A History of Eastern Europe: Crisis and Change (1998) by Robert Bideleux

By Robert Bideleux

A background of japanese Europe: difficulty and alter is a wide-ranging unmarried quantity heritage of the "lands between", the lands that have lain among Germany, Italy, and the Tsarist and Soviet empires. Bideleux and Jeffries research the issues that experience bedevilled this bothered quarter in the course of its imperial previous, the interwar interval, below fascism, less than communism, and because 1989. whereas customarily targeting the trendy period and at the results of ethnic nationalism, fascism and communism, the publication additionally deals unique, extraordinary and revisionist insurance of: * old and medieval occasions* the Hussite Revolution, the Renaissance, the Reformation and the Counter-Reformation* the legacies of Byzantium, the Ottoman Empire and the Hapsburg Empire* the increase and decline of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth* the impression of the region's robust Russian and Germanic neighbours* rival ideas of "Central" and "Eastern" Europe* the Nineteen Twenties land reforms and the Nineteen Thirties melancholy. supplying a thematic historic survey and research of the formative techniques of swap that have performed the paramount roles in shaping the improvement of the region, A historical past of japanese Europe itself will play a paramount function within the reports of eu historians.

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The extreme fragmentation of western European polities from the sixth to the eighth centuries AD (the so-called Dark Ages) facilitated the emergence of unusually Introduction 17 decentralized societies within which power was dispersed downwards to relatively autonomous landed nobilities, ecclesiastical lords and burghers. In an influential essay on the origins of Europe’s deep-seated East–West divisions, the Hungarian philosopher Jeno Szucs has emphasized the seminal importance of the ways in which they made possible an enduring separation of ‘state’ and ‘society’ in western Europe (Szucs 1988:298–9).

His superficially persuasive argument is that the initial poverty of these predominantly agrarian economies, the increasing economies of scale and capital intensity of many industrial technologies, and the increasingly important ‘linkages’ and ‘complementarities’ between various industrial sectors and infrastructural investment (especially in railways) were constantly expanding the capital requirements of industrialization and the critical minimum effort needed to launch it as a self-reinforcing and sustainable process.

Between about 1300 and 1450 many parts of western Europe were convulsed by Malthusian crises (reflected in famines, epidemics, drastic declines in population and widespread social and political unrest), whereas the economies of East Central Europe and Russia underwent dynamic expansion. The western European economic crises and Malthusian constraints on economic and population growth were eventually overcome through the expansion of interregional and overseas commerce (permitting increased economic specialization and the introduction or development of new products), advances in agricultural, industrial and maritime organization and technology, territorial consolidation, and alliances between proto-national monarchies and nascent bourgeoisies (facilitating monarchical assaults on feudal privilege and particularism).

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