Two hundred years ago, a chef named Remontel lived in Mexico who came from France to earn money. One day, people looted his pastry shop, looted his things and ran away. Angered by the loss, the poor leader wrote a letter to the government demanding compensation. His complaint was not heeded. On several occasions he tried to contact government officials, but all his efforts were in vain.
After a few days of wandering around government offices, Remontel became frustrated. Thus, he sent a letter to the French government asking for redress for the injustice done to him. His letter passed from table to table for six years, but failed to attract anyone’s attention. One day, this piece of paper reached King Louis Philippe of France who, after reading it, became angry with the attitude of Mexicans towards a Frenchman. The king immediately wrote to the Mexican government to pay 600,000 pesos (name of the currency) in compensation to the chief.
When the Mexican government refused to meet the demand, Philip sent troops to invade the Latin country. French generals besieged the Mexican coastal city of Veracruz and demanded damages from the government. When no positive response came from the Mexicans, a regular war broke out. For months the war continued and at one point the situation got so dire that Britain had to intervene. As a result, Mexico agreed to pay France 600,000 pesos, and the war, which started because of a trivial matter, ended after 250 soldiers lost their lives.
Wars have been a continuous phenomenon since the birth of civilization. Sometimes they argued over minor issues and sometimes over serious issues. Territorial expansions, economic gains, religious differences, nationalism, revenge, dissatisfaction with the ruling elite and the external threat have remained major causes of war in the past.
The first wars in the world were fought for the annexation of strategically important places. The first major recorded battle in known history took place in the 13th century BC when Pharaoh of Egypt fought for a town of Kadesh which had become an important trade route. Similar wars were fought for areas with water and vegetation.
When great empires emerged in different fields, the priorities of kings changed. Now the emperor wanted to have more territory under his control in order to show his power and strength to the world. Ashoka in India, Cyrus the Great in Persia, Ramses in Egypt, and Alexander the Great in Greece extended their empires in pursuit of such desires.
Over time, people realized that a huge empire could not be sustained for long. Therefore, instead of subjugating people in different fields, it is better to attack them and get their wealth and spend it on their own subjects. So the looting attacks started. The Roman Empire has been attacked on several occasions by Scottish warriors who plundered their towns. Mahmud Ghaznavi in the 10th century and Nadir Shah Durrani in the 18th century invaded India but did not integrate Somnath or Delhi into their empire. They just plundered the wealth and brought it back to their regions.
Likewise, from the 17th to the 20th century, Britain sent troops to many countries and seized their wealth. During this time, almost all of the great empires have come to an end. For example, the Roman Empire, the Mughal Empire, the Ottoman Empire, etc.
In ancient times, when religion became the focal point of the life of society, wars broke out against the beliefs of others. The Romans in 38 CE and the Greeks in 40 CE used armies against the Jews. Likewise, in the 6th century, the followers of Shintoism fought against the preachers of Buddhism in Japan. When the disbelievers of Mecca did not refrain from persecuting Muslims, they also took up arms under the command of the Holy Prophet (pbuh). The Crusades, which began in the 11th century, were carried out for religious purposes. The current nature of the fighting in Iraq, Syria and Yemen is religious.
Battles are also fought to decide the contested areas. The United States fought wars with Mexico, and England fought Argentina for such territories. Pakistan and India also fought four wars in Kashmir.
In countries where there was no clear method of transfer of power, many candidates for the leadership of the empire came forward after the death of the emperor. This situation has led to many great wars. After the assassination of Julius Caesar and the death of Alexander the Great, battles were fought for the throne. One of the motives for the Hundred Years War in Europe was the British king’s claim to ownership of the French throne. Most of the wars in the Indian subcontinent have been fought for the throne. Aladdin Khilji killed his uncle Jalaluddin Feroz Khilji in his old age for the Sultanate. For the sake of the kingdom, Jahangir, Shah Jahan, and Aurangzeb persecuted their own brothers and even killed their relatives. So whoever won on the battlefield became king. From 1701 to 1714, a bloody battle took place in Spain to decide on the heir to the throne.
Many wars have been fought out of fear of the increasing power of the enemy. Likewise, weapons have been used in the past for personal revenge. According to the Ramayana, Shri Rama fought Ravana’s army to get Sita. Ulysses fought the Trojan War at Troy to bring back Queen Helena from Sparta. Likewise, Genghis Khan attacked Khwarizm Shah because the Shah had killed Khan’s ambassadors. Weapons were also taken to free the tyrant from oppression. There were also battles meant to crush the uprisings. The War of Independence of 1857 is an example.
In the 20th century, two world wars were fought for a number of reasons, including promises related to various treaties, nationalism and revenge. After their end, the Cold War between the United States and Russia kept the world engaged for fifty years.
The first war of the current century took place in Afghanistan. Why he was fought, perhaps, would not be known to the common man for decades. However, the result is obvious. The infrastructure is destroyed and unemployment is increasing. With dreams shattered in the shadow of uncertainty, everyone in Afghanistan is now a Remontel and calls on the international community to right the injustices done to them over the past twenty years.