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At the Cullen house, Jasper reveals his vampire origins to Bella.
He explains that, just as humans fight wars for more land and power, vampires fight for more territory to feed their perpetual thirst. A particularly greedy vampire named Benito started creating an army of young vampires. He used the enormous strength young vampires possess in their first year to kill off vampire populations in other areas, to claim those places as his own feeding grounds.
Other greedy vampires followed Benito's example and soon wars raged all over the vampire world, forcing the Volturi to step in and clean house. But the wars resumed on a smaller scale.
Jasper was transformed by a vampire named Maria to become a soldier in her own army. Due to his strong ability to manipulate the emotions of others, Maria put Jasper in charge of turning the young, unskilled vampires into a formidable army.
After a series of wars, Jasper became badly depressed about his actions. In his search for other options for living as a vampire, he met Alice, who introduced him to the Cullens and their way of life.
Jasper believes that they need to stop the Seattle vampire army soon if they want to avoid the Volturi's involvement.
Edward believes the Volturi might actually have created the vampire army to destroy the growing Cullen clan, but his theory doesn't receive much credence amongst family members.
The Cullens decide to confront the vampire army. But when Carlisle calls for help from other vampire families, none of them are willing to help.