COURSE DESCRIPTION: Europe has been described as the "mother
of revolutions". Indeed, the political revolutions in British America,
France, Russia and elsewhere in the last two centuries have greatly affected
politics and statecraft. Even more profoundly the industrial revolution
has kept the economies, societies and cultures of the world in its thrall
since the eighteenth century. However, the previous three hundred years
(1450-1750) saw their share of cultural, economic, social and political
revolutions that laid the foundations of the subsequent changes in later
modern Europe. Traditionally, graduate seminars in early modern Europe have
concentrated on the cultural revolutions of early modern Europe (Renaissance,
Reformation, Scientific Revolution and Enlightenment). In other cases they
have looked into the economic, social and political transformation of early
modern Europe (Commercial Revolution, agricultural revolution, and the rise
of the modern state). This seminar will address an area of relatively recent
investigation and interpretation in the history of early modern Europe.
For the past forty years, scholars have researched and debated the question
of a military revolution in early modern Europe. They have discussed whether
the transformation of European armies and the conduct of war in this period
constitutes a historical revolution on the scale of the ones mentioned above.
This seminar will study the history of Early Modern Europe from the perspective
of the growth and development of the military institutions between the 15th
and the 18th century. The changes in military technology, corps or branches
of service, recruitment, organization, tactics, and military theory transformed
the armies of Europe in an unprecedented manner. This transformation would
have a tremendous impact on the development of modern states, be they absolute
monarchies, limited monarchies or commonwealths. It would also affect the
economies and societies of Europe through the "total wars" of
the 17th century and the "limited wars" of the 18th century. The
transformation of European armies and navies would also contribute to European
commercial and colonial expansion in the rest of the world. We will investigate
such general problems as: the gunpowder revolution and its affect upon European
and non-European states and societies; and the relationship of the modern
armies to their societies, economies and cultures; the wars of religion
as a crucible from which the early modern state emerged; and the question
of the Military Revolution and its impact on European and World history.
- PURPOSES AND OBJECTIVES OF THE COURSE:
- 1) To acquaint students with the problem of the rise of the modern
military, and in so doing, give them an understanding of the history of
Europe from the late 15th century to the early 18th century.
- 2) To sharpen the students' skills in: (a) extemporaneous discussion;
(b) prepared speaking; (c) historical interpretation; (d) research; and
- CLASS SCHEDULE AND PROCEDURE
- 1) The class schedule will consist of one assignment each week. The
format of each session will consist of: (a) reading of general book-length
studies of the history of war in its early phases; (b) reading of web secondary
and primary web sources on specific problems and issues relating to the
week's topics; and (c) the writing of two short "reaction essays"
on some of those problems and issues.
- 2) At the end of reading each major study (usually every three or four
weeks), the members of the seminar will meet in a chat room to evaluate
- 3) Lists of readings, discussion questions, and other supplementary
materials will be distributed to students on Blackboard.
- STUDENT REQUIREMENTS AND EVALUATION OF STUDENT PERFORMANCE
- 1) Reading assignments: Students are expected to read text assignments
and enough web assignments to participate in discusssion forums effectively.
Readings from the text and supplementary sources are given on a weekly
basis. Each student is expected to read general assignments and specific
assignments of primary and secondary on a particular topic. The students
are expected to discuss assigned text readings in the discussion forums.
- 2) Discussion Forums: Students are expected to participate in a discussion
forum each week. On a weekly basis, the instuctor will present two or more
questions based upon the web and text readings. Within the first three
days of the week , students are to address these questions in the discussion
forum. Students should respond to the questions in one or more paragraphs
per question. They should substantiate their answers and opinions with
material culled from the web and text readings. In the subsequent four
days, the instructor will comment on the response in the forum. In addition,
students will react to one another's responses to the questions. They can
also make comments and pose questions regarding other issues brought up
in the forum. At the end of each week the instructor will close and archive
the previous week's discussion forum and introduce the next week's forum.
If all members of the seminar agree, a week's forum can be extended. Each
student's participation will be evaluated in the following manner. A student
can earn up to ten points for their answers to the week's questions and
ten poiints for their other comments, questions, and reactions in the forum.
(20 points per week; 300 points total for the semester).
- 3) Four book reviews (2000 to 2500 words each). Each student will write
one book review on each of the four books assigned for this course. They
are called upon to analyze the author's views regarding their topic in
early modern military history. Each essay will be worth 100 points for
a total of 400 points.
