The characterization of raiding as ‘primitive’ reinforced modernization narratives of ‘civilization’.
‘A raid is hardly more of a war than is modern burglary.’1 So argued anthropologist Harry Holbert Turney-High in his influential book, Primitive War: Its Practice and Concepts, published in 1949. Turney-High portrayed raiding as the defining characteristic of conflicts between hunter-gatherers of the prehistoric past and indigenous peoples in isolated regions of the modern world. He drew a sharp distinction between the ‘primitive war’ that hunter-gatherers practiced and the ‘true war’ that ‘civilized’ states and societies waged. A ‘military horizon’, Turney-High theorized, separated the ‘primitive’ raiding from the ‘true’ military strategy and tactics that ‘civilized’ armies utilized. The political scientist Quincy Wright, also writing during the 1940s, developed a parallel analysis of ‘primitive war’ as a stage in the historical evolution of warfare. In his classic work, A Study of War, Wright presents ‘primitive war’ as governed by cultural mores and distinguishes it from ‘civilized war’, which he claimed operates based on international systems.2 The general success of Wright’s study of warfare ensured that the concept of ‘primitive war’ garnered a broad audience, while Turney-High’s theorization of ‘primitive’ raiding strongly influenced the anthropology of war.3
The characterization of raiding as ‘primitive’ reinforced modernization narratives of ‘civilization’ and guided anthropological studies of warfare and social violence throughout the second half of the twentieth century. Anthropologists who studied violence among indigenous peoples portrayed raiding as a communal activity and an aspect of ‘traditional’ culture. Anthropological studies of indigenous warfare in Papua New Guinea and the Amazon, including the much-criticized ethnographic film Dead Birds, reinforced characterizations of ‘primitive war’ as ritualized, symbolic, and low-casualty.4 The PBS documentary War, and its companion book, helped popularize the ‘primitive war’ notion of raiding for a broad public audience in the United States in the 1980s. Gwynne Dyer, author of the companion volume for the documentary, asserts that ‘though precivilized warfare served various ritual and magical purposes and may have had broader social functions, it was predominantly a rough male sport for underemployed hunters, with the kinds of damage-limiting rules that all competitive sports have’.5 Many scholars, analysts, writers, and documentary film-makers have extended this characterization of prehistoric and ‘traditional’ raiding activity to describe small-scale armed violence in pre-modern and modern historical contexts. As a result, raiding activity is often depicted as rough play, organized crime, or clan violence, and – in more modern contexts – as guerrilla warfare, low-intensity conflict, unconventional war, or terrorism.
More recent anthropological, archaeological, and historical studies of prehistoric and indigenous societies have dismantled modernization narratives of ‘civilization’ and radically altered our understanding of raiding activity. Lawrence H. Keeley uses archaeological evidence to argue that prehistoric warriors utilized highly organized tactics in raiding warfare that could be quite vicious.6 Recent studies in conflict archaeology have demonstrated that pre-modern societies engaged in pervasive raiding for captives, including the seizure of women to serve as wives.7 Raiding warfare seems to have often played a significant role in the process of ethnogenesis, defining ethnic communities and their demographic boundaries.8 This new body of work on pre-modern raiding warfare has not completely displaced the concept of ‘primitive war’, however, even though the modernization narratives of ‘civilization’ that supported it have been abandoned.
Increasing evidence from the early modern period (c.1500–1800) demonstrates that raiding activities were often highly organized, employing tactical systems and strategic objectives that suggest military organization. Anthropologists and historians have found numerous cases of indigenous societies reorganizing their military systems in response to commercial developments and colonial incursions during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.9 Further, raiding warfare was hardly confined to indigenous societies in the early modern period. I have argued in War and Conflict in the Early Modern World that historians need to investigate ‘the new forms of raiding warfare that emerged in response to global commerce and imperialism during the late sixteenth century’.10 In that book, I identify a transitional period between the 1580s and 1640s in which raiding warfare on land and sea increasingly intersected with the dynamics of imperialism, colonization, and globalization in diverse military systems and societies.
This article builds on my previous work on raiding warfare in the early modern world by considering French experiences of raiding violence, in detail, during this transitional period in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. During this period, pirates and privateers launched repeated raids along the French coastlines, while soldiers, militia bands, and bandits engaged in significant raiding activities in the countryside and woodlands of the interior. These raiding parties inflicted violence and destruction that left traces in manuscript sources conserved in archives in Paris, Marseille, Montpellier, Toulouse, Bordeaux, and other cities. These sources include: provincial and municipal government records; reports of French consuls in Algiers, Tunis, and Malta; ambassadorial correspondence from Istanbul; correspondence and records of the city of Marseille; records of the Chambre de commerce de Marseille; papers of the admiral des mers de Levant; correspondence of the Knights of Malta; and other manuscripts.11 Many of these sources concern southern France in particular, but printed pamphlets, treatises, and rare books provide additional insights into the dynamics of raiding through-out early modern France.12 Although there is not space here to fully explore all of these sources, early modern French evidence of raiding practices allows us to con-sider how we might reconceptualize the notions of raiding war and globalization in the early modern period.
