By expanding the geographical scope of the history of violence and war, this volume challenges both Western and state-centric narratives of the decline of violence and its relationship to modernity. It highlights instead similarities across early modernity in terms of representations, legitimations, applications of, and motivations for violence. It seeks to integrate methodologies of the study of violence into the history of war, thereby extending the historical significance of both fields of research. Thirteen case studies outline the myriad ways in which large-scale violence was understood and used by states and non-state actors throughout the early modern period across Africa, Asia, the Americas, the Atlantic, and Europe, demonstrating that it was far more complex than would be suggested by simple narratives of conquest and resistance. Moreover, key features of imperial violence apply equally to large-scale violence within societies. As the authors argue, violence was a continuum, ranging from small-scale, local actions to full-blown war. The latter was privileged legally and increasingly associated with states during early modernity, but its legitimacy was frequently contested and many of its violent forms, such as raiding and destruction of buildings and crops, could be found in activities not officially classed as war.

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Violence and the early modern world
Erica Charters, Marie Houllemare, and Peter H. Wilson

the study of violence into the history of war, thereby extending the historical significance of both areas of study.2 Likewise, by expanding the geographical scope of the history of violence and war, this volume challenges both Western and state-centric narratives of the decline of violence and its relationship to modernity, highlighting instead similarities across 2 A global history of early modern violence early modernity in terms of representations, legitimations, applications of, and motivations for, violence. Instead of a global synthesis, this volume

in A global history of early modern violence
Organic economies, logistics, and violence in the pre-industrial world
Wayne E. Lee

–5; J. Miller, The Delaware as Women: A Symbolic Solution’, American Ethnologist, 1:3 (2009). This issue is the subject of some debate, and even the Iroquois and the Delaware may have interpreted its meaning differently, much less our European witnesses. 39 ‘A Map of Virginia’, in P. L. Barbour (ed.), The Complete Works of Captain John Smith (3 vols, Chapel Hill, NC, 1986), I, pp. 166–7. 40 J. J. L. Gommans, ‘Warhorse and Post-Nomadic Empire in Asia, c.1000–1800’, Journal of Global History, 2:1 (2007), p. 14; Morgan, The Mongols, pp. 64–5. 41 To be sure, when

in A global history of early modern violence
The two sides of provincial violence in early modern Burma
Michael W. Charney

The chapter examines the use of spectacular violence by provincial officials in early modern Burma during the reign of King Bodawhpaya (1782–1819). Villagers in outlying provinces that fit James Scott’s definition of non-state space obeyed state officials only because of the threat and implementation of execution. Coercive violence probably always remained an important part of the everyday life of the early modern Burmese state in the provinces, however much its enactment and the threat of its imposition was invisible to or misunderstood by the royal centre. In the royal court, the king watched over the people and judged the good and the bad, and the eyes of all in the kingdom were upon the throne. This royal imaginary gave cohesion to the kingdom within a moral system that emphasized unity, harmony, and peace. It blinded the court to the everyday activities of centrally appointed officials who abused the local populations under their charge for their own benefit. Abuse led to resistance and flight, which led to more violence, and in the end undermined the security of the royal imaginary. Political centralization in early modern Burma, by replacing locally responsible royal and noble families with temporary central appointees, encouraged, at least to some degree, increasing violence of this kind over time.

in A global history of early modern violence
The changing scale of warfare and the making of early colonial South Asia
Manu Sehgal

Debates about the origins of a militarily dominant, territorially acquisitive regime of colonial rule in modern South Asia have invariably failed to assess the transformative impact of early colonial war-making on the East India Company state. This chapter studies the colonial regime within the framework of the bellicist origins of the modern state. Violent conquest depended on the modern state’s ability to vastly augment its capacity to author military violence. Dramatic expansion in the scale of war-making lent colonial specificities to the Company-state in India. As this scale expanded dramatically in the final decade of the eighteenth century, prolific war-making made the colonial state both colonial (in its extractive capabilities) and a hegemonic state formation. The most extensive, expensive, and politically consequential military conflict of the long eighteenth century – the Second Anglo-Maratha War in western India (1803–05) – provides a window into the crystallizing political economy of conquest. Below the surface of the image of an ever-ascendant military hegemon lies an under-studied universe centred on the extraction of resources to feed a ravenous machine of war, leading to fiscal crises and agrarian dislocation. Territorial conquest was both the principal objective and the primary mode of sustaining and expanding colonial rule across South Asia.

