PDA

View Full Version : World War 3



cdubs
October 1st, 2009, 02:53 PM
If you had to label one of the wars in the history of the world "World War 3" ( or more accurately world war 1, since most potential candidates likely took place before The Great War),what would it be?

A couple of questions you might want to ask to help with your choice.
1. How destructive was it in terms of damage to the societies of the combatants and loss of life?
2. How many combatants/factions were there?
3. How seriously did these countries take this war?
4. Was the war fought in multiple regions?
5. How much did this war shape the future of the region?

I choose the 30 Years' War to be the third World War.



1. Germany ( known at the time as the Holy Roman Empire), which was the center of the combat, lost roughly one third of its citizens. The combatants also exchanged plagues and diseases amongst each other.

2. There were at least 19 countries involved in major fighting, with almost all of Europe contributing in some way.

3. Germany was completely destroyed, Spain fought until it was broke and powerless, and France invested a great deal of money for 20 years before fighting hard for the final 10. These factions took this war very seriously, and there can be no doubt they were treating it with the utmost seriousness.

4. Along with most of modern day Germany, Belgium, Austria, France, Switzerland, and the Netherlands, there were several sea battles between the Spanish and their French, English, and Dutch foes.

5. The war displaced Spain as the dominant European power and put France in its place for the next 100 years. The war was the last major religious war fought in Europe between Catholics and Protestants. The war gave rise to Prussia, who would rise to Central European dominance as a result of the war.

Stormer
October 1st, 2009, 08:56 PM
I have to agree with you regarding the Thirty Years War, it was massive in terms of destruction, both of factions and percentages of human life, and the fact that it involved nearly every major power of the day.

However, I will throw some other potential conflicts in for discussion:

The Napoleonic Wars:: Also involved nearly every major player of the day, resulted in the loss (and creation of) many states as well as the huge human cost. Also spread the ideas of the French Revolution across Europe, and its battles were fought all over the place, from Spain, to Russia, to Egypt. It definatey deserves mention.

The Punic Wars: Though these only nominally involved two powers, Carthage and Rome, they were the superpowers of their day, and this struggle was what determined who would dominate not only the Western Mediterranean, but also put Rome into the position from which it conquered the rest of the Eastern Mediterranean as well. The battles were fought in both the empires 'home turfs'; Italy and North Africa, as well as Spain and Sicily. These battles were huge in their scale and in particular their loss of life, notably the numbers lost by the Romans at Cannae and Trasimene, which would not be replicated until battles well into the modern period. Also the fact that many small states were brought into the conflict, whether they were the Italian city states that betrayed Rome (eg: Capua), or an opportunistic regional power (Macedon or Numidia). I think this is one of the best contenders from the ancient world.

Other conflicts that come to mind are the Seven Years War and the conflict with the expanding Arab states that culminated in the Battle of Tours.

I'm sure there are many others.

Grimmy
October 2nd, 2009, 05:57 AM
This is my first post, im just looking to get started from somewhere but i would like to throw The Holy War in terms of the impact it has had on the world. The deaths may be a fair bit lower than some others but the way it has changed the world we live in today.

Squatch347
October 2nd, 2009, 04:20 PM
I would agree that the 30 years war is the best option.

I might add the Peloponnesian war as well as it was conducted on three continents (which was impressive at the time) and involved several shifting alliances and two major powers at their heights.

The Great Khan
October 2nd, 2009, 04:41 PM
The Mongol World War, by far.

Zorak
October 3rd, 2009, 12:29 AM
It's a toss-up between Reagan's "War on Drugs" and Bush's "War on Terror". I think they both deserve "Misappropiation of the Century" awards, a distinction rarely handed from President to VP. The Republican party seems to be winning this event.

Mister X
October 3rd, 2009, 06:12 PM
I think the Crusades could also be classified as a "World War".

cdubs
October 3rd, 2009, 07:39 PM
I think the Crusades could also be classified as a "World War".

I meant to exclude the Crusades as a whole, but if you had one particular one in mind I'd be willing to debate the merit of your choice.


Khan The Mongol World War, by far.
You stated your choice is a war that isn't historically recognized, and then elaborated only with "by far".

Why I think the "Mongol World War" is a poor choice.
1. The Mongol conquest was spread out over a period of 70+ years
2. It would be more apropriate to divide it into about 5-10 different wars for each of the major regions they conquered.
3. The Mongols' inability to establish lasting governments limited the long term political repercussions of their conquests.
4. The land the Mongols conquered was either rural, or in the cases of China and the Middle East, highly segmented and already at war, and were fairly easy targets.

Telex
October 3rd, 2009, 10:56 PM
The 30 Years' War only involved European combatants fighting in Europe. Calling it a World War is a bit of an overstatement (or just Eurocentric).

I'll say the 7 Years' War (1754-1763), which took place in Europe, the Americas (The French-Indian War in the American colonies), and India. It also set in motion events leading to the American Revolution.


