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War and Morality

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  1. War and Morality Modern World History C. Corning 2010

  2. War and Morality: Essential Questions • Are there methods/techniques that should never be used during international conflict?  Are some weapons unacceptable?  Should there be certain rules for war? • How do "acceptable techniques or methods" change throughout wartime? • Should civilians be "off-limits“ as targets or shields during wartime? • Should we hold people/leaders to some moral standard during wartime? Should people or governments be "judged" after the war? • Does a government have the moral obligation to be honest with it's citizens about the reasons for a war? • Can government use "propaganda" to keep public support for a war or should they always be truthful with their citizens? • Should citizens be allowed to question their nation's leaders in the middle of a conflict? • Is it acceptable to engage in conflict for "Ideological" reasons?

  3. Small Group Discussion Questions Under what conditions should a country go to war?  • What is a just war? •     What is worth fighting for?  •     Under what conditions would you go to war?   •     Under what conditions would you NOT join your nation's war effort? Should there be certain rules for waging war?  •     Can/should the "rules of war" change? •     Are some weapons unacceptable? •     Do people have a moral obligation to stop genocide? How & why to governments use propaganda during wartime? •   Does a country have an obligation to inform their citizens of the facts of the war?  •     Do citizens have an obligation to "support" their nations war effort even if they disagreewith the war?

  4. Principles of a Just War – part 1 • Principles of the Just War • A just war can only be waged as a last resort. All non-violent options must be exhausted before the use of force can be justified. • A war is just only if it is waged by a legitimate authority. Even just causes cannot be served by actions taken by individuals or groups who do not constitute an authority sanctioned by whatever the society and outsiders to the society deem legitimate. • A just war can only be fought to redress a wrong suffered. For example, self-defense against an armed attack is always considered to be a just cause (although the justice of the cause is not sufficient--see point #4). Further, a just war can only be fought with "right" intentions: the only permissible objective of a just war is to redress the injury.

  5. Principles of a Just War – part 2 • A war can only be just if it is fought with a reasonable chance of success. Deaths and injury incurred in a hopeless cause are not morally justifiable. • The ultimate goal of a just war is to re-establish peace. More specifically, the peace established after the war must be preferable to the peace that would have prevailed if the war had not been fought. • The violence used in the war must be proportional to the injury suffered. States are prohibited from using force not necessary to attain the limited objective of addressing the injury suffered. • The weapons used in war must discriminate between combatants and non-combatants. Civilians are never permissible targets of war, and every effort must be taken to avoid killing civilians. The deaths of civilians are justified only if they are unavoidable victims of a deliberate attack on a military target.

  6. Causes of WWI - Imperialism • Desire for more land – increased tensions during the later half of the 19th century.

  7. Causes of WWI - Militarism • Late 19th century, there was an ARMS RACE as European nations built larger standing armies. • Many alliances were created based on mutual defense agreements – Triple Alliance and Triple Entente. • These alliances actually created greater tensions rather than relieving the tensions among nations.

  8. Causes of WWI - Nationalism • Growth of Nationalism – deep devotion to one’s nation. • People welcome opportunity to show the strength of their nation – belief that their nation will win OR a reason to defend yourself. • Nationalism of smaller ethnic groups within the larger empires. • Alliances – increased tensions within Europe.

  9. Causes of WWI - Industrialization • Greater levels of industrialization allows for greater spending on arms. • Industrialization also connected to imperialism – desire for more land, resources. • Connection to militarization.

  10. General Notes: • Crisis in the Balkans – 1908 Austria annexed Bosnia and Herzegovina which angered Serb leaders in the Balkans (former Ottoman Empire territory). • June 28, 1914, the heir of the Austro-Hungarian Empire Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated in Sarajevo by a Serbian nationalist. • July 23, Austria sent an ultimatum to Serbia – if they refused Austria would declare war. Serbia agreed but Austria had rejected Serbia’s offer and declared war. • Russia, Serbia’s ally, moved troops towards Austria’s border. • Aug 1, 1914 Germany declares war on Russia.

  11. World War I – Important Details • By 1914 Europe was divided into two rival camps: • Allied Powers (Triple Entente): Great Britain, France and Russia. (later Japan and Italy join) • Central Powers (Triple Alliance): Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy. (later includes Bulgaria and Ottoman Empire) Both sides thought that the war would be short and that they were going to win!

  12. WWI – Important Details • For most of the war the two sides were locked into a long and bloody stalemate on the Western Front. • Germany faced a war on two fronts and developed a battle strategy know as the Schlieffen Plan – attack and defeat France on the west and then rush east to fight Russia. Speed was essential. • Trench Warfare – armies traded huge losses of human life for small territorial gains. • Eastern Front – more of a mobile war, Russia suffered large losses.

  13. WWI – Important Details (see pg 418) • War moved beyond European Borders – Australia and Japan supported the Allies and India sent troops to support British war efforts. • Gallipoli – Brit, Aust, New Z. and French troops fighting against Ottoman Empire – Feb – Dec 1915. Another example of stalemate with large human losses and little to no territorial gain. • In Africa and Asia, Germany’s colonies came under attack.

  14. WWI – Important Details • WWI became a Total War – countries devoted all of their resources to the war effort. • Gov’t told factories what to produce, how much, etc. • Rationing – food, leather, • Suppression of anti-war activity including censorship. • Propaganda – one-sided information designed to persuade, used to keep up morale and support for war. • Women took on roles traditionally reserved for men. They also served on the battlefield as nurses.

  15. WWI – Important Details • By 1918, Russia withdraws from the war, signing the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk with Germany. • By July 1918, Germany was exhausted and with fresh troops from the US, the Allies begin to push towards Germany. • November 1918, German and French sign an armistice (agreement to stop fighting). • The war had many costs: human life, financial, disillusionment and the peace agreement.

  16. Peace Process • Jan 18, 1919 – Paris Peace Conference held at Versailles. Delegates from 32 countries. • The meeting’s major decisions made by four powers: US (Woodrow Wilson), France (George Clemenceau), Great Britain (David Lloyd George) and Italy (Vittorio Orlando). Russia, Germany (and its allies) and Japan were not represented. • Wilson’s Peace Plan – 14 Points (see packet) • Treaty of Versailles (June 1919) (see packet) • Problems with the “Peace” • Review Maps on pg 426.