in A global history of early modern violence
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Raiding war and globalization in the early modern world
Brian Sandberg

Raiding war has often been characterized as ‘primitive war’, but raiding in the early modern world was highly organized and dynamic. This chapter examines evidence of raiding warfare in southern France and the Mediterranean during the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. French experiences of raiding violence reveal three dimensions of early modern raiding warfare: borderlands raiding, economic devastation, and maritime raiding. Pirates and privateers launched repeated raids along the French coastlines, while soldiers, militia bands, and bandits engaged in significant raiding activities in the countryside and woodlands.

in A global history of early modern violence
Collective violence in colonial Spanish
Anthony McFarlane

This chapter argues that levels of collective violence in early modern Spanish America were remarkably low, especially when compared with contemporary Europe. Organized around the concept of a ‘Pax Hispanica’, the chapter explains the conditions that made long-term political and social peace possible until the early nineteenth century, when the collapse of Spanish rule promoted an unprecedented upsurge of collective violence. Several questions are considered. First, what was the incidence and character of collective violence in early modern Spanish America, and why were war and rebellion rare? Second, how and why was the Pax Hispanica affected by international warfare and colonial rebellion during the later eighteenth century? Third, how and why did the Pax Hispanica break down after 1810 and what were the main patterns, causes, and consequences of the collective violence that emerged during the Spanish imperial crisis of the 1810s and 1820s?

in A global history of early modern violence
Commerce, diplomacy, and brigandage on the steppe routes between the Ottoman Empire, Poland-Lithuania, and Russia, 1470s–1570s
Alexander Osipian

This chapter examines the large-scale non-state violence on the trade routes in the buffer zone between the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the Grand Duchy of Moscow, the Ottoman Empire, and the Crimean Khanate. Though the rulers constantly declared their will to maintain their diplomatic contacts and protect the caravan trade between these states, execution of their orders was entrusted to those who actually committed the violent attacks – the Cossacks and the local dignitaries. The absence of stable central control over the means of violence in the buffer zone rendered preventive measures largely ineffective. The rulers preferred to avoid awkward responsibility by relinquishing their sovereignty over the steppe routes. The growth of brigandage on the steppe routes continued because of the patronage of the local authorities and the support of networks of assistance, which included alehouse keepers, ransom-brokers, and the merchants who bought the stolen goods from the freebooters.

in A global history of early modern violence
The Tokugawa, the Zheng maritime network, and the Dutch East India Company
Adam Clulow and Xing Hang

In late 1672, news reached Nagasaki that a Ryukyuan tributary vessel had been captured on its way from that island archipelago to China. Tokugawa officials had been dealing with violence on the sea lanes criss-crossing East Asia for years, but there was something different about this episode. The ship from the Ryukyu kingdom had not been attacked by a European fleet. Rather it had been seized by vessels attached to the sprawling Zheng maritime network based in Taiwan. This chapter examines Tokugawa responses to two maritime operations: the first carried out by a European overseas enterprise, the Dutch East India Company, the second by its great Asian rival, the Zheng maritime network. By comparing the very different ways these played out, the chapter argues that the rise of the Zheng presented a new and difficult challenge for polities across Asia, even for those like Tokugawa Japan that had dealt successfully with European maritime violence.

in A global history of early modern violence
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Legitimization and limits of Mughal military violence in early modern South Asia
Pratyay Nath

This chapter explores how the Mughal Empire legitimized its perpetration of military violence in early modern South Asia. It begins by highlighting that Mughal imperial discourse laid great emphasis on the dispensation of justice as the cornerstone of kingship. In turn, this allowed the empire to conceptualize the waging of war and the committing of violence as necessary means for establishing a just social order under the paternal guardianship of the emperor. Within such an ideological framework, war and violence were thought of more as a moral compulsion than a matter of princely whim or dynastic ambition. The chapter also studies the nature, purpose, and effects of military violence perpetrated by Mughal armies in the course of campaigns during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. It argues that the scale of this violence was always limited by the urge of the Mughal emperors to project themselves – in both discourse and actuality – as the embodiment of just, tolerant, and caring universal sovereigns. The chapter concludes by assessing the role of military violence in Mughal empire-building and by comparing the Mughal case with other polities of early modern Eurasia.

in A global history of early modern violence