The system of international repression ended with the fall of Metternich in 1848. The conflicting ideals of international revolution and collective security came into being with Lenin and Wilson in 1918. Nationalism, tempered by the Balance of Power, dominated Europe in the intervening seventy years.
Drawing on a wealth of diplomatic documents, A. J. P. Taylor examines the relations of the Great Powers, when Europe was still the centre of the world. Written in characteristically vigorous prose, this is a challenging and original diplomatic history, that also considers the political and economic forces which made continental war inevitable.