Horses for whom. Military and agricultural interests in equine breeding during peacetime (1700-1900)

Marco Marigliano's picture
Call for Papers
January 31, 2023
Subject Fields: 
Military History, Rural History / Studies

CALL FOR PAPER  for a session in the sixth biennial conference of the European Rural History Organization (EURHO) - Cluj-Napoca, Romania, 11-14 September 2023

Session accepted: Horses for whom. Military and agricultural interests in equine breeding during peacetime (1700-1900)


The relationship between armies and livestock has been largely neglected by both military and agricultural scholars. In most cases, this relation was confined to the requisition of livestock for slaughter, for the hauling of artillery and other transport services during conflicts. Whatever the links between farming and military institutions, from 18th to 20th century the beginning of a major transformation of husbandry in general occurred, with the specialization of breeds, the birth of animal science, the emergence of private breeders engaged in improving agricultural resources, as well as equestrian sports enthusiasts. In the 19th century even States and military authorities began to pay systematic attention to livestock. This is confirmed by national livestock censuses, initially promoted by the ministries of war. Likely, the equine sector, saw the emergence, during peacetime, of institutions to increase the stock of animals available in the event of war and to improve their quality. The same period saw the first initatives aimed at the improvement of animals for civilian uses (i.e. national councils, purchase of selected breeders, harras, equestrian prizes and exhibitions, rules for the requisition of livestock in case of war, attention to the impact of military remount).



The panel aims to analyze a variety of subjects including:

censuses and other surveys of equine stock initially mainly for military purposes, and their evolution over time and regional specializations; the diversity of military, agricultural and sporting guidelines in horse breeding; measures carried out by the new equestrian institutions (public stallions, horse shows, incentives for private breeders) and their results; the role of sporting events in the evolution of equine livestock and related policies; the disengagement of the military world from horse breeding.

Objective of the panel is to internationalize these topics, with a series of case studies that can shed light on the modalities, timing and facets of the relationship between armies and rural societies regarding the use of horses in pre-war periods.



Everyone can register their proposed papers, choosing the appropriate session, on this link.

A paper must include a title, the full name and affiliation of the author (and coauthors), an abstract (max. 2000 characters) which should include the key points of the research, its scope, and its approach.
Each session will have a chair and discussant. Panel-organizers could decide on the timeframe and the number of accepted / presented papers.

The deadline for paper proposals is the 31st of January 2023.

Other information available via

Contact Info: 

You can contact the organizer of the panel, Marco Marigliano (Research fellow, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan, Italy)