In the decades leading up to the French Revolution, the armed forces in Europe changed radically. Armies and navies became larger and more expensive and the role of the state in raising, organizing, and paying them grew ermously as the military entrepreneur disappeared. Increasing state control led to a gradual improvement in discipline, and plunder and wanton destruction declined. War, however, had a limited effect on ecomic progress and growth. In much of central and eastern Europe the harsh imperatives of the quest for military strength were supremely important in moulding society as a whole and giving it a distinctive character. War and Society in Europe of the Old Regime provides a detailed account of how the rise of nationalism and people's armies prepared the way for the dawning of a new age.