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Historical Essay Example: How Did the Styles of Warfare Change During the Eighteenth Century

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601 words
Sewanee University of the South
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Engaging in war requires proper planning by an army so that they can overcome their enemy. There is also the need to incorporate functional and most recent weapons so that one can have a competitive advantage over the enemies (Keegan 33). The war in the 16th and 17th Century had seen some armies like the Chinese had introduced the use of gunpowder and bombs as a way to fight off against other troops. With the emergence of more conflicts among people in the world, there was a need to develop ideas that would help armies secure victory when they went to war. Battlefield required fighting skills in case troops were not using firearms. By the start of 18th century, the use of gunpowder had spread across different nations, and it was no longer a preserve for troops with special skills in weaponry (Kaldor 100). The styles of warfare changed during the 18th C since there were a new revolution and introduction of organizational skills in the army, tactics, and firearms on the battlefield.

Organizational skills in the army meant that a troop could go through training sessions at different times before engaging in battle with enemy camps (Keegan 75). Generals who headed troops ensured that only the best men with skills joined their army as their strength and valor were needed when engaging in battle. Organized militias meant that members needed to possess special skills as opposed to the conventional methods, which judged people, based on their physique. In addition, organizing the army meant that the best and skilled members were not the first to attack during a war. Infantrymen were placed at the front lines during battles. In addition, training in a new tactic meant that the troops needed to have weapon use skills as well as physical strength in case they needed to engage in a fight with opponents (Kaldor 189). Healthy men were a preference, as they would take a short time to recover if wounded on the battlefield. Use of firearms was also another style adopted in warfare in the 18th century. Generals put some gunpowder in the projectile and propelling machines that would enable a soldier to aim their targets with ease. The machine was a gun, and every member of an army, needed skills to handle a firearm (Keegan 37). Ability to use a gun meant that a soldier would shoot to kill and would prevent accidental self-harm.

How did this influence the course of events in Europe and worldwide?

With the introduction of organized and well-equipped troops, generals had confidence that they would defeat their enemies if they engaged in war (Keegan 54). For instance, in Europe, troops no longer took solace in fortifications which were previously built to protect cities from enemies by making it easier to see approaching opponents from any side. Firearms were handy and fast when dealing with enemies making generals in armies recommend their soldiers to use guns. It was also possible to aim, shoot, maim, and kill enemies from a long-distance. Armies were assured of victory if they had more firearms than their opponents did or if their organizational skills on the battlefield were better than those of their enemies (Kaldor 12). In addition, development and emergence of guns meant that troops from different countries in the world were willing and ready to engage in war with a little provocation. Introduction of guns was a path to bring technological ideas to mass production of weapons.


Works Cited

Kaldor, Mary. New and old wars: Organised violence in a global era. John Wiley & Sons, (2013): 11-238.

Keegan, John. A history of warfare. Random House, (2011): 23-78.


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