Napoleon and the First Empire's Ministries of War and by Everett Thomas Dague

By Everett Thomas Dague


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Extra info for Napoleon and the First Empire's Ministries of War and Military Administration: The Construction of a Military Bureaucracy

Example text

It was enough, in a military history, to know that Napoleon could muster 620,000 troops in 1812 without having to go into the myriad complexities of how they were raised, quartered and made loyal to the Emperor. To find detailed commentaries on military administration, therefore, one must search beyond traditional military historians. The third group of historians looked toward nontraditional methodologies such as social history to develop an understanding of French society, but they suffered from a common fault in that almost universally they separated civil from military administration, which in reality were extremely close during the Napoleonic period.

47The term portfolio in this context means the collection of responsibilities of a minister and whatever special authorities are granted for the execution of his duties. 38 Byzantine, the ministry of war's development is difficult to assess. Military administration devolved to the Intendants, whose "service" provided the structure necessary to maintain the army. 48 After the end of the Seven Years' War in 1763 the French army underwent a massive reorganization of its system of operations, which included an overhauling of the bureaucratic infrastructure of the Ministry of War.

Between 1763 and 1789, there was a trend toward the development of a competent administrative corps which worked in conjunction with a bureaucratic infrastructure. ) In addition, retirement records, which include a listing of every office a particular individual held, tend to support this claim, but most of these reflect Revolutionary and Imperial service rather than ancien regime. See Service historique, Carton XSI52 (Retirement Records of Administrative Officials) for these records. ~'he question of whether this administrative structure provided the middle class with a military career path is interesting.

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