What is the source of the uniquely Western way of war, the persistent militarism that has made Europe the site of bloodshed throughout history and secured the dominance of the West over the rest of the world? The answer, Doyne Dawson persuasively argues in this groundbreaking new book, is to be found in the very bedrock of Western civilization: ancient Greece and Rome.The Origins of Western Warfare begins with an overview of primitive warfare, showing how the main motivations of prehistoric combat—revenge and honor—set the tone for Greek thinking about questions of war and morality. These ideas, especially as later developed by the Romans, ensured the emergence of a distinctive Western tradition of warfare: dynamic, aggressive, and devastatingly successful when turned against non-Western cultures.Dawson identifies key factors that led Western culture down this particular path. First, the Greeks argued that war could be justified as an instrument of human and divine justice, securing the social and cosmic order. Second, war was seen as a rational instrument of foreign policy. This, probably the most original contribution of the Greeks to military thought, was articulated as early as the fifth century b.c. Finally, Greek military thought was dominated by the principle of “civic militarism,” in which the ideal state is based upon self-governing citizens trained and armed for war.The Roman version of civic militarism became thoroughly imperial in spirit, and in general, the Romans successfully modified these Greek ideas to serve their expansionist policies. At the end of antiquity, these traditions were passed on to medieval Europe, forming the basis for the just war doctrines of the Church. Later, in early modern Europe, they were fully revived, systematized, and given a basis in natural law—to the benefit of absolute monarchs. For centuries this neoclassical synthesis served the needs of European elites, and echoes of it are still heard in contemporary justifications for war.Providing a careful reconsideration of what the classical sources tell us about Western thinking on fundamental questions of war and peace, The Origins of Western Warfare makes a lasting contribution to our understanding of one of the most persistent and troubling aspects of Western culture.
PMH Bell's famous book is a comprehensive study of the period and debates surrounding the European origins of the Second World War. He approaches the subject from three different angles: describing the various explanations that have been offered for the war and the historiographical debates that have arisen from them, analysing the ideological, economic and strategic forces at work in Europe during the 1930s, and tracing the course of events from peace in 1932, via the initial outbreak of hostilities in 1939, through to the climactic German attack on the Soviet Union in 1941 which marked the descent into general conflict. Written in a lucid, accessible style, this is an indispensable guide to the complex origins of the Second World War.
Religious War and Religious Peace in Early Modern Europe presents a novel account of the origins of religious pluralism in Europe. Combining comparative historical analysis with contentious political analysis, it surveys six clusters of increasingly destructive religious wars between 1529 and 1651, analyzes the diverse settlements that brought these wars to an end, and describes the complex religious peace that emerged from two centuries of experimentation in accommodating religious differences. Rejecting the older authoritarian interpretations of the age of religious wars, the author uses traditional documentary sources as well as photographic evidence to show how a broad range Europeans - from authoritative elites to a colorful array of religious 'dissenters' - replaced the cultural 'unity and purity' of late-medieval Christendom with a variable and durable pattern of religious diversity, deeply embedded in political, legal, and cultural institutions.
The second edition of this leading introduction to the origins of the First World War. Updated to take account of the latest debates around the war's origins and outbreak, this is an essential classroom text which significantly revises our understanding of diplomacy, political culture, and economic history from 1870 to 1914.
Origins of Democracy and Autocracy in Early Modern Europe
Author: Brian Downing
Publisher: Princeton University Press
To examine the long-run origins of democracy and dictatorship, Brian Downing focuses on the importance of medieval political configurations and of military modernization in the early modern period. He maintains that in late medieval times an array of constitutional arrangements distinguished Western Europe from other parts of the world and predisposed it toward liberal democracy. He then looks at how medieval constitutionalism was affected by the "military revolution" of the early modern era--the shift from small, decentralized feudal levies to large standing armies. Downing won the American Political Science Association's Gabriel Almond Award for the dissertation on which this book was based.
Hailed on publication as a thought-provoking, authoritative analysis of the true beginnings of the Second World War, this revised edition of The Road to War is essential reading for anyone interested in this momentous period of history. Taking each major nation in turn, the book tells the story of their road to war; recapturing the concerns, anxieties and prejudices of the statesmen of the thirties.
