The Black Death

The Black Death




The globe has seen quite a number of unpleasant events. In fact, the history of the entire globe was carved and continues to be carved by unpleasant events. Some of these are manmade while others are natural, with some of them remaining unresolved for a long time. In most cases, manmade calamities such as wars and acts of terror steal the show, alongside natural calamities such as earthquakes, hurricanes, volcanic eruptions and others. Of course, natural calamities pique a lot of interest thanks to the fact that there remain quite a lot of hidden details. While there are variations in the magnitude and the interest that different calamities pique, plagues have been among the topmost both in magnitude and interest piqued. The human society has seen quite a number of plagues, none of which can match the magnitude of The Black Death plague.

The Black Death was a term given to arguably the largest pandemics to occur in Europe’s (and human) history in the mid-1300s. The plague peaked between 1348 and 1350 in Europe, leaving between 75 and 100 million people dead (Scott & Duncan, 2008). The Black Death was responsible for about 1.5 million deaths in Medieval England between 1348 and 1350. While there exist varied theories pertaining to the Black Death’s etiology, modern science has shown that the plague was mainly caused by the Yersinia Pestis bacterium (Byrne, 2004).

The Arrival and Spread of the Plague

The Black Death, according to varied accounts, had its origin as Central Asia or China. The disease then reached Crimea in 1346, travelling through Silk Road. Black rats are credited with its spread from Crimea to Europe and the Mediterranean as they were regularly found in merchant ships. These rats were infested with Oriental Rat fleas.

Historians note that the plague, carried by 12 Genoese ships into Sicily where it reached in October 1347 and spread all over the island. Venice and Genoa experienced the outbreak in January 1348, introduced by ships from Caffa. However, the key point of entry into Northern Italy was Pisa. Italy seems to have been the key spreading ground as it was from here that it spread northwest throughout Europe into Spain, England, Portugal and France by mid 1348. It then spread into Scandinavia and Germany in 1348, with Norway feeling the pinch in 1349 through its Askov port (Byrne, 2004). The plague then swept through Bjorgvin before finally sweeping through northwestern Russia around 1351. While a large part of Europe was affected, the plague did not touch certain parts such as the Kingdom of Poland, as well as some parts of Netherlands and Belgium.

England had the first outbreak between 1348-49, with the disease seeming to travel into the south in form of bubonic nodes in the summer months of 1348. On the onset of winter, the disease mutated into a significantly frightening pneumonic form, hitting London in 1348 and sweeping across East Anglia in the New Year. Midlands and Wales were already experiencing its pinch by spring 1349 (Byrne, 2004).

Causes of the plague and Human factors that enhanced the spread of the Black Death Plague

The Black Death resulted from fleas carried by the oriental black rats that were so common in cities and towns. The common fleas, which went by the botanical name Xenopsylla cheopis, carries the Yersinia pestis bacteria. Eventually, the bacteria in these fleas kills the rats, in which case the fleas will have to seek new hosts and homes, which more often than not is in humans. Once the humans were bitten by the fleas, bacteria would be directly transmitted into their bloodstream, from where it would spread throughout the blood stream and the human body.

Scholars note that, in about a fifth of the victims, the disease would spread into the lungs of the patient, resulting into a pneumonic plague. There were variations in the time taken for the victims to succumb to the disease, varying from 2 to seven days. However, the pneumonic plague comes as the most dangerous and highly infectious category of plague, with the bacteria being spread through the air (Byrne, 2004).


Human activities

Nevertheless, there were varied human activities or conditions that may have resulted in the spread of the disease especially in Medieval England.

First, it is noted that the conditions of living in cities and towns were far from the best. People lived extremely close to each other with not much attention being given to sanitation. In fact, most people were not very particular about their sanitation until the 19th century. These unsanitary conditions created fair grounds for overpopulation of rats carrying the fleas. While the rats may not have caused the disease, they were responsible for its fast spread, aided by the filth littering the streets (Byrne, 2004).

