donderdag, januari 17, 2013

Mali or the Polish Succession ?

(fortress of Kehl, facing Strasburg on the Rhine, source:

As I am fast approaching the end of the tunnel for the eighteenth century-chapters of my dissertation, the War of the Polish Succession (1733-1738) occupies most of diplomats' worries and imaginative schemes. I was struck by a quote of Thomas Pelham (secretary to the embassy of James Waldegrave in Paris during the 1730s), on the spontaneous enthusiasm for war at the French court. Since Louis XIV's last campaigns in the Winter of 1712-1713, French troops had not crossed the Rhine for twenty years. Yet, at this time:
"It is inconceivable, how alert the military men are & eager to serve, upon the war’s being declar’d; those who are not employed at present live upon the hopes of a campaign next spring, when they say the war must be extended till farther unless England by this winter’s negociation putts a stop to the whole"
Any parallel with today's French ardor to go to Mali, alone if necessary ?

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