Background[ edit ] The small German states of the Holy Roman Empire had professional armies, which their ruling princes sometimes hired out for service with other armies as auxiliaries. When military conflict broke out, the German states provided a ready supply of trained troops that was prepared to go into action immediately.
They are the villains in D. Hessians made up only about half of the German troops that served in North America during the Revolution, and scholars point out that almost half of these settled here after the war, intermarrying along classic immigrant lines.
The Hessian image nevertheless remains incomplete: They appear on the American stage without context, then vanish with little explanation.
To begin with, the Declaration of Independence was wrong: Hessians were not mercenaries in the generally accepted sense of the term—men serving the British as individuals under specified conditions of enlistment. In a modified form this process remains recognized in law and practice.
In Vietnam, the United States supported a Korean contingent financially and materially.
The 18th century, however, is generally and correctly understood as the great age of subsidy armies. Instead of authorizing the enlistment of mercenaries in the traditional way, through contractors and taking a cut of the profits, the new states went into the army business for themselves, raising men, organizing regiments and negotiating contracts with larger, richer countries—rather like state-run military temp agencies.
Hesse-Kassel had always been poor—a midsize land of villages shaped by subsistence agriculture. At the same time, it lay between two parts of Prussia and athwart some of the regular routes of the contending armies.
The result was catastrophe on all levels: Military service was not particularly popular as Hesse slowly recovered from its bruising. In its army totaled a mere 23 companies. The following year, the Hessian Landgraf Karl leased 10 of those companies to Denmark for a total sum of 3, thalers.
In Karl rented 1, men to Venice for 50 thalers apiece. Fewer than returned home, but the Hessians had fought well enough to attract a more generous paymaster. The Estates of Holland had a full treasury and a long history of hiring fighting men from outside their borders.
In Karl sent 3, of his subjects to serve William of Orange. They took no part in the invasion of England, but did so well on the continent that the Dutch wanted more of them for longer periods. In the War of the League of Augsburg — and the War of the Spanish Succession —Hessian troops established a solid reputation for discipline in the field, steadiness under fire and willingness to endure the high casualties characteristic of flintlock-and-saber battles.
Prince Eugene of Austria, also no mean judge of fighting men, took 10, Hessians into Italy in and led another contingent against the Turks in Hungary.
Karl saw it as a means of maintaining sovereignty, not a source of profit. Honor was also involved.
And despite generous French offers, Karl, ruler of a Calvinist state, refused to do business with any but Protestant employers. The pattern began to change afterwhen the Stuarts incited rebellion in Scotland.
Reluctant to depend on a single connection, successive electors sought to expand their clientele. Results were not always positive.These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hessian.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors.
Hessian soldiers in the Revolutionary War The opponents in Parliament to the action of the ministry were numerous, and comprised some of the foremost men in that body The military position of .
For many Hessians, the possibilities in this rich, new land with its growing German population was a great enticement to desertion—a fact that Americans worked hard to promote with promises of.
Examples of hessian in a Sentence Recent Examples on the Web Remember that iconic image of Washington crossing the Delaware to make a surprise attack on the Hessians?
Oct 20, · You probably remember Hessian mercenaries from grade school lessons on America's Revolutionary War. But American mercenaries working for foreign powers, that's something that .
Hessian Mercenaries Achievement. Hey guys, trying to get the Hessian Mercearies achievement. (Have 50 units of mercs as Hesse) Just wanted to know if any of you already did it or if you have any tips on how to do it.. I was thinking about Administrative ideas, but that doesn't seem to be enough.