The Military Revolution and Political Change: Origins of Democracy and Autocracy in Early Modern Europe
To examine the long-run origins of democracy and dictatorship, Brian Downing focuses on the importance of medieval political configurations and of military modernization in the early modern period. He maintains that in late medieval times an array of constitutional arrangements distinguished Western Europe from other parts of the world and predisposed it toward liberal democracy. He then looks at how medieval constitutionalism was affected by the "military revolution" of the early modern era--the shift from small, decentralized feudal levies to large standing armies. Downing won the American Political Science Association's Gabriel Almond Award for the dissertation on which this book was based.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - DanielMaddison - LibraryThing
With the military revolutions of the 17th century, every state (with only a few exceptions) needed a massive increse in resources to develop an army strong enough to survive. And extracting major new ... Read full review