Citizens, Soldiers and National Armies: Military Service in by Thomas Hippler

By Thomas Hippler

This booklet examines the construction of ‘national armies’ via obligatory army carrier in France and Prussia through the French Revolution and the Prussian Reform interval. The French Revolution attempted to set up army and political constructions within which the military and society could merge. as a way to make sure that the military could by no means develop into a way of oppression opposed to the folks, the full inhabitants may still therefore ‘be’ the military. Defeated by way of the large army power that those new political settings had unchained in France, Prussia tailored the French options to its personal wishes, therefore laying the root for its contributions to the victories of the coalition troops in 1813-15. Conscription had implications that went past the basically army sphere and concerned assumptions in regards to the nature of the kingdom and its courting to its voters. It used to be the cloth foundation of Napoleon’s campaigns and of the German ‘wars of nationwide liberation’ of 1813-15, earlier than changing into a cornerstone of the Prussian Reforms and the production of a civil society ‘from above’. army provider has consequently been some of the most crucial and contradictory associations of the fashionable countryside. electorate, squaddies and nationwide Armies should be of curiosity to historians of contemporary Europe, army historians and scholars of highbrow background quite often.

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Extra info for Citizens, Soldiers and National Armies: Military Service in France and Germany, 1789-1830 (War, History and Politics)

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Viewed in this way, the invention of military service in the French Revolution merely added a new layer of meaning to already existing social practices. 2 The Enlightenment and military service Enlightenment thinkers condemned war as the product of irrational behaviour stemming from princely ambition, the people having no interest in making war (Rousseau 2005: 55–6). War is against the laws of nature and humanity, namely rationality, civility and the rule of law. War is essentially anti-social in that society is defined as the reign of peace within the realm of justice: ‘Peace is maintained by justice, which is a fruit of government, as government is from society, and society from consent’ (Penn 1916: 348–9).

In practice, however, burghers increasingly tended to pay a substitute instead of serving themselves. Some regions had a special military status that allowed them to maintain a local militia that could be either permanent or temporary, such as coastguard militias, whose purpose was to ensure safety in seaside regions. When the royal militia came into being in 1688, its organization differed markedly from its predecessors in that it was raised in the name of the king and not by a local lord. Moreover, it was an auxiliary standing army.

22 Responsibilities for social care thus also shifted. In earlier periods soldiers were considered to serve their local communities, which, in turn, were charged with the corresponding social responsibilities. This changed when the soldier began to serve the larger entity of the nation. Now, social care, too, was nationalized, that is, it became the prerogative and responsibility of the national state. The reason for this is that national recruitment on a larger scale tended to disrupt the traditional social order.

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