Raiding seems to have been pervasive in France during the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, representing an important aspect of everyday life for many French communities. Early modern French evidence of raiding suggests that we should abandon the ‘primitive war’ conception of raids completely and instead investigate the complex dynamics of raiding practices and their social and military organization. I aim to develop an alternative model of raiding warfare that considers raiding activity transculturally and examines connections between raiding activities and other forms of organized violence. The article considers three major dimensions of early modern raiding warfare: borderlands raiding, economic devastation, and maritime raiding.13 These three forms of raiding violence were organized by diverse individuals and institutions and involved distinct practices of raiding warfare on land and sea that were constantly evolving. Different forms of raiding warfare often overlapped and intersected in particular regions during specific conflicts. I will argue that early modern French raiding practices did not represent a distinct ‘way of war’, but instead exhibited broader global patterns of raiding in this transitional period, suggesting new ways of conceptualizing raiding war throughout the early modern period.
Confessional Boundaries and Borderlands Raiding in Southern France
Catholic and Calvinist armed forces engaged in pervasive raiding in the confessionally mixed regions of France during the French Wars of Religion (1562–1629). Although Huguenot (French Calvinist) communities existed in various regions of France, southern France may arguably be considered a confessional borderlands region in this period due to the high concentrations of Calvinists living there. Indeed, the vast majority of the entire Huguenot population of France (perhaps 80 per cent of the kingdom’s Protestants) lived in the southern provinces of Guyenne, Languedoc, and Dauphiné. The Catholic and Huguenot populations in these provinces often lived in neighbouring towns within confessionally mixed regions, or even in mi-partie (divided) communities. Many towns and villages in the rugged mountains and forests of the Cévennes adopted Calvinism, creating localized confessional boundaries. Cities such as Bordeaux, Toulouse, Albi, and Béziers served as Catholic bastions and refuges for nearby Catholic villages. The close proximity and interspersed nature of Calvinist and Catholic communities created confessional borderlands regions. Catholic and Huguenot raiding warfare in confessional borderlands regularly targeted communities that were controlled by opposing confessions for attack.
Cavalry forces carried out much of the pervasive raiding in the borderlands of mi-partie southern France. Catholic and Huguenot nobles were the main organ-izers of this form of raiding warfare, since they had the clientage relationships and economic means to raise and maintain cavalry companies of gendarmes (armoured heavy cavalry), chevaux-légers (light cavalry), and carabins (mounted carabineers). These military and social elites engaged in cavalry skirmishes and duelling over confessional disputes. Nobles could also act as military entrepreneurs in organizing raiding warfare.14 Southern French nobles directed confessionalized raiding warfare in ways that seem to parallel the violence organized by military elites in some other borderlands regions, where field armies and state administrations intervened intermittently.15
Catholic and Huguenot infantry garrisons also waged perpetual petite guerre, or small war, along confessional boundaries during the religious wars. Garrisons posted in nobles’ châteaux conducted raiding warfare within the religiously mixed regions of France, sometimes attacking the châteaux of their enemies. Garrison soldiers posted in town fortifications forayed into the surrounding countryside to raid villages inhabited by members of another confession or occupied by opposing forces. These garrison soldiers sometimes operated in tandem with town militias to conduct more expansive raiding operations against confessional opponents.
While confessional raiding was probably the most intensive form of borderlands raiding in France during the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, residents of southern France experienced other forms. French, Spanish, Basque, and Navarrese bandits operated in the Pyrenees mountains along the Franco-Spanish frontier. Anne de Lévis, duc de Ventadour, who served as lieutenant-général of the province of Languedoc, worried constantly about this border region, and received frequent reports of incursions by armed bandits in the early seventeenth century.16 Some of these bandits engaged in livestock raiding, attacking farming villages on both sides of the Pyrenees mountains. Complaints of goat- and sheep-raiding reached provincial officials, raising questions about the relationship between this raiding activity and the transhumance practices studied by Fernand Braudel.17 Bandits also stole horses, prompting comparisons with horse-raiding patterns in Eurasia, Arabia, North Africa, and the Americas. Cattle ranching was less prevalent in southern France than in Andalusia, but bandits seem to have sometimes been cattle rustlers. This form of banditry may be compared with cattle raiding in Africa and the Americas, which have been studied by anthropologists and historians.18 Similar forms of borderlands raiding apparently existed in the mountainous regions of south-eastern France, along the border with Savoie, leading French officers to position carabinier companies near mountain passes to prevent incursions.19
Economic Devastation in French War Zones
Raiding warfare was not confined to borderlands regions of France, however. Field armies and military units inflicted economic devastation on civilian communities through systematic pillaging and plundering in war zones during civil conflicts and foreign wars. Military officers demanded contributions from selected towns and villages that lay in the path of their armies, raising money, food, and supplies to support their operations. Profit motives could be present in all forms of raiding, but financial dimensions of raiding war were most pronounced in targeted economic devastation that disrupted urban and rural society, sometimes forcing civilians to flee as refugees.20
Garrisons conducted organized petite guerre from their bastioned fortifications, gathering food, drink, supplies, and forage from villages in the surrounding countryside. Early modern field armies could orchestrate small war in conjunction with broader strategic goals.21 In such cases, the small war that we encountered with garrisons in confessional borderlands could take on a broader strategic significance. For example, raiding parties devastated the villages surrounding Châlons in 1593, and peasants and workers reported that they ‘suffered daily from great losses from seizures of their horses, cows, goats, and other animals’ that were seized by enemy garrisons at Vitry-le-François and several nearby châteaux.22 The same year, the échevins of Troyes complained that soldiers had ‘chased, pillaged, and ravaged the poor labourers and merchants’ working outside their city’s walls.23 These descriptions are typical of correspondence from towns and cities suffering from sustained raiding warfare during the religious wars.
