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The Field and the ForgePopulation, Production, and Power in the Pre-industrial West$
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John Landers

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199279579

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199279579.001.0001

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Population, Power, and Technology

Population, Power, and Technology

(p.309) Chapter Thirteen Population, Power, and Technology
The Field and the Forge

John Landers (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The components of armed force are technology, manpower, and economic resources of various kinds. Committing manpower and economic resources to war requires diverting them from the productive economy. The French demographic economist Alfred Sauvy constructed a form of optimum population model that explains the salient features of the concrete relationships between population growth and the commitment of manpower and resources to war. This schematic model predicts that the relative size of armed forces should change with changing demographic conditions. Quantitatively speaking, military manpower commitments varied greatly in both absolute and relative terms, but the nature of the commitment also varied. The effect of changing troop strengths and investment on military effectiveness depends on the prior level of the variables themselves and the nature of the prevailing military technology. The process of raising, maintaining, and deploying military force required the commitment of men and resources.

Keywords:   armed force, technology, manpower, economic resources, Alfred Sauvy, optimum population model, military manpower commitment, troop strength, military effectiveness, military technology

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