chapter  15
War in German Thought from the Peace of Westphalia to Napoleon
ByPeter H. Wilson
Pages 46

The mid-seventeenth century saw a shift in German attitudes to Revolutionary war that was fundamental in forming the rhetoric of political centralization at territorial level. The logic of German territorialisation necessitated separate territorial armies in addition to the system of collective security. 'Declaring war or making peace is one of the most important points of majesty, since it entails the ruin or preservation of a state. War encouraged virtues that peace could not foster, calling forth new heroes for a new age, symbolized in the issue of medals to ordinary soldiers rather than the cash rewards. Parishioners in Prussian Westphalia even killed several soldiers who had come to seize them as recruits during Sunday service in 1720. Surveying the period from the Peace of Westphalia to Napoleon it is possible to identify a clear relationship between shifts in attitudes to war and changes in political and military practice.