Nobility contingent

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The nobles march (painting by Józef Brandt )

The nobility contingent was the general mobilization of the nobility to ward off military attacks on their own country. Behind this was the medieval view that the nobility especially because of the privileged status is because he makes military service to the king or prince in case of need. Every nobleman of military age was obliged to place himself with equipment and entourage under the orders of the commanders chosen by the king.

The aristocratic contingent had a purely defensive character, the gentlemen and knights obliged to immigrate only had to perform military service within the national borders. However, there was one exception: the fight against the Ottomans , because the Muslim Turks were considered the enemy of all of Christianity.

The general cast of nobility is not to be confused with the troops that the estates made available to the king by resolution of the state parliament or with the knightly services customary in some countries, which were an obligation of the feudal owners .

Already at the end of the 15th century, the aristocracy had become a military anachronism . The associations of the nobility were no match for the trained mercenary troops . Often the aristocrats were insufficiently trained in the craft of war and often poorly armed because the poor could not afford proper equipment. Since the 16th century, the kings only called the nobility to arms when they couldn't get any troops because they didn't have enough money.

In the countries of the Bohemian crown , Emperor Maximilian II called up the aristocracy against the Turks.

In Poland (until 1795) and in Hungary (until around 1760) the aristocracy was held for the longest time . In the history of Poland, the general contingent ( pospolite ruszenie ) was for the last time in 1683 by King John III. Sobieski called together to save Vienna from the Turkish siege , in Hungary ( inszurrekció , nemesi felkelés ) in 1741 to defend the land of Queen Maria Theresa against the invasion of Frederick II of Prussia.

During the Second Polish Republic (1918–1939) the term pospolite ruszenie was also used as a term for men who were capable of arms between the ages of 41 and 50.