Read e-book online Citizens, Soldiers and National Armies: Military Service in PDF

By Thomas Hippler

This publication examines the construction of ‘national armies’ via obligatory army provider in France and Prussia throughout 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 may merge. so as to make sure that the military could by no means develop into a method of oppression opposed to the folks, the total inhabitants may still therefore ‘be’ the military. Defeated by means of the large army capability that those new political settings had unchained in France, Prussia tailored the French ideas to its personal wishes, hence laying the foundation for its contributions to the victories of the coalition troops in 1813-15. Conscription had implications that went past the only army sphere and concerned assumptions concerning the nature of the country and its courting to its voters. It was once the fabric foundation of Napoleon’s campaigns and of the German ‘wars of nationwide liberation’ of 1813-15, prior to turning into a cornerstone of the Prussian Reforms and the production of a civil society ‘from above’. army carrier has for that reason been some of the most crucial and contradictory associations of the fashionable geographical region. electorate, infantrymen and nationwide Armies can be of curiosity to historians of recent Europe, army historians and scholars of highbrow historical past normally.

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

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Given the fact that the Social Contract was one of the major theoretical references for French revolutionaries, the importance of Rousseau’s writings cannot be overestimated. 34 The French moment Underneath its apparent simplicity, the Social Contract is a highly problematical text. One of the main difficulties is that it proceeds by conceptual couples that presuppose themselves mutually. The philosophical and practical problem that Rousseau faces in the Social Contract is to find a form of association that defends and protects the person and the goods of each associate with all the common force, and by means of which each one, uniting to all, nevertheless obeys only himself and remains as free as before.

This idea can be applicable up to a certain point to the entire mass of society. (Condorcet 1792: 329–30) This translation of the Catholic practice of confession into republican terms was of course never realized, but its very proposal shows the importance of the issue of an institutionalization of virtue in order to produce responsible citizens. Significantly, Condorcet continued his discussion of virtue-politics by considering the importance of saints’ days, and ‘solemn marches, military inspections and evolutions, gymnastic exercises’.

However, a considerable evolution can be noticed between 1772 and his treatise On Public Force, written in 1790. At the time when the National Assembly debated on military organization, Guibert used the argument of total war against those in favour of universal conscription. In 1772, however, his outlook is remarkably different. Without explicitly advocating universal and compulsory military service, he maintains that the army should be a means to promote civic education. With military, politics and education converging, a well-organized state would ‘change our manners, strengthen our souls and give impetus to the government’.

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