Peace treaty

Peace treaty

Overview
A peace treaty is an agreement
Agreement
Agreement may refer to:* Agreement or concord, cross-reference between parts of a phrase* Gentlemen's agreement, not enforceable by law* Contract, enforceable in a court of law...

 between two or more hostile parties, usually countries or governments, that formally ends a state of war
State of War
State of war may refer to:*a situation where two or more states are at war with each other, with or without a real armed conflict*State of War , a book by James Risen which makes numerous controversial allegations about Central Intelligence Agency activities*State of War , a real-time strategy...

 between the parties. It is different from an armistice
Armistice
An armistice is a situation in a war where the warring parties agree to stop fighting. It is not necessarily the end of a war, but may be just a cessation of hostilities while an attempt is made to negotiate a lasting peace...

, which is an agreement to stop hostilities, or a surrender
Surrender (military)
Surrender is when soldiers, nations or other combatants stop fighting and eventually become prisoners of war, either as individuals or when ordered to by their officers. A white flag is a common symbol of surrender, as is the gesture of raising one's hands empty and open above one's head.When the...

, in which an army agrees to give up arms, or a ceasefire
Ceasefire
A ceasefire is a temporary stoppage of a war in which each side agrees with the other to suspend aggressive actions. Ceasefires may be declared as part of a formal treaty, but they have also been called as part of an informal understanding between opposing forces...

 in which the parties may agree to temporarily or permanently stop fighting.

There are many possible issues which may be included in a peace treaty, and a treaty's content usually depends on the nature of the conflict being concluded.
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Encyclopedia
A peace treaty is an agreement
Agreement
Agreement may refer to:* Agreement or concord, cross-reference between parts of a phrase* Gentlemen's agreement, not enforceable by law* Contract, enforceable in a court of law...

 between two or more hostile parties, usually countries or governments, that formally ends a state of war
State of War
State of war may refer to:*a situation where two or more states are at war with each other, with or without a real armed conflict*State of War , a book by James Risen which makes numerous controversial allegations about Central Intelligence Agency activities*State of War , a real-time strategy...

 between the parties. It is different from an armistice
Armistice
An armistice is a situation in a war where the warring parties agree to stop fighting. It is not necessarily the end of a war, but may be just a cessation of hostilities while an attempt is made to negotiate a lasting peace...

, which is an agreement to stop hostilities, or a surrender
Surrender (military)
Surrender is when soldiers, nations or other combatants stop fighting and eventually become prisoners of war, either as individuals or when ordered to by their officers. A white flag is a common symbol of surrender, as is the gesture of raising one's hands empty and open above one's head.When the...

, in which an army agrees to give up arms, or a ceasefire
Ceasefire
A ceasefire is a temporary stoppage of a war in which each side agrees with the other to suspend aggressive actions. Ceasefires may be declared as part of a formal treaty, but they have also been called as part of an informal understanding between opposing forces...

 in which the parties may agree to temporarily or permanently stop fighting.

Elements of treaties


There are many possible issues which may be included in a peace treaty, and a treaty's content usually depends on the nature of the conflict being concluded. Some of these may be:
  • Formal designation of border
    Border
    Borders define geographic boundaries of political entities or legal jurisdictions, such as governments, sovereign states, federated states and other subnational entities. Some borders—such as a state's internal administrative borders, or inter-state borders within the Schengen Area—are open and...

    s.
  • Processes for resolving future disputes
  • Access to and apportioning of resource
    Resource
    A resource is a source or supply from which benefit is produced, typically of limited availability.Resource may also refer to:* Resource , substances or objects required by a biological organism for normal maintenance, growth, and reproduction...

    s (Finland
    Finland
    Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

     is the only known country to have successfully paid the whole agreed apportion)
  • Status of refugee
    Refugee
    A refugee is a person who outside her country of origin or habitual residence because she has suffered persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or because she is a member of a persecuted 'social group'. Such a person may be referred to as an 'asylum seeker' until...

    s
  • Settling of existing debt
    Debt
    A debt is an obligation owed by one party to a second party, the creditor; usually this refers to assets granted by the creditor to the debtor, but the term can also be used metaphorically to cover moral obligations and other interactions not based on economic value.A debt is created when a...

    s
  • Defining of proscribed behavior
    Behavior
    Behavior or behaviour refers to the actions and mannerisms made by organisms, systems, or artificial entities in conjunction with its environment, which includes the other systems or organisms around as well as the physical environment...

  • The re-application of existing treaties
    Treaty
    A treaty is an express agreement under international law entered into by actors in international law, namely sovereign states and international organizations. A treaty may also be known as an agreement, protocol, covenant, convention or exchange of letters, among other terms...



Treaties are often ratified in territories deemed neutral
Neutral country
A neutral power in a particular war is a sovereign state which declares itself to be neutral towards the belligerents. A non-belligerent state does not need to be neutral. The rights and duties of a neutral power are defined in Sections 5 and 13 of the Hague Convention of 1907...

 in the previous conflict and delegates from these neutral territories act as witness
Witness
A witness is someone who has firsthand knowledge about an event, or in the criminal justice systems usually a crime, through his or her senses and can help certify important considerations about the crime or event. A witness who has seen the event first hand is known as an eyewitness...

es to the signatories. In the case of large conflicts between numerous parties there may be one international
International
----International mostly means something that involves more than one country. The term international as a word means involvement of, interaction between or encompassing more than one nation, or generally beyond national boundaries...

 treaty covering all issues or separate treaties signed between each party.

In modern times certain intractable conflict situations may first be brought to a cease-fire and are then dealt with via a peace process
Conflict resolution
Conflict resolution is conceptualized as the methods and processes involved in facilitating the peaceful ending of some social conflict. Often, committed group members attempt to resolve group conflicts by actively communicating information about their conflicting motives or ideologies to the rest...

 where a number of discrete steps are taken on each side to eventually reach the mutually desired goal of peace and the signing of a treaty. A peace treaty also is often not used to end a civil war, especially in cases of a failed secession
Secession
Secession is the act of withdrawing from an organization, union, or especially a political entity. Threats of secession also can be a strategy for achieving more limited goals.-Secession theory:...

, as it implies mutual recognition of statehood. In cases such as the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

, it usually ends when the armies of the losing side surrender and the government collapses.

By contrast, a successful secession
Secession
Secession is the act of withdrawing from an organization, union, or especially a political entity. Threats of secession also can be a strategy for achieving more limited goals.-Secession theory:...

 or declaration of independence
Declaration of independence
A declaration of independence is an assertion of the independence of an aspiring state or states. Such places are usually declared from part or all of the territory of another nation or failed nation, or are breakaway territories from within the larger state...

 is often formalized by means of a peace treaty.

Role of UN


Since the founding of the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 after World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 this organization has sought to act as a forum for resolution in matters of international conflict and is often instrumental in peace processes and peace treaties. The number of international treaties and obligations member states are involved in which they seek to limit and control behavior during wartime has perhaps made the idea of total war
Total war
Total war is a war in which a belligerent engages in the complete mobilization of fully available resources and population.In the mid-19th century, "total war" was identified by scholars as a separate class of warfare...

 less tenable. This has meant that formal declarations of war are frequently not undertaken and also a peace treaty at the end is also not entered in to.

Ancient history



One of the earliest recorded peace treaties was concluded between the Hittite
Hittites
The Hittites were a Bronze Age people of Anatolia.They established a kingdom centered at Hattusa in north-central Anatolia c. the 18th century BC. The Hittite empire reached its height c...

 and Egyptian
Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt was an ancient civilization of Northeastern Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in what is now the modern country of Egypt. Egyptian civilization coalesced around 3150 BC with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under the first pharaoh...

 empires after the ca.1274 BC Battle of Kadesh
Battle of Kadesh
The Battle of Kadesh took place between the forces of the Egyptian Empire under Ramesses II and the Hittite Empire under Muwatalli II at the city of Kadesh on the Orontes River, in what is now the Syrian Arab Republic....

 (see Egyptian-Hittite peace treaty
Egyptian-Hittite peace treaty
The Egyptian-Hittite peace treaty was concluded between Ramesses II and Hattušiliš III during year 21 of Ramesses rule; which according to most Egyptologists should be dated at around 1259 BCE...

