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5. Entrepreneurs and the Recruitment of the British Army in the War of American Independence, 1775–1783

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Chapter Summary

This chapter adopts a broader definition of entrepreneurs, and looks at their role in securing soldiers to serve in armies. The part played by recruiting entrepreneurs, in the British case, usually, persons outside the formal structures of the army itself, reminds the importance of partnerships between the state and private and local interests beyond its control. Without such partnerships, the early modern state could not have carried out its principal function, the waging of war. The chapter focuses on the British army during the War of American Independence of 1775-83, a highly demanding war, especially from 1778, when first the French, then the Spanish, and finally the Dutch entered the conflict on the American side. The entrepreneurs were not members of the British army, though some of them, aspired to become British army officers, and others were officers in the service of foreign states.

Keywords: British army; Dutch; entrepreneurs; French; Spanish; War of American Independence



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