Chapter 2: Abstract

War and Gender: From The Thirty Years War and Colonial Conquest to the Wars of Revolution and Independence—Overview

Stefan Dudink (Radboud University Nijmegen, Institute for Gender Studies) and Karen Hagemann (UNC–Chapel Hill, Department of History)


This chapter offers an introduction to the entangled histories of gender and war from the Thirty Years War to the Napoleonic Wars, against the background of a wider history of war and warfare in the early modern period. It starts with a critical discussion of some of the concepts historians have used to capture the nature and development of early modern war and warfare, such as ‘military revolution,’ ‘cabinet wars,’ and ‘total war’. A central aspect of this discussion are the relations between transformations in early modern warfare and processes of state-formation, which are central to various arguments made by historians about gender and war in the early modern period. Against this conceptual background the chapter then presents an overview of the major wars from this period with a focus on the Thirty Years War, the Seven Years War and the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars which points, among other things, to the increasing entwinement of European and colonial war in this era. The chapter concludes with an introduction to central themes in the history gender and war between 1600 and 1815.


Thirty Years War; Seven Years War; Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars; Military Revolution; Cabinet Wars; Total War; War and State-Formation; Colonial Wars; Gender; Women; Men; Masculinity.

In Part I “From the Thirty Years War and Colonial Conquest to the Wars of Revolution and Independence” of the Oxford Handbook of Gender, and War since 1600.

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