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China and the West

Published onJan 31, 2022
China and the West

The extent to which the writing of history in the West may have influenced, and still be influencing, Western views of the relationship with China is of fundamental significance as an aspect of what is more commonly remarked, that Chinese views of the West have a strong historicist dimension. The latter is readily apparent in terms of public statements but the former is more elusive and suggestive. And yet, it is not thereby less significant.

Two dimensions come to the fore, first the extent to which the treatment of China arises from non-specific factors, in other words being a consequence of a Western account of the West, and therefore, by extension, of the West versus the rest. Secondly, and overlapping, but also separate, there is the degree to which particular assessments of China play a role, not least the idea of a distinct Chinese strategic culture, an idea much deployed from the 1970s. The former is readily apparent.

The principal subject of military history has been that of the ‘West’, the leading meta-narrative the ‘rise of the West’. This is an overarching account that is variously explained and dated but that tends to centre on the role of military technology as both cause and consequence of Western success. In this account, the rest of the world features essentially as a failure. This failure again is variously explained and dated, but it overshadows the military history of the ‘rest’. Furthermore, analysis of the ‘rest’ is commonly both subordinated to that of the West and explained in its terms. This is not a matter of elderly accounts, but, instead, of much recent writing. To take the example of a first-rate piece of work, The Cambridge Illustrated History of Warfare edited by Geoffrey Parker (Cambridge, 1995), it is only when one turns from cover to titlepage that the sub-title ‘The Triumph of the West’ appears. The Preface acknowledges ‘the charge of Eurocentricism’, but offers:

‘…three defences. First, it would be impossible to provide adequate coverage in a single volume of the military history of all major cultures … Second, merely to pay lip-service to the military and naval traditions of Africa, Asia, and the Americas, while devoting the lion’s share of attention to the West, would be unpardonable distortion. Finally … for good or ill over the past two centuries the western way of war has become dominant all over the world’.

All three reasons are understandable, but the net effect is limiting as a coverage of war in the world. It also contributes to a primitivization of non-Western traditions, because clearly they did not lead to a situation of dominance. The Reader’s Companion to Military History (1996), edited by Parker and Robert Cowley, ‘“privileged” Western matters’ on the grounds ‘that the Western way of warfare has come to dominate armed conflict all over the globe’. These volumes are far from alone in presenting global military history in a Western frame. The Cambridge Illustrated Atlas of Warfare. The Middle Ages, 768-1487 (Cambridge, 1996) ignores most of the world. Asia was there only for the Crusaders to attack.

This is an aspect of the standard presentation of Asia in Western works, a presentation that has a long tradition drawn on crude and misleading ethnographic stereotypes and Western notions of cultural energy. In essence, steppe peoples are seen as virile, and as imposing pressure on Europe, while the settled societies of China and South Asia are viewed as victim cultures, essentially concerned with material progress. Their problem then becomes one of how best to cope with the steppe peoples, until the Europeans arrive to provide fresh (and different) pressure from another direction. These notions can, for example, be seen in one of the most influential works on global power, Edward Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (London, 1776-88). He wrote of the ‘barbarians’: ‘In every age they have oppressed the polite and peaceful nations of China, India, and Persia, who neglected, and still neglect, to counterbalance these natural powers by the resources of military art’.

This sense of relative passivity, and a passivity traced to supposed ethnic and/or cultural characteristics can still be seen in modern world. John Keegan’s influential A History of Warfare (1993) offers simplistic and misleading notions of pacific Asian cultures. He argues that ‘the most persistent feature of Chinese military life was moderation, designed to preserve cultural forms rather than serve imperatives of foreign conquest or internal revolution’. This is misleading. More generally, it is necessary to study non-Western military history – both warfare and military organization – from a non-Western point of view, in order not to employ inappropriate methods of analysis. This entails being careful in employing Western military categories, and also seeking to move beyond Western descriptive and analytical vocabularies and methods. For example, it is necessary not to apply Western distinctions between the military and society. Instead, it is important to ask questions which emerge from local cultures and conditions.

Where does China stand in this account? Not well, either in terms of the amount of attention devoted to China or with reference to the assessment of Chinese capability. The Western view is one of Chinese failure. This is commonly seen in a double sense. First, there is the failure of China to sustain its naval commitment of the early fifteenth century. The abandonment of an oceanic role is seen as consigning China to at best a secondary place in global history and, more specifically, as a major limitation of Chinese military capability. It is frequently held to have begun a period of relative decline.

