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Absolute WarViolence and Mass Warfare in the German Lands, 1792-1820$
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Mark Hewitson

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198787457

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198787457.001.0001

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(p.1) Theories of War and Violence

Absolute War

Mark Hewitson

Oxford University Press

The Introduction outlines recent theories of violence, linking them to histories of war. Against the case put forward in the historiography, which has emphasized the continuity of both the conduct and consequences of military conflict, the study argues that the period between 1792 and 1815 revolutionized warfare in Germany, leading to the introduction of conscription, mass armies, and new ways of making war. The Napoleonic Wars and their aftermath encouraged more and more contemporaries to consider war as something fundamentally different from peace, helping to distinguish the nineteenth century from the eighteenth. Here, theories of violence, killing, death, pacification, civilization, suffering, and emotions are examined in the context of military conflict.

Keywords:   violence, Napoleonic Wars, civilization, suffering, killing, death, emotions, pacification

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