Europe, 1648-1815: From the Old Regime to the Age of Revolution

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In 1648, Europe was reeling from the destabilizing effects of religious conflict, economic change, and social upheaval. The issues that divided the Church in the late Middle Ages had forced Europeans to choose sides in a bitter and bloody Catholic/Protestant conflict. A powerful capitalist movement had broken down old social ties, leading to the near disappearance of serfdom in Western Europe and to the formation of a larger merchant class in the cities. The discoveries of the Scientific Revolution had begun to corrode old ...

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