In an attempt to cure their sores, the people would also cut up the buboes and lance them so as to draw out the noxious poisons. In such cases, the buboes would release a spray of puss, which often escalated the spread of the plague. Even in instances where the patients got over the treatment, they became increasingly vulnerable to contracting other infections thank to the open sores (Byrne, 2006). While the treatment may have temporarily aided in relieving pain thanks to the release of puss, it worsened things for doctors, patients and those people around them.

In addition, the human society at this time was deficient of medical knowledge in which case they tried numerous techniques to escape the disease. Unfortunately, some of these techniques aided in the spread. An incredible example is the flagellants, who thought that the plague had resulted from God’s punishment, in which case they whipped themselves to show repentance. On the same note, they believed that the disease was in their blood, in which case they could eliminate it by bleeding (Byrne, 2006). They also though that the demons resided in their bodies causing the plague, in which case whipping themselves was a way of beating the demons. Unfortunately, the open sores only aggravated the spread of the disease.

Moreover, the people in this society believed that cats and dogs were aiding in the spread of the disease. In this case, they killed the dogs and cats, with the animals’ blood being used to make some concoctions thought to eliminate the plague (Byrne, 2006). Unfortunately, this had the contrary effects especially considering that cats and dogs are natural predators of rats, in which case their elimination resulted in multiplication of the flea-infested rats and the spread of the plague.

The limited knowledge led to the enactment of varied rules. The people were forbidden from eating pig and poultry meat or even fat meat as these categories of meat were thought to spread the plague. In addition, they were forbidden from bathing as this was thought to weaken people’s hearts, while exercising was thought to attract the plague’s evil spirit (Byrne, 2006). These were real academic opinions emanating from the pope, but had the exact opposite as the people simply became dirty, hungry and weak thereby worsening the plague.

Impacts and Implications of the Black Death

The Black Death had far-reaching implications on the medieval English society, stretching from their economic aspects to their political and social lives.

On the economic aspect, the plague rendered the people incapable of ploughing their fields, especially considering that the men who usually carried these duties were victims. In addition, bringing in the harvests was virtually impossible, while animals got lost as there was no one to tend them. In essence, the entire villages faced starvations. The cities and towns had food shortages simply because the surrounding villages did not have sufficient food supplies. This also resulted in inflation of food prices, which in some cases went as much as four times. On the same note, most lords resorted to sheep farming after losing their manpower to the plague as sheep farming needed considerably less labor (Byrne, 2004). Needless to say, basic foodstuffs became scarce in cities and towns as the popularity of grain faming reduced considerably.

One of the most significant effects of the plague was on the social-political arena, especially with regard to the Peasants Revolt in 1381. Individuals who survived the plague believed that they had done it through God’s protection in which case there was something distinctive and unique about them. In essence, they exploited the opportunity that the disease had provided to enhance the quality of their lifestyle. Scholars note that the peasants were required by the feudal law to only leave their villages if they had the permission of their lord. (Scott & Duncan, 2008) While it was previously difficult for the lords to grant their permission, the disease had introduced an incredible shortage of labor, in which case the lords had no option but to not only allow the villagers to leave their villages but also encourage them to come and work for them so as to fill the gap. Once the peasants left their villages and signed up for the work, the lords would restrict them from returning to their villages. Peasants were privy to the lords’ desperation in getting their harvests in, in which case they demanded higher wages for their labor (Scott & Duncan, 2008). The massive loss in population resulted in economic changes founded on increased social mobility with the depopulation reducing the peasants weakened obligations to stick to their conventional holdings (Zahler, 2009).  In essence, the government was faced with the paradox as peasants could leave their lords and look for better and more enticing deals, something that upset the fundamentals of the Feudal System introduced with the sole aim of tying peasants to the land. It is worth noting that the lords were encouraging this movement, which was ironic as the Feudal System was bound to benefit them more (Zahler, 2009). The government tried to counter the constant movement of peasants looking for better pay by introducing the 1351 Statute of Laborers. This Statute limited the amount of wages offered to peasants to the same amount as that paid in 1346, with lords or masters being prohibited from exceeding this amount. On the same note, peasants were prohibited from leaving the village to which they belonged (Zahler, 2009). Any disobedience of this statute could have resulted in serious punishments for the peasants, but some chose to ignore it. However, the statute led to vast amounts of anger among peasants, resulting in the 1381 Peasant Revolt. This provides a causal link between the Black Death plague and the 1381 Peasant Revolt in England.

