Peter the Great’s idea for truly ending a war

Peter the Great: His Life and World has an idea that we might be able to use, given the number of wars in which we are involved:

Before leaving Moscow for St. Petersburg in early March 1723, Peter invited his friends to another astonishing spectacle: the burning of the wooden house at Preobrazhenskoe in which he had first secretly planned the war against Sweden. With his own hand, the Emperor filled shelves and closets with inflammable colored chemicals and fireworks and then he put the house to the torch. Many small explosions and brilliantly colored flames erupted from the burning structure, and for some time before it collapsed, the heavy log frame of the house stood silhouetted against an incandescent rainbow. Later, when only the blackened, smoking rubble was left, Peter turned to the Duke of Holstein, nephew of Charles XII, and said, “This is the image of war: brilliant victories followed by destruction. But with this house in which my first plans against Sweden were worked out, may every thought disappear which can arm my hand against that kingdom, and may it always be the most faithful ally of my empire.”

[The war with Sweden above was the Great Northern War, which had lasted for 21 years.]

More: Read Peter the Great: His Life and World