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The End of the Old Regime in Europe, 1776-1789, Part I

The End of the Old Regime in Europe, 1776-1789, Part I: The Great States of the West

Translated by R. Burr Litchfield
Copyright Date: 1991
Pages: 476
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  • Book Info
    The End of the Old Regime in Europe, 1776-1789, Part I
    Book Description:

    Franco Venturi, premier European interpreter of the Enlightenment, is still completing his acclaimed multivolume work Settecento Riformatore, a grand synthesis of Western history before the French Revolution as seen through the perceptive eyes of Italian observers. Princeton University Press has already published R. Burr Litchfield's English translation of the third volume of Settecento Riformatore, The End of the Old Regime in Europe, 1768-1776: The First Crisis. Now the story continues with The End of the Old Regime in Europe, 1776-1789, translated from Volume IV of Venturi's work. The earlier volume dealt with European and Italian public opinion through the important decade that ended with the American Declaration of Independence. Part I of this new double volume traces the development of politics and opinion in the final crisis of the Old Regime in the great states of Western Europe--Great Britain, Spain, France, and Portugal. The second part extends the narrative to Eastern Europe. It discusses the growing movement of republican patriotism and the attempt to reform the Hapsburg, Russian, and Ottoman Empires. As previously, this historical drama is viewed through Italian publishing and journalism that observed a cosmopolitan world from Turin, Venice, Milan, Florence, Rome, and Naples and that intelligently interpreted it.

    Originally published in 1991.

    ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-6190-3
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. iii-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Preface
    (pp. vii-xii)
  4. Abbreviations
    (pp. xiii-2)
  5. I Libertas Americana
    (pp. 3-143)

    WITH THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE, ON 4 JULY 1776, THE attention that everywhere in Europe for years had turned to the “blustering” events beyond the ocean tended naturally to change. Above the political and economic debate appeared the problem of insertion of the new American nation into the sphere of diplomatic and military relations. The war, which continued for seven years, from the civil conflict that it was at its origins, took on more and more the aspect of an international struggle, involving France, Spain, and Holland. It continually risked transforming itself into a world war. Attention was focused on...

  6. II Great Britain in the Years of the American Revolution
    (pp. 144-199)

    IN 1776, THE YEAR OF THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE, A quite exceptional moment in the moral and political life of Great Britain was marked. In that year Gibbon’s work began to be published. Adam Smith’sThe Wealth of Nationsappeared. Hume’s death closed an entire epoch in British philosophical, political, and historical thought. Two centuries later, the date seems also to symbolize the watershed of another deep transformation, the industrial revolution, which made England “the first industrial nation,” to use the words of Peter Mathias, a historian of our own days who has deeply observed and described it.¹ For historians...

  7. III Portugal after Pombal, the Spain of Floridablanca
    (pp. 200-324)

    AS IN THE BRITISH EMPIRE AND THE FRENCH MONARCHY, EVEN IN the states of the Iberian Peninsula the year 1776, and those that immediately followed, marked a political turning point. Turgot fell on 16 May 1776. On 4 July came the American Declaration of Independence. On 27 August Tanucci, the minister who for decades had kept the kingdom of Naples in Spain’s orbit, fell. On 7 November Girolamo Grimaldi, the artificer of Madrid’s foreign policy, was sent as ambassador to Rome and was replaced in Spain by Floridablanca, who for more than a decade remained at the helm of the...

  8. [Illustrations]
    (pp. None)
  9. IV The France of Necker
    (pp. 325-353)

    THE FALL OF TURCOT, ON 12 MAY 1776, WAS SEEN NOT ONLY TO BE the failure of a policy of reform that in the immediately preceding years had enlarged and deepened from freedom of the grain trade to feudal rights, from the suppression of corvées to that of the guilds. The crisis was also perceived as a true change of course, the outright abandonment of a politics of principles. The age of theEncyclopédiewas at an end. France turned its back on Voltaire, on the physiocrats, and on the now dispersed group of philosophes and turned toward a future...

  10. V From Diderot to Mirabeau
    (pp. 354-455)

    IN 1778 VOLTAIRE AND ROUSSEAU DIED. AN EPOCH ENDED IN France.¹ The demise of the two enemy philosophes was also echoed quickly in Italy, where, as everywhere else, attention was concentrated more on the final apotheosis of Voltaire than on the desolate and solitary end of the Genevan philosophe. In the spring news of the arrival in Paris of the “Nestor of the French Parnassus” came to Florence, together with news of imminent war between France and England.² It was nearly thirty years “that he had been absent from Paris.”³ “This whole capital is immersed in a strange enthusiasm for...