Women rulers far more often than men kindled a bloody war: a study

A new study conducted by experts from the National Bureau of Economics, has revealed interesting historical pattern: from the XV century until the decline of the monarchy, women rulers far more often than men unleashed a bloody war and initiated successful military campaigns. Scientists have tried to figure out what caused this behavior royals and whether this trend in our days – “Popular Mechanics”.

During the convening of the first military Council in June 1482, Queen Isabella I, planning the siege of Granada, had to interrupt the meeting, she went into labor. Incredibly heavy after 36 hours there was only one survivor of twins born to it. A few days later, her troops returned, bloodied and broken. But the 31-year-old Queen has shown incredible perseverance in the war, and at home. Less than 10 years she took Granada from the Moors, United Spain and created the world’s first superpower.

Currently, Isabella I of Castile is known more not as the conqueror but as the main sponsor of the expedition of Christopher Columbus, so it is rarely associated with “warmonger”. But, apparently, at one time the Queen has launched an extensive military campaign, and she’s not the only one. According to a new study by the National Bureau of Economics, in the period from 1480 to 1913 Queen on 27% more likely to become initiators of wars than kings. As Isabella, the Queen also with a high probability of becoming conquerors, the authors of the article O. Dube and S. P. Harish.

But what is the reason for this historical pattern? As it turned out, it largely boils down to the style of the reign of Queens and how radically it differs from the behavior of monarchs-men.

The first “hint” stems from the fact that of all the sovereigns of Europe a Queen, married couples were the most warlike and waged far more wars than non-married royalty of both sexes. This may be due to the fact that, thanks to social gender standards, women rulers benefited from the marriage alliances more than men. Thus, married the Queen are more likely to have gone to war with the allies, besides they attracted men as assistants on management of the state and the military campaign — men that was unusual, they preferred to rule alone.

Therefore, if the Queen acted as a cunning strategist and only occasionally could a personal example to inspire and to rally the troops, as a war leader was usually given the more sophisticated in the military husband, or a trusted supporter are usually holding high military rank. This division of responsibilities eventually led to a much more effective model of governance.

For some Queens this “cooperation” was official. The sample, consisting of 34 pairs of “the Queen and her husband,” the 16 women selected a joint Board — so, for example, Isabella and Ferdinand ruled Castile crown, and Suzanne and Charles de Bourbon ruled in 1505-1521 years. But even without the formalities of the advantages of such a system is difficult to underestimate: remember Prince albert, who served as closest adviser to Queen Victoria, and greatly influenced her management of the colonies of Britain.

Another important fact, according to the researchers, is that the Queen (especially at first) it was very difficult to find people you trust. family Members are usually excluded, as were the main political rivals and could easily betray his cousin. As for the men, most of the laws forbade women to inherit the throne when a king and Queen has not received the status of co-rulers. This eliminates them from political competition and made possible a relationship of trust, not to mention the expansion of unions and attracting twice as large means to achieve their goals.

Since 1500 years, the rule was only confirmed. Symbolic leadership of the army retreated into the background, and material values — money, people and resources have come to play now a decisive role. According to experts, in the period between 1550 and 1780 armed might of the Austrian army, for example, has grown in 28 times. Therefore, centralized state that could effectively carry out the taxation and mobilization of funds, found themselves in a winning position. The authors argue that gender norms, forcing women to the organization of his reign on the script, different from that of men, paradoxically led to strengthening political alliances and deals that made the army strong and able to conduct offensive war. Anyway, in this context, war is inextricably linked with geopolitics.

But, given the large number of co-rulers, how can we be sure that decisions are made by wife and not husband? To test their hypothesis, the researchers studied so-called “solo king”, that is, unmarried women and those whose spouses did not have the title of co-ruler. It turned out that they were the same supporters and initiators of wars of aggression, as a married Queen. But most often attacks those who, for whatever reason, have not produced offspring. For example, the Prussian king Philip II expressed that “no woman can not be trusted to control anything” and when Maria Theresa ascended the Austrian throne in 1745, quickly grabbed her part of the country, which she was unable to return.

Even in the days when the monarchy has outlived its dynamics, which tracked and Harish Dube remains very aktualnoe. The authors note that gender leadership is usually seen where the institutions of government are weak, which is particularly well seen on the example of “dynastic drama” that played out recently in the United States.