Sunday, November 9, 2008
Both the Prussian kings and Peter the Great tried to create a service nobility and a service mentality. Why? How successful were they in achieving it?
It's tough to say that this idea of a service nobility and mentality was a complete failure or complete success because it just wasn't. I think that it established both countries as a threat to other countrie, which is what these three rulers were aiming for; to put their countries on the map. They wanted it to be known that they weren't going to be pushed around by anybody else, and knew that putting emphasis on their armies and sea power was the way to do that. I think that, although not completely, this idea of "militarism" was therefore pretty successful in achieving what they wanted. I think that mainly this can be proved through the beginning and growth of Prussia. In the book it seems like at first, Prussia wasn't weak but was unorganized and in need of reform. Frederick William was basically waiting for this chance and, as I said before, made sure to focus on the army. He didn't just increase their training, but also got the townspeople involved with it as well, something that hadn't really been done before. He convinced the nobles and landed gentry to serve in the army by allowing them to hold peasants under Hereditary Subjection. With this new amount of people, the army became part of life in this country. through William's reign (1713-1740) as king the army grew from about 40,000 to 83,000 people, a huge and abvious change. Do I think that maybe this much emphasis on the army could have gone past its mark; yes I do think this, but for what this theory was created for it got the job done.