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

By Clifford J. Rogers | Go to book overview

the monarchy. Yet this recognition of dramatic army expansion under Louis XIV is qualified by the knowledge that the aging monarch's forces during the War of the Spanish Succession did not reach the proportions of those he had marshaled for the War of the League of Augsburg.

Most readers are, understandably, more interested in the implications of this army growth than in the mounting numbers themselves, yet time and space prohibit a discussion of their great political and social impact on these pages. But certainly any argument based on cause and effect must begin with knowledge of the timing and extent of that expansion. So here it is enough just to get the numbers and timing right, or as right as the current state of research permits.


Notes

Research for this project was made possible by an NEH Summer Stipend, a Hewlett Summer Research Stipend, and a grant from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

1.
For the earliest elaborations of the theory of the Military Revolution, see Michael Roberts , The Military Revolution, 1560-1660 ( Belfast: 1956) and George Clark, War and Society in the Seventeenth Century ( Cambridge: 1958). Geoffrey Parker discussion of the theory include his "The 'Military Revolution' 1560-1660 -- a Myth?" Journal of Modern History 48 ( June 1976) and his prize-winning The Military Revolution: Military Innovation and the Rise of the West, 1500-1800 ( Cambridge: 1988). The most recent discussions of the theory are the critical essay, Jeremy Black, A Military Revolution? Military Change and European Society, 1550-1800 ( Atlantic Highlands, NJ: 1991) and John A. Lynn, "The trace italienne and the Growth of Armies: the French Case", Journal of Military History, July 1991 (reprinted below, Ch. 7).
2.
Charles Tilly, The Contentious French ( Cambridge, MA: 1986), 128. More to the point of state formation, see his Coercion, Capital, and European States, AD 990-1990 ( Oxford: 1990). There he wrote that European state structure appeared chiefly as a by-product of rulers' efforts to acquire the means of war. (p. 14). For other recent works with an historical view of state formation that highlights military pressures in the process, see Brian M. Downing , The Military Revolution and Political Change in Early Modern Europe ( Princeton: 1992); David Kaiser, Politics ∧ War: European Conflict from Phillip II to Hitler ( Cambridge, MA: 1990); and David Ralston, Importing the European Army: The Introduction of European Military Techniques and Institutions into the Extra-European World, 1600-1914 ( Chicago: 1990).
3.
His most important work is David Parrott, "The Administration of the French Army During the Ministry of Cardinal Richelieu", diss., Oxford University, 1985, which has yet to appear in hard covers. Seldom has a dissertation exerted such an immediate effect. He has also authored "Strategy and Tactics in the Thirty Years War: The 'Military Revolution", Militérgeschichtliche Mitteilungen, XVIII, 2 ( 1985), pp. 7-25; reprinted below, Ch. 9.
4.
For examples of other works which detail the ineffectiveness of reform before 1659 and/or argue that military growth was limited before the personal reign of Louis XIV, see the following: Patrick Landier, "Guerre, Violences, et Société en France, 1635-1659", doctorat de troisiéme cycle, Université de Paris IV, 1978; Jonathan Berger, "Military and Financial Government in France, 1648-1661",

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