Secondly, there is a view of China as an unsuccessful land power. This focuses on a period stretching from the 1830s to the 1930s. Defeat at the hands first of the Western powers and then of the Japanese is used to demonstrate failure, if not obsolescence. This account draws on an assessment of China as a state that failed to sustain early interest in technology, to industrialize, and to develop a flexible and adaptive governmental structure and public culture. In short, trapped in the past, China failed to modernize, dropped behind, and became first irrelevant and then a victim.

This is a deeply flawed account. It is methodologically questionable and empirically inaccurate. The methodology can be tackled briefly. The perception that China failed prior to the mid-nineteenth century rests on the notion that it is possible to discern a hierarchy in military capability and achievement that covers the situation across the world. This rests essentially on an assessment of military power and warfare in terms of weaponry. Yet there was of course no such hierarchy. Instead, there was a multiplicity of military environments, and proficiency in one was no necessary guide to the situation in any other. Indeed, it could indicate the opposite. Furthermore, these environments were neither uni-dimensional nor static. Instead, they are to be seen not simply in terms of terrain and ecology, but also of social, cultural and political circumstances. In short, the world was not an isotrophic surface. An understanding of variations in the nature and use of force, and of their validity in particular socio-cultural and geographic contexts, necessarily directs attention away from war primarily understood as the clash of different weapons and weapon systems. Even if the focus is on the latter, issues of adoption and adaptation underline the importance of a concentration on organization and, thus, cultural issues.

An awareness of the limitations of a meta-narrative of military history in terms of a single model serves to refocus attention on China, not least because this meta-narrative has generally been constructed in terms of the rise of ‘the West’. It thus raises the question of how best to relate Chinese military history to a meta-narrative that focuses on complexity. The first and most obvious point is the need for a mass of scholarship. Compared to the military history of the West, relatively little scholarship on China exists, although the situation is far better than, for example, scholarship on Burma or Ethiopia, let alone Southeast Asia. Compare, for example, the civil conflicts that preceded the Manchu overthrow of the Ming with the English Civil War or the coverage of the Taiping Rebellion (1850-64) with that of the American Civil War (1861-5). Furthermore, it is the Western role in the Taiping Rebellion that attracts most interest. The focus in the literature on the West is brought home when considering the interaction of the West with non-Western powers, which, in the case of China, principally means the period from the First Opium War (1839-42) to the Boxer Uprising. Studies of this interaction suffer from a concentration on Western perspectives and sources, and from the general lack of sufficient contextualization for the non-Western response.

There is a need not only for more scholarship, but also for a need for a re-examination of much of the available scholarship because the role of struggle in validating the role of the Communists and of the Nationalists greatly affected the approach to twentieth-century military history. This is true both of conflict between Chinese factions and of warfare with the Japanese. A misleadingly low view of Chinese capability led the Japanese to fail to appreciate the likely consequences of war. Contempt, hostility and racialism played a role in Japanese pressure on China from the 1890s, and the war of 1894-95 largely stemmed from Japan’s determination to supplant an apparently anachronistic China in its client state, Korea. In 1931, Japan invaded Manchuria and in 1937 launched a full-scale invasion of China. The Japanese had been disturbed by the expansion of Nationalist power and pretensions. They were also inclined to despise their opponents and to exaggerate the ability of their will (and military machine) to overcome the problems posed by operating in China. This was not simply a matter of space and reserves, but also the fighting quality of their opponents. There is an obvious parallel with the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941. Here, recent work is suggesting the need for a positive re-evaluation of the Soviet forces , and it is probable that a parallel can be drawn with the Chinese.

The Sino-Japanese war can also be seen as an unintended conflict. The unplanned incident at the Marco Polo Bridge in Beijing in 1937 occurred at a time when many leaders in Tokyo, including some influential generals, were convinced that Japan should concentrate on the preparation of her army for war with the Soviet Union. Ideally, it was felt that China should be persuaded to accept her fate as a junior partner of Japan, and the ensuing diplomacy was designed to show Chiang he had no alternative. It was Chiang’s unco-operativeness which prompted Tokyo to try to give him a short sharp lesson. The Japanese were misleadingly confident that China would fall rapidly. In fact, conquest turned out to be an impossible goal: the amphibious based expeditions of the Western powers in the nineteenth century were a more realistic response to the nature of the military balance, and to the problems of campaigning in China.

