The Military Revolution Debate: Readings on the Military Transformation of Early Modern Europe

The Military Revolution Debate: Readings on the Military Transformation of Early Modern Europe

The Military Revolution Debate: Readings on the Military Transformation of Early Modern Europe

The Military Revolution Debate: Readings on the Military Transformation of Early Modern Europe

Synopsis

The debate about the "Military Revolution" has been one of the most controversial and exciting areas of discussion and research in the fields of early modern European history and military history. Scholars have long sought to explain the massive changes in European military techniques and technologies that took place between the end of the Middle Ages and the beginning of the industrial age- changes that transformed the armies and navies of the West into the most powerful war-making entities the world had ever known. Historians have disagreed about and vigorously debated the importance of these changes for European politics, for the process of state formation, for the rise of the West, and for warfare itself. This book brings together, for the first time, the classic articles that began and have shaped this debate, adding important new essays by eminent historians of early modern Europe to further this important scholarly interchange. The contributors consider topics ranging from the battlefield to the gunmaker's workshop, from England to India, and from the fourteenth to the eighteenth centuries. The Military Revolution Debate will be required reading for anyone interested in what is undoubtedly one of the hottest areas in military history today.

Excerpt

The 1991 meeting of the American Military Institute, held in Durham, North Carolina, witnessed a truly extraordinary conference session. Four historians each gave a short presentation, then the discussion was thrown open. It seemed that everyone in the audience had something to say -- a question to ask, a fact to offer, an interpretation to suggest. Ideas flew across the room until the last moment of the time allocated to the session, and afterwards two different historians commented to panel members that it had been the most remarkable conference discussion in their experience.

The topic that had evoked so much interest and debate was, of course, the "Military Revolution" in early modern Europe. The excitement generated by that roundtable discussion inspired me to begin the process of putting together this book -- which includes, along with other key essays on the military revolution, article-length versions of each of the short presentations that began that session. Consequently, I wish to dedicate this anthology to my fellow panel members (and mentors) -- John F. Guilmartin, Jr., John A. Lynn, and Geoffrey Parker -- and to all those who participated in the debate and discussion that day.

Clifford J. Rogers . . .

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