Chapter 8: Abstract

Citizenship, Mass Mobilization, and Masculinity in a Transatlantic Perspective, 1770s–1870s

(Stefan Dudink, Radboud University Nijmegen, Institute for Gender Studies)

In Oxford Handbook of Gender, War, and the Western World since 1600, ed. by Karen Hagemann et al. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 201-24.


The chapter explores the interrelationship between the emergence of new ways of mass mobilization with volunteers, militias, and universal conscription, the rise of notions of gender as a universal, natural binary opposition, and of the notion of men as universal male political subjects in particular in the Age of Revolutions, in particular the American Revolutionary Wars, the French Revolutionary Wars and Napoleonic Wars, the Revolution of 1848/49 and the Wars of Nationbuilding and Nation-keeping in the mid of the nineteenth century. Especially the introduction of universal male conscription-cum-citizenship during the French Revolution and the wars it spawned started a transnational dynamic of dispersion. The French model of the citizen-soldier, often considered to be effective in military terms but politically dangerous, was introduced and transformed in other contexts. Where it was rejected, it nevertheless made its presence felt in what became a conscious refusal of the model of modern citizen-soldier army in favor of other, perhaps less effective but politically more reliable, modes of mobilization. Always controversial and never fully implemented, even in contexts where it was supposedly fully endorsed, the model of universal conscription loomed large in the background of all nineteenth-century debates over military reform and political citizenship.


American Revolutionary War; French Revolutionary Wars; Napoleonic Wars; US Civil War; citizenship; mass mobilization; universal conscription; volunteers; citizenship; 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, War  and the Western World since 1600.

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