War was central to the history of the period and to the experience of its peoples, and the wars of the century were far from inconsequential. However, the classic focus in scholarly attention for this period is Western, and the eighteenth century there, prior to the French Revolution and, more particularly, the outbreak of the French Revolutionary Wars in 1793, is commonly regarded as a period of military conservatism, indecisiveness and stagnation, part of an interlude between periods of alleged military revolution in 1560–1660 and 1792–1815. The sole major alternative to this approach suggests that the latter revolution began with the outbreak of the War of American Independence in 1775. That conflict is then linked to the French Revolutionary Wars.
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