This is the first publication in English of Otto Busch's important and original study of the origins of militarism in Prussia. First published in German in 1962, it remains unsurpassed in its highly original approach to the origins and development of the unique military system by which Prussia vaulted to great power status in the eighteenth century and to the leadership of a unique Germany in the nineteenth century. That system created by Frederick William I (1713-1740), required the full mobilization of the human and material resources of a still overwhelmingly agrarian country. Both the landowning nobility and the peasantry had to be the integrated in the system - the nobility as officers and the peasantry as common soldiers. From these circumstances arose a military system that merged and became identical with the social system in the countryside itself - the relationship of subordination and dependency of the peasant to the nobleman being transferred from the rural manor to the army. Noblemen gained new social and political prominence through their identification with army officership and became preferred appointees to the civilian bureaucracy. The close identification between noble status and army officership not only perpetuated a military-aristocratic governmental system, but also produced the habits of command and obedience in Prusso-Germany society still fatefully apparent in the first half of the twentieth century.