A Military Revolution?: Military Change and European Society by Jeremy Black

By Jeremy Black

During this radical reassessment, Jeremy Black demanding situations a few of the demonstrated assumptions in regards to the so-called army Revolution of 1560- 1660. He argues that it's faraway from transparent army revolution did take place in this interval. certainly there's extra facts to signify that the outline can be utilized extra adequately to the subsequent hundred years. This booklet additionally re-examines the connection among army power and household balance. instead of seeing the latter because the outcome of the previous, Dr Black argues that it makes extra feel to determine the previous due to the latter.

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Furthermore, the Nine Years (1688-97) and Spanish Succession wars placed major strains on the system of army supplies. Much of the fighting was on or near French territory which became exhausted as the conflicts lasted for many years, and economic circumstances were generally harsh. : ~ \1 I~.... : ~~~~~F· Fig. 3 Pikeman circa James I 24 Fig. 4 Musketeer circa James I 25 There were years of poor harvests and higher than normal mortality rates, which affected the supply of food and men. In 1709-10, a period of especially harsh economic conditions, the system of supplying the army through negotiating contracts with army suppliers broke down, as the government could no longer afford it, and it was instead obliged to attempt an experiment with providing supplies through government officials, the intendants and the commissaires de guerre.

34 2 The Limitations of Change, 1660-1760 (i) Constraints, 1660-1760 Even if historians can accept that major changes did indeed take place over the century from 1600, it is nevertheless the case that warfare continued to encounter many obstacles, ranging from the acute difficulty of operating in the winter to the poor quality of munitions. Technological, economic and social constraints gravely qualify any notion of an early modern European military revolution. The technological constraints remained paramount.

However, defeat, as with the retreating French forces in Germany in 1743, and inadequate supplies also played a major role. The Austrians who invaded the French province of Dauphine in 1692 ravaged the country and sacked and burnt Gap. In December 1742 Amelot, the French foreign minister, attributed disorders committed by French forces in allied Bavaria to shortages, a similar excuse was made on behalf of Dutch troops in the Austrian Netherlands in 1744, while in 1747 the town of Liege was threatened with plunder unless it made payments to Austrian troops whose pay was in arrears.

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