Usual decisive battles in Roman times involve 4+ legions - approximately 20,000 guys + auxiliaries giving a full of about 30,000 males, on the Roguy side just. Battles in also the late middle eras and beforehand modern age generally involve 30,000 males in complete. Even Alexander the Great mustered over 40,000 men in tiny Greece with an estimated population of 3,000,000 whereas mighty France with an approximated populace of 13,000,000 in the years prior to the babsence afflict could only barely complement that number at Crecy.

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Given the boost in populace over 1,500 years later on, why did the early on modern-day civilization not check out even more battles of ancient timeless scale?


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edited Jan 25 "15 at 12:16
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Tbelow are many great answers below focusing on the material side of things: exactly how many soldiers have the right to a state feed/arm/support/hire? I desire to complement these via an ideological aspect. While people can be conscripted or phelp to fight, mobilization is constantly most basic once the populace is eager to serve. Some ideologies rise the supply of willing soldiers (e.g. republicanism, nationalism), while others decrease the supply (e.g. the medieval caste system).

Classical republicanism as developed by the Greeks and Romans taught that all citizens had a duty to fight for their polis or republic. Horatius and Cincinattus are the embodiments of the martial aspect of this ideology: the citizen-soldier. Even as Roman power extended beyond the city itself, army organization was interpreted to convey some amount of citizenship rights (e.g. the Social War). Virtuous Romans wanted to fight for Rome, and so there were big reservoirs of willing soldiers. As this ideology deteriorated, so did the populace of willing Romale soldiers. Of course, the late Empire might still field huge armies despite the breakdown of this ideological background via time--however arguably these forces would certainly have been a lot more efficient if they"d had actually a firmer attachment to Rome.

Middle ages Europe had actually a caste device through a sustaining belief that (in its ordinary operations) discouraged the huge majority of Europeans from martial quests. Under this caste mechanism, the noble minority were warriors and also the peasant majority were laborers. Peasants (through some exceptions) would certainly seldom feel the calling to defend their lord, as a Roguy citizen might safeguard Rome or nobles could safeguard their ancestral lands. Certainly, as soon as armies did flourish to significant size in this period, it was frequently due to the assist of religious ideological motivation, generally encroaching Islam (Peasant"s Crusade, the Battle of Tours).

Interestingly, we view a renewal of classical republicanism in the Renaissance, exactly when ambitious city-states have to mobilize their non-noble citizens to fight. Liberal "bourgeois" nations (through their emphasis on the legal rights of citizenship) additionally discovered timeless republicanism to be a helpful ideology--especially the United States, wright here the beginning fathers wanted to rely on a volunteer militia for as long as possible. So it"s not surpclimbing that in the 18th century, Cincinattus gets a rebirth and also in the 19th, Horatius gets his.

By the 19th century we have gotten in the era of nationalism, an ideological background that (as Napoleon realized) is ideally suited for mass mobilization. Of course, you can"t define the substantial and also continual mobilization of the World Wars (let alone their causes) without some recommendation to nationalism.

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There"s all sorts of amazing thoughtful discussions to be had about whether the material or ideological preconditions for mass mobilization come first. But I want to put that aside for now and also just allude out that why civilization fight is crucial. Each era has its very own set of beliefs, and these influence exactly how inclined citizens and topics are to serve as soldiers.