Field armies organized broader raiding campaigns to devastate the countryside around blockaded or besieged cities during the French Wars of Religion. Prolonged sieges of cities such as Orléans (1563), Chartres (1568), La Rochelle (1573), Sancerre (1573), Paris (1590), Rouen (1591–92), Amiens (1597), Montauban (1621), Montpellier (1622), and La Rochelle (1627–28) prompted sustained raiding campaigns in the surrounding countryside. Field armies sometimes launched dedicated campaigns of widespread economic devastation, burning crops and villages across an entire region.24
Methods of economic devastation gradually evolved during the early seventeenth century. French raiding parties had long extorted money and goods from communities, but the construction of royal roads and étapes (way stations) systems in the early seventeenth century seems to have developed in conjunction with the use of formal contributions systems. Military units manoeuvring along road systems forced villages and towns to provide soldiers with food, lodging, supplies, and money.25 John A. Lynn has argued that French field armies and military contingents imposed a ‘tax of violence’ on provincial communities in war zones and along étapes routes during the Thirty Years War.26 Formal contributions systems become even more elaborate by the mid-seventeenth century, as military entrepreneurs and munitions contractors operated on an increasingly large scale across Europe.27 Much more research is needed on this pervasive form of raiding war in the early seventeenth century, since the patterns of small war in the period of Louis XIV’s wars are better understood, thanks to the work of John Lynn, George Satterfield, Jamel Ostwald, and others.28
Maritime Raiding in the Mediterranean and Atlantic
Maritime raiding warfare was part of everyday life for coastal communities in southern France during the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. Royal officials and municipal leaders alike complained frequently of maritime threats. French ambassador François Savary de Brèves complained in 1603 of ‘the ravages that the English and Barbary corsairs inflict on His Majesty’s [Henri IV’s] subjects in the seas of the Levant’.29 Around the same time, Charles de Lorraine, duc de Guise, was trying to ensure the coastal defences of Provence against pirate and Savoyard maritime raids. Records from early seventeenth-century Bordeaux reveal local administrators’ attempts to respond to raids along France’s Atlantic coast. Communities along the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts routinely faced pirate attacks, privateer raids, and armed incursions from amphibious landings. Numerous archival sources discuss the preparation of maritime defences in response to raids in the late six-teenth and early seventeenth centuries.
These sources might give the impression that southern French communities were merely the victims of raids by Turkish and North African corsairs, English and Dutch privateers, and Spanish and Savoyard galleys. Yet French privateers, galleys, and naval ships frequently engaged in raiding expeditions of their own. French maritime raiding practices were already well developed by the late sixteenth century, even if the guerre de course (commerce raiding) waged by the French royal navy during Louis XIV’s wars are better documented.30
French galleys conducted frequent maritime raids across the western and central Mediterranean by the late sixteenth century. Some of this raiding activity was sponsored directly by the French king and his admirals, facilitated by the gradual emergence of royal naval authority in France during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, which Alan James has traced.31 The French king and royal officials orchestrated naval expeditions, conducted peace negotiations, and formulated trade agreements. Royal family members periodically intervened in ransoming negotiations, as when Louis XIII wrote to the Grand Master of the Knights of Malta regarding a 1619 case of slave taking by a French nobleman who had seized some Turks and left them at Malta.32
Maritime raiding warfare was largely organized by provincial military officers and city councils, even if they claimed to be operating under royal authority. Port cities such as Marseille supported French privateering and legitimized raiding warfare in the Mediterranean. Marseille officials played a significant role documenting maritime seizures of French vessels and organizing responses to maritime raids. In 1632, a commissaire drew up a list of Provençal ships seized between 1613 and 1632, lamenting ‘the seizures and depredations inflicted by the Turkish pirates and the corsairs of Tunis, Algiers and Tripoli on Barbary Coast’.33 French slaves in Algiers appealed directly to the consuls of Marseille, urging them to act against the ‘bloody vipers’ of Algiers.34
