Has there ever been "world peace"?

Lets say in the last 200 years, so from 1800 on. Has there ever actually been “world peace”? That is, a time when there wasn’t a battle, war, skirmish, clash or what have you, anywhere in the world? Or is there always some group fighting some other group (on a grander scale than individual murder)?


A quick review since 1800:

1792 - 1802 French Revolutionary Wars
1801 - 1805 First Barbary War
1803 - 1815 Napoleonic Wars
1809 - 1825 Bolivian Independence War
1821 - 1837 Padri War in Indonesia
1835 - 1842 Second Seminole War
1839 - 1842 First Anglo-Afghan War
1839 - 1842 First Opium War
1843 - 1872 Maori Land Wars
1846 - 1848 Mexican-American War
1848 - 1851 First war of Schleswig
1850 - 1865 Taiping Rebellion
1857 - 1901 Caste War of Yucatán
1899 - 1913 Philippine-American War
1912 - 1913 First and Second Balkan Wars
1914 - 1918 World War I, initially in Europe, then worldwide
1917 - 1920 Estonian Liberation War
1918 - 1922 Russian Civil War
1920 - 1922 Second Greco-Turkish War
1922 - 1923 Irish Civil War
1932 - 1935 Chaco War between Bolivia and Paraguay
1934 - 1936 Northern Expedition by Kuomintang
1935 - 1936 Second Italo-Abyssinian War
1936 - 1939 Spanish Civil War
1937 - 1945 Second Sino-Japanese War
1944 - 1949 Greek Civil War
1946 - 1954 First Indochina War
1948 - 1960 Malayan Emergency
1950 - 1953 Korean War (technically still on-going)
1954 - 1962 Algerian War of Independence
1955 - 1972 First Sudanese Civil War
1960 - 1996 Guatemalan Civil War
1964 - 1973 Vietnam War
1965 - 1996 Chad Civil War
1975 - 1998 War of Indepence in East Timor
1983 - 2000 Civil War in Sri Lanka
1999 - 2003 Second Liberian Civil War
1966 - Present Colombian Civil War
1977 - Present Somalian Civil War
2001 - U.S. war in Afghanistan
2003 - U.S. war in Iraq

So there may have been brief moments of peace between 1842-1843, 1913-1914, 1923-1932, and maybe a little bit of 1936. On the other hand, I may have missed a few wars.

For example, I forgot the entire “Warlords” period in China which ran from about 1922 to 1937 and was virtually an ongoing civil war between the Republicans, the Communists, and various regionial factions.

From Wikipedia’s lists of battles. It looks like there wasn’t all that much going on for Europeans in '42. A battle in January then nothing listed until '43 when the French and Algerians had a run in and the British started fighting in Iran.

These are only the battles that are important enough to have names so there was certainly fighting going on that isn’t mentioned there.

In 1914, the US invaded Mexico at the battle of Veracruz and then Haiti in 1915.

In 1925, 1930, 1937, the Turkish Kurds staged large revolts. All were put down.
And that’s all I got for right now.


There’s always a civil war somewhere. Especially in Africa.

1842-1843 - ongoing conflicts between white settlers and Indians in the west.
1842- Dorr’s Rebellion in Rhode Island
1842-Sao Paulo Rebellion in Brazil
1842-French Occupation of the Ivory Coast
1842-1875-Marabout-Soninke Jihad

1912-1913- First & Second Balkan Wars
1913 -Sun Yat-sen’s Rebellion
1923-1931 - Second Italo-Sanusi War
This site has a time line of just about every war in the last 200 years.

Interestingly enough, Little Nemo, you forgot World War II.

To answer the OP, remember that these lists are simply lists of the major wars. It is almost certain that small groups of people all over the world were having skirmishes and battles throughout recent history…at least enough to fill the gaps. However, since small tribal battles and such are likely not well documented, I can’t really provide a cite.

As long as someone has an army and wants something someone else has, there will be war. There is absolutely no way the world will ever have complete peace. We’re at 6 billion now and growing. Hell, even jealousy will set it off. It only took a perceived slight to get Cain and Abel into it.

I’m not sure if this saying has any merit but it was told to me once in a school assembly:

Throughout all of the years of human civilisation there have only been 19 years of world peace.

It was definitely 19 years. I don’t know why I remember that. But it probably is a duff quote.

I read a lot of anthropology, and one book I read was comparing human society to animal society. What it says is that all animals fight in an “erratic retaliator” way. Basically, a constant low-level warfare. Tribal people still fight this way. Constant readiness, small skirmishes until someone pushes the line (to prove they aren’t push-overs, basically), and then war.

You ever seen cats fight? A will go into B’s territory. B will hiss. A can back down or hiss back. If he hisses back, B will swat as a warning. Intimidation stuff, to see who backs down first. Most fights don’t even get to brawl level before someone backs down. Eventually, if A doesn’t back down, then they get down and dirty.

Or watch bears fighting on a nature channel sometime.

Anyway . . . since people naturally fight like this, there will never be any such thing as “world peace.”

Yeah. Just thought I’d toss that out there.

Are you saying humans are animals and this may explain some of our actions?

I think if you go way, way back to before the time Adam & Eve were kicked out of the garden, there may have been a few moments of Peace in the world. Just about any time after that there have always been conflicts.

The list I posted was hardly complete. The wars I listed don’t represent a tenth of the total number of wars that occurred. I just chose a bunch whose dates overlapped well.

But I did include World War II. The Second Sino-Japanese War which ran from 1937 to 1945 was the longest aspect of the second world war. Countries like Germany, Britain, the Soviet Union, and the United States all joined in later.