Using Geoffrey Parker’s Western Way of War thesis, which element or elements best explain the evolution of modern war between 1648 and 1941?

Evolution of modern war between 1648 and 1941

Western Way of War


Based on history, technology, discipline and innovation are known to be one of the most successful military Campaigns by western nations. It is imperative that the norm continues, and this aspect holds in the case of US military in the US and European nations such as Britain. Geoffrey Parker states that much of his military history, the west has placed advanced their focus on superior technologies to attain an edge over the rivals[1]. Moreover, the aspect of discipline has also helped west military forces to achieve victories irrespective of having importantly smaller forces than the rivals. For instance, the war of 1812 between the US and Great Britain where there was the use of superior weaponry like the guns, artillery, and cavalry[2]. Moreover, western leaders such as Abraham Lincoln have been great leaders of classical military strategies texts which could because of their beliefs that efficient military strategies are timeless. Contrary to other non-western nations, technology and discipline have played a significant role in forming the cultures of western military department. The essay describes the western ways of war, element which best explains evolution of modern war from 1648 to 1941 and its implication to 21st century US Military.

The Western Military department were managed by principles that a decisive performance is attained through an absolute destruction of rivals which results in enemy’s unconditional surrender. The western troops didn’t fear to be ruthless and took part in a merciless war contrary to other warring societies. The aspect of discipline and focus on technology was also a focus for military forces from English nations and Europeans, two aspects that separate western military cultures from other military nations were flexibility and ability to invest in the wars. The cost of wars continued to advance through time with the introduction of new specialized weapons. Operations. For instance, the British have the Indians serving as soldiers in their regiment during wars. The western nations also acquired edge by designing a well-structured financial systems like England where funds could be attained on attractive terms to finance the war.

Based on Geoffrey, the military history of the western world, a significant focus has been placed on the superiority of technology to gain an edge over their rivals. Therefore, in regards to competition and desire to win, the western have advanced their weapons to rule over their counterparts. It is imperative that most of the success in war is attributed to their technological prowess. The United States together with other European nations felt the impact of World War 1 in 1914 since they lost a lot of soldiers[3]. The more significant impact of the war was because of the advanced technology which led to the design of sophisticated weaponry. The technological advancement in World War 1 was the improvement of a machine gun which was developed by Americans. The Germans realized the potential of the machine gun and developed air-cooled machine guns for the airplane as well as the ones used on the ground. The full potential of the weapons was shown on the battlefield when 60,000 British soldiers were killed in a single day.

The evolution of the military forces through the period 1648-1941 has led to the 21st century US military. According to Geoffrey, in explaining the phenomena of the western way of war characterized by strategies and beliefs[4]. During this period, a technological strategy was a major factor of success in the western nations mainly in Europe and the United States. Particular, because of competition, ideologies, and resources, the western nations have had more advanced weaponry compared to the non-western nations. It is imperative that much of the western world’s technology and advancements were linked to the success in war. For instance, the machine gun advancement by the Germans leading to their success over the Britain Army. Therefore, based on this advancement in technology, the US has also improved its military force strategies during a war.

Therefore, it is evident that the 21st century US military has advanced more compared to its military force in the 17th and 18th century period. For example, the evolution of the modern war has led to the design of robots used during the war in the US. The improved robots provide the potential to use effective combinations of manned and unmanned systems to conduct an increasing range of tasks such as explosive ordinances disposal, persistent surveillance, and logistic[5]. Additionally, there is much investment by the government in the present military involvement in the US which is a characteristic of the past western way of war.


The evolution of the modern war is based on factors such as technology, discipline, and innovation. The major element that has contributed to the evolution of modern war is technology. It is imperative that this has been a factor of a distinction between the one winning and one losing the war. For instance, technology leads to the design of improvised machine guns to give the soldiers the ability to win. Additionally, this has been the western way of war leading to their constant success over their rivals. It is also important to understand that the current military involvement in the US has been influenced by past strategies such as the use of technology


[1] Parker MacGregor, The Cambridge history of warfare, (Cambridge University Press; 2005), p.77.

[2] Knox M, Murray W, The Dynamics of Military Revolution, (Cambridge University Press; 2001 Aug 27), p.35

[3] Levitsky S, Way LA, Competitive authoritarianism: Hybrid regimes after the Cold War, (Cambridge University Press; 2010), p.40.

[4] Murray WR, Millett AR, Military innovation in the interwar period, (Cambridge University Press; 1998), p.67

[5] Murray WR, Millett AR, Military innovation in the interwar period, (Cambridge University Press; 1998), p.67

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