Barricades and Borders: Europe 1800-1914

Barricades and Borders: Europe 1800-1914

Barricades and Borders: Europe 1800-1914

Barricades and Borders: Europe 1800-1914

Synopsis

From the coup d'etat of Napoleon Bonaparte in France to the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand at Sarajevo, which marked the brink of World War I, this volume surveys Europe's turbulent history during the 19th-century from a unique vantage point. It concentrates on the twin themes of revolution and nationalism, showing how these forces interacted and counteracted with one another, ultimately becoming rival creeds. Going beyond traditional political and diplomatic history, the book incorporates recent research on population movements, the expansion of markets, the accumulation of capital, social mobility, education, changing patterns of leisure, religious practices, and intellectual and artistic developments.

Excerpt

Were I asked to write this book today, I should probably decline the honour. It is a rash enterprise to attempt a 'total history' of nineteenth-century Europe while being able to consult only a fraction of the literature. Some aspects inevitably proved more interesting than others. Students at King's College, London, on whom I inflicted my first lectures inspired by this brief, complained that I was obsessed by nationalism and had too much to say about 'little countries' in eastern Europe. One afternoon, researching the niceties of Swedish banking history, doubts of my own about the wisdom of the project almost got the better of my patience. There is no pretence here to originality: at best, the book is intended as a humane synthesis of new and not-so-new writing on nineteenth-century Europe and aimed at the student of the 1980s. I am indebted to the resources of the Bodleian and British Libraries. Among those who gave me crucial advice I would like to thank Jeremy Black, Tim Blanning, Peter Dickson, Robert Evans, Anne Hardy, Derek McKay, Tony Nicholls, Andy Pitt, Mike Rosen, Hamish Scott, Liam Smith, Nigel Smith, and Andrew Wathey. Philip Waller read painstakingly through the first draft of the manuscript, and saved me from too many errors in British history. John Roberts has been a model editor, and repeatedly sent me back to the drawing-board to mend my text. the typists who have tried to cope with my handwriting are too numerous to mention, but in particular I am grateful to Gil Dixon and Belinda Timlin. the unfailing scepticism of my students in both London and Oxford has forced me to clarify my ideas, and to reject many of them, but their enthusiasm has always come up with others to take their place.

R. N.G.

Merton College, Oxford
January 1986 . . .

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