The Black Plague was also credited with the Renaissance, as well as the Reformation. This is because of the sudden decrease in cheap labor, which provided landlords with incentives to compete for laborers. They would use varied enticements such as freedom and increased wages, an innovation that is argued to have formed the basis for capitalism while the subsequent social upheaval resulted in the Reformation and the Renaissance. Apart from the increased ability to demand for better remuneration, workers in Western Europe started moving away from the yearly contracts, opting instead for successive temporary jobs as they offered better remuneration (Scott & Duncan, 2008). The plague also gave peasants the capacity to move to other areas that they previously could not go to in search of better opportunities.

In conclusion, the Black Death was arguably one of the most devastating plagues in written human history. It is thought to have emanated from Central Asia through cruise ships into Europe. Of course, there were varied entry points, but the disease was spread not only by the ships but also through the air. Varied human activities aggravated the situation, especially with regard to cleanliness and the techniques used to eliminate the disease. Most of these techniques were based on ignorance as not much was known about the disease’s etiology. Nevertheless, the disease had far-reaching social, economic and political implications. It is thought to have a bearing on the 1381 Peasants Revolt, as well as the Renaissance and Reformation. In addition, it reduced cheap labor, thereby allowing peasants to move to other areas seeking better opportunities.


Byrne, J. P. (2004). The black death. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press.

Byrne, J. P. (2006). Daily life during the Black Death. Westport (Conn.: Greenwood Press.

Scott, S & Duncan, C (2008). Return of the Black Death: The World’s Greatest Serial Killer. New York: John Wiley & Sons

Zahler, D. (2009). The Black Death. Minneapolis: Twenty-First Century Books.














The conflict between Israelis and Palestinians started in the immediately after the second world war when Britain ended the mandate it had in Palestine. To that effect, there was a partitioning of Palestine into two sides the first part was to be Israel the homeland of Jews. The second one was meant to be for the Arabs. From then on the conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians has been defined by tensions that are escalating evidently in the failed peace processes. The conflict has formed a core part of the larger Arab-Israeli conflict. The conflict has been termed as the most intractable conflict in the world (Boaz,  2005). The hallmark of this conflict has been the height of violence that has been seen during the entire period of the conflict. The fighting has been carried out by paramilitary groups, regular armies, and individuals. The casualties are not only the military, but a considerable number of the deaths have been recorded in the civilian population. The conflict has negatively impacted this region and there has to be a lasting solution that will bring peace to the region. There have been numerous attempts at finding a solution in the region, but they have not been effective. The paper will look at the different measures that have been taken to bring peace between Palestine and Israel.

Research question and Thesis

The paper seeks to investigate the best way to handle the peace problem between Israel and Palestine. The attempts made to come to an agreement between the two parties have revolved around the role that the leaders in both sides have played and the international community. Resolving conflicts in such ways does not put into consideration the role the public plays in the peace process. It is of little importance since peace does not exist between conflicting parties if the people have no belief that peace indeed exists. Therefore, the overarching question the paper attempts to answer is: is the use of force and military power the best way to handle the peace problem between Israel and Palestine.

Different measures have been taken to deal with the peace issue between Israel and Palestine, but they have not been effective. Therefore, use of force and military power is the best measure to be used to going to handle the conflict between Palestine and Israel and bring peace to the region.

Literature review

There have been numerous long-term peace processes as well as reconciliations of Israelis and Palestinians, but they have failed to come up with a final peace agreement. The key issues that persist include security, mutual recognition, water rights, borders, control of Jerusalem, Palestinian freedom movement, Israeli settlements and finding a solution to the claim by Palestinians of the right of their refugees returning (Shlaim, 2008). The violence that has been witnessed from this conflict especially in such a region that has rich historic sites, religious and cultural interests all over the world has made this issue an international problem. There have been many international conferences that deal with historical rights, human rights and security issues set-up to examine the issue. The conflict has been a factor hindering tourism in the area and the access to these areas that have been contested hotly.

