I've been reading about the Warring States Period in Li Feng's 'Early China', and I don't know if I missed a passage but I can't seem to figure out why the period was so violent.

I've been searching via Google but still I seem to be getting a lot of information on the dynamics of war, but not exactly why the wars happened in the first place. So a few questions about that:

  • why was there so much conflict during the period, and what were the incentives that each state had for being at war
  • is there a reason why the region couldn't have been peaceful during the period?
  • 1
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warring_States_period mentions "the goal of creating one Chinese Empire, as well as bureaucratic and military reforms and consolidation". On the incentives for each state, I would suggest the links provided for each state in the Wiki warring states article. – Lars Bosteen Apr 29 '18 at 3:25
  • Be wary of labels. Was it any more violent than preceding periods? And lumping 200 years worth of conflict together can make it seem there's a lot more fighting going on. – Schwern Apr 29 '18 at 3:39
  • 2
    Because war is effectively the job application for the vacant position of Emperor?? Upvote just for a non - European question. – Mark C. Wallace Apr 30 '18 at 12:41
  • @MarkC.Wallace thanks for that, your answer wasn't something I had considered. And I guess being emperor means control over resources (agriculture, people etc..) translating into wealth? I was originally thinking it was less political, more about things like food security – Canadian Coder May 1 '18 at 12:50
  • @mcraen - Did you mean cause(s) of the Warring States, i.e. the endless conflict? Or were you interested specifically in "incentive"? I am not sure any of them had a desire, per se, but were mostly having to react (i.e. military action & reaction). Wouldn't know the answer to incentives but the causes of the endless conflict is pretty well-documented. – J Asia Jun 17 '18 at 14:03

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