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Civilians and War in Europe, 1618–1815$
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Erica Charters, Eve Rosenhaft, and Hannah Smith

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9781846317118

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846317699

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The Limits of Conflict in Napoleonic Europe – And Their Transgression

The Limits of Conflict in Napoleonic Europe – And Their Transgression

(p.201) 13 The Limits of Conflict in Napoleonic Europe – And Their Transgression
Civilians and War in Europe, 1618–1815

David A. Bell

Liverpool University Press

The nature of the Napoleonic Wars varied over time and from one place to another. Some elements of the conflicts were associated with the past, while others appeared to foreshadow the practices of later years. If the ‘first total war’ of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic period had a lasting effect on the relationship between civilians and the military in Europe, it was not only due to the experience of conflict at new levels of intensity, which was the case in Napoleon Bonaparte's campaign in Russia, or the siege of Saragossa. It can also be attributed to more subtle changes in the broad culture of war. This chapter examines the ambiguities and varieties of civiliananti-warmilitary interactions during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars in France, arguing that those who experienced the conflicts clearly saw them as different in kind. It shows that episodes in these wars reveal moments of asynchrony and transition rather than reflect a clean break from the past.

Keywords:   France, Napoleon Bonaparte, Revolutionary wars, Napoleonic wars, total war, civilians, Europe, Napoleonic period, military

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