There have been many initiatives taken to try and come up with a two-state solution that involves creating an independent Palestine together with the state of Israel. From various polls, many of the Palestinians and Israelis were in support of the creation of a two-state as compared to any other solution. They prefer this to any other means of solving the conflict. However, there exists significant disagreements and mutual distrust of the commitment on each side to uphold the obligations that come with the agreement. The conflict has generated various opinions and views within the Palestinian and Israeli society. It brings out the deep divisions that exist between the Palestinians and Israelis and also within each of these societies.


The answer to the research question can be found only if the different methods used to find peace between Israel and Palestine are considered. The paper will use the level of analysis methodology to answer the research question.

There have been numerous attempts to solve this conflict through conflict resolution process as well as international mediation. The conflict is deteriorating and it is escalating as both the willingness and positions of the two parties is becoming more polarized. The direct negotiations have been conducted by two parties that are the Palestine liberation organization led by Mahmoud Abass and Israeli government that is led by Benjamin Netanyahu. These negotiations are conducted by an international contingent called Quartet on the Middle East. These negotiations have failed to come up with a solution to the ongoing conflict due to various reasons (Shlaim, 2008). First, the process has failed owing to the elastic approach that is being used to resolve the conflict. The process failed due to three personal level factors which are; an existing disconnection between the promises by leaders and what they actually deliver to the public. Second, the leaders of Palestine and Israel are only involved in the peace process so as to promote their individual interests. Third, there was a lack of change in the leadership of both sides hence the deadlock.

The peace process also failed due to political and economic factors in the region. The Palestine region lacks a democratic political structure. Israeli political structure is unified, and it operates with a parliamentary democratic structure. There is no way that peace can be achieved between Palestinians and Israelis if there is a lack of unity in the claims. The major differences between Israeli and Palestinian economic performance also led to the failure of the peace process (Kriesberg, 2009). International involvement is a critical factor that has caused the failure in the peace process in the region. International involvement translates to the role of international factors in the resolution of conflicts while leaving out Arab states to support Palestine and counter balance the support Israel receives. Arab states in the region are not involved in the peace process and hence its failure. These reasons show how the peace process has failed to bring peace to the region. Therefore, it means that conflict resolution is not an appropriate way to solve the peace issue between Israeli and Palestinians.

There are many military solutions to the conflict between Israeli and Palestinian. The wars that stop short of killing people of the opposing society accept a political solution. Wars are normally a contest of political will, and military force is a tool that a society can use for enemies as well as the public. There are various military actions that can be used to bring peace between Palestine and Israel (Halileh, 2002). One of these actions was on an impressive display during the military campaign that has taken place recently. The display is of the missile defenses which have outweighed the effect brought about by the rockets by Palestinians. The cost-exchange ratio is inclined towards Palestine since their missiles are relatively not expensive. However, the economic advantage of Israel levels out this scale. The precision that comes with intelligence and communication has made it possible for the number of civilian casualties to be reduced among the Palestinians. They are also helpful in bringing out the existing moral difference between the military tactics of the Palestinians and those of Israel. The physical vulnerability of Israeli’s will be reduced by technologies that enable the identification of tunneling. There has also been cooperation with Egypt has made it possible to bear down on the military fields and intelligence.

There are numerous proportions of military forces from Arab governments that act as a buffer and interference between Palestine and Israel in the Gaza. Egypt, United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia can also contribute small contingents of the security forces when it comes to the staff within checkpoints at borders and carry out patrols with the Palestinian and Israeli security forces (Halileh, 2002). The creation of a multinational Arab force whose primary task will be policing Gaza would create a separation of the necessities of security from those of the political issues that are of dominance in Israel. The advancement in sustained and pervasive surveillance can lead to an increase in the confidence in Israel in the work that is being done by their military forces and hence become an accumulating asset. The Israeli military forces would also be free and hence be used in other areas.

