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Peloponnesian War - Essay Example

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The conflict was so long that it lasted for almost three decades from (431-404 BC). The rivalry between Athens naval dominance and Sparta’s land dominance was a long standing issue. Athens led…
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Peloponnesian War
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Peloponnesian War

Download file to see previous pages... Division was evident especially due the two rival systems of alliances where neither could allow the other to be superior to the other. Sparta led the Peloponnesian league while Athens headed an empire of city-states
454 BC, the Delian league treasury, was transferred to Athens. After two years, Athens which dominated the vast Mediterranean Sea naval alliance started treating the league members as subjects rather than partners. Sparta had initially rejected the proposal of formation of the league. Athens then began fighting short wars to force members who had any intentions of defecting from the league to stay and those who had already left to rejoin.
433 BC, Athens, signed a treaty with Corcyra (modern day Corfu) to provide mutual protection, the move was interpreted as an act of provocation by Sparta and its allies and the following year Sparta cancelled her treaty with Athens.
433 BC, Athens, banned trading activities with city-states allied to Sparta. Athens also introduced high taxes to other states that led to the weakening of the Delian league. Sparta then declared war to stop Athenian control and dominance.
431 BC, Spartans ally, Thebes, sent a contingent of soldiers to seize and control a town called Potidea. However, they failed and the soldiers were caught and imprisoned. The residents of Potidea put the advancing troop of 200 to death. A day later Athens sent a messenger to plead with the townspeople against such abrupt action but it was too late as it marked the beginning of a long battle, a war.
According to Thucydides the immediate causes of the Peloponnesian war were the Corinthian opportunism. It all began when Corcyra and Corinth began disputing over Epidamnos; the dispute drew Athens and Sparta which lead to the formation of a powerful group of allies. As the initial dispute escalated another one sprung up over Potidea in northern Greece between Athens and Corinth. The squabbles began a free fall into deeper conflict. The Epidamnos and ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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