European Observation and Comparison in Wars of Others during the 1890s
Throughout the 1890s, Europeans found the future of warfare on non-European battlefields. My dissertation is about the (mostly) male, war correspondents, physicians, and military experts, who observed and compared wars waged by non-European empires during the 1890s. It assumes that, two decades of peace on the continent notwithstanding, Europeans still saw war as an essential driving force of history constantly reworking the global order. Its absence caused experts to engage in lively exchange about the future nature of warfare and it spurred newspaper readers’ curiosity in the many short conflicts all over the world. Both lines of interests, in lasting knowledge and fleeting news, converged in the broad attention for a series of military campaigns led by non-European empires. Numerous professionals, such as war correspondents, physicians, and military experts from London, Paris, or Berlin left home to study the Sino-Japanese War in 1894/95, followed the Ottoman's march against Greece in 1897, or joined the US expedition against Spain in 1898. My dissertation explores their practices of observation and focusses on their use of comparison.