Queens at War: A Few Thoughts

March is Women’s History Month, and we thought it would be interesting to put a twist on one of last year’s most popular themes: historic queens. So, may we present the theme of the month for March 2019 at Gazette665? Queens at War.

Each Friday, we’ll introduce you to a historic queen, her life, the war[s] she was involved in, whether she got the country involved in conflict or she got caught in the middle, and how she attempted to lead. We’ll mention queens who went to battle and ones who fought the war through diplomacy and homefront efforts, leaving the actual battlefields to generals or the king.

Women and War

In many cultures, women are not involved in war as warriors. This usually stems from the belief of protection for women. There have been instances in the past when women have had to take a more active role in battlefield conflicts. Most female rulers in this position raised the army, inspired the troops, and let the generals do the actual fighting.

Our coming blog posts will look at the lives and culture of queens who got involved in wars to see what they actually did and if it followed a societal norm or was a significant exception. History in context – always a good watchword!

Noah Webster gives a detailed definition of “War” in his 1828 American Dictionary:

A contest between nations or states, carried on by force, either for defense, or for revenging insults and redressing wrongs, for the extension of commerce or acquisition of territory, or for obtaining and establishing the superiority and dominion of one over the other. These objects are accomplished by the slaughter or capture of troops, and the capture and destruction of ships, towns and property. Among rude nations, war is often waged and carried on for plunder. As war is the contest of nations or states, it always implies that such contest is authorized by the monarch or sovereign of the nation. When war is commenced by attacking a nation in peace, it is called an offensive war, and such attack is aggressive. When war is undertaken to repel invasion or the attacks of an enemy, it is called defensive, and a defensive war is considered justifiable. Very few of the wars that have desolated nations and deluged the earth with blood have been justifiable. Happy would it be for mankind, if the prevalence of christian principles might ultimately extinguish the spirit of war, and if the ambition to be great, might yield to the ambition of being good.

Questions To Answer

As we look at the lives of queens involved in wars, here are some of the questions to answer:

  • Did they get involved in war offensively or defensively? For ambitions or protection? On their own decision, advised by councilors, or at the will of the people?
  • What personally motivated the queen?
  • What was the outcome of the conflict on their reign?
  • Did these women take a public role in the war? If so, what was it?
  • How did the war shape the queen’s image and memory in history? Is that image accurate?

Starting Soon

Next week we’ll introduce you to the first queen in the series. Take a guess – she was British, and she fought the Romans…

Let us know in the comments if you have a favorite queen (does not have been involved in a war) and we’ll try to feature her on our social media this month.

Your Historian,

Miss Sarah

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