- 4) Problem specialty: Each student will specialize in a particular
issue or problem in early modern military history during the course and
will conduct further readings into the historical investigation of those
problems. The student is expected to relate discussion forum topics to
the experience and issues of their special problems. The student can choose
to specialize on any of the problems listed in the course outline.
- 5) Historiographical Essay. Each student is required to write a historiographical
essay on one of the problems or issues of their specialty. The essay will
cover the historiography of a particular problem of early modern military
history. Each historiographical essay will include a 4000 to 5000 word
text together with a bibliography. Copies of the text will be given to
the other members of the seminar via email.
- 6) Evaluations: Students are expected to evaluate each other's book
reviews and historiographical essays. Students will send evaluations to
each other and to the instructor either during some of the discussion forums
or individually via email. Each evaluation will be about 300 to 500 words
and be worth 20 points each for a total of 100 points.
- 7) Course evaluation and grades. Evaluation of student performance
will be based upon the following criteria:
- a) Discussion Forums (300 points or 30 percent of the course grade)
- b) Four book reviews. (400 points or 40 percent of the course grade)
- c) Historiographical Essay. (200 points or 20 percent of the course
- d) Evaluations. (100 points or 10 percent of the course grade)
S. Anderson. War and Society in Europe of the Old Regime, 1618-1789.
McGill University Press, 1998. (Anderson).
Black. War and the World : Military Power and the Fate of Continents,
1450-2000. New Haven, Conn. Yale University Press, 1998. (Black)
C. Howard. War in European History. Oxford University
Press, 2001. (Howard)
Military Revolution Debate: Readings on the Military Transformation of
Early Modern Europe. Clifford J. Rogers, ed. Westview Press, 1995.
(The Military Revolution Debate)
W. Oman. Art of War in the Middle Ages A.D. 378-1515. John
H. Beeler, ed. Cornell University Press, 1960. (Oman)
Parker. The Military Revolution : Military Innovation and the Rise of
the West, 1500-1800. Cambridge University Press, 1996. (Parker)
- Week 1 : INTRODUCTION TO THE ISSUES OF THE MILITARY REVOLUTIION.
- Week 2: THE MILITARY REVOLUTION IN THE LATE MIDDLE AGES.
- Week 3: SOCIETY AND THE MILITARY IN THE 15TH CENTURY (class relations
in early modern armies, civil-military relations early modern times, recruitment
impressment and slavery in early modern armies, etc.).
- Readings: Oman,
Art of War in the Middle Ages ; The
Military Revolution Debate.
- Selected Articles from JSTOR and EBSCOSource (See External Links
- Wilfred Brenton Kerr, "The English Soldier in the Campaign of
Agincourt," The Journal of the American Military Institute, Vol.
4, No. 4. (Winter, 1940), pp. 209-224
- Gilbert John Millar, "The Landsknecht: His Recruitment and Organization,
With Some Reference to the Reign of Henry VIII," Military Affairs,
Vol. 35, No. 3. (Oct., 1971), pp. 95-99.
- Dennis E. Showalter, "Caste, Skill, and Training: The Evolution
of Cohesion in European Armies from the Middle Ages to the Sixteenth Century,"
The Journal of Military History, Vol. 57, No. 3. (Jul., 1993), pp.
- Paul D. Solon, "Popular Response to Standing Military Forces in
Fifteenth-Century France," Studies in the Renaissance, Vol.
19. (1972), pp. 78-111.
- Paul Stewart, "The Soldier, the Bureaucrat, and Fiscal Records
in the Army of Ferdinand and Isabella." Hispanic American Historical
Review, Vol. 49, No. 2. (May, 1969), pp. 281-292.
- Web Readings:
- Book Reviews on Howard due.
- Week 4: SOCIETY AND THE MILITARY IN THE 16TH CENTURY. TERM PAPER
- Week 5 : SOCIETY AND THE MILITARY IN THE 17TH CENTURY. Journals
on Hale due.
- Readings: M. S. Anderson. War and Society in Europe of the
Old Regime pp. 1-99; The
Military Revolution Debate , pp. 117-148, 227-253; Web
Reading Section III.
- Selected Articles from JSTOR and EBSCOSource (See External Links
- Knud J. V. Jespersen, Social Change and Military Revolution in Early
Modern Europe: Some Danish Evidence," The Historical Journal, Vol.
