as known in the medieval ages wars and death were a normal thing and wars were frequent, in my world, there are two super nations with equal power, but I want to eventually unite them against a third enemy. and to do so i decided that they won't have any major wars between them so that it would be easier to merge them (yes I want them to be merged completely when the third enemy is introduced) but I just can't find a reason for them to have peace, especially the two nations aren't even the same species of humans. their borders are heavily guarded and no interaction other than trade occurs between them

the time is a little confusing though, they are technically in the renaissance era but has been there for hundreds of years, no steam engine or gun powder, but culture and philosophy did evolve.

realizing that the question is a little broad without some explanations here are some:

  • the idea of the story I am working on is the ability to shed differences aside when a larger threat is introduced.
  • both nations are extremely nationalist and the government uses race to separate the (us) from (them).
  • the third force is a third species nation that discovers them( like the Europeans discovering the Americas).
  • the two nations are physically different but are technologically similar.
  • they are not in a war, but I found it hard to find a reason for them to have peace since they are very different and proud nations (ie what I am asking)
  • isolation has been the theme for most of their existence, religion is nonexistent replaced by nationalist ideals.
  • they arent very interdependent on trade between them, they can both shut it down but will suffer a little.
  • $\begingroup$ War itself tends to unite people. $\endgroup$ – Renan Nov 10 '19 at 0:39
  • $\begingroup$ but how does that answer a way of having peace ( war isn't like peace) $\endgroup$ – Hasan Alsudani Nov 10 '19 at 0:54
  • $\begingroup$ Who is trying to unit them? What is the internal political situation is like? What are the ruling classes and how they figure into this? What is the deal with this third force? What differences exist between the two groups? What got them into a war in the first place? What is the recent political-historical-warfare situation like between them? What are the believes of the people? Are resources a factor? Magic, technology, philosophy...etc.? I'm sorry. This is just too big and large of a question to be answered in any meaningful way without a detailed breakdown of the situation. $\endgroup$ – Seallussus Nov 10 '19 at 1:09
  • $\begingroup$ I add more clarifications to the question hope they will clear up a few things $\endgroup$ – Hasan Alsudani Nov 10 '19 at 1:53
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ "There are two super nations with equal power": in the medieval world a "nation" was not a political entity, and thus is could not be "powerful"; a "nation" was simply the set of people speaking a given language. It was not expected that all people speaking, for example, German, would be subjects of the same king, or that a prince ruling over some German-speaking people would not have also subjects speaking other languages. Using the word "nation" for a medieval polity is simply wrong and anachronistic -- and it mischaracterizes medieval realms. And there were no "nationalistic ideas"... $\endgroup$ – AlexP Nov 12 '19 at 0:13

Trade, if a primary concern, is a form of peace

You mention they do trade. One could argue that international trade is one of the major (if not primary) factors that prevents military conflict, or at least makes it unpalatable enough to think twice.

Trade comes with benefits:

  • Dependancy on each other
  • Constant communication between nations
  • Trade agreements, currency agreements, treaties and even establishment of handling and shipping protocols that all need to be dismantled in a conflict
  • The people are interacting as well as the governments, meaning private enterprise, companies, individual traders, merchants, people of all shapes sizes and backgrounds, are interacting with each other (so it is not just 'top down')
  • If the variety of products are traded then this dilutes interests so a disagreement with one aspect is 'supported' by another. ie. A dispute about iron export can be offset by agreement on food. Education, IP, resources, goods, services are all aspects of trade.
  • Cross-fertilisation (either figurative or actual) where it is financially, economically or practically beneficial to do so.
  • Over time, it would be beneficial to have two forms of government similar to each other - for both practical and economic reasons. If both societies form 'democracies', or at least merchant-dominated governments with voting rights, than this would make it less likely there is a 'value difference' between each other to cause conflict. Democracies don't like to invade each other.

All of the above need to be unravelled or threatened if military conflict were to occur.

The strongest, most easiest and reliable relationship, is an economic relationship.

| improve this answer | |
  • $\begingroup$ thank you, that's what I had in mind but I was a little worried that trade can occur between two hating nations (the situation is like the cold war but there is only Russia and America minus the nukes). they do trade but they can also live without it although it would hurt their economies a bit but they can do it. $\endgroup$ – Hasan Alsudani Nov 10 '19 at 2:02
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Trade can absolutely happen between rival nations. In 1959, Nikita Kruschev met with American officials, including the VP of Pepsi. He offered Kruschev a glass of Pepsi, and he loved it. Since Soviet currency was worthless outside the Warsaw Pact, the USSR had to trade vodka for Pepsi. Eventually they decided instead to sell Pepsi a bunch of old warships. For a few days, before the ships were sold for scrap, Pepsi had the 6th largest navy in the world. $\endgroup$ – Ryan_L Nov 10 '19 at 2:34

While mentioned by Flox "trade" is a reasonable answer, as high level of trade seems to be precluded by the question, I can think about a less idealistic reason:

Huge natural border:

  • makes the demarcation line quite uncontroversial
  • because of power projection limitations makes any huge invasion unlikely (good luck in crossing mountains/desert/sea, in premodern times armies tended to lose more soldiers to attrition than actual combat)
  • even if anyone crossed it, the lands directly behind could be mostly be the poorest provinces, that would not provide much loot to justify even a limited war
| improve this answer | |
  • $\begingroup$ well yeah, that's actually a very great point thank you. the borders are filled with castles on every road due to tensions across the years and each nation has their natural resources deep in the country, the only problem is that the borders are just plains ( i couldn't change it because of some restriction to the storytelling) and the border is massive so thats a problom. $\endgroup$ – Hasan Alsudani Nov 10 '19 at 18:52

If there is a vast empire in your world, the outer provinces may face invasions and raids, but the inner provinces may have peace. The medieval era lasted for about 1,000, and during that period there were a number of vast empires in Asia, Africa, and Europe, which peace lasting for decades or centuries in large regions.

As for wars between large superpowers, neighboring superpowers tended to fight occasional wars for as long as they were in contact. But there were no wars between the Roman Empire and the Chinese Empire, because they were so far away. Of course there was little contact between the Roman Empire and China.

So you might want to create two large powers that are closer together and in more frequent contact than Rome and China, but are much farther apart than Rome and Persia and don't have a common border or fight frequent border wars.

| improve this answer | |
  • $\begingroup$ thanks a lot if they didn't have a common border it would have been easier but yeah the problem that I am facing is that they do, and they are immediate borders with no mountains or deserts or seas to separate them, imagine Canada and the US $\endgroup$ – Hasan Alsudani Nov 12 '19 at 1:17

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.