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77

Yes, a trained archer can probably put more effective shots on an unarmored target than a trained musketman of the 18th century. The problem is that word trained. Consider that most nations in the 18th century did not have a standing army. Men were called up, served their time, and left. That means you either need to use skills they already have (in WWII ...


17

They got their weapons from the Hôtel national des Invalides, which were stormed by a Parisian mob earlier the same day. Much of the armaments previously stored there had been removed just two days earlier, but the revolutionaries still managed to acquire ~28,000-32,000 (sources vary) muskets hidden in the cellars and the church. They also found several ...


10

It appears so. See The Unreformed House of Commons: Parliamentary Representation before 1832 (1903), by Edward Porritt, for a discussion on this. On page 357-358: "It was in this period when, as the North correspondence shows, a nomination to a seat fetched from two thousand five hundred to three thousand pounds, that seats were first advertised for ...


9

I can find a literary reference; I have no idea whether the depiction of the anecdote is accurate. The reference is in the notes to La Gastronomie by Joseph de Berchoux, which was somehow famous in France in the 19th century and coined the word gastronomie. The poem was first published in 1801 (the edition I link to is from 1819). The notes look like they ...


8

Privateering is a tool of international conflict Read wikipedia; until forbidden by international law, privateering was a tool of international cold war. France encouraged the corsairs against Spain, and later Britain and Holland supported them against France. By the second half of the 17th century the greater European naval powers were able to strike ...


8

One often missed factor is that arrows are delicate and require skilled fletchers to make them. The English invasion of France under Edward IV in 1475 required two years lead time producing enough arrows to supply his troops on campaign. Also the logistics of transporting arrows is problematic. A sheaf of 24 arrows takes up considerably more space than a ...


7

They were assigned to the Musketeer's unit. Unit names rarely designate the actual weapons - for example, there was a regiment of Fusiliers in the UK army in 1962, but they didn't use flintlocks (Fusilier is a word that means "flintlock shooter"), nor do the Grenadiers fight exclusively with grenades. And the Horse Guards... Or to choose another example, ...


7

- How were the borders of small European principalities maintained or secured? They weren't, really. Even accurate maps didn't exist until sometime in the late 18th century when the Longitude Problem was solved. However, as all of these little sovereignties were the personal possession of their sovereign, this did not affect the common people in their ...


7

There have already been some good explanations, regarding relative ease of use for muskets, as well as less training required to use, but I have not seen two constants of campaigning considered: Rain and Disease. Gunpowder and bowstrings both need to be kept dry. On a bow this was possible by unstringing it, and tucking the string somewhere relatively dry. ...


6

There is an unobvious connection pointed out by Tarle: Before the Seven Years War the major threat for the colonists was the French in Canada who could conceivably mount an invasion and conquer the colonies (who hardly relished the prospect). The only sure protection against that was Britain. Once Britain had vanquished France and removed the ever-present ...


5

It seems the key word I should've been looking for is "Christian Slavery". E.g. this NYT article says: Southern Christians believed that the Bible imposed on masters a host of obligations to their slaves. Most fundamentally, masters were to view slaves as fully members of their own households and as fellow brothers and sisters in the Lord. Therefore, as ...


5

The North American version of the Seven Years' War was the 1[French and Indian War]. And yes, it did set the stage for the American Revolution for at least three reasons: It provided a causus belli. The French and Indian War cost a lot of money, which the British tried to recoup by taxing the "Americans" of the Thirteen Colonies. The result was a battle ...


5

One of the answers is the effect of Muskets and bayonets on Cavalry. An crossbowman needs someone else with a pole arm to protect him from cavalry. Formed infantry with muskets and bayonets can defend themselves from cavalry charges. Together with the Musket's higher rate of fire and greater stopping power at shortish ranges that tips the balance well in ...


5

There's a lot of very good answers already; but I'd like to add on to what @Schwern has said from a Japanese perspective. When the musket was introduced in Japan in the 16th century, it quickly overtook archery in terms of importance. This is despite the fact that archery remained (and remains) a culturally important and valued skill among the samurai. ...


5

Before making statements about the US Constitution, I suggest reading it. The original Constitution said nothing about who does or who does not have the right to vote. Voting standards during the colonial and immediate post-colonial period were the same as those in Britain, which operated on a simple principle: whoever paid taxes was entitled to a single ...