Algerian and Tunisian corsairs retaliated, often targeting specific regions and ports in southern France that launched raiding vessels. For example, Amurat Bey complained to the consuls of Marseille in 1597 about a certain Pierre Pascal, who had allegedly stolen a number of horses from him. Pascal had travelled to Algiers, claiming that he was a domestic in the service of Henri I de Montmorency, duc de Montmorency, the powerful governor of the province of Languedoc. Amurat Bey threatened to punish slaves from Languedoc in Algiers unless Pierre Pascal was brought to justice.35
French maritime raiding activities and the policy documents they generated reflected the expanding global trading networks and long-distance raiding opera-tions of the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. Consular records often note ships’ port of origin, as when one document reported the names and ports of origin for four ships whose crews had been taken slave by Algiers and later released. The ships hailed from Marennes, St Malo, and Calais, but reportedly had mixed French and ‘Flemish’ crews.36 French merchants and privateers navigated fluidly between Atlantic and Mediterranean waters, prompting complex legal challenges and contributing to early writings of international maritime law by Alberico Gentili and Hugo Grotius.37
In the Atlantic, French vessels engaged in extensive coastal raiding and attacks on Spanish shipping. The port city of La Rochelle emerged as a major base for Huguenot privateers, who sometimes operated along with English and Dutch privateers.38 Huguenot privateers were heavily engaged in the French Wars of Religion, although the Dutch privateers known as the ‘Sea Beggars’ and their operations in the Dutch Revolt are better known.39 Henri de Bourbon, king of Navarre, served as admiral de Guyenne from 1563–90, granting legitimacy to Huguenot privateering through letters of marque.40
Huguenot privateers contended with Catholic privateers, who targeted English, Dutch, and Huguenot ships in the Atlantic Ocean and English Channel. Members of the Montmorency and Guise families served as admiral de France or admiral de Guyenne during the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, allowing them to organize naval expeditions and authorize maritime raids.41 Catholic privateers could claim legitimacy for their attacks along the Atlantic coast by preying on Huguenot, English, and Dutch shipping.
Mediterranean raiding focused significantly on the seizures of captives, who were enslaved as galley slaves or sold off in ports for urban or agricultural labour. Much of the existing historiography on Mediterranean raiding warfare concentrates on the Barbary corsairs, portraying their maritime raids as blatant piracy.42 Yet the Knights of Malta organized intensive raiding campaigns in the central Mediterranean that seized Turkish, North African, and Greek slaves, as Molly Greene has shown.43 Anne Brogini demonstrates that the galleys of the Knights of Malta actually included many French chevaliers and volunteers in their crews.44 Mediterranean slavery studies centre on the conditions of captivity and the ransoming processes, rather than raiding warfare and slave taking, in part due to the prevalence of captivity narratives and the literary studies of them.45 Surviving manuscript sources sometimes reinforce this focus on French subjects in captivity due to the extended epistolary campaigns to obtain their release. French officials in Algiers regularly reported on the status of French captives, and one consul lamented ‘the state of the poor French slaves in this city’ in 1623.46
Mediterranean slavery allowed for eventual release through ransoming agreements and prisoner exchanges, which were often negotiated for individuals or groups of slaves on an ad hoc basis. For example, François Savary de Brèves negotiated a treaty with Tunis in 1605 for the exchange of Muslim captives in Provence for French subjects held in Tunis.47 French religious orders became involved in ransom negotiations, gradually systematizing the ransoming process, as Gillian Weiss has demonstrated.48
Prisoner exchanges or resales of slaves were not easy to accomplish in practice, however. The Sainte-Anne, a polacre from Marseille, sailed for North Africa in February 1613, carrying merchandise and a number of moriscos who had been captured along the coast of Provence. As the Sainte-Anne navigated the island of San Pietro, off Sardinia, it encountered a corsair polacre from Algiers, who seized the ship and its entire cargo.49 Arnaud Blanc, the captain of the Sainte-Anne, had apparently intended to trade his captive moriscos for French slaves in Algiers, but now he and his entire crew were instead captives, in need of ransom.
