“States Make War, and Wars Also Break States” by Geoffrey Parker, Ohio State University for the George C. Marshall Lecture at the AHA Annual Meeting on Saturday, January 6, 2007; 5:00–6:30 P.M. Hilton Atlanta.
The George C. Marshall Lecture Saturday, January 6, 2007; 5:00–6:30 P.M. Hilton Atlanta, Walton Room Geoffrey Parker, Ohio State University will speak on the topic “States Make War, and Wars Also Break States” A reception will follow in the Hilton’s Grand Salon A beginning at 6:30 p.m.
More wars took place around the world in the mid-seventeenth century than in almost any other period of recorded history. Between 1618 and 1678 Poland was at peace for only 27 years, the Dutch Republic for only 14, France for only 11, and Spain for only 3. Beyond Europe, over the same period, the Chinese and Mughal empires fought wars almost continuously while the Ottoman Empire enjoyed only ten years of peace.
The 1640s also witnessed more state breakdowns around the world than any previous or subsequent period: Ming China, the most populous state in the world; the Polish Commonwealth, the largest state in Europe; large parts of the Spanish Monarchy, the first global empire in history (Catalonia and Portugal; Brazil, Angola and South Asia; Sicily and Naples); the entire Stuart Monarchy (England, Scotland, Ireland and its North American colonies); and the Dutch Republic. Two regicides and the suicide of the last Ming Emperor to rule from Beijing also occurred in the 1640s, while political insurgency shook the foundations of many other states in Europe and Asia.
Did the wars cause the state breakdowns, or did other factors determine the outcome? To find the answer—the issue at the heart of the “General Crisis Debate” among early modern historians—the lecture will examine evidence from the 1640s from around the world, including new evidence of global climatic change, and will also draw parallels with the more familiar coincidences of war and state breakdown in the twentieth century.
Lecture sponsored by the Society for Military History
and the George C. Marshall Foundation
Larry I. Bland, George C. Marshall Foundation
Carol Reardon, Penn State University and president, SMH
Please note: You do not need to register for the American Historical Association’s annual meeting to attend this lecture. However, if you are interested in attending other events during the 4-day meeting, you can register onsite at the Hilton Atlanta beginning Thursday, January 4, 2007.
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