University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Violence and Conflict Graduate Workshop, Faculty of History > 'Mobilising for Warfare in a Pre-Bureaucratic State: Elizabethan Troop Levies in the 1580s and 1590s'

'Mobilising for Warfare in a Pre-Bureaucratic State: Elizabethan Troop Levies in the 1580s and 1590s'

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Over 100,000 troops were sent to fight overseas during the eighteen years of warfare from 1585 to 1603, the first extended conflict in which the vast majority of troops were raised by servants of the state rather than through the nobility. This presented a huge challenge to the state, since the government chose to have these troops raised not by professionals, but by the local elites of nobility and gentry – amateurs, essentially. At a time when changes in warfare were demanding ever more elaborately (and expensively) clothed and equipped soldiers, this paper will examine how the ramshackle structure of the Elizabethan state coped with this pressure. It will ask how far local elites co-operated with the letter and spirit of the centre’s demands; how the centre sought to enforce these; and how effective a military response this approach provided for Elizabeth’s generals.

This talk is part of the Violence and Conflict Graduate Workshop, Faculty of History series.

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