The Military Revolution: Military Innovation and the Rise of the West, 1500-1800
Well before the Industrial Revolution, Europe developed the superior military potential and expertise that enabled her to dominate the world for the next two centuries. In this attractively illustrated and updated edition, Geoffrey Parker discusses the major changes in the military practice of the West during this time period--establishment of bigger armies, creation of superior warships, the role of firearms--and argues that these major changes amounted to a "military revolution" that gave Westerners a decided advantage over people of other continents. A new chapter addresses the controversies engendered by the previous edition.
A Cause and Effect Look at Early Modern European Art of War
By Gregory Canellis "Student of military history... - February 9, 2003
Geoffrey Parker argues that during the 16th Century a "military revolution" occurred that profoundly changed the way Europeans conducted warfare. This revolution involved four distinct changes in the art of war: a change in tactics; a marked growth in the size of armies; more ambitious and complex military/political strategies; and an acute impact on society as a whole. Parker further contends that the initial imperial gains and conquests by European nations (before the full impact of the Industrial Revolution was felt) would not have been possible had it not been for these revolutionary changes. Not all historians of early modern European military history agree with Parker's argument. In the Second Edition, Parker answers his critics in an updated addendum (for those who enjoy conversational footnotes, Parker does seem to have a particular axe to grind with the historian John A. Lynn and vice-versa)..Parker incorporates a thread of cause and effect to illustrate his claims. For... read more
What makes a revolution?
By Bryan Gibby - October 17, 2000
The purist may not appreciate the title of this excellent survey of the rise of Western European military and eventually cultural dominance. Any revolution that takes 300 years to accomplish begs the question. The subtitle is more revealing, and more accurately portrays the content of the book. The years of 1500 to 1800 indeed saw a series of military innovations that directly contributed to Western military hegemony.What the author has done, which is truly unique, is to survey the innovations and to document how they affected events in Europe and elsewhere. A good part of the book accounts for developments in sail and guns and global exploration and confrontation. Also discussed is how other societies such as the Ottomans, Chinese, Koreans, Japanese, and others reacted or failed to react to these developments. In this course, Parker proves his thesis of how the West gained its "35%" toehold on the globe by 1800, which set the course for the century of rabid... read more
One of the top military history books this century
By Prof. Cliff Rogers - February 8, 2000
Geoffrey Parker is probably the best military historian active today. In this book he deploys an astounding amount of research and a brilliant intellect in grappling with a very big historical question: how did the West, between 1500 and 1800, come to achieve military superiority over other cultures, even before the invention of steam power, cartridge rifles, malaria vaccines, etc. etc. The first edition of this book won "best book" prizes from both military history and technological history societies. The second edition, which adds a rebuttal to his critics (for whom see my _The Military Revolution Debate_), is even more useful.