Armed Forces

TitleArmed Forces
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsParrott, David
Book TitleThe Oxford Handbook of the Ancien Régime
PublisherOxford University Press

The huge expansion of armed forces seen from the 1790s as a result of ever-more ruthless and extensive conscription; the rhetoric of the ‘nation in arms’ and of the exigencies of national defence, so easily exported from France to other European states, with all of its implications for raising revenues and establishing ever vaster military support systems; the professionalization and nationalization of officer corps: all of these were prefigured in the debates about the character of warfare and the changing demands that this placed on armed forces. As in so many other areas of politics and society, the traditional assumption that the Ancien Régime was immobile and incapable of change without violent upheaval needs sceptical reassessment. [Author]

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