Officers, entrepreneurs, career migrants and diplomats: Military entrepreneurs in the early modern era

SNFS project “Military Entrepreneurship and Entanglement”, Historical Institute of the University of Berne (Head: Prof. Dr. André Holenstein, Dr. Philippe Rogger)
18.06.2020 - 20.06.2020
Connections. A Journal for Historians and Area Specialists

Research pertaining to the early modern military entrepreneurship is comparatively recent. It was in the 1960s when Fritz Redlich laid down the marker for a historical phenomenology with his masterful study on the “German Military Enterpriser and his Work Force”. A few years ago, the discussion about the defining characteristics of a military entrepreneur gained new attention. The debates about the 18th century fiscal-military state and the contractor state respectively, directed the view away from the “entrepreneur in uniform”. The label Military Entrepreneur now entails all actors providing armies with goods, services and funds. Additionally, various historical subfields have provided pertinent impulses for new approaches. Current issues such as the social mobility or the transnational entanglement of the military entrepreneur are closely related to the turn of the “new” military history to social history and to methodological reflections of the “new” history of diplomacy. Lately, gender history as well as the history of migration have challenged the narrow interpretation of military and warfare as acts of domination and as an exclusively male domain.

These multidisciplinary approaches as well as the country-specific differences regarding the shaping and development of military entrepreneurship in early modern Europe provide an incentive to bring together the latest research results in a diachronic and transnational comparison and to point out future research aspects.


THURSDAY, 18 June 2020
University of Bern, Hallerstrasse 6, room 205

Section I/1: Chancen und Herausforderungen des Militärunternehmertums: Formen und Akteure
Chair: Prof. Dr. Rudolf Jaun

Prof. Dr. André Holenstein (University of Bern), Dr. Philippe Rogger (University of Bern)

PD Dr. Astrid Ackermann (Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena)
Infrastrukturen des Krieges. Der Militärunternehmer Bernhard von Sachsen-Weimar (1604-1639)

Dr. Philippe Rogger (University of Bern)
Festung und Heer versorgen. Logistische Herausforderungen, "private" Investments und merkantiles Beziehungsnetz von Hans Ludwig von Erlach (1595-1650)

10:40-11:00 Coffee break

M.A. Sébastien Dupuis (University of Bern)
Les enjeux démographiques. L'épineuse question du recrutement destiné à l’entrepreneuriat militaire genevois (XVIIe-XVIIIe siècles)

Prof. Dr. Marian Füssel (Georg-August-University Göttingen)
"Einige unehrenhafte Privatpersonen"? Heeresversorger und Kriegsunternehmer als Profiteure des Siebenjährigen Krieges

12:35-14:15 Lunch

Section I/2: Chancen und Herausforderungen des Militärunternehmertums: Formen und Akteure
Chair: Prof. Dr. Marian Füssel

Dr. Nathalie Büsser (University of Zurich)
Militärunternehmertum in der Alten Eidgenossenschaft im Kontext familiärer Ökonomien: Geschlecht, Wirtschaft und Verwandtschaft

M.A. Jasmina Cornut (University of Lausanne)
L'implication des femmes dans l'entrepreneuriat militaire familial en Suisse romande (XVIIe-XVIIIe siècle)

15:50-16:15 Coffee break

Prof. Dr. Tim Neu (Ruhr-University Bochum)
Military Money Men. The Toils of Entanglement and the Social Practice of Remittance Contractors in the Eighteenth-Century British Empire

Dr. Alexander Querengässer (Halle an der Saale)
"die Mannschaft sey recht gut, doch habe sie ihm viel Geld gekostet". Der Offizier als Kriegsunternehmer im Miles Perpetuus

University of Bern, Hauptgebäude, Hochschulstrasse 4, Kuppelraum (room 501), 18:15-19:15

Prof. Dr. David Parrott (University of Oxford)
Military Enterprise and Civil War: Private Armies and Warfare in France during and after the Fronde, 1648-1659

19:15-20:00 Public Apéro

FRIDAY, 19 June 2020
University of Bern, Hallerstrasse 6, room 205

Section II/1: Märkte, Netzwerke, Partnerschaften
Chair: Prof. Dr. Christian Windler

Dr. Benjamin van der Linde (Stiftung Hanseatisches Wirtschaftsarchiv, Hamburg)
Militär und lokale Wirtschaft in den Niederlanden des 18. Jahrhunderts – Wie funktionierte der Markt für Militärobjekte in der "first modern economy"?

Dr. John Condren (University of Oxford)
A Hub of Political Intrigue and Financial Exchange: Geneva, 1685-1709

Prof. Dr. Michael Martoccio (University of Oxford)
A Hub without Spokes: Genoa in the War of Spanish Succession, 1701-1714

10:45-11:00 Coffee break

Dr. Jeanette Kamp (University of Oxford)
Between Amsterdam and the Hague: Military Solicitors in the Dutch Republic

Prof. Dr. Peter Wilson (University of Oxford)
The 'Market' for Foreign Military Labour in Early Modern Europe

12:35-14:15 Lunch

Section II/2: Märkte, Netzwerke, Partnerschaften
Chair: Dr. Philippe Rogger

Prof. Dr. Rafael Torres Sánchez (University of Navarra)
Contractor State and Military Entrepreneurs. Public-Private Mercantile Partnerships

Prof. Dr. Guy Rowlands (University of St Andrews)
Officers, Officials and Entrepreneurs: the Corps Royal d’Artillerie and the Mobilisation of Resources during the Reign of Louis XIV

15:50-16:15 Coffee break

Prof. Dr. André Holenstein (University of Bern)
Der Nutzen der Neutralen im Krieg. Das Corpus helveticum als paradigmatischer Fall

18:00-19:00 Guided tour and Apéro Jegenstorf Castle

SATURDAY, 20 June 2020
University of Bern, Hallerstrasse 6, Raum 205

Section III: Diplomatie und Patronage
Chair: Prof. Dr. André Holenstein

Prof. Dr. Lucien Bély (University of Paris-Sorbonne)
La représentation diplomatique face à l’entreprise de guerre

Lic. phil. Katrin Keller (University of Bern)
Eine Karriere vor der Karriere? Zur Entstehung der "Kreatur" Peter Stuppa (1621-1701)

Lic. phil. Julien Grand (University of Bern)
La famille de Besenval face à la France: une fidélité inévitable?

10:45-11:00 Coffee break

M.A. Cécile Huber (University of Bern)
Im Orbit des Sonnenkönigs? Die Zuger Gardekompanie der Militärunternehmerfamilie Zurlauben (1650-1750)

Dr. des. Benjamin Ryser (University of Bern)
Intergenerationalität als Herausforderung. Die weitreichenden Konsequenzen der Konversion von Johann Jakob I. von Erlach (1628-1694)

Prof. Dr. Regula Schmid (University of Bern)

End of conference


Daniel Kleis

Officers, entrepreneurs, career migrants and diplomats: Military entrepreneurs in the early modern era, 18.06.2020 – 20.06.2020 Bern, in: Connections. A Journal for Historians and Area Specialists, 06.03.2020, <>.
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