Transnational and Cosmopolitan Aspects of Eighteenth-Century European Wars



This chapter provides an outline of the transnational dimensions of wars involving eighteenth-century Europeans, and explores the ways in which we can see the armed struggles of the time as embodying cosmopolitan features. The chapter first considers the ends for which wars were fought, or at least the ways in which they were legitimized by governments. It then turns to the means. Four areas are examined: first, the alliance systems that brought different governments and armed forces into co-operation; second, the supply and finance of armies and navies, which often relied on complex transnational networks; third, the composition of supposedly national armies; and finally the legal framework that sought to define the boundaries of acceptable behaviour in war and the values that underpinned its conduct. In this new light, the cosmopolitan dimensions of war can be uncovered, focusing on sympathy for the sufferings of others—outside one’s own local, national, or ethnic community—amongst those engaged in the fighting.


War Alliance Transnational history of war Financial networks Sympathy and conflict Seven years’ war War of the spanish succession Transatlantic history 



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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University College LondonLondonUK

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