Chapter 1: Abstract

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

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

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, 37-73.


This chapter offers an introduction to the entangled histories of gender and war from the Thirty Years' War to the Wars of Revolution and Independence, 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,” “limited war,” and “total war.” An important 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 the state of research and central themes in the history of gender and war.


Early Modern warfare; early colonial wars; military revolution; cabinet wars; total war; war and state formation; contract armies; state commission armies, gender.

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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