There has been American training of the Palestinian forces in the West Bank, which is a sound investment that has shifted the responsibility of producing security among the Palestinians from Israel to Palestine. The training has created security forces that are capable of acting on the state’s behalf (Ross, 2007). There is a lot of collaboration between Israeli Defense Forces units and the Palestinian military currently in the aftermath of the fighting that has occurred currently. Assistance from the U.S military helps in the establishment of operations and intelligence fusion centers. It ensures that the two forces operate from a standard picture and hence there can be an improvement in their security collaboration.

There have been numerous peace talks arranged by leaders in a bid to bring peace to the region. These talks have not borne any fruits because the conflict between Israel and Palestine has not come to an end. Perhaps there must be a more serious approach to the issue in order to find a lasting solution. Since the talks have failed, there is a need to use a more serious approach that will force peace in the region. The talks by the leaders seem not to be taken seriously by the people and hence there is a need to show the people that this is a serious issue. The only way that seems viable is the use of military force because the military mean business. The military is out there to execute the instructions given to them and hence they will work hard to ensure that peace is restored in the region.


The contributions of military forces and the operations by the military have greatly advanced the peace in the region. The actions of the military forces have resulted in significant advancement of peace in the area. The military are keen on ensuring that peace is restored in the area. The military action has also reduced the number of civilian deaths due to the conflicts. The military camps offer assistance to the civilians who have been wounded during the conflict. The Israeli-Palestinian region is an important region to the entire world and hence the reason many nations are concerned with the peace issue in the region. The only solution that will bring peace in this region is the use of force and military action. Though military action and force have some negative impacts in the long run, it is an effective way of restoring peace in the region.


Boaz, J. (2005). The Israeli-Palestinian conflict. San Diego: Greenhaven Press.

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Halileh, S. (2002). Israeli-Palestinian conflict. BMJ, 361-361.

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Kriesberg, L. (2009). Mediation and the Transformation of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. Journal of Peace Research, 373-392.

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Ross, S. (2007). The Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Blacklick, OH: McGraw-Hill.

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Shlaim, A. (2008). Reflections On The Israeli–Palestinian Conflict. Asian Affairs, 1-13.

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Tov, Y. (2007). The Israeli-Palestinian conflict from conflict resolution to conflict management. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

The Basis for Camp David

The Basis for Camp David




The world has seen its fair share of conflicts between different aspects of the human society. Indeed, almost every country has had to grapple with conflicts both within and outside its borders. Of course, the magnitudes and the basis for conflicts changes between countries, not to mention the time that is taken for the predisposing issues to be resolved. In the contemporary world, the shape of conflicts has only change with regard to the technology that is used in these conflicts. While there have been numerous conflicts both in the ancient and contemporary human society, none has been more controversial than the conflict between Israel and Arabs.

As much as the conflict between Jews and Arabs can be traced way back to the ancient societies, the current conflict has its basis on the 1948 declaration of independence by Israel on 14th May 1948. The independence had been predicated by the 1947 Partition Resolution, where the former Palestinian mandate of the Great Britain was to be divided into Arab and Jewish states, while the areas that had religious significance in Jerusalem were to remain under the administration of the United Nations (Geary, 2011). This, however, did not resolve the conflict as the Palestinian Arabs were unsatisfied with the arrangement as they saw it as unfair to the Arabs who were to remain in the Jewish territory, while favoring the Jews (Quandt, 1986). The conflict that took shape was, essentially an attempt by the Arabs to block the implementation of the Partition Resolution, as well as prevent the Jewish state from being established. On the other hand, the Jews were hoping to have the Partition Resolution implemented so that they can have full control over the allotted territory (Nido, 2006). The new Jewish state of Israel endured attacks from the seven Arab countries, including Egypt, with Arab refugees fleeing to Arab lands. Unfortunately, these refugees were intentionally not integrated to the Arab lands where they fled. Arab nations have maintained the descendants of the refugees in squalid conditions in the hope that they will at one time dislodge Jews in Israel. Numerous attempts have been made to resolve the conflicts between Israel and the Arab states, with Camp David accords remaining to be the most significant negotiations (Lesch, 2008). Camp David Accord was signed in 1978 between Egyptian President Anwar El Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin with United States President Jimmy Carter as a witness (Mangle & Langone, 2005). Underlining the critical role played by this accord in resolving the conflict is the fact that the accord has been the basis for numerous other accords and negotiations (Quandt, 1986). These include the Camp David II, between Yasser Arafat of Palestine and Ehud Mu Barak.