Mediterranean cities and states could organize dedicated raiding fleets with broader strategic aims. In May 1621, the French consul at Algiers reported ‘the incredible armament’ of the Algerian corsairs, marvelling at ‘their plans, their grievances’, and referred to organized raiding fleets.50 Another French consul at Algiers advised the consuls of Marseille in 1623 to ‘beware of Turks who have frequently taken refuge at Marseille’ and then later ‘mocked us’. He claimed that ‘since the descent of the fleet from La Rochelle, [the Algerians] are in some fear of fleet’s arrival and of making themselves seen in these waters’.51 The proximity of galleys and their visibility was vital to winning the release of French slaves and renegades ‘who are waiting every day for a hand from heaven’, according to the consul.52
Ambassadors, municipal officials, naval captains, and other agents attempted to manage maritime raiding warfare. Marseille officials attempted to limit excessive violence, as when municipal officials in Marseille considered complaints in 1620 of the ‘depredations’ carried out by the Saint-Victor, which was allegedly operating out of their port.53 Algiers officials conducted frequent peace negotiations with the French, Dutch, and English involving slave exchanges and ransom payments. The complex relationship between the Ottoman Empire and Algiers was sometimes mediated by French ambassadors and consuls. The French ambassador in Istanbul reported that the Ottoman sultan was sending a representative to North Africa in 1620 to renew peace agreements. But, he argued that ‘I have always believed that rumours of arming ships under the command of monsieur de Guise or of the interdiction of commerce would have a good effect’.54 Two years later, he sought to promote French–Algerian peace in 1622, indicating that the Ottoman sultan would treat North African tributaries who violated the peace as ‘rebels’.55
French experiences generally mirror patterns of maritime raiding warfare across the Mediterranean in the early modern period, but with some particularities. French privateers and naval raiders maintained close relationships with the Knights of Malta in the central Mediterranean and could rely on them for maritime, logistical, and diplomatic support.56 Spanish intervention in the Catholic League wars affected French shipping in the Atlantic and western Mediterranean in the 1580s and 1590s, but the relative peace between France and Spain from 1598 to 1635 allowed for more expansive French maritime raiding operations.
These French perspectives offer insights on an important transitional period in raiding warfare in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. Borderlands raiding along confessional boundaries was often small-scale and localized, but could also be highly organized and militarized. Campaigns of economic devastation organized by field armies and regular garrisons could be more systematic and expansive. Maritime raiding involved seizures of ships and cargos in the Atlantic, as well as captive taking and enslavement in the Mediterranean. These brief examples of ‘ravages’ and ‘depredations’ from early modern France demonstrate that raiding constituted an organized, sustained, and targeted form of warfare, rather than a haphazard series of robberies by marauding soldiers and sailors. Early modern French raids on land and at sea hint at much broader patterns of raiding warfare throughout the early modern world.
Catholic and Huguenot militants conducted pervasive borderlands raiding across confessional boundaries in southern France during the religious wars, but raiding was also pervasive in other borderlands. Religious reform movements produced confessional boundaries and borderlands in a number of regions of Europe during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. But confessional conflict was hardly confined to Christian regions, since confessional borderlands also existed within other religious communities. Raiding occurred along the Sunni–Shia divide within the Muslim world, which was reinforced by Ottoman–Safavid rivalry in this period.57 Incessant raiding also occurred along the interreligious borderlands, such as the Habsburg–Ottoman military frontier in Hungary, which attracted Catholic and Muslim raiding parties. Early modern borderlands raiding is often associated with the Iroquois raiding in the Great Lakes region, eloquently portrayed in Richard White’s The Middle Ground.58 Borderlands raiding took on numerous forms in frontier regions and borderlands around the world, usually involving captive taking, enslavement, and ransoming. Notable examples of early modern borderlands raiding include Iroquois ‘mourning war’, English colonial militia operations in North America, Portuguese bandeirantes forays in Brazil, Cossack cavalry marauding, Balkans irregular warfare, and Arakanese slave raiding. James C. Scott’s landmark The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia provides a model for examining stateless societies in these borderlands regions.59 By focusing on non-state historical actors, early modern studies can reveal the raiding activities of peasants and herders operating in localized pillage economies. Early modern French evidence of borderlands raiding reminds us that religious and confessional borderlands should be considered in comparison with colonial and imperial borderlands.
