Wars ended by early peace treaties

betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
5,767
#1
Most wars continue until one side is badly defeated or the war has gone on way too long. The best example I can think of of a war ended early is the Korean War. Maybe the War of 1812, the Russo-Japanese War, or the 1973 Mideast War. There are probably many in earlier periods.
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
3,584
Sydney
#3
Following the battle of Kaddesh between Pharaon Ramsese II and the Hittite ,
there seems to have been some sort of treaty / agreement for they exchanged ambassadors
and the fighting stopped , Pharaon claimed victory , as he would ,but it seems to have been more like a draw
 

betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
5,767
#4
Almost always. Even if one side was forced to sign, so to speak!
Well, I don't mean wars where one side is forced to sign, where there is a clear victor. I also don't mean wars that are settled after they have gone on way to long, such as the 30 Years War. WWI was not settled until there was a clear victor, although it was settled the other way with a clear victor on the eastern front. The lesson learned by the Allies in WWII was to consider no negotiated settlement.
 

Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
4,948
#5
The European tradition of warfighting did get a set of mechanisms and MOs in the aftermath of the 30 Years War to try to limit warfare. Previously the truly bad European conflicts were the Wars of Religion, which could go on for a very long time, with massive death and destruction, because the sides tended to view each other in a downright Manichean fashion, and forces of Light against Darkness.

Getting religion out of the equation allowed for wars to be fought over limited objectives, and peace to be made without feeling the need to try to utterly destroy the adversary.

That disturbing thing about modern warfare, in the last 100-150 years, has been its ideologization, the total mobilization of society, like the entire population, and a subsequent tendency to work ourselves back to a situation where all this effort requires total victory, and total defeat of the adversary, to make it all worthwhile.

The US has been driving a fair amount of it in the 20th c.

If there's an upside to it, it has been the attendant process of trying to create systems to avert outright warfare for opportunistic reasons through the UN etc, including the non-acceptance of the principle of "conquest by force of arms" as legitimate.

But those systems are brittle, and currently seemingly about to be wound down, and so we should expect more opportunistic wars of limited conquest in the near future.

Everyone then needs to arm themselves to the teeth to deter possible aggressors, in particular smaller states. (Alliances can be useful too; safety in numbers.) The big players should be expected to revert back to something more like the 19th c. wars, where limited bits of geography would be fought over and traded in peace deals.

The thing against doing that these days, is how that kind of military activity has become very expensive, with no possible substantial gain from territory and population to make up for it. The reason they are likely to still occur now is as populistic stunts to gain favour in domestic politics rather; quick and victorious foreign little war (against someone not really a threat) to bolster popularity...
 
Nov 2010
7,325
Cornwall
#6
Well, I don't mean wars where one side is forced to sign, where there is a clear victor. I also don't mean wars that are settled after they have gone on way to long, such as the 30 Years War. WWI was not settled until there was a clear victor, although it was settled the other way with a clear victor on the eastern front. The lesson learned by the Allies in WWII was to consider no negotiated settlement.
Yes. But looking at the medieval times, there was no point having a 'clear victor' unless there was something to show for it IE a treaty. Just as an example we'll take the Almohad Empire at their height. They would send an army across, bang a few heads together in 'Spain' and then have a treaty to tie the loser - be it Leon, Portugal or Castilla, to a period of 'good behaviour'. This was in the interests of both parties even though there may have been an absolutely resounding victory such as Alarcos. The loser wanted to avoid a predatory and hungry Almohad army on the doorstep, whilst the Almohads didn't want to have to maintain a field army in Al Andalus

These treaties almost always seemed to be respected, the one after Alarcos was for about 13 years if I recall correctly
 

Chlodio

Ad Honorem
Aug 2016
3,470
Dispargum
#7
Betgo,
Just to clarify, do you think the Korean War should have lasted longer than it actually did? I would have thought the war should have ended two years earlier. Nothing was really accomplished in the last two years of the war - lots of fighting with no result. (For everyone else, please don't respond with that irrelevant technicality about how the Korean War is still not over - for all intents and purposes the war ended in August 1953.)
 
Sep 2017
109
Pennsylvania
#8
Most wars continue until one side is badly defeated or the war has gone on way too long. The best example I can think of of a war ended early is the Korean War. Maybe the War of 1812, the Russo-Japanese War, or the 1973 Mideast War. There are probably many in earlier periods.
To clarify, are we talking about all involved belligerants agreeing to a cessation of hostilities? Or are we talking about separate peaces, treaties and accords between one or more belligerants? Similarly are we including cease-fire agreements, even if they do not lead to the ratification of peace treaties?
Finally, in modern conflicts (specifically American) are we excluding conflicts in which no declaration of war has been issued?

For instance, the Paris Peace Accord and subsequently the Case-Church amendments which, together, ended American involvement in the Vietnam War would seem like a good example. However, any one of those technicalities above being true or untrue could disqualify it for the purposes of this discussion.

Generally, IMO, without considering technicalities like those I listed it's difficult to find examples of conflicts that don't end with a coercive treaty.
 
Sep 2016
800
Georgia
#10
Italian war of 1536 - 1538

Italian war of 1542 - 1546

Campaigns of Igor against Byzantine in 944

Anglo - Dutch War of 1672 - 1674

War of Devolution 1667 - 1668

Russo - Swedish war of 1788 - 1790

Campaign of Agesilaus II in Minor Asia

Sicilian campaign of Pyrrhus in 278 - 276

War for Burgundian Succession in 1477 - 1482

Scanian War

Corinthian War 395 - 387 BC
 
Last edited:

Similar History Discussions