A comprehensive examination of the political, economic, social, and cultural development of the world from 1493 to 1945
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: War, plague, rebellions, and religious and dynastic conflicts changed the distribution of power between states, as well as their structure, when many of the social, intellectual and political foundations of Europe during the Ancien RÃ©gime were laid. The mass of the people suffered from direct and indirect effects of war, but both limited and absolutist governments and a variety of social groups strengthened themselves. In this volume, contributors discuss the shift of power and command of oceanic routes to north-western Europe, the failure of Habsburg power in Spain and Germany and the rebuilding of their power in Bohemia. The internal costs of France's victory over Spain and her international position in the 1650s are assessed. Greater immediate gains were won by smaller powers, the Dutch and the Swedes and, despite the Civil War, England. Particular attention is paid to attitudes towards absolutism and the development of scientific ideas.