The Evolution Of Warfare Throughout The Renaissance To The Age Of Religious Wars During the age of religious wars, leading to the Renaissance, warfare drastically changed. Strategies, weapons; the whole art itself was reshaped by the contact with other peoples and the strive to attain more power. Before this time, fighting was restricted to all the Medieval straitjacket would allow. “Wars” consisted mostly of the small forces of feudal nobles in their squeamish attempts to obtain more land.
Once the Crusades occurred, everything changed. Alliances were formed and broken, new weapons unveiled, huge strategies deduced, and suddenly people weren’t just trying to defend the small plot of land they called “home”, but their entire nation. If there is a fulcrum in warfare, it was the period of religious wars and the Renaissance. It should be noted that alliances are very much related to the art of war. They were (are) as omnipresent as war itself. They have been both the cause of war and the key to the victory.
There is a direct correlation between warfare and alliances. Throughout this time, alliances were forming (and breaking) between European countries to either conquer one another, or simply keep each other in check. A very well-suited example would be the famous Third Crusade. Richard the Lionhearted of England, Frederick Barbosa of the divided Germany, and Phillip Augustus of France, some of the most powerful rulers of Europe (some, bitter enemies), united for religious reasons to fight a holy war against the “infidel” ruler, Saladin (Wallbank, T. Walter… et al 263).
Modern European Weaponry: Shaping Changes in Warfare The human being has always found a way to inflict harm in the name of defense or simple destruction, for survival, or for the annihilation of the enemy. All within the realm of warfare, we have found a way to make sticks and stones break bones, and everything between simple technologies to the advent of gunpowder, has changed civilization and ...
The three rulers united and traveled to Jerusalem to fight. Frederick died on the way and Richard and Phillip Augustus were left in charge (Wallbank, T. Walter… et al 263).
England and France have a history of unfriend lines to each other (Wallbank, T. Walter…
et al 302-303), and that was once more displayed when Phillip Augustus departed after a heated argument with Richard. The alliance was broken and the war was a failure for the Europeans. A little later in history, there was a famous example of Balance of Power. Henry VIII of England, Charles V of Spain, and Francis I of France dominated Europe around the early 1500’s.
In order to keep each other from becoming to strong, they formed and broke alliances within their little triangle. First Henry made an alliance with Charles to prevent Francis from becoming too powerful (Wallbank, T. Walter… et al 451).
Then Henry realized that Charles was becoming too powerful, so he made an alliance with Francis. So in this case, it seems that forming alliances prevented war; no one was strong enough to attack the other (Microsoft Encarta CD-ROM).
However this was not always the case. The thing that changed the face of war most of all were new weapons.
From using these new weapons, new strategies came about, and goals became larger, for the one with the most powerful and plentiful weapons was always the largest threat. It was to be weapons that would offset all the old tactics, and one weapon to be more specific. Actually, one component of a weapon. Gunpowder (Microsoft Encarta CD-ROM).
The Chinese had used gunpowder for many years, but as fireworks and other devices for celebration. It was during the Sung Dynasty in China, circa de 1232, that it was used as a weapon for massive warfare (Scwartz 78).
Chinese soldiers who were defending the besieged city of Loyang used a weapon known as a “thunder bomb” to free the city from the grip of the Mongols (Dyer 55).
It was an iron vessel filled with gunpowder and was hurled at the enemy by catapult. The explosion blew those nearby to pieces, and the shrapnel of the casing could pierce through armor (Dyer 55).
\There were many causes of World War I, but the three most important causes were militarism, imperialism, and alliances. World War I started in 1914, and it started off when the Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria was assassinated by a Serbian nationalist. This was a global war centered in Europe which started July 28, 1914 and ended November 11, 1918. After World War I ended more than 9 million ...
The Chinese also invented a primitive musket called a “fire lance.” It was a bamboo tube stuffed with gunpowder and would fire a cluster of pellets about 250 yards. The Mongols innovated on this idea about 1320, and it was adopted by Europeans when they came to Europe. From that point of exchange, Europe was the center of the technological improvements in gunpowder (Scwartz 80).
The European continent was one that was composed of separate, war-torn states, and any weapon was welcome (Keegan 121).