4

Balancing the Budget is very different from eliminating the National Debt. A Balanced Budget simply means that a country made a decrease, no matter how small, in the National Debt over the specified time period (usually a year). Given the horrendous expense of running Louis XIV's court, it is easy to see how the Budget might have improved simply in ...


4

I passed the question to the professional historians at Mt Vernon (Washington's home). The Mt. Vernon research historian provided the following information, which I'll quote. Interesting...I've been on the staff here at Mount Vernon for almost 34 years and have never heard anything about Washington riding sidesaddle. I think what people might be ...


4

It appears that this was almost certainly not the case. Here are some of the things contemporaries said of Washington's horsemanship during the revolution: "the best horseman of his age, and the most graceful figure that could be seen on horseback." - Thomas Jefferson "a very excellent and bold horseman, leaping the highest fences, and going extremely ...


4

The answer appears to be "yes" in both cases: Tariffs in United States history: In the colonial era, before 1775, nearly every colony levied its own tariffs, usually with lower rates for British products. There were taxes on ships (on a tonnage basis), import taxes on slaves, export taxes on tobacco, and import taxes on alcoholic beverages. The ...


4

Schwern had a lot of very good points, but there are other factors as well. siege warfare. Most of the battles in 17th and 18th century were sieges, where at least one side was fortified. Bows and crossbows have to be aimed relatively high to shoot at longer ranges. This means both that it's easier to protect against them with a simple wooden roof, and ...


4

There is two questions here, since "political elite" did not (and does not) equate to membership in congress. In terms of the physical overlap of the two Congresses, let's examine the composition of the First United States Congress. In the Senate, only four senators out of 25 (+3 replacements), or 16% (14.3% counting replacements) had not previously served ...


3

Plutarch, writing about 100 AD, in his "Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans" has a commentary about the Roman Cato the Elder who recommended working slaves hard and selling them off when they became unable to work. He critiques this as being inhumane and immoral, saying that slaves should be cared for after their life of service. So humanizing slavery ...


3

It was Sun Tzu, in the Art of War, that advocated putting soldiers in death ground to make them fight. "Put them in a spot where they have no place to go, and they will die before fleeing. If they are to die there, what can they not do? Warriors exert their full strength. When warriors are in great danger, then they have no fear. When there is nowhere to go ...


3

I believe that the author is referring to William Pitt the Younger, who was at various times Chancellor of the Exchequer and Prime Minister during the end of the reign of George III and then during the Napoleonic Wars. He was a strong advocate of free trade policies as advocated by Adam Smith. There is a story where Pitt and other dignitaries refused to sit ...


3

An important aspect that seems to be neglected in many of the answers here is that while technical aspects cannot be completely dismissed, they are secondary to other concerns. To be specific, the primary weapon of heavy cavalry is its momentum, while heavy infantry (among which musketeers from 18th century onward are counted) relies on its discipline in ...


3

It could well be that Annobon, being farther out from the two Bights, has better sailing conditions - more access to trade winds, less likely for fleets to be caught by a contrary wind against the two shores. Thus it is more convenient as a base for ships travelling on to the far east via Africa.


3

During the 18th and beginning of 19th centuries the Deys of Algiers made a series of treaties with European seafaring nations. Each of the European states would deliver yearly “gifts” in order to secure free passage of their ships. Otherwise, the corsairs of the North African states would capture whatever they could of ships: seize the cargoes and ships, and ...


3

While there are various differences between the tactical properties of bows, crossbows, and 18th Century firearms, I would say that they were not clear enough that anyone contemplated training large units of archers as a military alternative. However, I think that your thinking that there were certain advantages of archery at some point is theoretically ...


3

Logically, if armor made archery obsolete, then why would you bring back archery knowing that it can just be countered again with armor? Moreover, that arrows could be stopped by armor while bullets couldn't pretty strongly argues archery was essentially uncompetitive with guns. What others said about archers training makes sense too, I'm just saying the ...


2

"What gave soldiers with bayonets (and muskets) their effectiveness?" I'd say the main reason they were more effective against circa-18th Century cavalry, than typical pole-armed footmen were against mounted knights, was the lighter armor of the cavalry, and the attitudes and training of the time. Medieval knights were a dedicated warrior class with heavy ...



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