1. How destructive was it in terms of damage to the societies of the combatants and loss of life?
2. How many combatants/factions were there?
3. How seriously did these countries take this war?
4. Was the war fought in multiple regions?
5. How much did this war shape the future of the region?
In my opinion, only question 4 is relevant to calling something a "world war." You seem to be combing "world war" with "total" and/or "modern" war, which could also be discussed but aren't really the same thing.

cdubs
October 4th, 2009, 06:42 AM
In my opinion, only question 4 is relevant to calling something a "world war." You seem to be combing "world war" with "total" and/or "modern" war, which could also be discussed but aren't really the same thing.
If the only thing that makes a world war a world war is the diversity of the regions it takes place in, then isn't the War On Terror a world war?

The only major fighting in World War I happened in Europe, do you think it should no longer be labeled a World War?

Stormer
October 4th, 2009, 10:40 AM
The only major fighting in World War I happened in Europe, do you think it should no longer be labeled a World War?

Well there was an Arabic and African campaign as well, but I think the main rebuttal to this would be the fact that it involved combatents from all around the world, with the incorporation of Britain's empire and Dominions, the US, Japan, the French Empire, Russia, the Ottomans etc.

However I believe for the purposes of this debate it is not constructive to use such a narrow definition. Referring to the world as it was known to the combatents is more helpful for debate in my opinion.

The Great Khan
October 4th, 2009, 10:51 AM
1. How destructive was it in terms of damage to the societies of the combatants and loss of life?

Catastrophic. Scholars dispute the exact numbers, but the death toll was in the millions, and the destruction rampant.


2. How many combatants/factions were there?

Several. Mongols, Chinese, Persians, Russians, Eastern Europeans, Vietnamese, Japanese, Egyptians, Greeks...


3. How seriously did these countries take this war?

Very very seriously, seeing as most of them got conquered.


4. Was the war fought in multiple regions?

Yes, from the Pacific Ocean to the Caspian Sea to Cambodia, to the Danube,


5. How much did this war shape the future of the region?

Immensely. The Mongol conquest drastically changed trade and cross cultural exchange by linking the East and the West.


1. The Mongol conquest was spread out over a period of 70+ years

So? Duration was not part of your list in the OP.


2. It would be more apropriate to divide it into about 5-10 different wars for each of the major regions they conquered.

It was one empire that did the conquering.


3. The Mongols' inability to establish lasting governments limited the long term political repercussions of their conquests.

Not at all. The Mongols irreversibly influenced world politics, trade, and culture.


4. The land the Mongols conquered was either rural, or in the cases of China and the Middle East, highly segmented and already at war, and were fairly easy targets.

So? The political state of the belligerents was also not part of your OP list.

cdubs
October 4th, 2009, 01:06 PM
So? Duration was not part of your list in the OP.
My point was you can't take dozens of different conflicts spanning 70+ years and lump them into one war, because that just isn't how it happened historically.



Immensely. The Mongol conquest drastically changed trade and cross cultural exchange by linking the East and the West.
The initial spread of Islam and the Crusades were what linked the East and West more then anything in terms of trade and cultural diffusion.


It was one empire that did the conquering.
So then should we also group all of Rome's conquests into a single war?


Not at all. The Mongols irreversibly influenced world politics, trade, and culture.
Sweeping generalization without support.



So? The political state of the belligerents was also not part of your OP list.
I'll be sure to spell things out more methodically for you in the future.

The Great Khan
October 4th, 2009, 01:14 PM
My point was you can't take dozens of different conflicts spanning 70+ years and lump them into one war, because that just isn't how it happened historically.

Well the different conflicts didn't really have a definite "end", so I don't see where you can break them up.


The initial spread of Islam and the Crusades were what linked the East and West more then anything in terms of trade and cultural diffusion.

Ever heard of the Pax Mongolica (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pax_Mongolica)?


The Pax Mongolica or "Mongol Peace" is a phrase coined by Western scholars to describe the stabilizing effects of the conquest of the Mongol Empire on the social, cultural and economic life of the inhabitants of the vast Eurasian territory they conquered in the 13th and 14th centuries. The term is used to describe the eased communication and commerce the unified administration helped to create, and the period of relative peace that followed the Mongol's flurry of conquests.

The conquests of Genghis Khan effectively connected the Eastern world with the Western world, ruling a territory from Southeast Asia to Eastern Europe. The Silk Road, connecting trade centers across Asia and Europe, came under the sole rule of the Mongol Empire.


So then should we also group all of Rome's conquests into a single war?

Did Rome's conquests have a definite start and end to distinguish between "different wars"? (peace treaties, etc?). The Mongols, unlike the Romans, were constantly at war with someone.


Sweeping generalization without support.

See above.


I'll be sure to spell things out more methodically for you in the future.

No need for the sarcasm. Your OP didn't say that "easy targets" weren't allowed when selecting wars.

Telex
October 5th, 2009, 08:17 AM
If the only thing that makes a world war a world war is the diversity of the regions it takes place in, then isn't the War On Terror a world war?
I guess that comes down to the definition of "war," but it could be. But while it is called a "war" in rhetoric, it's seems to actually be a very vague conflict much like the "war" on drugs. For example, was the Gulf War part of it? The Iraq War? It's open to interpretation. It seems more accurate to label the "War on Terror" a policy that leads to wars rather than a war in and of itself.


