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It has been a long time, and I have already accepted an answer, and I am satisfied with it. But I'm reading The Guns of August right now, and I discovered following small facts. It's not a very important things, because the nations were already set on a collision course, but I think they are worth noting anyway. Germany had developing Schlieffen Plan ...


In recent years, states (countries? Nations?) have had a monopoly on the use of force and violence to maintain power. States only recently (1800's) became the prime segment of governance, and states didn't truly have a monopoly on the use of force until the post WWII order. Prior to this, nearly every segment of the population had the ability to use force ...


Cecil Rhodes, the founder of South Africa's DeBeers Diamond Company, and the British South Africa Company maintained an "army" of 600 cavalry under Dr. Leland Starr Jameson that helped bring about the Boer War.


It can be hard to draw the lines between a corporation (or similar entity) which is hired to use force on behalf of a nation state and a corporation that is allowed to use force by a nation state. Consider the Hanseatic League in medieval times. They raised forces and fought wars. Companies which ruled towns or towns ruled by their merchant class?

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