creators. The events which were not foreseen, but which cannot be ignored and change or threaten to change the relationship between the parties . The sudden discovery by the United States that the Soviet Union was putting missiles and bombers in Cuba in 1962, threatening to alter the balance of powers was such a trigger. So was the sudden blockade of West Berlin by the Soviet Union in 1948, the erection of the Berlin Wall in 1961 and the nationalization of the Suez Canal by Egyptian President Nasser in 1956.
Note on the phase map that triggers conveying perceptions of opportunity threat, or injustice, and surprise may operate also to escalate the subphases of conflict.
16.9 THE CAUSES OF WAR
War is generated by a field of sociocultural forces seated in the meaning, values, and norms of states. Specifically, war is an outcome of an imbalance among these forces in international space-time. And is the process through which a new field equilibrium is established.
The causes and conditions of war, therefore, operate within this social field. They are interrelated their operation is relative to the space-time. War is therefore not the product of one cause, or x number of causes operating independently. War is a social field phenomenon, and its causes and conditions must be understood as aspects of this field--as contextual, situational.
With this understanding, an answer to "What causes war?" requires first stating the conditions that must be met for war to be possible. These are the necessary causes of war.
For war to occur between two states they must have some contact and salience, some awareness of each other. They must also have some opposing interests, something to fight about, and capabilities to fight. Such is obvious, What is not so clear is the more abstract but operational statement of this: they must have specific sociocultural distances (vectors).
What opposing interests are necessary for war depend on the actor and situation. But there is one characteristic, however, which can be defined. At least one of the potential combatants must be nonlibertarian . Shared domestic restraints, cross-pressures and bonds, ideology, preclude war between libertarian--liberal democratic--states.
If at least one of the parties is nonlibertarian, there are still additional requirements for war to occur. There must be a significant change in the balance of powers supporting the status quo. Interests, capabilities, and will singly or in combination must have changed sufficiently that the status quo is now felt to be unjust, threatened, or ripe for readjustment. This change has created a tension, a cold or hostile climate between the parties it had made it obvious to informed observers that if something is not done to prevent it, violence and possibly war will break out.
Second, there must be a will-to-war. That is, each potential combatant must have a will to fight either in defense of or to change the status quo. Abnegation, surrender, concessions can avoid war, at least for the short run. Such, of course, may be at a cost in honor, benefits, potential gain, or freedom greater than a leadership is eventually willing or able to bear and thus stimulating a subsequent will-to-war.
And third, each potential combatant must expect success as he defines it. That is, each must believe that if war does occur as a result of the increasingly unstable status quo, then he will be able to achieve his war aims (desirable slice of territory defeat the other's border attack force acceptance of a new sphere of interests establish control over trade routes, humiliate the other, defend one's honor, and so on).
These, then, are the rock bottom, generally necessary causes for war: contact and salience, opposing interests and capabilities, nonlibertarian enemies, significant change in the balance of powers underlying the status quo, a will-to-war, and a belief in success if war occurs.
Wherever present between states on the globe, these causes demarcate the war potential zones, the possible global fronts of extreme violence. The zone including only libertarian states is a zone of peace . Outside of this zone are those that circumscribe the disequlibriums among powers supporting the local, regional, and global status quos. These are the hot spots, the zones of possible war.
Yet, war may not occur. For a final necessary cause also must be present. This is the disruption of the status quo. Some, perhaps surprising, event will communicate injustice, threat, or opportunity in a way to crystallize the conflict situation and provoke the will-to-action for one or both parties. The change in the balance of powers has created tension, a recognition of the possibility of war over a status quo. The trigger event brings this to a head, provoking a crises in which war is the outcome.
Disruption of the status quo is both necessary and sufficient for Conflict Behavior, but only necessary for violence and war. Such disruption will not occur unless the requirements for war are present (opposing interests, significant change in balance of powers, and so on). The decision to go to war takes preparation and months may go by in which tension grows or, through the subterfuge of one party or another, seems to abate before the attack.
Such are the necessary and sufficient causes of war, what in the abstract must be present or happen for war to occur.
However, it should be clear that all these requirements for war may be present, and still no war may break out. Moreover, the war that does occur can be a short, intense confrontation on a border, or a full-scale war between the parties involving bombing raids on each other's capital city and invasion, or a general war in which many states are involved.
There are three groups of aggravating conditions which increase the likelihood of war, given the presence of the necessary conditions, or increase its intensity once it has occurred. One group is of those conditions which worsen Conflict Behavior generally, whether negative communications, sanctions, violence, or war. These include the sociocultural dissimilarity between the parties, their cognitive imbalance and status difference and the coercive power of the parties. All these acerbate opposing interests and with regard to war, tend to destabilize the status quo, and increase the likelihood of its disruption.
