ABSTRACT

The "conflict of ideologies" is, of course, only a metaphor. Men or groups of men engage in conflict, and ideologies are systems of ideas that have no existence outside the minds of individuals. The role of ideologies may be to justify men engaging in conflicts over issues that they might otherwise seek to resolve by peaceful means, or to furnish them with a picture of the world within which their own struggles become more meaningful and hence more satisfying. The element of ideology in past conflicts has tended to loom larger in the minds of those actively engaged than in the reflections of later historians. Crusaders may have believed that they were going off to rescue the Holy Places of their faith from the grasp of the infidel; later historians talk about land-hunger 20and Mediterranean trade. Philip II may have launched the Armada hoping to restore England to the Catholic Church; we look at the logistical problems of the Spanish empire.