The only major fighting in World War I happened in Europe, do you think it should no longer be labeled a World War?
As stated, combat involved forces from around the world, and had worldwide implications especially regarding colonial empires.

Squatch347
October 5th, 2009, 06:23 PM
Ever heard of the Pax Mongolica (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pax_Mongolica)?


Did Rome's conquests have a definite start and end to distinguish between "different wars"? (peace treaties, etc?). The Mongols, unlike the Romans, were constantly at war with someone.

How do you reconcile these two?

The Great Khan
October 5th, 2009, 06:33 PM
How do you reconcile these two?

The Pax Mongolica was stability within the empire after conquest. During the Pax Mongolica, there was still war, it just was with other people who had yet to be conquered. The reason it's called the Pax Mongolica is because before the Mongols conquered those regions, the rulers of those regions fought against each other. All that ended when the area was conquered.

Dr Gonzo
October 5th, 2009, 06:53 PM
The Pax Mongolica was stability within the empire after conquest. During the Pax Mongolica, there was still war, it just was with other people who had yet to be conquered. The reason it's called the Pax Mongolica is because before the Mongols conquered those regions, the rulers of those regions fought against each other. All that ended when the area was conquered.

Which, coincidentally, is exactly like the Pax Romana.

However, I wouldn't necessarily call either a "world war" per se, the Roman or Mongol conquests, because they were both like a series of campaigns against single targets, or a series of individual wars, not one single war against a host of nations all allied against them.

Please, correct me if I'm wrong.

Squatch347
October 6th, 2009, 04:49 AM
Dr. Gonzo beat me to both of my points, one that I would even argue that the Pax Romana was more effective than the Pax Mongolia because many neighboring nations refused beligerence against each other for fear of the Romans using it to their advantage. Further, if we go with the OP that says that we are comparing these wars to somewhat similar later European conflicts, I don't think the Mongols classify. As Dr. Gonzo said, these were individual campaigns and rarely if ever were their conflicts between to large alliances.

Epic
October 6th, 2009, 01:33 PM
I would throw Alexander's Conquest of the Persian Empire out thereas well, as it was fought across the entire "known" world of the time.

cdubs
October 6th, 2009, 06:00 PM
Well the different conflicts didn't really have a definite "end", so I don't see where you can break them up.
Do you disagree that each individual conflict could itself be labeled a war?


Ever heard of the Pax Mongolica?
I think we have different deffintions of East and West. I made reference to Western Europe and to the Middle East, where as the PM refers to a connection between Far East and Europe in general.
The connection between the Far East and Europe first became tangible ( even then, many people believed Il Milione was a work of fiction) when Marco Polo stayed in China, and while he did stay in Kublai Khan's court, I don't see why exactly that would be credited to the Mongolians.

Will finish reply later..

The Great Khan
October 6th, 2009, 06:04 PM
Do you disagree that each individual conflict could itself be labeled a war?

Perhaps...depends on what you mean by "war." They might not be big enough on their own to qualify.


I think we have different deffintions of East and West. I made reference to Western Europe and to the Middle East, where as the PM refers to a connection between Far East and Europe in general.
The connection between the Far East and Europe first became tangible ( even then, many people believed Il Milione was a work of fiction) when Marco Polo stayed in China, and while he did stay in Kublai Khan's court, I don't see why exactly that would be credited to the Mongolians.

Because the Pax extended throughout the empire, not just in Yuan China.

Telex
October 6th, 2009, 06:10 PM
I would throw Alexander's Conquest of the Persian Empire out thereas well, as it was fought across the entire "known" world of the time.
The problem with these kinds of arguments is that it assumes what is "known" is what is known to a specific group of people, often the speaker's own (ie The West). The whole world has been "known" since humans have lived across it.

Epic
October 7th, 2009, 04:43 PM
The problem with these kinds of arguments is that it assumes what is "known" is what is known to a specific group of people, often the speaker's own (ie The West). The whole world has been "known" since humans have lived across it.

I did use quotations on the word known for a reason, but if you'd like, I'll change it now.

I would throw Alexander's conquest of the Persian Empire out there as well, because as far as the combatants knew, it was fought across the entire known world.

Telex
October 7th, 2009, 09:02 PM
Are you saying it's a World War because Alexander conquered the all of the world that he knew? I don't think that applies either, because than it could be argued that wars between bands of American Indians were World Wars because they did not know about any other land besides their part of North America.

Epic
October 8th, 2009, 11:24 AM
Are you saying it's a World War because Alexander conquered the all of the world that he knew? I don't think that applies either, because than it could be argued that wars between bands of American Indians were World Wars because they did not know about any other land besides their part of North America.

Fine, that's not why it could be considered a World War. Here's why it could be considered a World War: There were combatants from three seperate continents, there was fighting across two continents, three if you count Alexander's Balkan campaigns, the casualties were very high in relation to the number of people alive at the time, and it changed the world irrevicably.