Early modern economic devastation involved pillaging and foraging by regular military units, small war conducted by fortress garrisons, and systematic contributions levied by field armies.60 French raiding parties and field armies conducted localized economic devastation throughout the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, suggesting broader patterns of raiding during the European Wars of Religion (1560s–1640s). Military elites, mercenaries, and sol-diers frequently organized plundering campaigns in war zones across Europe during this period. Some of these forms of economic devastation suggest comparisons with patterns of raiding warfare in other world regions. For example, the zamīndārs (rural nobles) in Mughal India similarly engaged in raiding warfare and plundering expeditions in seventeenth-century South Asia.61 In addition, recent research suggests that village disputes in Mughal India often prompted peasant militias to retaliate.62 Indeed, many peasant revolts across the early modern world may have been responding to raiding campaigns that inflicted economic devastation on the countryside and exacerbated climatic changes, subsistence crises, and famines.63
French patterns of maritime raiding provide compelling evidence of the organization of commerce raiding, slave taking, and piracy defence by nobles and port cities during the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. Better-known examples of early modern maritime raiding include the activities of English privateers, Maltese galleys, North African corsairs, Dutch East India Company warships, Chinese mariners, and Japanese ‘sea lords’ – all of whom could be accused of the crime of piracy. Privateering and piracy research has often focused on Caribbean buccaneers as freebooters, yet maritime raiding could be highly organized and expansive in this period. The Uskoks developed ‘raiding economies’ that altered commercial patterns in the Adriatic Sea in the sixteenth century.64 Meanwhile, maritime raiding became pervasive in the Indian Ocean, South China Sea, East China Sea, and the Sea of Japan. Adam Clulow demonstrates that the Japanese port of ‘Hirado was at the centre of a great wave of Sino-Japanese piracy’ in the 1550s’.65 Localized maritime raiding was becoming increasingly linked to global commercial patterns that incorporated long-distance shipping routes and colonial trading post networks. Ship captains of the Dutch West India Company raided Spanish shipping mercilessly in the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean in the early seventeenth century.66
The various forms of raiding warfare in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries were too complex, organized, multilayered, and deliberate to be described as ‘primitive’ or ‘traditional’. Many of the historical actors involved in early modern raiding warfare utilized multiple forms of raiding violence – and sometimes during a single campaign. Rethinking early modern raiding war requires engaging with interdisciplinary methods and several distinct lines of research in order to locate the relationships between these diverse raiding activities. Military and paramilitary forces that conducted retaliatory raids on each other can be described as ‘raiding clusters’.67 Raiding war zones can be categorized as ‘raiding economies’, or ‘pillage economies’, in which plundering became endemic and embedded in local ped-dling and market exchanges.68 For example, new commercial networks and armed competition transformed the Melaka Straits into a contested space of maritime raiding in the late sixteenth century.69 Some early modern raiding practices might be effectively described using the insights from studies of small wars, insurgencies, civil wars, and revolutionary wars.70
Current research on raiding warfare is beginning to consider the processes of early modern globalization in the context of sweeping changes in the scale, scope, and practice of raiding warfare in the early modern period. New states and empires utilized urban credit, artisan labour, and protoindustrial production to produce artillery, maintain bodyguards, recruit mercenaries, raise permanent forces, and mobilize resources. Maritime voyages in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans expanded the dimensions of commercial exchange, social interaction, colonial development, and global conflict. A global examination of the intersections of raiding war, culture, and society in the early modern period may be able to show how nobles, soldiers, militias, and privateers interacted with armies, navies, governments, and colonial administrations to reshape models of warfare worldwide.
- Research for this chapter was made possible by the generous support of a sabbatical from Northern Illinois University, a Fulbright Research Fellowship, and a residential fellowship from the Institut d’Etudes Avancées de Paris. H. H. Turney-High, Primitive War: Its Practice and Concepts (Columbia, SC, 1949).
- Q. Wright, A Study of War (Chicago, 1942).
- B. C. Hacker, ‘Fortunes of War: From Primitive Warfare to Nuclear Policy in Anthropological Thought’, in M. Anderson (ed.), Cultural Shaping of Violence: Victimization, Escalation, Response (West Lafayette, IN, 2004); A. Roland, ‘Technology and War’, American Diplomacy (April 1997): http://americandiplomacy.web.unc.edu/1997/04/technology-and-war/ (accessed 10 Mar. 2020).
- R . Crittenden, ‘Aspects of Economic Development on the Nembi Plateau, Papua New Guinea’, Journal of the Polynesian Society, 96:3 (1987); R . Gardner and K. G. Heider, Gardens of War: Life and Death in the New Guinea Stone Age (New York, 1966); Dead Birds, directed by Robert Gardner (1963).
- G. Dyer, Wa r (New York, 1985), p. 10.
- L. H. Keeley, War before Civilization: The Myth of the Peaceful Savage (Oxford, 1996).
- C. M. Cameron, ‘Captives and Culture Change Implications for Archaeology’, Current Anthropology, 52:2 (2011); I. Armit, C. Knüsel, J. Robb, and R . Schulting, ‘Warfare and Violence in Prehistoric Europe: An Introduction’, Journal of Conflict Archaeology, 2:1 (2006).
- A. D. Smith, ‘War and Ethnicity: The Role of Warfare in the Formation, Self‐images and Cohesion of Ethnic Communities’, Ethnic and Racial Studies, 4:4 (1981).
- R . B Ferguson and N. L. Whitehead (eds), War in the Tribal Zone: Expanding States and Indigenous Warfare (Santa Fe, NM, 1992).
- B. Sandberg, War and Conflict in the Early Modern World, 1500–1700 (Cambridge, 2016), p. 172.
- Key collections include: the Archives départementales du Bouches du Rhône [here-after AD Bouches du Rhône], Archives municipales de Marseille [hereafter AM de Marseille], and the Archives de la Chambre de Commerce de Marseille [hereafter ACC de Marseille].
- Rare books and printed pamphlet collections at the Bibliothèque nationale de France [hereafter BNF], the Bibliothèque historique de la ville de Paris [BHVP], and various municipal libraries in France offer additional evidence.
- Sandberg, War and Conflict, pp. 171–92.
- D. Parrott, The Business of War: Military Enterprise and Military Revolution in Early Modern Europe (Cambridge, 2012), pp. 139–95.