26, No. 1. (Mar., 1983), pp. 1-13.
- David T. Zabecki, "Gotz von Berlichingen," Military History,
Aug2000, Vol. 17 Issue 3, p20-23.
- Gervase Phillips, "Changing the Face of British Warfare: The Battle
of Pinkie Cleugh," Military History, Aug97, Vol. 14 Issue 3,
- Kelly De Vries, "Gunpowder Weaponry and the Rise of the Modern
State," War in History, 5 (1998): 127-145
- Gervase Phillips, " Strategy and Its Limitations: The Anglo-Scots
Wars, 1480-1550," War in History, 6 (1999): 396-416
- David Parrott, "The Utility of Fortifications in Early Modern
Europe: Italian Princes and the Citadels, 1540-1640," War in History,
7 (2000): 127-153
- W. G. Naphy, The Price of Liberty: Geneva Security and Defence Spending,
1535-1555," War in History, 5 (1998): 379-399.
- Komjathy, A. T., "Hungarian Renaissance Warfare," in A
thousand years of the Hungarian art of war. http:"/www.hungary.com/corvinus/lib/thou/thou05.htm
- Web Readings:
- Marching Against Scottish Covanters, 1639
- Letters from a Parliamentarian Soldier, 1642
- The Battle of Edgehill, 23 October 1642
- Sources on the
Thirty Years War
- The Destruction
- Treaty of
- Cromwell on a Soldier's Death at Marston Moor, 1644
- Arthur Trevor on the Battle of Marston Moor, 1644
of a Geman Landsknecht, 1645
- Cromwell on the Massacre at Lenthall, 1649
- Louis XIV's Declaration of War Against the Dutch, 1672
- The Marquis of Louvois on the Siege of Puigcerda, 1678
- The Sultan's Declaration of War Against Leopold I, 1683
- Anonymous Account of the Siege of Vienna, 1683
- King John III Sobieski's Account of the Raising of the Siege
of Vienna, 1683
- War in Ireland, 1689
- Chaplain Davies on the Battle of the Boyne, 1690
- Defeat of 12.000 Frenchmen in Catalonia, 1695
- Week 6: SOCIETY AND THE MILITARY IN THE 18TH CENTURY.
- Readings: M. S. Anderson. War and Society in Europe of the Old
Regime, 1618-1789, pp. 99-204;
The Military Revolution Debate , pp. 95-116;
- Web Readings:
- Book Reviews on The Medieval Military Revolution due.
- Week 7: THE INSTITUTIONS OF THE EARLY MODERN MILITARY (officer corps,
infantry, cavalry, naval forces, artillery, engineers, quartermaster corps,
ordnance, military police, and medical corps).
- Week 8: THE TECHNOLOGY OF THE EARLY MODERN MILITARY (weaponry, fortification,
transportation, logistics, communication, naval technology)
- Week 9: THE STATE AND THE EARLY MODERN MILITARY (absloute monarchies,
limited monarchies, commonwealths and republics)
- Week 10: AUTONOMOUS REGIONS AND EARLY MODERN ARMIES (Switzerland;
Scotland; Ireland; the Huguenot communities in France; the Cossacks hosts;
Albania, Montenegro and Mani in the Ottoman Empire; the Basques and Catalans
in Spain, etc.).
- Week 11: IDEOLOGY AND WAR IN EARLY MODERN EUROPE (Religion and war
in Catholicism, Protestantism, Orthodoxy, and/or Islam, the Enlightment
and limited war in the 18th Century).
- Week 12: MILITARY THEORY AND THE ART OF WAR IN EARLY MODERN EUROPE
(Macchiavelli, de Saxe and Frederick)
- Week 13: EUROPEAN EXPANSION AND THE GROWTH OF OF THE EARLY MODERN
MILITARY. (navies, privateers and privateering, joint stock companies,
overseas expansion of the Iberian and North Atlantic states, overland expansion
of Russia) Journals on Delbrck due.
- Week 14: THE EUROPEAN MILITARY REVOLUTION AND THE WORLD (The Ottoman
Empire, Safavid Persia, Mogul India, China, Japan, Africa and the Americas).
- Week 15: THE MILITARY REVOLUTION IN EARLY MODERN EUROPE--REVOLUTION,
EVOLUTION OR REFORMATION?
- Readings: Review opinions of Anderson, Black, Howard, Parker and
- Web Readings: