The Birth of Militarism in the Age of Democratic Revolutions

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


In the year 1813, as Napoleon Bonaparte’s empire was crumbling, Benjamin Constant issued one of the earliest and most powerful condemnations of what we now call militarism. It was highly dangerous, he warned, ‘to create in a country … a large mass of men imbued with an exclusively military spirit’. Would these men, at the end of a war, shed their attitudes along with their uniforms? To the contrary, ‘those without weapons strike them as an ignoble mob, laws as useless subtleties … opposition as disorder and reasoning as revolt’. Constant insisted that in a modern world of constitutional regimes and commerce, a military ‘spirit of conquest’was a menacing vestige of an earlier age.1

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationWar, Culture and Society, 1750-1850
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages18
StatePublished - 2016

Publication series

NameWar, Culture and Society, 1750-1850
ISSN (Print)2634-6699
ISSN (Electronic)2634-6702

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • History


  • Civilian Control
  • Democratic Revolution
  • Military Coup
  • Military Service
  • Moral Superiority


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