This survey of European history covers a period of one and a half centuries which witnessed the beginnings of the contemporary world. In his account of the economic, social, intellectual and governmental structure and development of pre-revolutionary Europe, the author stresses throughout the importance of economic and social trends, and places emphasis on the analysis of the structure of society as well as the narration of events. He shows how the contradictions of the old order contributed to a crisis which affected several of the major states in the late eighteenth century, when the growth of governmental power led to a series of clashes between governments and governing classes. Out of these conflicts, particularly in France, arose a revolutionary crisis. The nature of this crisis, and the impact of the change it produced, are examined in detail in the final section of the book. For this second edition, Professor Doyle has revised the text of the book, and comprehensively updated the Bibliography.
Introductory; Economy: Fundamentals: Population, prices, and agriculture; Motors of progress: Towns, money, and manufactures; Wider horizons: Trade and empire; Society: Ruling orders; The ruled: The country; The ruled: The town; Enlightenment: Religion and the churches; The progress of doubt; A doubtful progress; Public Affairs: States and their business; The machinery of state; International relations; The Crisis of the Old Order; The crisis; Europe in revolution; The revolutionary impact; Bibliography; Maps; Table; Index.