The Wiley-Blackwell Dictionary of Modern European History since 1789

The Wiley-Blackwell Dictionary of Modern European History since 1789

The Wiley-Blackwell Dictionary of Modern European History since 1789

The Wiley-Blackwell Dictionary of Modern European History since 1789


The Wiley-Blackwell Dictionary of Modern European History Since 1789 is an authoritative and accessible reference guide to the major people, events, and issues that have shaped the development of Europe from the French Revolution to the present day.
  • Features almost a thousand alphabetical entries on modern European history
  • Offers extensive cross-references to enhance clarity and reveal historical links and connections, and a series of maps charting the evolution of modern European states
  • Covers the whole of continental Europe, as well as relevant aspects of the British experience
  • Written by a trio of distinguished historians of the period


Although this work has three authors, the responsibility for composing its Preface falls sadly to two of us alone. Our friend and colleague Nicholas Atkin died in October 2009, during the very final stages of the writing, at the tragically early age of 49. We have therefore dedicated the Dictionary to his memory, as a token of our deep admiration for a collaborator possessed of so many intellectual and personal qualities.

The book stems from the many years of experience shared by all three of us while teaching and researching in the field of European history at the University of Reading. It sets out to provide a substantial work of reference that encompasses the whole period from the late eighteenth century through to the opening years of the twenty-first. Within it we have aimed to do justice to the eastern as well as western parts of the main continental land mass, as well as to certain aspects of the particular British experience that are integral to an understanding of Europe in its most inclusive sense. Spread across nearly a thousand entries supported by a sequence of maps, the encyclopaedic subject matter of this Dictionary covers personalities, states, regions, and institutions, together with significant themes and distinctive terms likely to be encountered in the relevant historical literature.

The entries contain ample cross-referencing, indicated by use of SMALL CAPITALS. However, we have been anxious not to distract readers by indiscriminate resort to this device. Therefore we have tried to refrain from such capitalization whenever mention of a particular person, state, region, or other topic covered more fully elsewhere happens to be occurring in a way that might be thought fairly incidental to the main subject matter of the entry immediately at issue. This consideration has particular bearing on some important terms whose very frequent appearance in a work of this kind could hardly be avoided: for example, “Balkans,” “Napoleon I,” “nationalism,” or “Soviet Union.” Conversely, our policy has certainly been to capitalize cross-references to these and other headwords wherever such pointers towards the text of further entries might seem likely to offer more positive help to our readers.

Regarding foreign words and phrases, we have not normally italicized these when they occur in the titles of institutions, movements, or political parties and similar organizations. Beyond that lies a set of cases where the crucial, but often hazier, issue is whether the terms concerned have now been sufficiently “naturalized” into English. There we have tried to follow whatever seems to be the generally prevailing usage in the most recent historical literature. Thus readers will encounter here, for instance, “biennio rosso” and “szlachta” on the one hand, together with “détente” and “Junkers” on the other. It can also be seen from the last of those examples that we have always retained the proper form of initial capitals for German nouns. For dating, we have consistently followed the Gregorian (“new style”) calendar, as distinct from the Julian (“old style”) version: the latter survived most notably in Russia until January 1918, at which point it was running 13 days behind the system already adopted nearly . . .

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