Dr. Everett Dague is Professor of Modern History at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas. He received his Ph.D. from Florida State University. He is Fellow of the International Napoleonic Society and has published several book reviews and journal articles. Dr. Dague is a frequent conference presenter.
2006 0-7734-5613-9 The original archival research contained in this work redefines the nature and position of Napoleon’s Ministry of War. Under the First Empire the Ministry developed as a combined action of competing administrative authorities. Stable and self-referencing, the Ministry was flexible, which reflected its growing professionalization. Under the Ancien Regime, the Revolution, and the early Empire administrative officers were often chosen for other reasons than administrative ability, and always subject to the influence of military and civilian outsiders. This work examines the development of the army’s field and bureaucratic administrative operations. This examination includes the creation of a professional class of administrators during the course of the seventeenth century and, in particular, during the French Revolution and the bureaucratic development of the Ministry of War between 1799 and 1814.
While the field and bureaucratic operations are surveyed as an evolving process, the work also introduces sociometrical analysis by tracking the Napoleonic careers of the major military administrative figures, in particular Minister of War Henri Clarke. The successes and failures of the war administrative bureaucracy are considered by examining the relationships between ministerial-level administrators.
The conclusion stresses the long-term impact of the Napoleonic military-administrative experience by discussing the restructuring of the Restoration ministry of war. The reestablishment of the Napoleonic model of military administration in the post-Napoleonic period, and the reemergence of Napoleonic administrative professionals and institutions, created a condition which affected French social, military and political development into the twentieth century.