The Evolution of Warfare Throughout the Renaissance to the Age of Religious Wars

Essay by Anonymous UserCollege, UndergraduateA+, December 1996

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During the age of religious wars, leading to the Renaissance, warfare drastically

changed. Strategies, weapons; the whole art itself was reshaped by the contact

with other peoples and the strive to attain more power. Before this time, fighting

was restricted to all the Medieval straitjacket would allow. 'Wars' consisted mostly

of the small forces of feudal nobles in their squeamish attempts to obtain more land.

Once the Crusades occurred, everything changed. Alliances were formed and broken, new

weapons unveiled, huge strategies deduced, and suddenly people weren't just trying to

defend the small plot of land they called 'home', but their entire nation. If there

is a fulcrum in warfare, it was the period of religious wars and the Renaissance.

It should be noted that alliances are very much related to the art of war. They

were (are) as omnipresent as war itself. They have been both the cause of war and

the key to the victory.

There is a direct correlation between warfare and alliances.

Throughout this time, alliances were forming (and breaking) between European countries

to either conquer one another, or simply keep each other in check. A very well-suited

example would be the famous Third Crusade. Richard the Lionhearted of England, Frederick

Barbrosa of the divided Germany, and Phillip Augustus of France, some of the most

powerful rulers of Europe (some, bitter enemies), united for religious reasons to

fight a holy war against the 'infidel' ruler, Saladin (Wallbank, T. al 263).

The three rulers united and traveled to Jerusalem to fight. Frederick died on the way and

Richard and Phillip Augustus were left in charge(Wallbank, T. al 263).

England and France have a history of unfriendliness to each other (Wallbank, T. al 302-303), and that was once more displayed when Phillip Augustus

departed after a...