Masthead graphic based on a painting by Gudrun Thriemer.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Dr. Richard Elam, "The Christmas truce of 1914," Cleburn Times-Review, December 24, 2006.

In 2006, peace on earth is as elusive as ever as small wars occur regularly and expand into bigger conflicts. Territorial “imperatives,” aggressive tendencies and desire for plunder always interfere with an ability to sustain a lasting peace. Wars are such a regular routine for humanity that the European lack of a continent-wide conflagration between the final exile of Napoleon in 1815 and the beginnings of the Great War (World War I) in 1914 is sometimes referred to as the “hundred year’s peace.”

In the first two centuries after the birth of Christ, Roman power and will kept the Mediterranean world in a state of relative calm known as the “Pax Romana.” Even there, however, small conflicts occurred regularly on the fringes of the empire. Some modern historians use a similar phrase, “pax Americana,” to refer to the lack of a major world conflict as due to American power and will. The United States, like Rome, has had to deal with smaller wars during that time.

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