chapter  1
31 Pages

The life and death of a long peace, 1763–1914


One could approach the task of assessing historical trends to help answer the question of whether major war is currently waning, and if so, whether that trend will endure, in various ways – for instance, by discussing the history of peace movements and their results, or tracing the historical origins and development of the institutions, norms, rules, and practices in international politics that many now see as promoting an end to major war, or analyzing the roots and growth of the broader economic, social, technological and scientific, and cultural developments allegedly contributing to the obsolescence of major war. One could even try the heroic task of surveying the historical causes of major wars to help determine whether these causes persist or have receded.