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Brandschatzung

(854 words)

Author(s): Carl, Horst
Brandschatzung is a contribution paid to the enemy to prevent his destroying a village or town by fire”—so reads Zedler’s Großes Lexikon, defining the relationship between warfare and extortion that was characteristic of European warfare in the late Middle Ages and early modern period. The German word, which graphically combines the threat (fire) and the purpose (money) [2], has no equivalent in English or French, but this method of extorting money was common practice in European war zones during the first part of the early modern period [5]. In the 17th century, the term inc…
Date: 2019-10-14

Council of state

(1,599 words)

Author(s): Carl, Horst
1. Definition and development Council of state denotes a supreme central governmental council that was becoming established in European states in the early modern period. A common feature of such councils was their collegial structure, whereas there was a broad spectrum of difference in regard to their competencies and degrees of separation from other council committees (e.g. the Privy council). All councils of state, however, functioned as the supreme advisory council to the r…
Date: 2019-10-14

King's peace

(2,987 words)

Author(s): Carl, Horst
1. DefinitionFrom the Middle Ages on, the term  king’s peace meant a blueprint for peace based on renunciation of the use of force – geographically defined, and originally usually limited to a specific period of time [17]. Peace was essentially to be achieved and maintained by making legal regulations and appropriate courts of law or arbitral authorities mandatory in the enforcement of particular legal claims or to punish wrongdoings instead of taking the law into one’s own hands (“law of the strongest”). In the narrower sense, the  king’s peace also means the framework of le…
Date: 2019-10-14

Authority

(6,234 words)

Author(s): Carl, Horst
1. Terminology and scholarly approaches Authority is a central element of social order, a “force field around which social relationships and tensions fall into place” [22]. Authority is generally understood as an asymmetrical mutual social relationship in which a person, group, or organization can (temporarily) impose subordination on others and expect compliance. In the early modern period, the degree of generality was extended: authority was understood as an organizing principle of the entire cosmos. In 1735 J.H. Zed…
Date: 2019-10-14

Contribution

(932 words)

Author(s): Carl, Horst
1. DefinitionThe concept of “contributions” (in German, Kontribution from Latin  contributio) and the practice of collecting taxes and extracting resources in the early modern period is focused in exemplary fashion on the context of war, the financing of war (War, financing of), and state-building. The etymological connection between contribution and the Latin term  tributum (Tribute) itself points to the traditional context of wartime “levies,” which during the wars of the early modern period, in particular the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648)…
Date: 2019-10-14

Napoleonic Wars

(3,875 words)

Author(s): Carl, Horst
1. Introduction The term “Napoleonic Wars” denotes the warfare in Europe between 1798/99 or 1803, and 1815. The attribute “Napoleonic” emphasizes the central role of Napoleon Bonaparte, who placed his political and military mark on this period in European history. As Emperor of the French, he took responsibility for a far-reaching hegemonic policy of conquest across Europe, the successes and ultimate failure of which were military in origin. The term Napoleonic Wars is mainly used in the English and French-speaking worlds [8]; [23]; [10]; [22], and it distinguishes this pha…
Date: 2020-04-06