Lesson Idea: Origins of Conflict

Travis DixonHuman Relationships, Social and Cultural Psychology

Why do humans go to war? This activity will help you understand one common cause. Image: "The Battle of Waterloo" by William Sader (Public Domain).

Your Task

There are five resources below that you will need to complete this task. Working with your group, it’s a race to see who can answer this question first:

  • All of these conflicts started for the same reason. What is that reason?

Source 1: The “Beaver Wars” (Warpaths2peacepipes)

This article summarizes a conflict in North America in the late 1600s, when European settlers were in the early stages of colonizing modern America and Canada. The reasons for this conflict are the same as the others.

Source 2: The Lelantine War (Ancient Greek Battles)

This article summarizes a conflict in Ancient Greece. What were they fighting over?

Source 3: The Vancouver Gang Wars 2009 (Wikipedia)

This wikipedia entry gives some insight into a conflict between a range of rival gangs in Vancouver. Once again, we see the same reasons for conflict in this example as in the others.

Source 4: Conflict in North and South Poles (The Guardian)

This article by The Guardian summarizes conflict that hasn’t started yet, but seems like it’s brewing. What is the reason for the tension in these areas?

Source 5: 9 Historical Wars (Business Insider)

This article summarizes 9 different battles or wars. All nine of these share the same thing in common as the other conflicts listed above.

Need help?

The fifth source above really gives away the answer. But if you need some more help, this article includes an example of a group conflict that happened over 10,000 years ago that has a different reason for all the others listed above.

Example IB Exam Answers Now Available (Link)