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Archive for September, 2014

GAMSAT Essay on War + Corrections

Here’s an essay on a popular topic among Gamsat students: war.

Have a read of the essay below. Afterwards I will explain a couple of problems with it and how it could be improved.

“I have never advocated war except as a means of peace” – Ulysses S. Grant

The question of whether there is ever a just reason to go to war is an issue that has been debated from a number of points of view. Ulysses S. Grant once stated that “I have never advocated war except as a means of peace”, the point I think he is trying to make with this statement is that he would never condone a declaration of war on another nation/opposing faction for such mainstream reasons that have plagued international relations in the past such as; to settle a dispute between leaders, eg The Hundred Years War between England and France, or to increase a nation’s territory either at home or abroad. Instead he states that he would be in favour of war if it would lead to peace. For instance when Tokugawa Ieyasu fought a war against Ishida Mitsuhide which culminated in victory for the Tokugawa forces at the Battle of Segikahara, Ieyasu’s objective was too bring an end to the constant fighting of the previous century of Japanese history. With his victory Ieyasu was able to forge a peace in Japan that lasted for over 250 years with the founding of the Tokugawa Shogunate.

In contrast to the view of Ulysses S. Grant is the belief that there are just reasons for war with no thought of peace afterwards. For instance war may be necessary to stop the ambition’s of a nation in domination of it’s neighbours, and to stop them doing evil. On of the key examples of this would be the declaration of war on Germany by Britain, her Empire, and France at the start of the 2nd World War. Having tried to appease Hitler during the previous 3 years and failing to stop his ambitions for Europe these 2 nations realised that it would take a war to stop Hitler. As such they were not declaring war to achieve a peace directly but to stop the ambitions of Hitler’s Germany. More…