A second group of aggravating conditions uniquely influence violence and war. One of these is the polarity of the system, which defines the generality of the status quo and increases the probability that a state's violence, wherever it occurs, will involve Big Power interests. A second is Big Power intervention itself, which may inject into local conflicts larger status quo interests and resources and provoke violence or its escalation.
Another aggravating condition is the weakness of the Status quo Power. Given the presence of the necessary causes, if the Status quo Power seems to display an unwillingness or inability to defend an already unstable status quo, then this makes more likely its disruption and the escalation of violence and war, once they occur.
Finally, there is honor and credibility. If these are at stake in a conflict situation, it becomes more explosive, making violence and war more likely, more intense once they occur, and more difficult to resolve.
The third group of aggravators is unique to war. These make disruption and war more likely, given the necessary causes, and make the escalation of war more probable. One is power parity, or a sufficient equality of coercive power and force such that each side believes that it can successfully oppose the power of the other.
The second aggravator is class conflict. Class in international relations defines the authoritative, status quo rights of the parties. As there is increasingly one division separating those who have from those who want those with wealth, power and prestige from those who are poor, weak, and unrenowned and those states who command and those who obey then this division worsens conflict, makes war more likely, and tends to turn a war, once it occurs, into a general war.
In total, the three groups of aggravating conditions push toward war. But, singly or collectively, they will not in general cause war by themselves. The necessary causes must be present the status quo must be disrupted. However, these aggravating causes can turn potential into disposition and disposition into a war seeking an excuse to happen.
In any conflict, however, there are always two sets of conditions present. Those promoting confrontation those discouraging it. For war, also, there are a variety of inhibiting conditions that oppose its occurrence and escalation. These also comprise three groups, depending on whether they operate in all Conflict Behavior subphases, only violence and war, or only on war.
The first group comprises those aggravators that when reversed act also as inhibitors. Thus, sociocultural similarity, cognitive balance, status similarity, and state weakness restrains the tendency toward Conflict Behavior, violence and war.
The second group contains a number of inhibitors which act on violence, only one of which is the reverse of an aggravator. This is the strength of the Status quo Power. If in spite of a change in the balance of powers, the supporter of the status quo appears willing and able to defend it, this tends to work against its disruption. Even then disruption and consequent violence or war may occur. The AntiStatus quo Power may believe it can successfully change the status quo over the other's resistance. But, the threshold for this is raised.
Another inhibitor in this group is cross-pressures. These involve diverse interests that may segment the particular opposing interests of the parties. Violence or war may be desirable for these interests, but other interests may therefore be compromised or lost. Some interests push toward war some pun away from it.
Related to this is internal freedom--a libertarian political system--as an inhibitor of violence and war. Libertarian states do commit violence and go to war but reluctantly, usually against totalitarian or authoritarian threats or aggression, and often with considerable domestic opposition.
A final inhibitor in this group is world opinion, the pressure that allies and neutrals can bring to bear to prevent or check violence and war.
The final group is of those conditions uniquely inhibiting war. It has one member: power disparity. Power parity worsens a war-potential situation power disparity restrains it. War still may occur, in spite of a gross inequality in military forces and resources. Other factors, such as honor, credibility, survival, or determination may make the difference, as they have in the Israeli-Arab Wars. Success may be pegged to the potential for Big Power intervention or success may be measured not in terms of winning, but in actually having fought the other to a standstill or in unifying a nation. Or a state may calculate that the other side will use only a small part of its power, as small North Vietnam correctly did in fighting a war against a Superpower, the United States.
These, then, are the causes and conditions of war. Table 16A.1 in Appendix 16A pulls them all together, by level and group. Figure 16.1 shows these causes operating by phase and subphase. And the basic picture of the conflict helix in Figure 29.1 of Vol. 2: The Conflict Helix portrays the process of conflict, and thus of war as well
In order to be as clear as possible, however, I have also constructed Figure 16.2. This brings together in one figure all the necessary and sufficient causes and the aggravating and inhibiting conditions of war, in their relationship to each other and to the underlying process of conflict. Causes and conditions are shown in lower case descriptive terms for this process are capitalized.
The core of the structure of expectations--the status quo--is shown as a bar with regard to which a gap (incongruence) is created by a change in the balance of powers (necessary cause). This assumes mutual contact and salience, and opposing interests and capabilities (necessary causes). A trigger (cause) disrupts the status quo (necessary and sufficient cause) and war results, assuming a will-to-war, confidence in success, and that totalitarian or authoritarian states are involved (necessary causes). The war then determines a new balance of mutually recognized powers and a congruent status quo as shown in Figure 16.2. Also as shown, a number of aggravating and inhibiting conditions operate on the process.
Such, then, is a well-confirmed perspective on war. The evidence is presented in Appendices 16B and 16C.