The Cambridge Modern History Atlas

The Cambridge Modern History Atlas

Read FREE!

The Cambridge Modern History Atlas

The Cambridge Modern History Atlas

Read FREE!

Excerpt

The numbers of the maps described are placed in the margin--in black type when the principal description of the map is being given, in ordinary type when an allusion only is made to a map. Indexes of the maps described and of the places mentioned are given at the end of the Introduction.

THROUGHOUT the Middle Ages the various peoples who entered Europe in the declining years of the Roman Empire were uniting in definite groups and forming a number of separate States. This process of nation- and State-forming has no definite point of beginning or end. But during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, it proceeded so fast that, before the end of the latter, it was evident that in western Europe new States had been formed which could assert both their independence of the medieval Empire and their authority over local liberty and private right. Thus, though the Empire did not disappear at this time, its place was taken by a family of States, of which it was at once the oldest and the weakest member. In the course of a long and almost ceaseless conflict between these new States, the existing political system of Europe has been slowly shaped. It is the object of this Introduction to summarise the series of territorial changes by which this result has been brought about, and thus to trace the process of consolidation and expansion by which the States that were in being in the fifteenth century attained their present form, and the steps by which other States arose and divided with them the lands where no effective political consolidation had taken place during the Middle Ages. We have to observe how, in the course of modern history, the European political system, which in the fifteenth century included only western Europe, has been extended to include the whole of Europe, and how, as European societies have been planted in other continents, new lands have been drawn by commerce and political dependence into its political life until almost the whole known world forms a single political system. We have to see how the formation of this system has been modified by the idea of a Balance of Power, handed down from the precocious political experience of Italy, by the existence of the Holy Roman Empire, which, for the . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.