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Elements of the transition from limited war to that of unlimited or total war
Historians have classified the epoch of world wars as either limited or unlimited (total war). The classification is often based on the objectives sought in the war, the tactics deployed and the scale of the war. The eighteenth century up to 1792 is often referred to as a period of limited warfare. This does not mean that the period had less casualties or the war was not prolonged but suggest that the war were fought on small scale with cautious tactics and limited objectives. Generally, the eighteenth century wars did not involve the whole societies neither were they aimed at annihilating or conquering the whole nation. During this time armies were the properties of the dynasties and not countries and largely the whole masses were not concerned with the war. This period is distinct from the subsequent Napoleon wars, Franco Prussian wars or even the American civil war.
Drew, Dennis. Eighteenth-Century warfare in the nuclear age. Alabama. Air University Press. 2001. Print.
Tetreault, Mary & Lipschutz, Ronnie. Global politics as if people mattered. New York: Rowman & Littlefield. 2009. Print.