The Rise and Decline of the State by Martin van Creveld

By Martin van Creveld

The nation, which because the heart of the 17th century has been an important of all smooth associations, is in decline. From Western Europe to Africa, many latest states are both combining into greater groups or falling aside. a lot of their capabilities usually are taken over by way of quite a few companies that, no matter what their special nature, are usually not states. during this particular quantity Martin van Creveld lines the tale of the kingdom from its beginnings to its finish. beginning with the easiest political businesses that ever existed, he courses the reader in the course of the origins of the kingdom, its improvement, its apotheosis throughout the global Wars, and its unfold from its unique domestic in Western Europe to hide the globe. In doing so, he offers a desirable historical past of presidency from its origins to the current day. This unique ebook will of curiosity to historians, political scientists and sociologists.

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If Nicias, who commanded in several campaigns and was finally chosen by the Athenians to lead the largest military expedition in their history, possessed any special training for the job, we are wholly ignorant of it. But even such a soldiers’ soldier as the Roman consul Gaius Titus Flamininus, who in 197–196 BC defeated Macedonia and conquered Greece, had no specialized training as an officer.  Possessing neither an extensive bureaucracy nor regular armed forces, city-states were for the most part able to do without directly taxing their citizens.

Suetonius, Lives of the Emperors (London: Heinemann, Loeb Classical Library, 1965), Tiberius, 49, 1; Caligula, 38. See also P. Plass, The Game of Death in Ancient Rome: Arena Sport and Political Suicide (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1995), pp. 89ff. , Letters and Panegyric (London: Heinemann, Loeb Classical Library, 1975); H. Cotton, ‘‘The Concept of Indulgentia Under Trajan,’’ Chiron, 14, 1984, pp. 245–66. g. Dessau, Inscriptiones, vol. I, p. 168, no. 754.  To the extent that these and similar claims did not correspond to reality they could sometimes lead to comic results.

Compared to the polities previously discussed, the armed forces raised by empires were enormous. Nor did these forces consist simply of bands of warriors or personal retainers or popular militias. Instead, they were regular troops who made soldiering into their chosen career, served for long periods, were commanded by professional officers, and were centrally paid from the imperial treasury. Their numbers could grow into the hundreds of thousands – but here it is important to note that the extremely low degree of social and economic development of most empires (only a few ever carried their existence into the period of the industrial revolution, and those that did, such as the Ottoman and Chinese, expired within decades of encountering more advanced civilizations) prevented them from putting more than 1 or 2 percent of their populations under arms.

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