IXth International Conference on Urban History

August 27-30, 2008

Lyon France
Home | Calls | Sessions | Schedule | Registration | Details | Social programme | Organisers | Bursaries | Contact

> Browse sessions

<- Back to session list

 Session description

Citizens and soldiers in early modern Europe

Before the rise of Big Business, the army was by far the most important
employer in early modern Europe. The history of soldiering is traditionally
seen as a topic for military historians but needs to be rescued from the
hands of military historians. In this panel, mainly social historians will
explore the relations between soldiers and the civilian populations, from a
comparative perspective. How did the military and civilian authorities deal
with the potentially fraught relations between the distinct worlds of the
army and the town?

It is well-known that, even though soldiers were a clearly separate category
in the population, their presence interfered is a variety of ways with the
civic life of the towns. In garrison towns soldiers would constitute a
significant percentage of the population. Where there were no barracks-the
usual situation, they were billeted on civilian households. Soldiers were
important consumers for the local shopkeepers, but also competitors of
civilian craftsmen. The army and the civilian population were subject to
distinct judiciary regimes. To make matters even more complicated, citizens
were often also soldiers; as members of civic militias and other
supplementary military organizations, they participated in the defence of
their home towns.

The panel will consist of experts from Mediterranean and Northern Europe,
including the Great Britain and Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands, and
Spain, possibly also France and Italy. It builds on conferences held in
Murcia, Spain and Leeds, England in 2006, and hopes to join the
constituencies of these two meetings, which were concentrated on Southern
and Northern Europe respectively. The panel in Lyon should help us develop
an agenda for the study of military-civic interactions, and thus contribute
to the opening up of military history, while at the same time introducing a
relatively under-researched topic into the agenda of urban historians.

Session conveners:

  • Maarten Prak
  • Phil Withington

Session type: Main

Classification: EM - Early Modern


A Privileged Unit Meets Another: The Swiss Troops of the French King in the 'Republic' of Strasbourg in the 18th Century

Author(s): Sonkajärvi, Hanna 

Citizens, soldiers and popular unrest in pre-industrial Stockholm, 1719–1848

Author(s): Berglund, Mats 

Civil Soldiers: Prisoners of War in Britain during the Mid-Eighteenth Century

Author(s): Charters, Erica 

Cromwellian Garrisons in Ireland during the 1650s

Author(s): O'Siochru, Micheal 

Danish civic militias of the 18th and early 19th century

Author(s): Christensen, Soren Bitsch 

Soldiers and civilians in two frontier towns of the Dutch Republic (1570-1650)

Author(s): Vermeesch, Griet 

The Plague, crises and interaction between military and civilian in the early 18th century Sweden, the case of Karlskrona.

Author(s): Bergman, Karl 

The early Georgian army and urban loyalist culture in England

Author(s): Smith, Hannah 

The garrison towns in Denmark-Norway during Absolutism 1660-1849

Author(s): Petersen, Karsten 


Author(s): de Brito, Pedro