History (General) Questions and Answers

Start Your Free Trial

What are the three main causes of war?

Expert Answers info

David Morrison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2017

write11,825 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

One possible factor you might like to consider is the innate capacity of human beings for conflict. The human animal is possessed of a strong territorial instinct, no less than other animals such as lions, tigers, and bears. Though humans are unique in that they possess the power of reason, they're still motivated to a considerable extent by a primordial imperative to defend territory, if necessary by force.

That's not say that war is inevitable, but it does mean that some kind of conflict, however small scale, is bound to happen at some point. Man's territorial imperative ensures that conflict is never far away. However, war always arises out of choices, and it is here that man's innate capacity for reasoned deliberation comes into the picture. But all too often throughout human history, man's reason has been used, not to avoid conflict, but to achieve the quickest, most crushing victory possible, mainly through the development of advanced military technology.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Roosevelt Paulsen eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseHistorian


calendarEducator since 2018

write324 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

The "security dilemma"—a...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 639 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Michael Koren eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2015

write2,982 answers

starTop subjects are History, Law and Politics, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial