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Technology and the Era of the Mass Army

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Author Info

  • Massimiliano Gaetano Onorato

    ()
    (IMT Lucca Institute for Advanced Studies)

  • Kenneth Scheve

    (Stanford University)

  • David Stasavage

    (New York University)

Abstract

We investigate how technology has influenced the size of armies. During the nineteenth century the development of the railroad made it possible to field and support mass armies, significantly increasing the observed size of military forces. During the late twentieth century further advances in technology made it possible to deliver explosive force from a distance and with precision, making mass armies less desirable. We find strong support for our technological account using a new data set covering thirteen great powers between 1600 and 2000. Contrary to what is so often suggested, we find little evidence that the French Revolution was a watershed in terms of levels of mobilization..

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File URL: http://eprints.imtlucca.it/1420/1/EIC_WP_2012_5.pdf
File Function: First version, 2012
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by IMT Institute for Advanced Studies Lucca in its series Working Papers with number 5/2012.

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Length: 47 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2012
Date of revision: Nov 2013
Handle: RePEc:ial:wpaper:5/2012

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Keywords: Military; Security; Soldiers; Technological Change; Technology; Technology Adoption; War; Warfare;

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  1. Dincecco, Mark, 2009. "Fiscal Centralization, Limited Government, and Public Revenues in Europe, 1650–1913," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 69(01), pages 48-103, March.
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