The need for a re-examination of the available scholarship, is not restricted to the twentieth century. Instead, there has been considerable difficulty in accepting the degree to which Chinese military activity outside the Han area involved aggression and expansionism. This problem is likely to become more acute, for the position of China in both Xinjiang and Tibet remains contentious and is arguably becoming more so. The instability of post-Soviet Central Asia and the resurgence of Islam in the region both pose questions about the Chinese position in Xinjiang. It is unlikely that this will not affect discussion of Chinese military history in the region.

Any call for more attention to Chinese military history rests in large part on the argument that such history was important to China, to other countries, and to studies of military power. In the case of the last, it offers opportunities for re-examining conventional discussions of the cause, course, and consequences of military developments. As far as other countries are concerned, the most significant consequence of Chinese military power relates to those countries that might have been. There was nothing inherent about state structures or limits, and the notion of obvious geopolitical bounds is dubious. That does not mean that geography did not play a role, but rather that it is necessary to be wary about assuming a deterministic relationship. Furthermore, stressing the impact of geographical considerations does not mean that it can be assumed that there were necessary consequences in how the Chinese should respond to these considerations.

Thus, a stress on the multifaceted results of geographical factors, on the porosity of borders and frontiers, and on the role of both cultural suppositions and decision-making in deciding policy and how best to pursue it, ensured that there was a dynamic Chinese response to neighbours. The net effect was that other states or proto-states in what is now Tibet, Xinjiang, Mongolia and Manchuria all succumbed. This had an effect further afield, as such states were not simply part of a Chinese system, a point that emerges clearly from Twitchett’s chapter on Tibet.

Lastly, the impact on China. First, it is clear that military history should not be treated as a minor adjunct to the history of people, society and state. Instead, military events and pressures and successive responses helped determine both particular periods and the more general flow of Chinese military history. The need to create and sustain powerful forces in frontier regions was important. So also were attempts to demilitarize the Chinese interior. Indeed, when it occurred, the failure to ensure continued demilitarization and the consequent rise of internal disorder posed severe strains on the Chinese state.

Furthermore, far from these policies being static, structural characteristics in Chinese history, there was a dynamism given shape by interaction with other powers and by the ambitions and views of Chinese leaders. One important aspect of this dynamism was the internal flow of resources towards frontier forces. This was true both of external frontiers and of internal frontiers against rebellious areas.

Given the persistent role of force in Chinese history, it is necessary to rethink traditional suppositions about Chinese political culture. It is too easy to push the contrast between China and post-Roman Europe too far. It is certainly true that China was a major power that dominated regional political and ideological culture. It was still necessary to adjust to other powers, but geopolitical dominance and a sense that invulnerability was normal were linked to assumptions about the proper operation of international relations. The situation was different in Christian Europe. Indeed, the multipolarity of the European states system, the anarchic nature of European power politics, and the kaleidoscopic character of alliances there, all help to account for the development of ‘realist’ paradigms of international behaviour, for European and European-American experiences and conceptions of international relations were to dominate subsequent writing on the subject.

It is unclear, however, how far it is appropriate to treat China as different. In particular, it is important to give more weight to Chinese expansionist tendencies, although there are problems of definition that in part arise from past Chinese notions of international relations. This is clearly an issue in relations with, for example, people living in modern Mongolia, Xinjiang and Tibet, but the problem is more widespread. For example, the war against Yang Yinlong in Southwest China from 1587 until 1600 entailed the ending of the autonomy of a family that had long controlled part of the region. As this control had not been that of a sovereign power, this could be regarded as the suppression of a rebellion, but that does not describe the reality of a war of expansion as much as consolidation. Korea, which suffered from attempts at Chinese expansion, for example the ill-fated attempts of Yangdi in the seventh century, could, in Chinese terms, be seen as a sub-kingdom rather than an independent sovereign power.

