Honor and the Military Formation of French Noblemen, 1870-1920

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Gender and class informed the attitudes of French noblemen toward military training and an army career in the France of the early Third Republic. Honor for the male aristocracy was considered to be “in the blood” and still very closely bound to ancient military virtues of duty, bravery, and sacrifice. Boys raised in noble families were conditioned to value martial honor—and to seek to embody it—well before entering prestigious military academies in adolescence. Ancestral tradition created pressure on noblemen to serve with distinction in the army and, by doing so, to conform to an ideal of military manhood. This strained some noblemen's relationships with male relatives and the cross-generational imperative to uphold the warrior ethos led many to their death on the battlefield.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-114
Number of pages20
JournalHistorical Reflections / Réflexions Historiques
Volume35
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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Military
Nobleman
Army
Boys
Ideal
Military Academies
Manhood
Ethos
Aristocracy
Noble Families
France
Adolescence
Blood
Third Republic
Warrior

Keywords

  • aristocracy
  • Bourdieu
  • gender
  • honor
  • masculinity
  • military
  • nobleman

Cite this

Honor and the Military Formation of French Noblemen, 1870-1920. / Macknight, Elizabeth C.

In: Historical Reflections / Réflexions Historiques, Vol. 35, No. 3, 2009, p. 95-114.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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