). The battle took place in what is modern-day Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

, the entire Levant
Levant
The Levant or ) is the geographic region and culture zone of the "eastern Mediterranean littoral between Anatolia and Egypt" . The Levant includes most of modern Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel, the Palestinian territories, and sometimes parts of Turkey and Iraq, and corresponds roughly to the...

 being at that time contested between the two empires. After an extremely costly four-day battle, in which neither side gained a substantial advantage, both sides claimed victory. The lack of resolution led to further conflict between Egypt and the Hittites with Ramesses II
Ramesses II
Ramesses II , referred to as Ramesses the Great, was the third Egyptian pharaoh of the Nineteenth dynasty. He is often regarded as the greatest, most celebrated, and most powerful pharaoh of the Egyptian Empire...

 capturing the city of Kadesh and Amurru in his 8th year as king. However, the prospect of further protracted conflict between the two states eventually persuaded both their rulers, Hatusiliš III and Ramesses to end their dispute and sign a peace treaty. Both sides could not afford the possibility of a longer conflict since they were threatened by other enemies: Egypt was faced with the task of defending her long western border with Libya against the incursion of Libyan tribesmen by building a chain of fortresses stretching from Mersa Matruh to Rakotis while the Hittites faced a more formidable threat in the form of the Assyrian Empire which "had conquered Hanigalbat, the heartland of Mitanni, between the Tigris and the Euphrates" rivers that had previously been a Hittite vassal state.

The peace treaty was recorded in two versions, one in Egyptian hieroglyphs
Egyptian hieroglyphs
Egyptian hieroglyphs were a formal writing system used by the ancient Egyptians that combined logographic and alphabetic elements. Egyptians used cursive hieroglyphs for religious literature on papyrus and wood...

, the other in Akkadian
Akkadian language
Akkadian is an extinct Semitic language that was spoken in ancient Mesopotamia. The earliest attested Semitic language, it used the cuneiform writing system derived ultimately from ancient Sumerian, an unrelated language isolate...

, using cuneiform script; fortunately, both versions survive. Such dual-language recording is common to many subsequent treaties. This treaty differs from others, however, in that the two language versions are differently worded. Although the majority of the text is identical, the Hittite version claims that the Egyptians
Egyptians
Egyptians are nation an ethnic group made up of Mediterranean North Africans, the indigenous people of Egypt.Egyptian identity is closely tied to geography. The population of Egypt is concentrated in the lower Nile Valley, the small strip of cultivable land stretching from the First Cataract to...

 came suing for peace, while the Egyptian version claims the reverse. The treaty was given to the Egyptians in the form of a silver plaque, and this "pocket-book" version was taken back to Egypt and carved into the Temple of Karnak.

The Treaty was concluded between Ramesses II
Ramesses II
Ramesses II , referred to as Ramesses the Great, was the third Egyptian pharaoh of the Nineteenth dynasty. He is often regarded as the greatest, most celebrated, and most powerful pharaoh of the Egyptian Empire...

 and Hatusiliš III in Year 21 of Ramesses' reign. (c.1258 BC) Its eighteen articles calls for peace between Egypt and Hatti and then proceeds to maintain that their respective gods also demand peace. It contains many elements found in more modern treaties, although it is perhaps more far-reaching than later treaties' simple declaration of the end of hostilities. It also contains a mutual-assistance pact in the event that one of the empires should be attacked by a third party, or in the event of internal strife. There are articles pertaining to the forced repatriation
Repatriation
Repatriation is the process of returning a person back to one's place of origin or citizenship. This includes the process of returning refugees or soldiers to their place of origin following a war...

 of refugee
Refugee
A refugee is a person who outside her country of origin or habitual residence because she has suffered persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or because she is a member of a persecuted 'social group'. Such a person may be referred to as an 'asylum seeker' until...

s and provisions that they should not be harmed; this might be thought of as the first extradition
Extradition
Extradition is the official process whereby one nation or state surrenders a suspected or convicted criminal to another nation or state. Between nation states, extradition is regulated by treaties...

 treaty. There are also threats of retribution, should the treaty be broken.

This treaty is considered of such importance in the field of international relations that a reproduction of it hangs in the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 headquarters.

