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Britains SoldiersRethinking War and Society, 1715-1815$
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Kevin Linch and Matthew McCormack

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781846319556

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781846319556.001.0001

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Making New Soldiers

Making New Soldiers

Legitimacy, Identity and Attitudes, c. 1740–1815

(p.202) 10 Making New Soldiers
Britains Soldiers

Kevin Linch

Liverpool University Press

The significant and sustained mobilisation of British men into some kind of military service outside of the regular army between 1740 and 1815 necessitated a means to establish the legitimacy of these forces in the eyes of contemporary society. Although the many Acts of Parliament that sanctioned and regulated this mobilisation provided a legal framework, they did not, and could not, facilitate the transformation from a civilian to a soldier. Moreover, almost none of these men saw active service so their primary identity as a weapon of war was never evidenced to themselves and others. This chapter explores how these auxiliary soldiers were made, through an examination of the creation of new units, the experience of these soldiers and the details of the units they joined, as well as how they were received and accepted by the Britons they were serving to protect. In this period a process of legitimisation developed, in which new military language, social status, soldier-like behaviour, and public display were combined to create a military culture.

Keywords:   British army, military law, soldiers, yeomanry, fencibles, volunteers, military typology, military display

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