With the introduction of this new weapon, war changed. The old castle walls could stop a projectile launched by a catapult, but not a 1, 150 pound cannonball being propelled by, literally, an explosion. The great city walls of the last of the Roman Empire at Constantinople fell to the wrath of the Turkish Sultan’s great cannons (Wallbank, T. Walter… et al 421).
The feudal nobility was also destroyed, when those with the most money, the Kings, obtained more and more artillery (Keegan 134).
They became a real threat to the nobles now. This new weapon brought about the creation of a new class of warriors and the demise of another. Before, you had the standard infantry, cavalry, and archers.
The archers would usually send the first waves of death with their arrows, and the knights would finish off the ones that didn’t die in the first attack. With the addition of artillery, the archers became obsolete. Cannons could propel things faster, farther, and could do more damage than arrows (Dyer 85).
This definitely changed both outcomes and styles of fighting, especially countries whose archers were a major key to the victory, such as England.
Their Welsh long-Bowman were no match to the French artillery. The Artillery was also the most inexpensive route to take (Dyer 55).
It requires much training to be a good archer. To train a member of the artillery requires minimal training.
It was not a surprise that the use of archers in war became a rare practice. Strategies in war became complex and very thoughtful in this time in history. The best example of contrasting strategies were the English and the French. The French were extremely foolish and cared not for strategy. They blindly charged all their forces at the enemy. In that type of strategy, even shear numbers don’t make much of a difference.
Change to Chemical Warfare in The Great War The decision by the Germans to first use chemical bombs was a very controversial one. Not only did it open up a can of worms in World War one, but changed the face of battle for years to come. The use of these new weapons lead to huge problems for the U. S. and its people. For the first time ever, the United States had to play catch-up in the weapons ...
The English, by contrast, had a well planned out strategy. They would position their well-trained archers (or artillery, in later times) in front of their dismounted knights. Ahead of the archers were iron pikes planted in the ground at about a 30 degree angle to slow down the advance of the enemy’s cavalry (Schwartz 201).
First the archers would shower the enemy with their arrows while the enemy was still advancing. The ones who still remained after the arrows and pikes were quickly dispatched by the dismounted knights. This style was called “feathered death”, and it was very effective (Wallbank, T.
Walter… et al 288).
However, with the arrival of gunpowder, England’s archers were of no contest to France’s artillery. Yet another example to the change that warfare undertook during this age. Along with all these advancements, strategies, and constantly changing alliances, everyone was more of a threat to each other, thus, the goals of conquest grew. A hundred years before that time no one was strong enough to conquer another nation, because no one was really united.
With these changes in warfare, central governments became more powerful to defend themselves against a stronger power (Keegan 311).
Feudalism declined because of this. The monarchs bought large armies for national defense. Power was taken from the hands of the nobles and placed in the hands of the monarchs. Professional armies became more common because they had to be ready to defend the country (Dyer 187).
So, in essence, war, which usually tears countries apart, brought Europe together.
More specifically, the threat of war was the uniting force. During the time between the period of religious wars leading to the Renaissance, war undertook many changes, therefore changing the whole continent of Europe as well. People united, strategies developed, weapons evolved, and the constant changes of alliance kept everyone in check. Countries became countries and they developed professional armies for national defense.
Mass warfare was coexisting with equally large threats of war, and the whole style shifted to a more brutal and frighteningly effective one. What should be asked is if there was a change of the same magnitude of what happened almost 500 years ago, how much worse could warfare become in this day and age That question was probably asked around the invention of nuclear weapons. I. Dyer, Gwynne. War.
The word “Revolution” doesn’t mean complete change. There were numerous events during the civil war like black land rights or hate crimes and many others that contributed to the major changes throughout the country. During the Civil War, many African Americans fought for the union against the Confederates in hope to gain more freedom. It took many Africans to petition to the government for voting ...
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Microsoft Encarta ’96. CD-ROM. Microsoft Corporation, 1996. “Gunpowder.” IV.
Wallbank, T. Walter… et al. Civilizations Past and Present.
New York: HarperCollins Publishers Inc, 1992. V. Schwartz, Jason. The Road to Modern Warfare.
New York: Macmillan Publishers Inc, 1988.