Why did it fail?

While the Camp David accord remains one of the most significant steps towards resolution of the conflict, it has failed in bringing the conflict to an end. Indeed, the Jewish and Arab states are in a state of constant conflict with numerous talks and negotiations being held in an effort to resolve the conflict. There are varied reasons for the failure of Camp David Accords.

First, the two nations, despite agreeing on the varied provisions did not trust each other’s commitment to implementing the accord. This seemed to emanate from the countries’ varying degrees of importance to the United States, which was brokering the peace accords (Smith, 2007). As much as the two parties had underlined their commitment to the negotiations process, Israel had kicked off efforts at removing Egypt from the conflict using another peace deal that was overwhelmingly in the best interests of Israel (Telhami, 1990). Researchers note that Begin seemed to be buying time to the extent of allowing the negotiations to nearly collapse over non-issues so as to avoid being pressed on fundamental issues (Schulze, 2008). On the other hand, Sadat flatly refused to undertake any negotiations on matters that deeply concerned him including the sovereignty and land of Egypt (Mangle & Langone, 2005). At one time, Sadat had packed his bags and prepared to leave after being frustrated by the refusal by Begin to cede any ground on West Bank. Of particular note is the fact that such a departure would essentially mean an end to the relationship between America and Egypt (Telhami, 2012). This underlined the fact that as much as the positions presented by Sadat were more similar to the ones presented by the United States that were those of Israel, the American president could, with no hesitation, threaten Egypt (Findlay & Thagard, 2011). Even after the making of the Camp David accords, Begin did not hesitate to underline the right of Israel to indefinitely remain in West Bank and build settlements, thereby creating the impression that he did not consider the Camp David accord as binding in any way (Kāmil, 1986). It is worth noting that Israel was not treated with threats from the United States even after this violation.

In addition, there seems to have emerged the interference of other parties that are not primarily concerned with the peace and stability of the region. The main culprit remains the Soviet Union in general and Russia in particular (Bercovitch & Kadayifci, 2002). In 1991, Iran had yet to recover from the defeat it suffered in the hands of Iraq in the 8-year war, while Iraq had just suffered a crumbling defeat from Israel (Karsh, 2002). The Soviet Union, on the other hand, had started crumbling, in which case it could not offer its strategic backing to the Arab states hostile to Israel (Mangle & Langone, 2005). However, this had changed in 1993, with Iran running nuclear tests under the backing of Russia. This drew insufficient objections from the United States (Bercovitch & Kadayifci, 2002). While the United States was pursuing peace accords between Egypt and Israel, it failed to keep an eye on other nations. Israel had vouched for the maintenance of control of about 40% of West Bank to defend its borders and could not consider lowering this to 7% or 5% brought up in Camp David (Bie, 2012). Indeed, such an agreement would increase the vulnerability of Israel to attacks from its eastern border, at a time where there was increased threat from other countries such as Iran and Iraq.

Addressing the conflict between Arabs and Israel and brining the conflict to an end would necessitate that a policy is crafted addressing the Middle East in its entirety rather than in portions. Camp David accords in Jimmy Carter’s administration and Clinton’s government were based on the significantly dubious assumption that addressing the conflict between Israel and one of its neighbors such as Palestine or Egypt would solve the entire conflict, as other Arab countries would eventually fall into place, a highly unlikely scenario (Quandt, 1988). Indeed, partial diplomacy with just one of the Arab countries while ignoring developments in other Arab countries would successfully challenge any peace agreement.


Bercovitch, J & Kadayifci, S.A (2002). Conflict Management and Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: The Importance of Capturing the “Right Moment” 9 Asia-Pacific Review 113, 123

Bie, S. (2012). From Sinai to the Golan Heights: A comparative analysis of Israel peace negotiations. Oslo: University of Oslo.

