The British Army
came into being with the unification of the Kingdoms of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain
in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England
. The Army has traditionally relied upon volunteer recruits, the only exceptions to this being during the latter part of the First World War
until 1919, and then again during the Second World War
and for fifteen years after it until 1960, when conscription
18th and 19th centuries
At the beginning of the 18th century the standing strength of the British Army was reduced after the Treaty of Ryswick
, and stood at 7,000 troops at home and 14,000 based overseas, The Bill of Rights
of 1689 specifies that Parliamentary authority is needed to maintain a standing army in peacetime.
For much of the 18th century, the army was recruited in a wide variety of places, and many of its recruits were mercenaries from continental Europe, including Danes
. These mercenaries were hired out by other rulers on contracted terms. Other regiments were formed of volunteers such as French......