What was the Peloponnesian War about?  

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mrkirschner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Peloponnesian War (431-404 BC) was the culmination of the natural rivalry that existed between the two most powerful city-states of Greece. Sparta and Athens were allies in the fight against Persia. Both parties benefited from victory over the Persians, but the Athenians grew to be more powerful. This caused tensions with the traditional military power of Sparta. Sparta grew weary of the increasing power and prestige of Athens over the other Greek city-states.

Athens, on the other hand, did not respect the Spartans, viewing them as backwards and tyrannical. The end result of this rivalry was a thirty-year conflict that left both states exhausted and bankrupt. The economic and political vacuum created because of the war allowed all of the city-states to fall at the hands of Philip of Macedonia.

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