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Look Inside Richelieu's Army

Richelieu's Army
War, Government and Society in France, 1624–1642

$56.99 (C)

Part of Cambridge Studies in Early Modern History

  • Date Published: March 2006
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521025485

$ 56.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • It is assumed widely that "war made the state" in seventeenth-century France. Yet this study challenges the traditional interpretations of the role of the army as an instrument of the emerging absolutist state, and shows how the expansion of the French war effort contributed to weakening Richelieu's hold on France and heightened levels of political and social tension. This is the first detailed account of the French army during this formative period of European history. It also contributes more generally to the "military revolution" debate among early modern historians.

    • Was the first detailed study of a military history topic which is central to early modern European history
    • Makes an archivally based challenge to the usual assumptions about the link between war and the development of the absolutist state, explaining the 'failure' of the French army before 1660
    • Contributes to the 'demythologizing' of Cardinal Richelieu as the great reformer and administrator of French history
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "...a remarkable study..." Journal of Modern History

    "This is an immensely useful, exhaustively researched study..." The Journal of Interdisciplinary History

    "The originality of this book lies in Parrott's mastery of the literature on seventeenth-century warfare written in all the major Western European languages. It is a triumph of scholarship that, by placing French developments in a wider European context, will have an impact well beyond the hexagone." H-FRANCE

    "This massive study will remain a standard work on military administration for some years to come." American Historical Review

    "Parrott's thorough research and cogent arguments make his work required reading for any serious student of military history or the French monarchy in the seventeenth century." Renaissance Quarterly

    "More books promise far less than their titles, but Parrott delivers more. Interesting, clearly-argued and scholarly throughout, Parrott's book is a major work for those interested in early-modern military history and offers an important reassessment of French history. Journal of Military History

    "An important work for anyone interested in the evolution of French military primacy from the seventeenth through the nineteenth centuries." NYMAS Newsletter

    "David Parrott's new book on military history goes a long way toward showing both the prevalence and persistence of decentralization in Richelieu's France, and the apparent absence of any overall strategy to change things very much." Seventeeth-Century News

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2006
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521025485
    • length: 628 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 35 mm
    • weight: 0.91kg
    • contains: 5 maps
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: war, government and society in France, 1624–1642
    Part I. The Military Context:
    1. The French art of war during Richelieu's ministry
    2. France at war, 1624–1642
    3. The size of the French army
    Part II. The Administrative Context:
    4. Paying for war
    5. Recruiting and maintaining armies during the Thirty Years War: military enterprise
    6. The French rejection of entrepreneurship
    7. The civil administration of the army: the structures
    Part III. Responses and Reactions:
    8. The management of the war effort, 1635–1642: commissaires de guerres and intendants
    9. The ministry and the high command
    10. The army and the civilian population

  • Author

    David Parrott, University of Oxford

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