Thus, an awareness of Chinese military history is significant for an understanding of many aspects of the Chinese past that are generally treated as very different. To explore the cultural dimension further, it is likely that war and the need to prepare for it had a greater impact in encouraging responsiveness to circumstances, and, thus, rationalization and professionalization, than is generally appreciated. Furthermore, it seems inappropriate to postpone this issue until the nineteenth century. If, instead, a challenge/response dynamic is to be seen in Chinese military history, then it is inappropriate to restrict this to the military. Even if only the military dimension is addressed, it is clear that the need to operate effectively on the steppe and to gain access to horses and horse pastures led to a measure of interaction and syncretism with steppe peoples. Chinese relations with nomadic and semi-nomadic peoples of the steppe always combined military force with a variety of diplomatic procedures – one of the best-known being jimi or ‘loose rein’, which involved dividing and ruling. This was true of dynasties as various as the Tang and the Qing. Thus the means of waging war underlined the porosity of the frontier.

This co-operative dimension offers an approach not only to military organisation but also to political culture and geopolitics. It also suggests a possible point of comparison with other empires. Rather than treating ‘early-modern’ China as one of the ‘gunpowder empires’, it is possible to compare it with other systems that had to call on the assistance of horsemen from the steppes. This approach is pertinent both for India and for Ottoman Turkey. Thus, for example, the relationship between the Ottomans and the Crimean Tatars can be compared with that between the Chinese and the peoples of Mongolia. This approach can also be adopted across time to enable a discussion of the military methods and imperial structure of China alongside that of imperial Rome and the British in India. This was a matter not only of devices, such as the careful gathering and use of information, the use of military colonies, and a good communications network, but also of the ethos of empire.

This ethos was important in affecting the relationship with steppe peoples. Analysis of raids on China by such people have emphasized their quest for politically useful luxury goods, rather than subsistence, and have stressed that the steppe people raided to build alliances and to force the acceptance of commercial links. Similarly, the relationship between the Russian princelings and the Tatars from the thirteenth to the late fifteenth century has been presented in symbiotic terms. Nomadic attacks frequently arose because the commercial and other relationships had been disturbed if the terms were no longer acceptable to one party; in short, they were not the ‘natural’ characteristics of the relationship, but a product of its failure, as with the Ming refusal to trade with the Mongols in the mid-sixteenth century, a refusal that has been traced to xenophobia and a determination to appear strong. Some officials, indeed, opposed any conciliation of Mongols and Manchus as capitulation to barbarians.

This reassessment of nomadic attacks is an important analytical shift, for it leads to the rehabilitation of the ‘barbarian’, no longer seen as product and part of the inchoate ‘other’, against which civilization must defend itself, but, instead, part of the world of civilization. If a rationality, other than that of the most basic, is ascribed to ‘barbarians’, this can be linked to a re-evaluation in which they enter into wars, rather than being in a permanent state of war.

The changing nature of the ethos of empire is linked to shifts in grand strategy. Thus, the rise of the Qing encouraged interest in expansionism, made conquest more possible, and then made it both more desirable and easier to sustain the Chinese presence. In some respects, the situation was similar to the takeover of the Byzantine and Mameluke states by the more dynamic Ottoman Turks.

Qing expansionism is a reminder of the counterfactual issue, for it was then that a dynamic system willing and capable to subjugate its neighbours was created. This was not inevitable. Indeed, the collapse of Mughal and Safavid power in India and Persia respectively in the period 1700-40 at the hands of non-Western peoples, Marathas and Afghans respectively, is a crucial comparison. These collapses, it could be suggested, weakened the ability of both areas to resist Western pressure. Thus, a powerful counterfactual is offered for China. Had the Zunghars continued powerful, maybe for example prefiguring the Durranis of Afghanistan in maintaining the independence of their homeland, then they might have been in a position to apply greater pressure on China. The Chinese feared the creation of a hostile Mongol confederation from the 1690s. The porosity of the frontier operates both ways, and the Zunghars would probably have contested Chinese influence among the Khalkas in Mongolia, as well possibly as Chinese control of Gansu and even Shaanxi. This might well have weakened China prior to the onset of European pressure in the mid-nineteenth century, possibly leading to fissiparous tendencies. For example, it might have proved far harder to suppress internal rebellions.

