As Gulliver attempts to explain war to the Houyhnhnms, the gentle horse-like race is at a lost to understand the point of such violence and bloodshed. Gulliver uses his own country, England, as an example; he briefly gives a description of the Glorious Revolution with William of Orange. Then Gulliver goes into specific reasons why countries go to war:
- Expansion: Rulers who want more land or power.
- Corruption of government: Perhaps government officials want to deflect attention away from their own wrong doing.
- Difference of opinion: Gulliver gives many various examples for this cause to go to war; he mentions everything from whistling to coat color.
Gulliver suggests these additional reasons as well: feuding princes, strong enemies, alliances, and poverty and wealth.