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Fear, Honour and Emotional Control on the Eighteenth-Century Battlefield

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Part of the Palgrave Studies in the History of Emotions book series (PSHE)

Abstract

This chapter offers a model explaining the motivation of ordinary soldiers in ancien régime Europe. Unlike previous scholarship, which stresses the role of discipline and coercion, it argues that fear of dishonour formed the single most important collective source of combat motivation in the period between 1700 and 1800. The first part of the chapter explains how this collective habitus was created, sustained and eventually contributed to combat performance. Yet, although fear of social exclusion reconciled most soldiers with the need to fight, the horrors of combat still loomed large. The chapter concludes with a description of the mental strategies employed by the troops to help them overcome their fear, before and during battle.

Keywords

  • Military Experience
  • Military Culture
  • Military Authority
  • British Troop
  • British Soldier

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

I am grateful to Helen Roche and Adam Storring for their help with this paper.

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  • DOI: 10.1057/978-1-137-56490-0_5
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Berkovich, I. (2016). Fear, Honour and Emotional Control on the Eighteenth-Century Battlefield. In: Kuijpers, E., van der Haven, C. (eds) Battlefield Emotions 1500-1800. Palgrave Studies in the History of Emotions. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-137-56490-0_5

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-137-56490-0_5

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  • Publisher Name: Palgrave Macmillan, London

  • Print ISBN: 978-1-137-56489-4

  • Online ISBN: 978-1-137-56490-0

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