War and Reconstruction: Four Comparative Case Studies

Kapp, P. (2003)

The online publication is available at http://scientiamilitaria.journals.ac.za/pub

Journal Article

Traditionally defeated nations or peoples were regarded as at the mercy of the victorious powers. They were either incorporated into the power structure of the dominant power as a vassal or annexed by the victorious state, or were subjected to a humiliating peace treaty that did not provide for full restoration of their sovereignty. Very little attention was given to society at large; they were simply left at the mercy of whoever represented the new power. War as an instrument to reconstruct an entire society as a fully independent and sovereign state based on a new set of principles and an economic system in harmony with that of the triumphant party, is more closely associated with a revolution than with war in the traditional sense of the word. War as a means to create new states either through unification or separation is well known in history. But war to change the hearts and minds of entire society were less known before the twentieth century.

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