End The War. Peloponnesian War

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Background The war between Athens and the Athenian empire versus Sparta, Thebes, Corinth, and other members of the Peloponnesian Confederacy 431 - 404 B.C.E. Large scale campaigns and heavy fighting took place from Sicily to the coast of Asia Minor and from the Hellespont and Thrace to Rhodes. It was the first war in history to be recorded by an eyewitness historian of the highest calibre. It has come down through history as the archetypal war between a commercial democracy and an agricultural aristocracy and a war between a maritime superpower and a continental military machine. The war began on 4 April 431 B.C. with a Theban attempt to surprise Plataea, Athens' ally and outpost on the northern base of Cithaeron. It ended on 25 April 404 B.C., when Athens capitulated. Causes The underlying cause of the war was Sparta's fear of the growth of the power of Athens. This is Thucydides' own final judgment. Peloponnesian War: Phase 1 (431-427) In a war between the main military and main naval powers in Greece a decisive result was unlikely to occur quickly. When the Spartans invaded, the rural population of Attica moved into the city. Athens became an island impregnable to attack. Its great fleet would secure the empire against revolts from within and attacks from without and take the offensive to raid the Peloponnesian coast. Meanwhile, The Periclean strategy also had weaknesses. He was too fearful of the effect that high casualties would have on public sentiment in a democracy, if he had conducted more aggressive offensive military actions. He had not seen the opportunities for combined land and naval actions to bring a higher intensity of war to Spartan territory with little risk in order to hasten the effect of the attrition on Sparta. The defect essentially was that the Athenian people's morale proved unequal to the strain, and, after his death, rushed into

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