3rd Edition

Europe 1783-1914

ISBN 9781138786530
Published June 18, 2015 by Routledge
464 Pages

USD $62.95

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Book Description

The third edition of Europe 1783-1914 provides a comprehensive overview of Europe from the outbreak of the French Revolution to the origins of the First World War. William Simpson and Martin Jones combine accounts of the most important countries, notably France, Germany and Russia, with the wider political, economic, social and cultural developments affecting Europe as a whole. These include:

  • A survey of Europe c.1780: the social and economic background, forms of government, and the Enlightenment
  • The impact of the French Revolution and Napoleon on Europe
  • The spread of nationalism: the 1848 Revolutions and the unification of Italy and Germany
  • Changes in the world of ideas: religious belief, romanticism, and cultural achievements in art, literature and music
  • The age of imperialism: the expansion of Europe, Marxism and left-wing  movements, international relations, 1870-1914
  • The reciprocal relationship between Europe and the United States
  • Europe in 1914: shifts in the intellectual climate through the works of Darwin and Freud, scientific discoveries and the impact of new technologies, and changes in society and the position of women.

Each chapter features a list of key dates, concise background information and suggestions for further reading, as well as a concluding ‘Topics for Debate’ section which contains relevant contemporary sources and outlines the contrasting views of recent historians on the key issues. The suggestions for further reading have been updated in every chapter by the addition of relevant and significant new books, published up to and including 2014. Extensively illustrated throughout with maps, contemporary cartoons and portraits, Europe 1783–1914 is a clear, detailed and highly accessible analysis of this turbulent and formative period of European history.

Table of Contents

Chapter One The Condition of Europe c. 1789; Chapter Two The French Revolution, 1785-89; Chapter Three The Collapse of the French Monarchy and the International Response, `1789-92; Chapter Four The Revolution at War; Chapter Five The Rule of Napoleon; Chapter Six The Impact of the French Revolution and Napoleon on Europe and the Congress of Vienna; Chapter Seven The Industrialisation of Europe and its Effects; Chapter Eight Changes on the World of Ideas; Chapter Nine Nationalism and the Breakdown of the Concert of Europe; Chapter Ten Restoration Europe, 1815-48, and Challenges to Authority; Chapter Eleven 1848: The Year of Revolutions; Chapter Twelve The Second Empire in France; Chapter Thirteen The Unification of Italy; Chapter Fourteen The Unification of Germany; Chapter Fifteen Reform and Reaction in Russia 1849-94; Chapter Sixteen The Age of Imperialism; Chapter Seventeen Europe and the United States; Chapter Eighteen Marxism and the growth of Working Class Organisations; Chapter Nineteen The Third Republic in France, 1871-1914; Chapter Twenty Imperial Germany, 1871-1912; Chapter Twenty-One The Habsburg Empire, 1848-1914; Chapter Twenty-Two Russia, 1894-1914; Chapter Twenty-Three International relations, 1890-1914 and the origins of the First World War; Chapter Twenty-Four Europe in 1914 : Retrospect and Prospect. 

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William Simpson is a former Head of History at Cheltenham College and his books include Hitler and Germany (1991) and The Second Reich (1995).

Martin Jones is a former Head of History at Cheltenham College and author of Failure in Palestine (1986).


"Simpson and Jones must be praised for their erudition and ambition. Europe 1783-1914 adroitly reveals the complexities of an era that still casts a shadow over contemporary Europe. The text paints a rich portrait, sensitive to nuance and interlocking themes, while offering a wonderful platform for discussion, debate, and further exploration."

Christopher Burdett, Virginia Commonwealth University, USA

"Europe 1783-1914 is a superb example of what a textbook on this period ought to be. Covering content from the British Isles to the Russian steppe, Simpson and Jones weave elegant narrative and practical application into every chapter. Strong on Continental history, this book balances the history of the great nations and empires of the era with strong cross-national and comparative topics from imperialism and socialism to nationalism and diplomatic history. Dense with maps, images and primary sources, the book is well-documented, from clearly sourced captions to the "Further reading" at the end of each chapter. The inclusion of primary sources with questions is particularly useful. Best of all, Simpson and Jones is a pleasure to read, from beginning to end, a real book with real style."

Elizabeth Morrow Clark, West Texas A&M University, USA

Praise for the second edition:

The survey of European History over a lengthy period is one of the long-established genres of textbook, the starting point for the diligent student and the main source for many. Authors are faced with a daunting task: the need to balance compression with sufficient detail, to cover cultural and scientific as well as social and political history, and to maintain continuity, while knowing that most readers will consult them with their present essay in mind. William Simpson and Martin Jones follow a relatively conservative form with broad thematic chapters punctuated by studies of individual countries. They do it well, and this sensibly structured book with excellent illustrations, chronologies, "topics for debate" and document extracts will repay that rare event, the purchase by a student of book.

Who is it for? A level students and undergraduates.

Presentation: very well designed structure. The "topics for debate" and document extracts are excellent and up to date in their historiography.

Would I recommend it? Yes. A good reliable general history.

A.W. Purdue, Tutor in History for the Open University - Times Higher Education Supplement, 22 July, 2010