Citizens, Soldiers and National Armies: Military Service in by Thomas Hippler

By Thomas Hippler

This booklet examines the production of ‘national armies’ via obligatory army carrier in France and Prussia in the course of 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 might merge. with a view to make sure that the military might by no means develop into a method of oppression opposed to the folks, the complete inhabitants should still therefore ‘be’ the military. Defeated by way of the large army strength that those new political settings had unchained in France, Prussia tailored the French thoughts to its personal wishes, hence laying the root for its contributions to the victories of the coalition troops in 1813-15. Conscription had implications that went past the simply army sphere and concerned assumptions in regards to the nature of the nation and its courting to its electorate. It used to be the fabric foundation of Napoleon’s campaigns and of the German ‘wars of nationwide liberation’ of 1813-15, ahead of turning into a cornerstone of the Prussian Reforms and the construction of a civil society ‘from above’. army provider has for that reason been probably the most crucial and contradictory associations of the trendy geographical region. voters, infantrymen and nationwide Armies could be of curiosity to historians of contemporary Europe, army historians and scholars of highbrow heritage regularly.

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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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On the other hand, however, it is an alienation in the contractual sense of the term, which means that the community renders something to the contracting individuals: it gives a legal and moral existence to their persons and a guarantee to their possessions (Rousseau 1994: 143). The precondition for a community to come into being is that the contracting individuals alienate themselves and their possessions to it. The community, however, gives them something back. What is this? Precisely their persons and possessions (Rousseau 1994: 151) – although, not the same persons and possessions as were alienated: a community ‘must, The Enlightenment and military service 35 in short, take away man’s own forces in order to give him forces that are foreign to him’ (Rousseau 1994: 155).

It is the duty of the legislator to dispel this laziness that always goes along with weariness and vice and that destroys the elasticity of the soul’ (Mably 1794–5b: 362). A general and public education is thus necessary, not only for children, but for adults as well. Since their character is never fully stabilized, ‘citizens are but grownup children’ (Mably 1794–5b: 253). Education has to be constant because virtue can never be fully achieved: citizens’ souls are continually haunted by the threat of moral corruption.

It follows from this that social life necessarily required not only that women be excluded, but also that femininity as the principle of moral corruption be fought. Consequently, virtue-politics had to be gender-specific, too. On the one hand, the influence of women had to be circumscribed. Men, on the other hand, had to be strengthened in their masculinity, which involved physical exercises, sports, competitive games and, last but not least, military exercises (Mably 1794–5b: 373–6). The latter were particularly important because they encouraged the sense of glory, another key concept of Mably’s political anthropology.

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