This blog presents Maria Zozaya´s research about military engineers that were prisoners during the Napoleonic Wars (1808-1816).
It analyses from the perspectives of Social and Cultural History diverse biographical and professional trajectories of some engineers (non-commissioned officers) like Joaquin Blake, José María Román, José Cortines Espinosa and others. It studies their initial careers, their war experience, their elite captivity in France, the subsequent evolution as engineers and the social construction and extension of their families. The main period of that personal and professional lives is extended between 1780 to 1890.
They have been stressed as one of the most important professional group concerning the changing process from the Ancient Regime to Liberalism. For several motives: their liberal, tolerant and progressive principles, their support of the new values of the modern period like the merit, and the importance they gave to the scientific and cultural formation. Our goal is to analyse, within that professional group, which was the real (and concrete) influence of that experience of war and prison for the changing process of Liberalism System (1780-1890), which was essential for the arrival of Contemporary Era.
In the image, the Military Caserne Thiry of Nancy, where many Spanish POWs were confined during Napoleonic Wars (1809-1814). Source: Pierre Boyer Collection, “Nancy Hier”