Peloponnesian War The Start Of The Collapse?

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Peloponnesian War the Start of the Collapse?
Caitlin Moore
July 12, 2017
History 101 – IN1

The Peloponnesian War was an ancient Greek war fought by the Athenians against the Spartans. The Peloponnesians’ city-states under control of the Spartans. These two great city-states found themselves in a controversy over who should be in control over the Eastern Mediterranean. As Thucydides a Greek historian and general wrote in his history of the war, “In my view the real reason, true but unacknowledged, which forced the war was the growth of Athenian power, Spartan fear of it” (Tucker). But, ultimate trigger of the war was when Athens’ acted aggressively towards Corinth, who is an ally of the Spartans.

In the late sixth and early
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The Athens leader at the time was Pericles, his strategy was to stay off land because Sparta had the better army whereas Athens had the better navy. Pericles died in 421, soon after Athens decided to sign the Peace of Nicias, a 50year truce with Sparta. This provided that each side restore captured places and prisoners and remain at peace with each other. This peace treaty was set in place to ensure that both sides could strengthen their power and gather their alliances without being attacked by the other (History of..). Athens and Sparta both caused great strife on people, many prisoners were killed or enslaved (Thomas R. Martin..).

The Peace of Nicias only lasted for about 5 years, during those years the Alcibiades the cousin of Pericles was starting to rise in the Athenian politics.the one thing Athens worried about now was supporting Argos from Sparta, but in the end Argos was defeated and Sparta was growing stronger. By killing all the adult males of the island of Melos and enslaving the women and children as a punishment for Melos insistence on staying neutral in the war, Athens underlined its ruthlessness (History of..). By deciding, against Nicias’s advice, to send off a large naval expedition to Sicily to attack the great Greek city of Syracuse, the Athenian assembly once again followed Alcibiades’ lead. He had said there would be great glory in it and that all Sicily and the Greater Greece would become subject to Athens.

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