An Apprenticeship in Arms: The Origins of the British Army 1585-1702

By Roger B. Manning | Go to book overview
Save to active project

The Nine Years War

It is mightily to the honour of old England to hear what valiant sons she brings
forth, when all foreign nations expected her past bearing courageous men.

C. Jackson (ed.), The Diary of Abraham de la Pryme,
The Yorkshire Antiquarian, SS 54 (1870), 66.

The conduct of war thus became a true game, in which the cards were dealt
by time and accident. In its effect it was a somewhat stronger form of
diplomacy, a more forceful method of negotiation, in which battles and
sieges were the principal notes exchanged. Even the most ambitious ruler
had no greater aims than to gain a number of advantages that could be
exploited at the peace conference.

Carl von Clausewitz, On War, trans. and ed. M. Howard
and P. Paret (1976; repr. 1993), 713.

Abraham de la Pryme thought that participation in the Nine Years War restored England’s martial honour. Similar pride in military success could be found throughout the British Isles among supporters of William II and III, who viewed the war as a conflict fought in defence of Protestant liberties. By 1694 the combined armies of the Three Kingdoms were approximately five times larger than Charles IIs land forces had been ten years earlier. The integration of these land forces was promoted by the common experience of serving together in campaigns in Flanders and on the Rhine, and they made a substantial contribution to the victories of the armies of the Grand Alliance against King Louis XIV, such as the recapture of the fortress of Namur in 1695—the first time that a marshal of France had ever yielded territory. The English government’s participation in the Nine Years War signified that English diplomatic and military priorities had shifted from preventing mainland European powers from interfering in Ireland or Scotland to obstructing the ambitions of hostile major powers on the European mainland. The English navy, which had formerly concentrated on guarding the Narrow Seas and St George’s Channel, was now deployed under a blue-water strategy to the Mediterranean, the Atlantic and the Caribbean. This new strategy indicated that England had become a great power, but it required revolutionary methods of war finance and heavier taxation, caused a drain upon the economies


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
An Apprenticeship in Arms: The Origins of the British Army 1585-1702


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 467

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?