About the Napoleonic wars, I discussed with a friend who told me that the English just wanted France to be weak, and that it was the reason for the Congress of Vienna in 1815.

I have read on the wikipedia page that Britain had other motivations: "Britain had a sense of loss of control, as well as loss of markets, and was worried by Napoleon's possible threat to its overseas colonies"

So is there any other cases of a war made purely because one country is becoming stronger and stronger, and one or numerous other countries are afraid of that? Even if the stronger country is not willing to attack them?

I am also interested in a specific answer to the napoleonic era.

closed as too broad by Spencer, Lars Bosteen, Steve Bird, Giter, KillingTime Jun 29 at 21:29

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    You ask if " there any other cases of a war made purely because one country is becoming stronger" but to my mind you haven't provided a first case. As your second paragraph states, "Britain had other motivations". I also think it's very difficult to isolate the causes of the Napoleonic Wars from the French Revolutionary war that preceded it. – Steve Bird Jun 29 at 12:34
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    Too broad, because this is a factor in pretty much every war. One should be wary of simplistic pronouncements such as this, and vague value judgement-based terms such as "strength", because they can be twisted to mean anything one wants. – Spencer Jun 29 at 12:47
  • Thucydides trap. Arguably, WW1 is at least partially caused by Britain's fear of German naval buildup. At least one historian claims that all of European history is driven by the fear of a unified Germany ( can't remember the name? Anyone else?) – Mark C. Wallace Jun 29 at 17:08

There are much clearer cases than the one you cite, going back to the beginning of history: It's why Sparta made war on Athens in 431 BC. Thucydides cites "fear, honor, and interest" as the three causes of war and specifically states "What made war inevitable was the growth of Athenian power and the fear which this caused in Sparta". See here for how that is still considered relevant in today's thinking.

In the specific case of the Congress of Vienna, all the other major powers were afraid of a resurgent France, but that was the cause of the peace terms, not the cause of the war(s), which were started by French expansionism and ideological differences, and in fact the wars began when France declared war on Austria on 20 April 1792. There was after that only one short period of peace in 1802-03 prior to the Congress of Vienna. England did break that peace, but I think it did so far more out of interest than fear. Neither England nor France had ever really kept to the peace terms, so it's not clear if either side had really wanted peace, and I'd call it "the same war" that started up again in 1803, just like we call it the "Peloponnesian War" on either side of the Peace of Nicias. I also doubt that there would have been peace for much longer in Europe even if England had completely stayed out after 1802.

An example of a war just a little ways out of the 19th century that was partially caused by fear is World War One. Germany issued the blank check to Austria to deal with the assassination of Franz Ferdinand however it wanted partly because the German army was eager to fight Russia before Russia became so powerful as to be unbeatable, which they figured was only a few years away.

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