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Richelieu's Army: War, Government and Society in France, 1624-1642 (Cambridge Studies in Early Modern History) [Paperback]

David Parrott

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Book Description

30 Mar 2006 Cambridge Studies in Early Modern History
It is assumed widely that 'war made the state' in seventeenth-century France. Yet this study of the French army during the ministry of Cardinal Richelieu (1624–42) shows how the expansion of the war effort was not matched by army reform but by a reliance on traditional mechanisms of control. The army imposed a huge burden upon the French population, but far from being an instrument of the emerging absolutist state its demands contributed to weakening Richelieu's hold upon France and heightened levels of political and social tension. This is the first detailed account of the size, organization, recruitment, financing and control of the troops during this formative period of French history. The book also includes a detailed study of foreign policy during Richelieu's ministry, and places the training, deployment and fighting methods of the French army into the context of arguments for military change in early modern Europe. The title was runner up in the History Today Awards 2002.

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Review

'This book bucks the trend. Most books promise far lass than their titles, but Parrott delivers more … a major work for those interested in early-modern military history.' History Today

'This is a monumental study, which not only puts a definitive stamp on its subject but sets a high standard for all future military historians.' Theodore K Rabb, The Times Literary Supplement

'No previous study has lavished such attention on this chapter in military history … This is a monumental study, which not only puts a definite stamp on its subject but sets a high standard for all future military historians.' European 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 hexagon … We can only congratulate David Parrott on producing such a fine monument.' H-FRANCE

'This is a book that beautifully illustrates the strengths and weaknesses of institutional history.' History

'It is one of the most important studies of early modern warfare since the revival of that subject in the 1970s, as well as being an important contribution to seventeenth-century French and European history.' War in History

Book Description

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 upon France. Runner up in the History Today Awards 2002.

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First Sentence
Accounts of French military practice during the seventeenth century have traditionally taken 19 May 1643 as their point of departure, the date of the battle of Rocroi and the defeat of the tercios of the Spanish army of Flanders by French forces under the command of the young Louis II de Bourbon, duc d'Enghien and future Grand Conde. Read the first page
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Amazon.com: 3.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly detailed 16 July 2011
By C. J. Skamarakas - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Over five hundred pages of well-researched details. His key conclusion was that this period, 1624-1642, was not quite the Revolution in Military Affairs that others claim, because military operations still relied on a patron-client relationship between rulers and generals. It would be many more years before military officers became a professional class as we know them today.
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