Equally, it could be argued, using the challenge/response model, that continued Zungar pressure would have kept the military centre stage and maintained the viability of Chinese armed forces, although if this had been the case with the Manchus, it was not successfully so. Certainly, the generally peaceful nature of China in 1770-1835 contrasted with the frequency of conflict and pace of military change in Europe, India and the Middle East. Campaigns against Tongking (1788) and Nepal (1792) were small-scale, certainly in comparison to the warfare with the Zungars. The major conflict of the period was due to the White Lotus rebellion of 1796-1805 in Shaanxi. This was huge and very costly. It was also a very serious military challenge comparable to the Taiping Rebellion.

Whatever the case, it is unlikely that Qing China would have developed an ocean-going navy in this period. Indeed, the minor role of ocean-going (as opposed to river) warships from the sixteenth to the late nineteenth century is a reminder both of one crucial way in which China was different to the Western powers and also of the role of choice. In the 1430s, the state with the greatest global-reach capability, in terms of the distant deployment of substantial naval forces, was China. Yet, in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the Chinese made no significant effort to contest the successive Portuguese, Spanish and Russian presences in nearby waters. This was not due to passivity. The Chinese fought off Japanese pirates. In addition, although Chinese warships were lightly gunned they were more strongly constructed than their Indian counterparts, and a Chinese squadron, employing cannon, defeated a Portuguese force off Tunmên near Macao in 1522. Furthermore, the Ming loyalist Cheng Ch’eng-Kung [Koxinga] drove the Dutch from Taiwan in 1661-62. Yet, this highlights the issue, for Tunmên and Taiwan were in or near China. There was no attempt to challenge the Portuguese at, for example, Malacca, or Spanish expansion in the Philippines from the 1560s, or Russian along the Sea of Okhotsk from the 1630s. China helped Korea against Japanese invasion in the 1590s without mounting an amphibious attack of its own on Japan.

The unifier of Japan, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, had dreamed of conquering China, a reminder of the need not to see this challenge as essentially stemming from nineteenth-century nationalism and Westernization. It is not clear what the source of his drive was, whether for example Japanese legends or the exploits of Mongols or Europeans, or a need to keep his forces active. There was certainly no danger of a Chinese attack on Japan, but Hideyoshi planned to invade via Korea, then a Chinese client state, and to rule the world from the Chinese maritime city of Ningbo. From there, he intended to conquer India. Hideyoshi also demanded that Taiwan and the Philippines submit to him.

The contrast with Ming political culture at this point is readily apparent. Given his violent background as a general who had fought his way into dominance, Hideyoshi’s role and self-regard can be seen as dependent on continued warfare: the invasion of Korea can be seen as the necessary next stage after the conquest of Ky¯u sh¯u in 1587 and the defeat of the H¯o j¯o in 1590. The invasion would provide new lands for his warriors and enable Hideyoshi to retain his control over them. Furthermore, continued success had led him to lose a sense of limits, while, anyway, the cult of the warrior discouraged an interest in limits. It was not so much a case of misperception as of no perception: an assessment of the capability of others was less relevant than a decision that such perception was not appropriate. Hideyoshi, however, had exceeded his grasp. The invasion was initially successful, but Korean naval and military resistance altered the situation, and in 1593 the Chinese committed large forces which drove back the Japanese. A contrast of this conflict with the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-95 is instructive.

If China had an inshore naval capability but no longer deployed distant fleets, this in turn became normative until the late nineteenth century when a major navy was developed, only for it to be defeated in the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-95. Thus, the unique European experience of creating a global network of empires and trade, based on an equally unique type of interaction between economy, technology, state formation, and public culture, was not matched in China. It was a powerful state able to build ships and manufacture guns, and with a well-developed economy and culture wishing to import little from Europe, but the synergy and purpose that led in Western Europe to maritime power projection were absent. This was probably because there seemed to be little need. China developed an important maritime trading network after the fifteenth century, with Japan, Korea, South and Southeast Asia. They seem to have been able to do so without naval protection. There was therefore no need to protect trade with armed forces, or to establish colonies with military force. In addition, coastal protection does not seem to have been a serious issue. It was probably far easier to face any aggression on land, the policy followed against Japanese invaders in the sixteenth century. On land, it was easier to supply the land and to deny local resources to the invader. In some respects, this was the Qing strategy during the Allied Expedition of 1900. They withdrew their forces from the north China plains and then let the 100,000 troops of the Allied forces occupy Beijing and parts of the north China plain where they rapidly encountered supply problems.

