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Divided ArmiesInequality and Battlefield Performance in Modern War$
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Jason Lyall

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780691192444

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691192444.001.0001

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Inequality and Early Modern War

Inequality and Early Modern War

The Cases of Morocco and Kokand

(p.195) 5 Inequality and Early Modern War
Divided Armies

Jason Lyall

Princeton University Press

This chapter contrasts the Sultanate of Morocco's strong performance during the 1859–1860 Spanish–Moroccan War with the Khanate of Kokand's disastrous outing during its 1864–1865 war with Russia. Though similar across 28 covariates, these belligerents were separated by a massive 0.69 difference in military inequality. Kokand's extreme level of inequality, one of the highest recorded in Project Mars, led to mass desertion, lopsided casualties, and the copious use of coercion to force its soldiers to fight. Moroccan forces, despite being outmatched by Spanish weapons, nonetheless managed to turn in a credible performance, exhibiting far greater resilience and tactical skill than Kokand's dispirited soldiers. Since little English-language historiography exists for either war, the chapter draws on Spanish, French, and Russian documents to explore how inequality affects battlefield performance.

Keywords:   Morocco, Khanate of Kokand, Spanish–Moroccan War, war historiography, early modern wars, prewar inequality

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