Europe in the 17th and 18th Centuries

These books cover the essentials of the history of Europe in the 17th and 18th Centuries.

Advanced and Supplementary Resources

  • The Growth of the French Nation by George Adams. The Growth of the French Nation is a great history book. Written in 1896, there are sure to be minute inaccuracies in it--though I haven't found any--but what is striking about the book is that it is written with a clear, valid historical theme. Whether it is read with an eye to later American history, or to understand Europe for itself, what stands out about the story of France is the character of its national growth, both culturally and in terms of government. It is the distinctive evolution of France's national monarchy during the Middle Ages that sets it apart from all its neighbors, though most importantly its rivals England and Germany. To present this theme Adams is highly selective in his narrative. As he explains, "I have endeavored...to resist the temptation to use the space at my command for other facts, however interesting, if they do not seem to bear upon the national growth." Consequently, he creates an accessible, enjoyable single-volume history of France. A great place to start for any reader!(out-of-print, see sources.)
  • The Sinews of Power by John Brewer.
  • The Mind of John Locke by Ian Harris.
  • A Monarchy Transformed, Britain, 1603-1714 by Mark Kishlansky.
  • The Long Eighteenth Century by Frank O'Gorman.
  • English Society in the Eighteenth Century by Roy Porter.
  • The Eighteenth-Century Commonwealthman by Caroline Robbins. Study of the political thought of British thinkers like John Locke and Algernon Sydney which the American Patriots inherited and which (Bailyn has shown) guided them in their opposition to Britain. (out-of-print, see sources.)
  • Reasoned Freedom, John Locke and Enlightenment by Peter A. Schouls. (out-of-print, see sources.)
  • Natural Rights and the New Republicanism by Michael B. Zuckert.

Links

Credits

John Locke, Enlightenment philosopher

John Locke, Enlightenment philosopher

Galileo Galilei (1564 to 1642)

Galileo Galilei (1564 to 1642)

The Ecstacy of St Theresa by Bernini

The Ecstacy of St Theresa by Bernini