What was the True Cause of the Peloponnesian War

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There have been many reasons and debates on what was the true cause of the Peloponnesian War. Thucydides describes the main reason for war somewhat accurately “The real cause... The growth of the power of Athens, and the alarm which this inspired in Lacedaemon, made war inevitable.” (Thucydides I.1.23). But, it was not Sparta that was “alarmed” but Corinth. The status quo of Greece was interrupted by Athens’ rise to power. As a result, Sparta was pressured by many minor Greek city states to restore the status quo. However, Sparta was still reluctant to go to war but, Corinth provided a catalyst to take all of that pressure and convince Sparta to declare war on Athens. Ultimately, it was Corinth that started the Peloponnesian War. After the end of the Persian War, Athens and Sparta each had their own different foreign policies; Athens being more active in foreign affairs and Sparta being very isolationist. “With the siege of Sestos, a more decisive divergence began to appear between Athenian and Peloponnesian aspirations; it became more pronounced…with offensive operations.” (Sealey 228). All of the people that suffered under the expansionist Athenians looked for help. Sparta was the only one capable of providing that help but never actually gave any. With Sparta’s passiveness, they left themselves open to the criticisms that Corinth and others would give. When Athens created the Delian League to protect themselves and other city-states from barbarian threats, it was not

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