Archive | November 2013

Reminder to give companies your personal information

In case you needed a reminder, you should sign up for publisher emails. Just yesterday I received an email from Boydell & Brewer alerting me to their 48-hour 40%-off online sale starting December 2. Just in time for Cyber-Monday. Of course it’s not an exclusive email offer, so if you’re of the paranoid variety, I suppose you could just surf the publisher websites. And in the holiday spirit, their websites will even give you cookies!

Beats lining up to get into W*llmart on Thanksgiving day. Because I’m sure the Walton family has all the latest releases in the Studies in Early Modern Cultural, Political and Social History series.

The French Revolutionary Wars as you might have seen them

I’m moving into the revolutionary section of my European Warfare, 1337-1815 course, so I thought I’d throw up (not literally) a slightly different type of time chart that I’ve developed. Since entire courses are taught on the few decades from 1789-1815 (including by me), it makes sense to get a bit more granular about those years. Hence a more detailed time chart, month by bloody month.

The events on this first time chart actually have less to do with war and more with political events, but then I can’t lecture about war all the time.

French Revolutionary time chart

French Revolutionary time chart

But I can lecture about war a lot of the time:


I don’t think I’ve posted an example of this type of (monthly) chart, but then again, I have put up almost 300 posts. As usual, there are plenty of opportunities for improvements, but that would take time.

Page from mid18C English manual on logistics

For those interested, I offer a semi-random page from a mid-18C work that provides lots of interesting tidbits of info.

Contemporary Logistics

Contemporary Logistics

Source: Impartial hand, A System of Camp-discipline Military Honours, Garrison-duty, and Other Regulations for the Land Forces. Collected by a Gentleman of the Army. … To Which Is Added, General Kane’s Campaigns of King William and the Duke of Marlborough, ...

Thinking too much about naming wars

I’m pleased my SMHBLOG post on naming wars has received a variety of comments, mostly providing specific case studies. Feel free to continue the discussion there.

I’m interested in the issue of naming wars in part because in the past I’ve tried to create a list of early modern wars and been stymied by the lack of names for many of them (in English at least). My interest has also been piqued because it’s surprisingly contentious – particularly by historians of different countries (say, what a French historian might call a war vs. what an English historian would call that same conflict – I’m thinking of the Nine Years War in particular). Naming wars is also intriguing because it illustrates how complicated history is, how much trouble we have trying to wrap up messy historical events in tidy little packages. Would you like to read my further thoughts on the complicated and seemingly-random process of naming wars? Of course you would. Read More…

Seriously, enough with the fiscal-military state

I kid (sort of). We have another entry in the European fascination with the intersection between war and money. I suppose it helps that there are groups like Contractor State Group to fund such ventures.

Harding, Richard, Solbes Ferri, Sergio, and Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, eds. The Contractor State and Its Implications, 1659-1815 International Congress, CSG-Contractor State Group, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, 16th-18th November 2011. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria: Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, 2012.
Having trouble finding a table of contents over here in the USA, but it looks like there’s one chapter on Louis XV’s provisioning.

Naming wars redux

I put up a new post at SMHBLOG on whether there’s a formula to naming wars (not just early modern). Check it out and contribute.

Reader question: Time travel

A reader is curious to know of good sources on early modern time travel. More precisely: how much time did it take to travel to various places in the early modern period, say circa 1700? I think the request particularly relates to travel times between European capital cities and colonies overseas.

Offhand, I don’t have a good answer. I know Geoffrey Parker has a chapter on the tyranny of distance in his Grand Strategy of Philip II, influenced by Fernand Braudel. Perhaps more germane to the request, I also recall a map in the first volume of the Oxford History of the British Empire that includes routes and average times on it. Undoubtedly various textbooks and monographs include examples and anecdotes, but I’m wondering if there’s a more systematic source of information out there? (We’ll preface the discussion with the recognition that travel times over great differences could vary dramatically depending on weather, accidents, pirates…).

So I’m hoping that someone will give some suggestions in the comments so I don’t have to try to find out myself.