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|Tue, 07-29-2014 - 12:35pm|
I’m a news junkie. Lately it seems that there is so much about wars and fighting, but are there more wars than normal? Are we in a more violent time than in the past? Well I found a website that lists the wars from 1899 to 2012. Glancing through the list of 249 wars there hardly seems to be a year when there wasn’t a war. Sometimes the wars were more severe and sometimes less severe.
Fatalities are given for each war. These fatality numbers are “predominantly, but not consistently, so-called ‘battle related deaths’ or ‘battle deaths’.” In some cases they include civilian deaths particularly after 1945. Of the 249 wars the ten with the most fatalities are: World War II, 1939 to 1945, 50,000,000; World War I, 1914 to 1918, 10,670,868; Chinese Cultural Revolution, 1967 to 1976, 2,050,000; Vietnam War, 1965 to 1975, 2,048,050; Chinese Civil War, 1945 to 1950, 1,200,000; Third Sino-Japanese War, 1937 to 1941, 1,000,000; Korean War, 1950 to 1953, 995,000; Russian Revolution and Civil War, 1917 to 1922, 802,225; Iran vs Iraq, 1980 to 1988, 644,500 and Rwanda Civil War, 1990 to 2012, 527,145. According to the above data the nine deadliest wars ended before the beginning of the 21st century.
The author of the website gives three estimates for “Battle deaths, including civilians” during the 20th and the 21st centuries – a low figure of 73,498,586; a high figure of 113,297,972 and a “best” figure of 76,379,295. The given fatality figure of 50,000,000 for World War II is 65% of the “best” figure of 76,379,295. If these figures are relatively good estimates of the number of battle deaths for World War II and for the 20th and the 21st centuries then almost two thirds of the battle deaths occurred during the six years 1939 to 1945.
What is even more significant is that during the 20th and 21st centuries the population of the world has increased. For example according to the United Nations the world population in 1940 was 2.3 billion, while in 2010 it was 6.79 billion. This means that the world population in 2010 was almost three times what it was in 1940.
To me this shows that there have always been wars and in that regard the present time is no different than the rest of the 20th and 21st centuries except that it seems to me that wars are less deadly now than the average for the 20th and 21st centuries.