The Western Military Trajectory During The Gunpowder And First Industrial Revolutions

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The Western military trajectory finds many of the impetuses for a military revolution stemming from non-Western stimuli. Innovations such as the composite bow (introduced by the Hyksos), cavalry (accredited to Assyria and Persia), the stirrup (attributed to China), gunpowder (China), crossbow (China), and cannons (China) have been attributed to non-Western regions; however, it is the Western militaries that exploited these innovations to their full deadly potential and in the process created military revolutions. This paper will discuss how some of these exploitations affected the Western military trajectory during the Gunpowder and First Industrial Revolutions, most often leaving the non-Western militaries lagging behind. It will also…show more content…
The French invasion of Italy was not only an early part of the Gunpowder Revolution and the beginning of the modern age of warfare, but it was one of the first attempts at building nation-states. At the time, Italy was divided into several city-states, sovereign regions formed by a city and its surrounding territories. Due to the small size of many city-states, their defense was turned over to mercenary captains, condottieri. The paid men who formed compagnie (companies) under the condottieri were most often foreigners who lacked loyalty to their paymasters. On the other hand, as France expanded and took over city-states such as Armagnac, Burgundy, Provence, Anjou, and Brittany, they would become a part the French nation and its military. As such, King Charles VIII became the leader of the most powerful state in Europe by advancing the nation-state instead of city-states. Nearly one and a half centuries later, Swedish King Gustavus II Adolphus would further advance the French artillery techniques and make modern modifications to the formation and maneuver of his troops during the Battle of Breitenfeld in 1631 against Count Johann Tilly, an Imperial commander. Tilly formed his forces in seventeen tercios, large formation of pikemen and musketeers fifty men abreast and thirty men deep. This formation was deadly for everything in its forward path, but it did

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