“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” – Thomas Jefferson
A deep understanding of warfare in Western Civilization cannot exclude that wars are driven by economic forces.
Carroll Quigley’s Evolution of Civilizations and Tragedy and Hope are astounding resources on this topic. I highly recommend reading both.
1000 AD – The pinnacle of defensive weaponry was the impregnable stonewalled castle. Castles gave the feudal lords who owned one, the power to say “no,” even to the King. The counterpart in offensive weaponry was the Knight in armor. Mounted on horseback, Knights dominated combat in the open fields, but were all but useless against castle walls. Laying siege to a castle required the besiegers to invest 3-5 times …
Western Civilization’s success is unlike any other. Its lifespan has seen the destruction of hundreds of other societies, and at least six other civilizations. Each of its predecessors has followed the same life cycle, culminating in decay and destruction. (See: The Architecture Of History)
It has demonstrated an uncanny ability, unlike all others, to reform and reorganize itself, and adapt its success to each new age. Each Instrument of Expansion decays into an Institution, giving rise to an Age of Conflict as time passes.
First Instrument Of Expansion – Agriculture – Feudal farming, using serf labor. The Dark Ages were prolonged by excessive taxation and institutionalized religion. First Age Of Conflict – Medieval Wars. The Crusades. Witch …
The term Classical Civilization encompasses the Greek and Roman Civilizations.
These civilizations experimented with democracy, and brought forth the concept of the voting class, the “citizen.” But it’s not the pretty picture painted by school textbooks. The word “citizen” literally means “one who dwells in the city.” Those who were not citizens, were slaves. No exceptions.
Those outside the city had no vote, and were slaves for the benefit of the city dwellers. The lifestyle of the citizens was sustained by the rural slave-farmers and trade laborers. Country-dwelling farmers were conscripted to go to war to expand the wealth and empire of the city dwellers.
The citizens looked upon city life and its culture as morally superior to country life. The citizen lifestyle revolved around leisure, luxury, and intellectual …