European Warfare, 1660-1815

European Warfare, 1660-1815

European Warfare, 1660-1815

European Warfare, 1660-1815

Synopsis

This is a history of warfare, wars and the armed forces of Europe from the military revolution of the mid-17th century to the Napoleonic wars.; This book is intended for broad-based undergrad courses on 18th century Europe/Britain and the Ancien Regime. 2nd and 3rd year thematic courses on warfare in the modern period, and students of war studies.

Excerpt

War, its conduct, cost, consequences, and preparations for conflict, were all central to both European history in the period 1660-1815 and to the course of relations between European and non-European peoples and states. Much fine work has been written by numerous other scholars on a subject which is not easy to encompass briefly. In order both to seek brevity and to offer a distinctive account, this study has been given a particular theme. European warfare is seen not only in terms of conflict in Europe, but also in conflicts that have involved European peoples, and due attention is devoted to the latter outside the confines of the continent, because oceanic and transoceanic conflict between European powers was of central importance in global history. British victories over the French on the waters of the world and in India and North America played a crucial role in the history of these areas, and more generally in both global and European history. Secondly, warfare between European and non-European peoples was largely responsible for the shift in power towards the former in this period. This shift took various forms: the alteration in the balance between “West” and “East” as the Turks were driven back in the valley of the Danube from 1683 was very different in its causes and consequences from the first European settlement in Australasia just over a century later. The common theme was the ability of European powers to deploy strength effectively.

Warfare also played a fundamental role in what can be seen as a third theme: the creation of independent transoceanic states by peoples of European descent. At the same time that the power of European states was being extended in the New World—on the Pacific seaboard of North America—the vast colonial territories that had been claimed and fought over since Columbus set foot in the Bahamas in 1492 were collapsing in the face of successful rebellions: the thirteen British colonies on the east coast of the

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