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By Nate Sloan Morris builds on the research of eminent cognitive scientist Steven Pinker and others to explode our idea that "early humans lived in an idyllic state of nature," arguing that, for decades, anthropologists who studied violence in tribal societies suffered a skewed sense of scale. By studying conflict through history and tracing patterns of peace and prosperity, Morris found that the explanation for the overall decrease in violence over time was rooted, inevitably, in mass violence itself. "Archaeology has had a really strong tradition, ever since it started a hundred-odd years ago, of doing large-scale comparative stuff," Morris said. What Is It Good For?, lays out an argument making the case that war actually drives progress. Morris' project encompassed a huge historical range. For Morris, Thomas Hobbes' 17th-century concept of the Leviathan proved prescient. Advertisement. From Roman conquests to World Wars, Morris noticed a pattern: War improved the quality of life for both winner and loser, gradually making societies safer and richer. The Civil War allowed the country to band together once again and strengthened the people as a whole. Anthropologists would study a hunter-gatherer band for a few months or a year. For more news about the humanities at Stanford, visit the Human Experience. "This is really the paradox that the whole book tries to explain. But war, says Stanford scholar Ian Morris, has also brought the world peace and prosperity. If you are on a personal connection, like at home, you can run an anti-virus scan on your device to make sure it is not infected with malware. Completing the CAPTCHA proves you are a human and gives you temporary access to the web property. Performance & security by Cloudflare, Please complete the security check to access. And, as Morris argues, we have war to thank for that. There is no clear answer, but Morris' historical research suggests a strange truth. By the war’s close in 1918, France had 600,000 war widows, Germany half a million. The consequences of the war, both positive and negative, are still visible today. Perhaps the most enduring symbol of the Civil War is the unification of the people and of the states. Despite its horrors, war has made our world less violent, finds Ian Morris, a Stanford professor of classics and of history. Not that Morris is naive. As war leads to larger societies, it also leads to greater pacification and greater wealth. The Civil War helped to settle the issue of what powers belonged to the states and what powers belonged to the federal government. Following on his theory that unity equals stability, Morris argues that the waning presence of major imperial nation-states could result in a "major shift in wealth and power," and an accompanying "massive amount of violence. Now, though, his new book, War! Another way to prevent getting this page in the future is to use Privacy Pass. There were many positive effects of the Civil War; for example, slavery was banned, citizenship was granted to all people born in the U.S., and the women's rights movement gained traction. Will the trend continue? Morris' colleague, classics and history Professor Walter Scheidel, agrees, saying that Morris's work shows how "Ancient history isn't just the proverbial 'ancient history,' but essential for understanding how we got to where we are now and why – that we can't understand the present if we cut out big chunks of the past.". Nate Sloan is a doctoral candidate in musicology at Stanford. The Civil War … Know more about the impact of the American Civil War through its 10 major effects on the North and the South, on slavery, on politics, on economy and on society. Fact Check: What Power Does the President Really Have Over State Governors? War, whether in the mountains of Thermopylae or on the beaches of Normandy, creates larger civilizations as the winning society absorbs the losing. Morris is the Jean and Rebecca Willard Professor of Classics, a professor of history and a fellow in the Archaeology Center. The most positive effect of World War II was that it brought about the defeat of a number of truly barbaric regimes, most notably the Third Reich. What Were the Positive Effects of the Civil War. Morris' discoveries offer a rebuttal to the work of historians who argue that the 20th century was, by all metrics, the most violent in history. Although Abraham Lincoln considered slavery as an abhorrent evil, as a lawyer and a politician he knew that the constitution protected slavery in the states where the citizens seemed to want it. Nov. 2, 2020. While completing his 2011 book, Why The West Rules – For Now, which compared economic development between the West and the East over millennia, Morris began to notice a trend. "I was suddenly thinking: 'If this is true, then why has this way of solving a problem persisted for so long? Specifically, Morris says his experience on archaeological digs has informed his current research. The nation came together when it witnessed that states could not simply choose to leave the union, and the idea of the states as one single country became more prominent. More about The Positive Aspects of the Cold War: 1946 - 1991 Describes the positive aspects and outcomes of the cold war, and how it helped to create a stable world economy and political structure. Will 5G Impact Our Cell Phone Plans (or Our Health?!
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