The course proposes an introduction to what has been termed ‘new military history’, and specifically focuses on the recruitment, deployment, daily life and discourses of the modern armies of Western Europe. Although moments of conflict – such as the Franco-Prussian and the Crimean war – will be discussed, the course’s main focus is the development of a language and culture specific to the army in the nineteenth century – and therefore also highlights the distinct evolutions of nationhood and patriotism in France, the German States, the Low Countries and the United Kingdom. It was clear to military theorists and politicians alike that modern military life extended ‘beyond the battlefield’, and that the army could play a significant role in the civil education of young men and (future) citizens. Whilst the rise of the modern, post-Napoleonic army occurred throughout Europe, specific ‘national’ military cultures developed as well. We will therefore also take a closer look at the differences in military organization and training between the British ‘professional’ army, the French levée en masse and the militaristic state of Germany under Bismarck. Important topics will be: life in the barracks (e.g. notions of comradeship, ideals of hygiene and cleanliness, order and punishment); the production and spread of military literature; the role of the military in popular education (e.g. basic literacy, map reading etc); the construction and cultivation of the (ideal) soldier’s body (particularly the interaction between the gymnastic movement, the military and the primary school); evolutions in military training and the rise of the ‘maneuver’ as part of officers’ education; the development and spread of new (international) ideas on strategy; the impact of military culture on civilian life (especially in the run-up to WWI).
Day and Time: 
W 0200PM-0500PM
Cross Listings: 
  • DTCH230403