The absence of maritime power projection did not mean that China failed. Indeed, in 1680-1760 China conquered more territory than any other power in the world. To neglect these gains and the successes for the Chinese military system that they represented, in short to read back from 1860, is to adopt a misleading perspective. The Manchu fought to expand. Their expansionism was imperialistic and for glory and possessions, rather than for resources and trade.

Expeditions sent against Burma in 1766-9 were less successful than those against the Zunghars, but in 1792 the Chinese advanced to Katmandu, where the Gurkhas of Nepal, whose expansion had begun to challenge the Chinese position in Tibet, were forced to recognize Chinese authority. By the end of the century China was at peace with all its neighbours, and on China’s terms. By the Treaties of Nerchinsk (1689) and Kiakhta (1728), Russia accepted China’s treaty boundaries, but not those of Turkey and Persia. The eastern Mongols were part of the Chinese system, the Zunghars had been destroyed, and other neighbours were tributary powers. The next most powerful Central Asian people to the west, the Kazakhs, accepted tributary status and remained under Chinese influence until it was supplanted by that of Russia in the mid-nineteenth century.

The chief characteristic of the Chinese military was a certain remorseless persistence, although the Manchu brought a new dynamic and a greater ability to operate successfully in the steppe and created a military system that was in effect a Manchu-Chinese hybrid. This army was impressive in its operational range, and in its ability to act in very different terrains. The ability to deliver power at a great range matched the situation within the European world: organizational developments, range and capability were more important than military technology. The 1720 advance of two armies on Lhasa revealed the characteristic features of Chinese operations: overwhelming force, thorough planning and the ability to act over the long term and at long distance.

Yet the Chinese were less successful along their southern frontiers. A 1766 invasion of Burma and two subsequent expeditions were outmanoeuvred by two skilful Burmese generals, Maha Si-thu and Maha Thi-ha Thu-ra, and in 1769 the invading Chinese army was trapped by the latter at Kaung-ton and forced to accept peace. This failure was repeated against Tongking in northern Vietnam in 1788-9.

The contrast with Chinese successes in central Asia in part arose because the southern frontiers were not of central strategic interest to China. For example, war with Burma began in 1765 over what had hitherto been the buffer zone of the Shan states. This was less important to China’s rulers than eastern Mongolia, which had been contested with the Zunghars in the 1690s. The Qing were much more comfortable with the people and cultures of Central Asia than with the south. The Banner Armies garrisoned north China, but had little presence in the south. The Qing relied on the Green Standard, but did not allow large concentrations of them, because they were far more numerous than the more loyal and reliable Banner Armies. Frequently the generals sent to the southern frontiers were less competent. In addition, the heavily forested environment was very difficult for large-scale military operations. For reasons of terrain and climate, cavalry could not function in the south. Furthermore, Burmese military organization and achievement was improved in the 1750s and 1760s by its dynamic ruler, Alaung-hpaya.

The role of determined and successful leadership also emerges clearly in China. The personal determination of the Kangxi (1662-1723) and Qianlong (1736-98) emperors was crucial to the defeat of the Zunghars. Both made it a personal crusade and pushed hard those generals who were more hesitant about campaigning on the steppe. Kangxi wanted victory, and he understood the transient nature of the possession of territory. The Qianlong emperor wished to surpass the achievement of his grandfather by putting an end to the frontier problem. The importance of personality is illustrated by the role of the Yongzheng emperor (1723-36), who launched only one expedition against the Zunghars, and did not persist after its failure. Had he ruled as long as his predecessor or successor, the Zunghars might have expanded once again and become a powerful Central Asian empire. Neither was the reign of Yongzheng characterized by major military initiatives elsewhere. Yet this throws light on the difficulties of assessment. Yongzheng was also a great reformer and a very tough emperor. His financial reforms laid the basis for Qianlong’s military successes. It is less clear whether without Yongzheng they would have had this result.

This serves as a reminder of the contingent in military history. The protean character of Chinese imperial rule undercuts any attempt to suggest a single strategic culture or geopolitical determinism. Instead, it returns us to the realm of history: the role of choice in developments, and the impact of the past and its remaking under the stress of circumstances and ideas.

Jeremy Black is Professor of History at the University of Exeter.

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