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Careers, talent, merit
Author: Rafe Blaufarb

This book examines the shifting ideas and practices of the Old Regime as they attempted to implement meritocracy in the military profession. It treats the Old Regime concept of merit and the efforts undertaken from 1750 to 1789 to realize it in the royal officer corps. The book reinterprets the meritocratic revolution of 1789 in the light of the bitter conflicts over hereditary merit (and its violations) that had polarized the officer corps during the last decades of the Old Regime. It examines how the carefully crafted revolutionary military reforms under the weight of successive revolutionary crises. The perception of military decline prompted reformers to enact a series of professionalizing measures which transformed the French army. Exploring the ideological, political, and military factors that transformed the officer corps after the overthrow of the monarchy in August 1792, the book argues that republican rule marked a sharp, but transitory, break in the history of revolutionary meritocracy. It discusses the rise of a new sense of military professionalism during the Thermidorean and Directorial years. The book examines how Napoleon's search to reconstruct monarchy and found a dynasty recombined and transformed the notions of merit his regime had inherited from the revolutionary governments of the past decade. It surveys the meritocratic legacy of the Old Regime, Revolution, and Empire during the nineteenth century and beyond.

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The military in British art, 1815-1914

In an age when engraving and photography were making artistic images available to a much wider public, artists were able to influence public attitudes more powerfully than ever before. This book examines works of art on military themes in relation to ruling-class ideologies about the army, war and the empire. The first part of the book is devoted to a chronological survey of battle painting, integrated with a study of contemporary military and political history. The chapters link the debate over the status and importance of battle painting to contemporary debates over the role of the army and its function at home and abroad. The second part discusses the intersection of ideologies about the army and military art, but is concerned with an examination of genre representations of soldiers. Another important theme which runs through the book is the relation of English to French military art. During the first eighty years of the period under review France was the cynosure of military artists, the school against which British critics measured their own, and the place from which innovations were imported and modified. In every generation after Waterloo battle painters visited France and often trained there. The book shows that military art, or the 'absence' of it, was one of the ways in which nationalist commentators articulated Britain's moral superiority. The final theme which underlies much of the book is the shifts which took place in the perception of heroes and hero-worship.

England’s freedom, soldiers’ rights
Rachel Foxley

Chapter 5 . Levellers and the army: England’s freedom, soldiers’ rights O ver the course of the 1640s the parliamentarian coalition fragmented. The Leveller leaders played their parts in that play of faction, and had links, and for a long time backers, among the Independent group. The activities of the Leveller movement were one manifestation of the extension of parliamentarian politics beyond Parliament itself; but from 1647 a much more powerful extra-parliamentary political force mobilized: the New Model Army. Associated from its foundation with the

in The Levellers
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The Ulster Volunteer Force, 1910–22
Author: Timothy Bowman

The Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) remains something of a forgotten army of the Irish revolutionary period. There has also been a tendency for historians of opposition to Home Rule to view the UVF as little more than a supporting cast to the Unionists stars: Sir Edward Carson and Andrew Bonar Law. In traditional Unionist accounts of the Third Home Rule crisis, militancy was a measured and controlled response by Ulster Unionists to the actions of the Liberal government. The book considers the social composition and political ideology of the UVF. The command structures of the UVF and the force's military efficiency are discussed next. Many of the early manifestations of Ulster Unionist militancy occurred outside the formal structures of the Orange Order and Unionist Clubs. The earliest forms of armed Unionism during the 1910-1914 period took a similar form and, indeed, this neo-feudalism was to survive in the UVF proper between 1913 and 1914. The command of the UVF, while theoretically a standard military hierarchy, was in reality anything but that. The military efficiency units differed significantly over time and region. Unionist propaganda was aimed at four different audiences: Ulster Unionists themselves, British public opinion, the Liberal government and Nationalist Ireland. The book then covers the related issues of finance, arms and equipment. The contribution of the UVF to the 36th (Ulster) Division is then dealt with. Finally, it considers the brief revival of the UVF in 1920 and its amalgamation into the Ulster Special Constabulary.

