- "Victorious warriors win first and then go to war while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win."
With the fall of the feudal system in Europe and the creation of standing armies, a new military tradition was born. Organizing soldiers based on their skill, experience, and understanding of tactics rather than their position of birth, the armies of post-feudal Europe were markedly different from their predecessors.
This change in the position of warfare also necessitated a change in the definition of the soldier, and with this transformation also came a strict code of conduct based on the old ideals of chivalry. The life of a professional soldier came to appeal to many who saw it as a career filled with opportunity for advancement, and now ordinary citizens were able to distinguish themselves in any number of specialized positions in military conflict.
The European military tradition arguably reached its highest point during the reign of Napoleon Bonaparte in France when, through military might, France gained control of the majority of European soil.