War in the Age of Enlightenment, 1700-1789

Greenwood Publishing Group, 2003 - 232 páginas

War in the 18th century war was a complex operation, including popular as well as conventional conflict, between Europeans and with non-Europeans. These conflicts influenced European intellectuals and contributed to the complexity of Enlightenment thought. While Enlightenment writers regarded war as the greatest evil confronting mankind, they had little hope that it could be eliminated; thus, peace proposals of the day were joined by more realistic discussion of the means by which war might be limited or rendered more humane. In this book, the author considers the influence of ideas and values on the actions of Enlightenment military personnel and how the rational spirit of the time influenced military thought, producing a military enlightenment that applied rational analysis to military tactics and to the composition of armies. In the late Enlightenment, military writers explored the psychological foundations of war as a means of stimulating a new military spirit among the troops.

The Enlightenment was, however, not the only cultural influence upon war during this century. Religion, the traditional values of the ancien regime, and local values all contributed to the culture of force. When Europeans engaged in military encounters with peoples in other parts of the globe, cultural interchange inevitably occurred as well. Further, there is a revolutionary element that one must consider when defining the military culture. The result of all these factors was a creative tension in 18th century warfare and an extraordinarily complex military culture.


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Página 2 - His fall was destined to a barren strand, A petty fortress, and a dubious hand ; He left the name, at which the world grew pale, To point a moral, or adorn a tale.
Página 2 - Tis phrase absurd to call a villain great: Who wickedly is wise, or madly brave, Is but the more a fool, the more a knave. Who noble ends by noble means obtains, Or failing, smiles in exile or in chains, Like good Aurelius let him reign, or bleerf Like Socrates, that man is great indeed What's fame? a fancy'd life in others' breath, A thing beyond us, ev'n before our death.
Página 2 - Alas ! not all the blood of all the Howards. Look next on greatness : say where greatness lies, Where, but among the heroes and the wise...
Página 2 - Every man thinks meanly of himself for not having been a soldier, or not having been at sea." BOSWELL. " Lord Mansfield does not." JOHNSON. " Sir, if Lord Mansfield were in a company of General Officers and Admirals who have been in service, he would shrink ; he'd wish to creep under the table.

Acerca del autor (2003)

ARMSTRONG STARKEY is Professor of History and former Dean and Provost at Adelphi University. His special research interest is the relationship between ideas, values, and war in the 18th century. He lives in Huntington, New York.

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