Findlay, D. & Thagard, P. (2011). Emotional change in international negotiation: Analyzing the Camp David using cognitive-effective maps. Berlin: Springer Publisher.

Telhami, S. (2012). The Camp David Accords: A case of international bargaining. College Park: University of Maryland.

Telhami, S. (1990). Power and leadership in international bargaining: The path to the Camp David accords. New York: Columbia University Press.

Quandt, W. B. (1988). The Middle East: Ten years after Camp David. Washington, D.C: Brookings Institution.

Quandt, W. B. (1986). Camp David: Peacemaking and politics. Washington, D.C: Brookings Institution.

Nido, E. (2006). Power, politics, and identity: President Carter and the forging of the Camp David Accords. Hanover: Dartmouth College.

Kāmil, M. I. (1986). The Camp David Accords: A testimony. London: KPI.

Geary, B. (2011). Camp David Accords (1978).

Mangle, A. & Langone, C. (2005). Jimmy Carter: Discovering the soul of a leader through aninvestigation of personality traits. Athens: University of Georgia.

Quandt, W. B. (2001). Peace process: American diplomacy and the Arab-Israeli conflict since 1967. Washington, DC: Brookings Inst. Press

Schulze, K. E. (2008). The Arab-Israeli conflict. Harlow, England: Pearson Longman.

Smith, C. D. (2007). Palestine and the Arab-Israeli conflict: [a history with documents]. Boston, Mass: Bedford/St. Martin’s.

Lesch, D. W. (2008). The Arab-Israeli conflict: A history. New York: Oxford University Press.

The balance sheet

The balance sheet


Why is the balance sheet important in order to understand the financial condition of the organization?  1

What types of accounts are found in the balance sheet?. 1

How are the accounts arranged and grouped?. 1

What types of business transactions add to the balances in each grouping of accounts on the balance sheet?  2

What types of information may users of the balance sheet discern by properly analyzing a balance sheet?  2

Why is the balance sheet important in order to understand the financial condition of the organization?

A balance sheet shows a summary of all the financial balances of a business organization at the end of a trading period, usually at the end of the year (Spurga, 2004). The balance sheet shows the net worth of the organization which is usually the difference between assets and liabilities. It is imperative but not a must that the assets side balances with the liabilities and owners’ equity side. Since the balance sheet is drawn at the end of a certain period and since it captures the net worth of the business, it thus serves a very important role in showing the financial position of an organization.

What types of accounts are found in the balance sheet?

The balance sheet has various types of accounts. These include; assets, (current, fixed and intangible), liabilities (short and long term) and owners’ equity accounts (Spurga, 2004).

How are the accounts arranged and grouped?

The assets are listed on the left side of the document. The assets are listed in order of their liquidity. Usually, the current assets are listed first after the available cash at hand or in the bank has been listed. The fixed assets which include the organization’s items such as machinery and buildings are listed last. Capital or owners’ equity and all liabilities are listed on the right side of the business document. Capital is listed first followed by the current liabilities and finally the long term liabilities (Makoujy, 2010).

What types of business transactions add to the balances in each grouping of accounts on the balance sheet?

Business transaction involves buying and selling either in cash or in debt. The assets side contains what the organization is owed by other companies while the liabilities side shows what the company owes to other companies (Makoujy, 2010).

What types of information may users of the balance sheet discern by properly analyzing a balance sheet?

Since a balance sheet shows the net worth of the business, users of a balance sheet will easily know the worth of the organization. The balance sheet also provides information of whether the organization is operating at a loss or profit. Failure of the balance sheet to balance may indicate either a surplus or a deficit which should give the management of the organization information and directions of which measures to take. The balance sheet also provides information to its users of which debts to collect and which to pay in the near future (Spurga, 2004).


Makoujy, J.R. (2010). How to read the balance sheet: the bottom line on what you need to know about cash flow, assets, debt, equity, profit… and how it all comes together.

New York: McGraw-Hill professional.

Spurga, C. R. (2004). Balance sheet basics: financial management for non-financial managers.

New York: Penguin Group.