The Opening of the Twentieth Century

  • M. J. Barber


Europe in the decade or so before the First World War was a continent with many deep contrasts in its political, economic and social structure. To outward appearance its characteristics were self-confidence, stability and steadily growing wealth. Political power rested in the hands of the rich and the privileged, whilst (except in republican France and Switzerland) monarchy seemed to be as firmly established as ever it had been in past centuries as the traditional framework of government. In Vienna the Emperor Francis Joseph, doyen of European monarchs, was sufficiently confident in this tradition to build massive extensions to the imperial palace of the Hapsburgs. In England it was the time of that splendid Indian summer of upper-middle-class prosperity enjoyed under Edward VII. The courts of Europe, linked by royal marriage, were the focal point of an elaborately formal cosmopolitan ‘society’, an élite of privilege.


Twentieth Century Late Nineteenth Century World Affair European Power Overseas Investment 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Books for Further Reading

  1. Albertini, Luigi, The Origins of the War of 1914, trans. and ed. I. M. Massey, 3 vols (1952–7).Google Scholar
  2. Balfour, M., The Kaiser and his Times (1964).Google Scholar
  3. Charques, Richard, The Twilight of Imperial Russia (1958; Paperback 1961).Google Scholar
  4. Dedijer, Vladimir, The Road to Sarajevo (1967).Google Scholar
  5. Feis, Herbert, Europe the World’s Banker, 1870–1914 (1931).Google Scholar
  6. Howard, Christopher, Splendid Isolation: a study of ideas concerning Britain’s international position and foreign policy during the later years of the third Marquis of Salisbury (1967).Google Scholar
  7. Robinson, G. T., Rural Russia under the Old Régime: a history of the landlord-peasant world and a prologue to the peasant revolution of 1917 (1932).Google Scholar
  8. Tuchman, B. W., The Proud Tower: a portrait of the world before the War, 1890–1914 (1966).Google Scholar
  9. Wiebe, R. H., The Search for Order: 1877–1920 (The Making of America, ed. D. Donald, 1967).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© M. J. Barber 1969

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. J. Barber
    • 1
  1. 1.The Roan School For GirlsUK

Personalised recommendations