The Great Powers and the European States System 1814-1914

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Pearson Longman, 2005 - History - 365 pages
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'This book has the hallmarks of success stamped through it: breadth of scope, incisive analysis and a lightness of touch in the writing.'

Professor John Keiger, University of Salford

The Great Powers and the European State System, 1814-1914 is a full analytical narrative of the functioning of the European states system over the nineteenth century between the fall of Napoleon in 1814 and the outbreak of the First World War just one hundred years later.

It examines the variety of devices, manoeuvres and feats of statesmanship by means of which decision-makers managed the interplay of their interests, common and conflicting including the dangerous Eastern Question without exposing Europe to the catastrophe of a general conflagration:

  • systems of active co-operation, such as the Congress system or the Concert of Europe
  • periods of international anarchy in which, if wars were endemic they were at least limited
  • the stabilizing effects of the predominance of conservative status quo Powers in the Bismarckian era
  • the dangerously polarised system that emerged on the eve of the First World War.

At nearly double the length of the first edition, this book is a very major revision and update. It includes not only the results of the latest research, but a body of additional information and a number of illuminating maps that will make the subject even more accessible to readers.

F.R. Bridge is Emeritus Professor of Diplomatic History, University of Leeds. His many publications include The Habsburg Monarchy Among the Great Powers, 1815-1918 (1990).

The late Roger Bullen was Senior Lecturer in International History at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

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About the author (2005)

Since 1999 F.R. Bridge has been Emeritus Professor of Diplomatic History at the University of Leeds.

His publications include: Great Britain and Austria Hungary 1906-1914: A Diplomatic history (London 1972) From Sadowa to Sarajevo:  The Foreign policy of Austria-Hungary 1866-1914 (London 1972);  (With Roger Bullen) The Great Powers and the European States System, 1815-1914,  (London, 1980.) ; 1914: The Coming of the First World War.    (London,  Historical Association, 1982) The Habsburg Monarchy among the Great Powers, 1815-1918  (Oxford,  Berg Press,1991);  and numerous articles and parts of books in the field of international history. 

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