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International Negotiation - Essay Example

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Up until the last three centuries, wars between and within nations and among groups within a particular region raged on, for the most part, until they burned themselves out. For one thing, communication and transportation were much slower affairs then than they are now in our own time…
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Download file to see previous pages The most successful battle for the Americans during this war happened in New Orleans - months after the Treaty of Ghent, signed in Belgium, had brought the war to a close. There was no satellite phone, no telegram that could travel from Belgium to New Orleans in time to head off the bloody battle.
Another factor that kept diplomatic efforts to broker peace agreements at a minimum was the fact that technological constraints kept wars from spreading to engulf entire halves of the globe - or the whole word itself. Cannons, muskets and swords could not cause noxious clouds of gas to pass over entire civilian populations, and neighboring countries or cultures would only sparingly jump in to assist their neighbors. The Industrial Age, starting in Europe in the 1800's, and the development of significantly entangling networks of treaties of protection, wherein major powers promised to support one another in the event of attack, made the prospect of continent-wide, or even worldwide conflict, more of a possibility after the middle of the nineteenth century. When American President Theodore Roosevelt brokered a peace agreement that settled the Russo-Japanese War in 1905, he was honored the next year with the Nobel Peace Prize (Bailey and Kennedy, p. 628). The very fact that such a prize existed showed the changing sensibilities of the world, namely that war anywhere in the world was a danger to the rest of the world.
In the years In the years since Theodore Roosevelt, the world has undergone two wars that basically dragged in every major world power. The first of these conflicts introduced the world to biological warfare, in the form of the deadly mustard gas that would later be outlawed. The second of these finally ended with another military innovation: the nuclear bomb. It has been argued that a bomb of this nature is the only weapon that would have kept the Japanese population from fighting, civilian by civilian, exacting huge casualties from the Allied troops before surrendering. Even so, the arrival of the nuclear bomb signaled the end of the widespread war, because the final weapon was so awful in its power that it served as a deterrent. And so organizations like the United Nations sprang up in the second half of the twentieth century, with the goal of keeping regional conflicts from becoming continental, or even global ones. There have been situations where international, third-party attempts at solving conflicts were successful, but there have been many more that only bogged the problem down and made it last longer.
One of the most problematic regional conflicts of the twentieth century was the struggle over apartheid in South Africa. While the British had created the colonial Union of South Africa in 1910, the policy known as apartheid was not implemented until 1948. In the intervening years, the African natives had faced restrictions that were common to all indigenous peoples under colonial rule. When the Afrikaner leader D.F. Malan took power in 1948, his government passed some laws that mandated that blacks live in certain areas, have identification on them at all times, and denied several basic civil rights to blacks (Sanctions against South Africa). This change in law escaped international attention, in part because of the vast distance between South ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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