seminar: Prof. Peter Wilson (Oxford) Foreign Soldiers and Nation-Building in Europe c.1530-1870
Presentation, refreshments, discussion. All are welcome.
Foreign soldiers were a major element of virtually all European armies between the early sixteenth and mid-nineteenth centuries. Rather than being a hindrance to state formation, they were integral to that process. Likewise, the formation of European states and an international system based on indivisible sovereignty was not purely competitive: it also entailed cooperation. This paper explains how and why foreign soldiers were recruited, assesses the scale of their employment and demonstrates that the de-legitimation of foreign military labour was connected to fashioning the modern ideals of the citizen-in-arms as part of a more general process of nationalising war-making.