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

By Clifford J. Rogers | Go to book overview

pointing the way to a new synthesis. Of course, that new synthesis, in good dialectical fashion, will only be the basis for continued debate in the future.


THIS BOOK

The summary of the debate on the Military Revolution offered above is by no means exhaustive. 33 The volume of material on the subject has made it impossible to include every relevant article in this introduction, much less this anthology. Instead, this book aims to do three things:

First, by bringing together the most important previously published articles on the Military Revolution, to make them easily accessible both to scholars working in this area and to a wider audience of students of early modern and military history. The literature is, after all, too broad to be adequately addressed by reading Parker's book alone. This is particularly important because many of these studies were published in hard-to-get places: Parrott in Militärgeschichtliche Minedungen, Jones' in a pamphlet published by the University of Exeter, and so on.

Second, to fill some gaps (chronological and thematic) which I perceived in the Military Revolution literature. The new articles by Thomas Arnold, Jeremy Black, John F. Guilmartin, Jr., and I. A. A. Thompson serve this purpose. In a way, Geoffrey Parker's defense of his view of the Military Revolution does so, too.

Third, to enable the reader to pull the diverse viewpoints represented by these articles into an overall framework which will both solidify his or her understanding of the Military Revolution and highlight questions which have been raised but not fully answered. My hope is that this collection will introduce a wider audience to the burgeoning research in this area, and also serve to spur further work on the Military Revolution.


Notes
1.
Quoted in J. R. Hale, War and Society in Renaissance Europe, 1450-1620 ( London: Fontana, 1985), 39.
2.
Hale, War and Society in Renaissance Europe, 21.
3.
Stanislav Andreski, Military Organization and Society ( London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1968 [ First edition 1954]); Cf. Aristotle, The Politics, ed. Stephen Everson ( Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988), esp. IV.3, IV.13, VI.7; Max Weber, General Economic History, tr. Frank Knight. ( Glencoe, Illinois: The Free Press, 1950 [reprint of 1927 ed. ]), 324-5.
4.
Heinrich Brunner, "Der Reiterdienst und die Anfänge des Lehnwesens", Zeitshcrift der Savigny-Stiftung für Rechtsgeschichte, Germanistische Abteilung VIII ( 1887) and Lynn White, Jr., "Stirrup, Mounted Shock Combat, Feudalism, and Chivalry" in his Medieval Technology and Social Change ( Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1962). The criticism of Lynn White's version of the stirrup/shock combat/feudalism nexus is discussed in Kelly DeVries, Medieval Military Technology ( Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview, 1992), 95-122.
5.
Another exception to this proposition -- and a very important one -- is William H. McNeill's The Pursuit of Power ( Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1982).

-8-

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