[by Lynn Rees]
Angellism before Angell, at the dawn of the French Revolution:
French military might strode defiantly across the land, contemptuous of the political calculus with which other governments anxiously weighed enmities and alliances, weakening the forces of war and binding the raw element of conflict in diplomatic bonds. To their own and everyone else’s surprise, the French learned that a state’s natural power and a great simple cause were far stronger than the artificial structure of international relations by which other states were ruled.
Such a fundamental transformation was least of all expected at a time when many believed that highly developed state finances and standing armies had led to a level of civilization at which the strength of the people was excluded from public affairs. Everything was reduced to a a few strands—treasury, credit, army—which the cabinet held in its hands…
Carl von Clausewitz,
“Observations on Prussia” (c. early 1820s),
Historical and Political Writings
Edited and translated by Peter Paret and David Moran