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

European Military Rivalry, 1500–1750

Fierce Pageant, 1st Edition

By Gregory Hanlon


376 pages

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

The book discusses 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 explores 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 last 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 and Graphs

List of images

List of tables


1: Renaissance Innovations

a: Logic of Conquest

b: 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’

3: Modern Fortifications

a: modern cannon versus medieval walls

b: invention of the bastioned trace

c: Italian engineers and their offspring in Northern Europe

d: Keeping the Ottomans at bay

e: modern militias

4: French Wars of Religion 1561-1629

a: The French Reformation

b: A Godly insurgency 1560-1572

c: Local war, almost everywhere

d: War of the Catholic League 1588-1598

e: End of the Protestant menace

5: Europe’s First Great War

a: German Civil War 1618-1648

b: The Eighty Years’ War round two

c: Franco-Spanish War 1635-1659

d: The British Civil War 1639-1653

6: 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 Mediterranean

7: The Advent of Standing Armies and Navies

a: Birth of a giant: the French army

b: Competing standing armies

c: Era of Permanent Navies

8: Ottoman Wars in the 17th and early 18th century

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

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 tactics

c: Infantry in battle

d: Aftermath of carnage

13: War Finance in the Classical Age

a: Paying taxes in the age of absolutism

b: War and Public Debt

c: Melting the debt

14: Conclusion: Eighteenth-century continuity

a: Technological stasis

b: Overturning Utrecht

c: The Habsburg Succession in Germany




About the Author

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.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
HISTORY / Europe / General
HISTORY / Military / General
HISTORY / Military / Weapons
HISTORY / Military / Naval
HISTORY / Military / Napoleonic Wars
HISTORY / Revolutionary
HISTORY / Modern / 17th Century
HISTORY / Modern / 18th Century
HISTORY / Modern / 16th Century
HISTORY / Social History