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seminar: Prof. Peter Wilson (Oxford) Foreign Soldiers and Nation-Building in Europe c.1530-1870

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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.

Tags: MECRN seminar

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