Modern history


Famous examples include the Treaty of Paris (1815)
Treaty of Paris (1815)
Treaty of Paris of 1815, was signed on 20 November 1815 following the defeat and second abdication of Napoleon Bonaparte. In February, Napoleon had escaped from his exile on Elba; he entered Paris on 20 March, beginning the Hundred Days of his restored rule. Four days after France's defeat in the...

, signed after Napoleon's defeat at the Battle of Waterloo
Battle of Waterloo
The Battle of Waterloo was fought on Sunday 18 June 1815 near Waterloo in present-day Belgium, then part of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands...

, and the Treaty of Versailles
Treaty of Versailles
The Treaty of Versailles was one of the peace treaties at the end of World War I. It ended the state of war between Germany and the Allied Powers. It was signed on 28 June 1919, exactly five years after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. The other Central Powers on the German side of...

, formally ending the First World War
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

. The latter treaty is possibly the most notorious of peace treaties, in that it is "blamed" by some historians for the rise of National Socialism
Nazism
Nazism, the common short form name of National Socialism was the ideology and practice of the Nazi Party and of Nazi Germany...

 in Germany and the eventual outbreak of the Second World War
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. The costly reparations
World War I reparations
World War I reparations refers to the payments and transfers of property and equipment that Germany was forced to make under the Treaty of Versailles following its defeat during World War I...

 that Germany was forced to pay the victors, the fact that Germany had to accept sole responsibility for starting the war, and the harsh restrictions on German rearmament were all listed in the treaty and caused massive resentment in Germany. Whether the Treaty of Versailles can be blamed for starting another war or not, shows the difficulties involved in making peace.

Another famous example would be the series of peace treaties known as the Peace of Westphalia
Peace of Westphalia
The Peace of Westphalia was a series of peace treaties signed between May and October of 1648 in Osnabrück and Münster. These treaties ended the Thirty Years' War in the Holy Roman Empire, and the Eighty Years' War between Spain and the Dutch Republic, with Spain formally recognizing the...

. It initiated modern diplomacy, involving the modern system of nation-states
Nation-state
The nation state is a state that self-identifies as deriving its political legitimacy from serving as a sovereign entity for a nation as a sovereign territorial unit. The state is a political and geopolitical entity; the nation is a cultural and/or ethnic entity...

. Subsequent wars were no longer over religion, but rather revolved around issues of state. This allowed Catholic and Protestant powers to ally, leading to a number of major realignments.

The Korean War
Korean War
The Korean War was a conventional war between South Korea, supported by the United Nations, and North Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China , with military material aid from the Soviet Union...

 is an example of a war which was stopped by the Korean Armistice Agreement but never closed with a peace treaty.

See also


  • Armistice
    Armistice
    An armistice is a situation in a war where the warring parties agree to stop fighting. It is not necessarily the end of a war, but may be just a cessation of hostilities while an attempt is made to negotiate a lasting peace...

  • Diplomacy
    Diplomacy
    Diplomacy is the art and practice of conducting negotiations between representatives of groups or states...

  • List of treaties
  • Pact
    Pact
    A pact is a formal agreement.Pact, The Pact or PACT may also refer to:-PACT as an acronym:* Protein ACTivator of the interferon-induced protein kinase, a protein that activates protein kinase R...

  • Peace
    Peace
    Peace is a state of harmony characterized by the lack of violent conflict. Commonly understood as the absence of hostility, peace also suggests the existence of healthy or newly healed interpersonal or international relationships, prosperity in matters of social or economic welfare, the...

  • Peace process
    Peace process
    Peace process may refer to:* in general:** Peacebuilding** Conflict resolution* specifically:** Northern Ireland peace process, efforts from c.1993 to end "the Troubles"...

  • Separate peace
    Separate peace
    The phrase "separate peace" refers to a nation's agreement to cease military hostilities with another, even though the former country had previously entered into a military alliance with other states that remain at war with the latter country...

  • Treaty
    Treaty
    A treaty is an express agreement under international law entered into by actors in international law, namely sovereign states and international organizations. A treaty may also be known as an agreement, protocol, covenant, convention or exchange of letters, among other terms...

  • Truce


External links