Euro History Books PDF for CSS and PMS Full Books free download 2020

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PART ONE EUROPE IN THE MELTING

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POT 1789-1814

1. Revolution in France
2. France at War
3. Dictatorship in France
4. Napoleonic Empire

IN the year 1789 two events of world importance happened. The new federal Constitution of the United States of America came into operation; revolution broke out in France. While the New World entered upon an era of integration and expansion within a flexible framework of government, the Old World relapsed into twenty-five years of great disorder and upheaval which shattered its existing political structure.

The sequence of events in Europe during the .quarter century after 1789 can be described in four dramatic words: Revolution, War, Dictatorship, Empire. The story can be told and has often been told, as an epic of heroic grandeur, marching remorselessly toward its predestined end. (Euro History Books PDF)

In this view, a violent revolution led naturally to war; revolution and war, in combination, had as their nemesis the dictatorship of a soldier; and military dictatorship led no less naturally and fatalistically to the Caesarist ambitions of Napoleon.

Euro History Books PDF

These successive upheavals haunted all subsequent development in Europe, for it was by receiving the message of the Revolution, enduring the wars that it caused, experiencing the efficient but exacting rule of Napoleon, and struggling to free themselves from his tyranny, that the nations of Europe took modern shape.(Euro History Books PDF)

This romantic interpretation of the making of modern Europe cannot be accepted. Historians have become suspicious of inevitability, too conscious of complexities and too inquisitive about the mysterious working of historical change, to accept unchallenged this neat standardized account of how nineteenth-century Europe began.

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Euro History Books PDF

The consequences of the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Empire, and of the wars to which both gave rise, were true of great importance. But they were variable in importance and by no means the only formative influences on nineteenth-century Europe. Nor was the sequence of events inevitable.

The necessary prologue to an exploration of European history since 1815 is some assessment of how each of these four main phases of change did give place to the next, and of how profound, permanent, and general was their accumulative effect on later generations. (Euro History Books PDF)

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THE REVOLUTIONARY SITUATION

IT is a paradox that no important people or forces in France of 1789 wanted a revolution. Revolutions may begin, as wars often begin, not because people positively want them. They happen because people want other things that, in a certain set of circumstances, implicate them in revolution or in war.

There had been growing in Europe, throughout most of the eighteenth century, what has been called ‘ the revolutionary spirit’. This spirit, a spirit of rationalist criticism and of resistance to the established powers of the Roman Catholic Church, the absolutist monarchy, and the privileged nobility were fostered particularly by* the work of a remarkable series of French thinkers and literary men, the philosophes.

The writings of men like Voltaire, Montesquieu, Diderot, and Rousseau were widely read throughout Europe, and themselves became European figures of eminence and influence. But the connexion between their ideas and the outbreak of revolution in 1789 is somewhat remote and indirect.

They did not preach revolution and were usually ready enough to lend support to an absolute monarch who was prepared to patronize them and adopt their teachings. Nor were most of their readers inspired to want, or to work for, revolution; they were mostly themselves aristocrats, lawyers, business people, and local dignitaries, whose lot in the existing order was far from unhappy.

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The doctrines of the philosophes came to be used later  on, during the course of the revolution in France, often to justify measures that the philosophes themselves would have opposed. Their teachings became more important later; if they had any influence at all on the outbreak and the initial stages of the great revolution, it was only to the extent that they had fostered a critical and irreverent attitude toward all existing institutions.

They made men more ready, when the need arose, to question the whole foundation of the old order. What mattered in 1

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789 – and what made men revolutionary almost in spite of themselves – was the whole ‘ revolutionary situation’; and in producing that situation the work of the philosophes played no very important role. (Euro History Books PDF)

The essence of the ‘ revolutionary situation’ was that the King, who was the linchpin of the whole established social and political system in  France, was in desperate financial straits. For a decade before, successive ministers had tried to put royal finances on a sounder footing, but all had failed.

The costs of government were increasing rapidly, and the cost of wars simply could not be met from the usual sources of royal revenue. It was no new thing for a French king to be hard up; indeed it was the normal situation. But the various means by which he could properly raise taxes had already been so fully and so wastefully exhausted that the country was heavily burdened. (Euro History Books PDF)

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By the standards of the time, France was a very large, populous, rich, and powerful state. Her foreign trade had increased fivefold since the death of Louis XIV in 1715. She had a bigger middle class of businessmen and small manufacturers and a generally more prosperous peasantry than any other state in Europe.

The peasants owned two-fifths of the soil and worked almost all of it. But these very facts contributed to the ‘ revolutionary situation’. It tends to be people with something to lose, and not merely something to gain, who think most eagerly of improving the existing state of society. And that was what people thought of most in 1789.

There was an insistent demand for reform of certain abuses, a more efficient and equitable system of taxation and administration, a better system of government. The last thing most people wanted to be a violent and destructive revolution, which they knew might deprive them of what they had without gaining for them what they wished.

Louis XVI won fresh popularity when he made known his intention of summoning the Estates-General, which was the nearest institution France had to a parliament representative of the whole nation. His action aroused hopes of liberal and constitutional reforms because it was the traditional role of the monarch to defend the mass of his subjects against abuses and hardships. (Euro History Books PDF)

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Just as nobody of importance wanted revolution, so nobody of importance wanted a republic. It was 1792 before a republican movement of any strength appeared, and until then the hopes of reformers centered upon the King and not against him. Yet the King’s well-received action of summoning the Estates-General precipitated revolution.

The economic and social structure of France had greatly outgrown her political and governmental system. There was a sharp and bitterly resented contrast between the economically effective parts and the politically effective parts of the nation.

Her traditional legal and political structure gave special privileges to the two classes most divorced in outlook and interests from the peasantry and the middle classes – the higher clergy and the nobility. These two segments of the ruling class had much in common, and many of the higher offices in the Church were held by aristocrats. 

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