- P. S. Fichtner, Terror and Toleration: The Habsburg Empire Confronts Islam, 1526–1850 (London, 2008); G. Agoston, ‘Information, Ideology and Limits of Imperial Policy: Ottoman Grand Strategy in the Context of Ottoman–Habsburg Rivalry’, in V. H. Aksan and D. Goffman (eds), The Early Modern Ottomans: Remapping the Empire (Cambridge, 2007); R . J. W. Evans, ‘Essay and Reflection: Frontiers and National Identities in Central Europe’, International History Review, 14:3 (1992).
- For examples, see letters of Anne de Lévis, duc de Ventadour, in BNF, Manuscrits fran-çais [hereafter, Mss. fr.] 3589, f ̊ 56, 71, 72 and 75–6; BNF, Mss. fr. 3562, f ̊ 79.
- F. Braudel, The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean World in the Age of Philip II, trans. S. Reynolds (2 vols, New York, 1972), I, pp. 85–102.
- S. K. McIntosh, ‘Reconceptualizing Early Ghana’, Canadian Journal of African Studies/Revue Canadienne des Etudes Africaines, 42:2–3 (2008); S. Marks and A. Atmore, ‘Firearms in Southern Africa: A Survey’, Journal of African History, 12:4 (1971).
- BNF, Mss. fr. 3571, f ̊ 77–8: La Guiche to Henri I de Montmorency, duc de Montmorency, Lyon, 7 Dec. 1597.
- Parrott, The Business of War, pp. 241–9.
- E. A. Lund, War for the Every Day: Generals, Knowledge and Warfare in Early Modern Europe, 1680–1740 (Westport, CT, 1999), pp. 65–100.
- BNF, Mss. fr. 3625, f ̊ 63: Echevins de Châlons to Louis de Gonzague, duc de Nevers, Châlons, 6 July 1593.
- Ibid., f ̊ 64: Maire et échevins de Troyes to sieur Grammont, Troyes, 5 July 1593.
- B. Sandberg, Warrior Pursuits: Noble Culture and Civil Conflict in Early Modern France (Baltimore, 2010), pp. 255–8.
- J. A. Lynn, Giant of the Grand Siècle: The French Army, 1610–1715 (Cambridge, 1997), pp. 132–9.
- J. A. Lynn, ‘How War Fed War: The Tax of Violence and Contributions During the Grand Siècle’, Journal of Modern History, 65:2 (1993).
- Parrott, The Business of War, pp. 196–259; P. H. Wilson, The Thirty Years War: Europe’s Tragedy (Cambridge, MA, 2009), pp. 399–407.
- J. Ostwald, Vauban Under Siege Engineering Efficiency and Martial Vigor in the War of the Spanish Succession (Leiden, 2007); G. Satterfield, Princes, Posts and Partisans: The Army of Louis XIV and Partisan Warfare in the Netherlands (1673–1678) (Leiden, 2003); Lynn, Giant of the Grand Siècle, pp. 538–46.
- BNF, Mss. fr. 3562, f ̊ 23.
- D. Dessert, La royale: Vaisseaux et marins du Roi-Soleil (Paris: Fayard, 1996); G. Symcox, The Crisis of French Sea Power, 1688–1697: From the Guerre d’escadre to the Guerre de course (The Hague, 1974).
- A. James, The Navy and Government in Early Modern France, 1572–1661 (Woodbridge, 2004), pp. 32–54.
- ACC de Marseille, G 50, n.f: Louis XIII to Grand Maître de Malte, Plessis, 14 Aug. 1619.
- Ibid., E 60, n.f.: Mémoire entitled ‘Consolatz faictz sur la prinze de plusieurs vaisseaulx, polacres & barque par les turcz’, 1632.
- Ibid., G 40, n.f.: Slaves in Algiers to the consuls de Marseille, Algiers, 4 Sept. 1635.
- Ibid., G 50, n.f.: Amurat Bey to viguier and consuls de Marseille, Algiers, 15 Apr. 1597.
- Ibid., G 40, n.f.: Blanchard to the consuls de Marseille, Algiers, 17 Jan. 1631.
- L. Benton, A Search for Sovereignty: Law and Geography in European Empires, 1400–1900 (Cambridge, 2010), pp. 130–1.
- On La Rochelle, see K. C. Robbins, City on the Ocean Sea, La Rochelle, 1530–1650: Urban Society, Religion and Politics on the French Atlantic Frontier (Leiden, 1997); D. Parker, La Rochelle and the French Monarchy: Conflict and Order in Seventeenth-Century France (London, 1980).
- James, Navy and Government, pp. 11–31.
- Ibid.,pp. 15–16, 21.
- S. Carroll, Noble Power during the French Wars of Religion: The Guise Affinity and the Catholic Cause in Normandy (Cambridge, 1998), pp. 174–6, 187; James, Navy and Government, pp. 11–31.