This study examines the early years of the post-medieval European states and the growth of a recognisably 'modern' system for handling their international relations. M S Anderson gives much of his space to France, Spain and England and to the state of the relations between them, as their various power plays rolled over Italy and the Low countries, but, he also incorporates the Northern and Eastern states including Russia, Poland and the Baltic world into the main European political arena. He provides a broad narrative of European politics and its impact on diplomacy including the Italian Wars 1494-1559, the French Wars of Religion, the Reformation and Counter-Reformation, and the relations of Christendom and Islam with the advance of the Ottoman empire. He also gives considerable attention to the influence of military and economic factors on international relations.
In this accessible account Victor Rothwell examines the origins of the Second Word War, from the flawed peace settlement of 1919 to the start of the true world war at Pearl Harbor in 1941. Reflecting current historical understanding of the subject, the author discusses, within a chronological framework, the underlying issues, such as the clash between 'have' and 'have not' states, as well as their relative military and economic strengths. Did the cause of peace advance in the 1920s, only to be stopped in its tracks and threatened with reversal by the economic depression that began with the Wall Street crash in 1929? What was the nature of Nazi thinking about war, foreign policy and the (primarily British) policy of appeasement, which sought to accommodate the Third Reich? Why did Britain itself for long prefer appeasement to collective security? Furthermore, the events in the Far East are examined and a contrast is drawn between the greater interest of the United States in that region than in Europe throughout the 1930s. Lastly, the complex process by which European war, starting in September 1939, became world war is treated as much more than an epilogue to what happened during the preceding decade.
One of the most important questions of human existence is what drives nations to war-especially massive, system-threatening war. Much military history focuses on the who, when, and where of war. In this riveting book, Dale C. Copeland brings attention to bear on why governments make decisions that lead to, sustain, and intensify conflicts. Copeland presents detailed historical narratives of several twentieth-century cases, including World War I, World War II, and the Cold War. He highlights instigating factors that transcend individual personalities, styles of government, geography, and historical context to reveal remarkable consistency across several major wars usually considered dissimilar. The result is a series of challenges to established interpretive positions and provocative new readings of the causes of conflict. Classical realists and neorealists claim that dominant powers initiate war. Hegemonic stability realists believe that wars are most often started by rising states. Copeland offers an approach stronger in explanatory power and predictive capacity than these three brands of realism: he examines not only the power resources but the shifting power differentials of states. He specifies more precisely the conditions under which state decline leads to conflict, drawing empirical support from the critical cases of the twentieth century as well as major wars spanning from ancient Greece to the Napoleonic Wars.
This stylish and highly entertaining account of the origins of the Franco-Dutch War of 1672 is based on massive archival researches covering twelve countries. Contrary to the accepted historical opinion that there was a meeting of minds within Louis XIV's conseil d'en haut over the desirability of the war, Professor Sonnino chronicles a story of bitter division, in the course of which the contrasting personalities of the king and of his most intimate advisors emerge in vivid detail. Racine once eulogized the war as a brilliantly executed venture which put the insolent Dutch in their place. Saint-Simon, on the other hand, saw it as the disastrous result of endemic jealousies, in which Le Tellier and Louvois sought to displace Colbert in Louis' affections. From these early views the modern consensus, in spite of occasional dissenters, has gradually evolved. Professor Sonnino, however, breaks through the maze of interpretations with decisive new evidence, and in an unusually clear and lively evocation of the emotional element which pervaded high policy, explains the many agonizing decisions that preceded one of the most dramatic conflicts of the seventeenth century.
Odoardo Farnese, Duke of Parma, his Soldiers, and his Subjects in the Thirty Years' War
Author: Gregory Hanlon
Publisher: OUP Oxford
The Hero of Italy examines a salient episode in Italy's Thirty Years' War with Spain and France, whereby the young duke Odoardo Farnese of Parma embraced the French alliance, only to experience defeat and occupation after two tumultuous years (1635-1637). Gregory Hanlon stresses the narrative of events unfolding in northern Italy, examining the participation of the little state in these epic European events. The first chapter describes the constitution of Cardinal Richelieu's anti-Habsburg alliance and Odoardo's eagerness to be part of it. A chapter on the Parman professional army, based on an extraordinary collection of company roster-books, sheds light on the identity of over 13,000 individuals, soldier by soldier, the origin and background of their officers, the conditions of their lodgings, and the good state of their equipment. Chapter three follows the first campaign of 1635 alongside French and Savoyard contingents at the failed siege of Valenza, and the logistical difficulties of organizing such large-scale operations. Another chapter examines the financial expedients the duchy adopted to fend off incursions on all its borders in 1636, and how militia contingents on both sides were drawn into the fighting. A final chapter relates the Spanish invasion and occupation which forced duke Odoardo to make a separate peace. The volume includes a detailed assessment of the impact of war on civilians based on parish registers for city and country. The application of the laws of war was largely nullified by widespread starvation, disease and routine sex-selective infanticide. These quantitative analyses, supported by maps and tables, are among the most detailed anywhere in Europe in the era of the Thirty Years' War.