The policy of reservation in the First and Second World Wars
Juliette Pattinson, Arthur McIvor, and Linsey Robb

50 v 2 v Raising an ‘industrial army’: the policy of reservation in the First and Second World Wars Reflecting on the policy of reservation in the Second World War, Glasgow shipyard worker John Dickson asserted that there was ‘no point in robbing Peter to pay Paul. Or taking a skilled engineer out of skilled engineering to be a soldier’.1 In total war, industry was in direct competition with the military for a limited supply of men. The State needed to mobilise industry and labour just as much as it did combatants to fill the ranks of the armed services

in Men in reserve
Carol Polsgrove

us and our plans and hopes for Africa as the fantasies of some politically illiterate West Indians’. 103 Makonnen recalled that the communists saw them as ‘“generals without an army, they have no base and must depend on their pens”‘. 104 Their pens proved powerful: through their stream of publications they built a reputation as people to see in London if you were visiting from the colonies, or

in Ending British rule in Africa
Author: William Butler

This work examines the ‘amateur military tradition’ in Ireland, essentially the framework in which part-time soldiers of the British Army existed, alongside their regular army counterparts, and how they interacted with wider society. In Ireland, this included the militia, yeomanry, Territorial Force (later Army), Officers’ Training Corps, Volunteer Training Corps, the Ulster Home Guard (UHG), and the Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR). It covers the period from the re-establishment of the Irish militia during the Crimean War until the disbandment of the UDR after the British Army’s ‘Options for Change’ paper in 1992. Due to Ireland’s peculiar position within the British military framework, a distinct Irish amateur military tradition developed which, in many respects, was different to the English, Welsh, or Scottish traditions. Additionally, two further traditions have been identified, distinctive to the Irish socio-political environment. Firstly, the re-emergence of the Protestant volunteering tradition, witnessed in Ulster as early as the seventeenth century, also found in paramilitary groups such as the Ulster Volunteer Force, and, secondly, a Catholic amateur military tradition, largely present in the Irish militia until the Edwardian period. Crucially, the work recognises a significant contribution of Irish men and women to activities within the British Empire during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Penny Summerfield and Corinna Peniston-Bird

6 Dad’s Army and Home Guard history In the summer of 1968, BBC Television broadcast the first series of a situation comedy about a seaside Home Guard unit. Dad’s Army became enormously popular: 80 episodes were transmitted in 9 series from 1968 to 1977. Viewing figures exceeded 13 million in 1969, after which the show attracted an average of over 12 million viewers per week from 1969 to 1975, with a peak of 18 million in 1972. These were remarkably high viewing figures compared both with other BBC comedies and with broadcasts on rival channels.1 The popularity

in Contesting home defence
David Killingray

Armies are and have been overwhelmingly male institutions with their purpose and actions defined and performed by men. With few exceptions, drilling, marching, fighting and martial behaviour have been occupations reserved for and perceived to be the province of men. 1 Conflict has also been regarded by men as a major activity in which to demonstrate their masculine virtues. In

in Guardians of empire
Cristóbal Rodríguez Alva’s La inquieta Flandes (1594)
Miguel Martínez

5 Narrating mutiny in the army of Flanders: Cristóbal Rodríguez Alva’s La inquieta Flandes (1594) Miguel Martínez ‘Mutinies have happened since armies were first gathered for war and slaves for work, and the first crews of ships endured the sea.’ This sentence opened Tom H. Wintringham’s survey of mutiny throughout history, from Spartacus to the French soldiers of the Western Front in 1917.1 Wintringham (1898–1949), who had been a member of the Communist Party of Great Britain since 1923, was a veteran of the Great War, and an experienced mutineer himself when

in Early modern war narratives and the Revolt in the Low Countries