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32 Comp. Pol. Stud. 3 (1999)

handle is hein.journals/compls32 and id is 1 raw text is: 














One school of thought on European state making argues that discontinuous change in weapons
and tactics led to the expansion of armies, and, therefore, states. Others argue that decision mak-
ers expanded state organizations to make war for its own sake, not simply because the tools of
war changed. Although this controversy is not easily resolved, the empirical evidence indicates
that major expansions in army sizes over the past 500 years were almost exclusively related to
major wars fought over regional and global primacy. Moreover, the leaders in expanding armies
were usually the states aspiring to regional hegemony and their principal opponent. This evi-
dence buttresses the argument for drawing a direct relationship between war and state mak-
ing-instead of emphasizing an indirect relationship between weapons/tactics and army size.





     WAR, THE MILITARY REVOLUTION(S)

                      CONTROVERSY, AND ARMY

                                                  EXPANSION

         A   Test   of  Two Explanations of Historical

              Influences on European State Making



                                          WILLIAM R. THOMPSON
                                                    KAREN RASLER
                                                    Indiana University




Some analysts argue that the European state made war and that war, in
    turn, made the European state. Others argue that any such equation be-
tween war and state making is too direct. For one school of thought, it is mili-
tary technological change that intervened in such a way that decision makers
were forced to raise ever larger armies due to shifts in weaponry and tactics,
thereby generating the need for ever greater revenues to pay for them and an
extended bureaucracy to manage the expanding military organization. Thus,
a central question in the literature on historical state making concerns the

AUTHORS'  NOTE: We are indebted to Michael Thackston who restimulated our interest in this
topic and the journal editor and anonymous reviewers who encouraged us to improve our argu-
ment and evidence.
COMPARATIVE POLITICAL STUDIES, Vol. 32 No. 1, February 1999 3-31
D 1999 Sage Publications, Inc.
                                                                       3

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