Publisher: Macmillan International Higher Education
The history of modern Denmark is essentially the story of how a once extensive and diverse empire slowly fragmented under the changing circumstances of the times. In this introductory guide, Knud J. V. Jespersen traces the process of disintegration and reduction which helped to form the modern Danish state, and the historical roots of Denmark's international position. Beginning with the Reformation in the sixteenth century, Jespersen explains how the Denmark of today was shaped by wars, territorial losses, domestic upheavals, new methods of production, and changes in thought. Thoroughly revised and updated in light of the most recent research, this second edition includes new discussions of the Danish Enlightenment, Denmark's role in World War II, the Cartoon Crisis of 2006 and current NATO debates, bringing the diverse and turbulent history of the country right up to the present day.
A noteworthy development in recent history has been the disappearance of formal declarations of war. Using primary sources, this book examines the history of declaring war in the early modern era up to the writing of the US Constitution to identify the influence of early modern history on the framing of the Constitution.
Court Culture and the Origins of a Royalist Tradition in Early Stuart England R. Malcolm Smuts "The sharpest feature of this book is that it takes poetry, pictures, and architecture seriously by seeing these as major items of historical testimony. . . . An engaging and sensitive study."--"American Historical Review" "Smuts's great strength is his grasp of the politics of the age. . . . At every point he is able to buttress his arguments about Charles I's 'cultural policy' by reference to Charles's social, economic, and foreign policy."--"Journal of Modern History" "The book's virtues are numerous. Smuts, a historian, has read widely, pulling together much valuable information while offering intelligent insights of his own. . . . Particularly valuable is the book's emphasis on the social and factional complexity of the court and thus of the art it produced and consumed."--"Sixteenth Century Journal" "Smuts's book deserves a wide readership. Provocative in the best sense of the word, it challenges the reader at every turn and offers a running commentary on possibilities for future research."--"Journal of British Studies" In this work R. Malcolm Smuts examines the fundamental cultural changes that occurred within the English royal court between the last decade of the sixteenth century and the outbreak of the Civil War in 1642. R. Malcolm Smuts is Professor of History at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. He is editor of "The Stuart Court and Europe: Essays in Politics and Political Culture" and author of "Culture and Power in England, ca. 1585-1685." 1987 - 336 pages - 6 x 9 - 30 illus. ISBN 978-0-8122-1696-7 - Paper - $24.95s - 16.50 World Rights - History, Cultural Studies, Fine Arts"
"A Companion to the First World War" brings together a team of distinguished historians from 10 countries who contribute 38 substantial and thought-provoking chapters. The volume opens with a section on the state of the world before 1914, as it prepared for war without anticipating its true nature, and concludes with an examination of the conflict's military, diplomatic, and cultural legacies. In addition to covering the military history of the war and the individual states involved, contributors explore major themes such as war crimes, occupations, film, and gender. Reflecting the latest historical research, this Companion enriches our understanding of the origins, nature, and impact of what remains one of the most devastating events in modern history.
David Kaiser looks at four hundred years of modern European history to find the political causes of general war in four distinct periods (1559âe"1659, 1661âe"1713, 1792âe"1815, and 1914âe"1945). He shows how war became a natural function of politics, a logical consequence of contemporary political behavior. Rather than fighting simply to expand, states in each war fought for specific political and economic reasons. The book illustrates the extraordinary power of politics and war in modern Western civilization, if not in history as a whole. In a provocative and original new preface and chapter, Kaiser shows which aspects of four past areas of conflict do, and do not, seem relevant to the immediate future, and he sketches out some new possibilities for Europe.