- R. C. Davis, Christian Slaves, Muslim Masters: White Slavery in the Mediterranean, the Barbary Coast and Italy, 1500–1800 (Houndmills, 2003); J. Heers, The Barbary Corsairs: Warfare in the Mediterranean, 1480–1580, trans. J. North (London, 2003).
- M. Greene, Catholic Pirates and Greek Merchants: A Maritime History of the Mediterranean (Princeton, 2010).
- A. Brogini, Malte, frontière de Chrétienté (1530–1670) (Rome, 2006).
- D. J. Vitkus, Piracy, Slavery and Redemption: Barbary Captivity Narratives from Early Modern England (New York, 2001).
- ACC de Marseille, J 1341, n.f.: F. Claret, French consul in Algiers, to the consuls de Marseille, Algiers, 7 Jan. 1623.
- G. Weiss, Captives and Corsairs: France and Slavery in the Early Modern Mediterranean (Stanford, 2011), p. 13.
- Ibid., pp. 27–51.
- ACC de Marseille, E 60: ‘Consolatz faictz sur la prinze de plusieurs vaisseaulx, polacres & barque par les turcz puis le voyage faict a Thunis par mr de le Malthe en lannee mil six cens unze jusques au mois de feburier mil six cent treize se mantant a plus de’, 1632.
- Ibid.,J 1340, n.f.: Chaix, consul à Algiers, to the consuls de Marseille, Algiers, 1 May 1621.
- Ibid., J 1341, n.f.: F. Claret, consul à Algiers, to the consuls de Marseille, Algiers, 7 Jan. 1623.
- Ibid.: F. Claret, consul à Algiers, to the consuls de Marseille, Algiers, 7 Apr. 1623.
- Ibid., E 60, n.f.: ‘Sur la requeste presantee a la cour par les consulz de la ville de Maresellx et depputtes de la depradation du vaiseau Saint Victor commande par Louis Morenc dict Frejus de ladt ville’. Arrêt, 1620.
- Ibid., J 138, n.f.: Philippe de Harlay comte de Césy, ambassadeur à Constantinople, to the consuls de Marseille, Pera, Istanbul, 17 Feb. 1620.
- Ibid.: Philippe de Harlay comte de Césy, ambassadeur à Constantinople, to the consuls de Marseille, Pera, Istanbul, 4 Sept. 1622.
- BNF, Mss. Fr. 4044, f ̊ 107–28: ‘Proposition en forme de remonstrance faicte par le grand maistre, seigneurs, et cheualliers maltois, au roy treschrestien de France et de Nauarre, Louis 13e et a tous les autres roys, princes et potentatz de la milice et republicque chres-tienne’.
- T. Krstić, Contested Conversions to Islam: Narratives of Religious Change in the Early Modern Ottoman Empire (Stanford, 2011), pp. 12–13.
- R. White, The Middle Ground: Indians, Empires and Republics in the Great Lakes Region, 1650–1815 (Cambridge, 1991).
- J. C. Scott, The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia (New Haven, CT, 2009).
- Sandberg, War and Conflict, pp. 171–92.
- J. J. L. Gommans, Mughal Warfare: Indian Frontiers and High Roads to Empire, 1500–1700 (London, 2002).
- J. F. Richards, ‘Warriors and the State in Early Modern India’, Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, 47:3 (2004).
- G. Parker, Global Crisis: War, Climate Change and Catastrophe in the Seventeenth Century (New Haven, CT, 2013), pp. 26–36.
- W. Bracewell, The Uskoks of Senj: Piracy, Banditry and Holy War in the Sixteenth-Century Adriatic (Ithaca, NY, 1992).
- A. Clulow, ‘From Global Entrepôt to Early Modern Domain: Hirado, 1609–1641’, Monumenta Nipponica, 65:1 (2010).
- K. Lane, ‘Punishing the Sea Wolf: Corsairs and Cannibals in the Early Modern Caribbean’, NWIG: New West Indian Guide / Nieuwe West-Indische Gids, 77:3–4 (2003).
- On the concept of ‘raiding clusters’ see: Keeley, War Before Civilization, pp. 127–41.
- For ‘raiding economies’ see: Bracewell, The Uskoks of Senj.
- J. Hooper, ‘Pirates and Kings: Power on the Shores of Early Modern Madagascar and the Indian Ocean’, Journal of World History, 22:2 (2011).
- For an introduction to the vast literature on small wars, insurgencies, civil wars, and revolutionary wars, see: S. N. Kalyvas, The Logic of Violence in Civil War (Cambridge, 2006); F. W. Beckett, Modern Insurgencies and Counter-Insurgencies: Guerrillas and their Opponents since 1750 (London, 2001); J. A. Goldstone, Revolution and Rebellion in the Early Modern World (Berkeley, CA, 1991).
Chapter 5 (88-102) from A Global History of Early Modern Violence, edited by Erica Charters, Marie Houllemare, and Peter H. Wilson (Manchester University Press, 09.01.2020), published by OAPEN under the terms of a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International license.