European Military Rivalry, 1500–1750 : Fierce Pageant book cover
1st Edition

European Military Rivalry, 1500–1750
Fierce Pageant

ISBN 9781138368989
Published April 14, 2020 by Routledge
336 Pages

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Book Description

European Military Rivalry, 1500–1750: Fierce Pageant examines more than 200 years of international rivalry across Western, Central, and Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean rim.

The book charts the increasing scale, expenditure and duration of early modern wars; the impact of modern fortification on strategy and the movement of armies; the incidence of guerrilla war and localized conflict typical of the French wars of religion; the recourse by warlords to private financing of troops and supplies; and the creation of disciplined standing armies and navies in the age of Absolutism, made possible by larger bureaucracies. In addition to discussing key events and personalities of military rivalry during this period, the book describes the operational mechanics of early modern warfare and the crucial role of taxation and state borrowing. The relationship between the Christian West and the Ottoman Empire is also extensively analysed.

Drawing heavily upon international scholarship over the past half-century, European Military Rivalry, 1500–1750: Fierce Pageant will be of great use to undergraduate students studying military history and early modern Europe.

Table of Contents


List of maps, charts, and table

List of images


1: Renaissance innovations

a: The logic of conquest

b: The advent of gunpowder warfare

c: Constant war spurs financial innovation

2: Clash of civilizations 1550–1610

a: Ottoman threat from Eastern Europe

b: Mediterranean menace

c: Crusade in Flanders 1568–1609

3: Modern fortification and its impact

a: Cannon versus medieval walls

b: Advent of the bastioned trace

c: Italian engineers and their offspring in Northern and Central Europe

d: modern militias

4: French wars of religion 1561–1629

a: The French reformation

b: A godly insurgency 1560–1572

c: War of the league 1588–1598

d: End of the Protestant menace

5: Europe’s first great war 1618–1659

a: German civil war 1618–1648

b: The eighty years’ war round two

c: Franco-Spanish war 1635–1659

d: British civil war 1639–1653

6: The age of military entrepreneurs

a: Where soldiers came from

b: Contracting out war

c: Decline of entrepreneurial scope

d: Privateer navies in the Atlantic and the Mediterranean

7: The advent of standing armies and navies

a: Birth of a giant: the French army

b: Competing armies

c: Era of standing navies

8: Ottoman wars in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries

a: End of the classical era after 1610

b: Venetian epic in the Mediterranean 1638–1718

c: New Hungary wars

9: The wars against French ascendancy 1667–1714

a: French potential unleashed

b: French defence by aggression 1680–1697

c: The threat of Bourbon world hegemony

10: The classical campaign

a: Winter preparations

b: Small war and foraging

c: War of manoeuver

d: Winding down the campaign

11: The classical siege in the age of Vauban

a: Scaling up the bastioned fortress

b: The labour of besiegers

c: Labours of the besieged

12: The classical battle

a: Offering battle

b: Cavalry

c: Infantry in battle

d: Aftermath of carnage

13: War finance in the classical age 1689–1720

a: Paying taxes in the age of absolutism

b: War and public debt

c: Conclusion: melting the debt

14: Conclusion: eighteenth-century continuity

a: Technological stasis

b: Overturning Utrecht

c: The Habsburg succession in Germany




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Gregory Hanlon is a French-trained behavioural historian. His books include The Hero of Italy (2014), Italy 1636: Cemetery of Armies (2016), and Twilight of a Military Tradition: Italian aristocrats and European conflicts 1560–1800 (1998), winner of the Marraro Prize for Italian history.