Shennan examines the changing criteria upon which European relations were based between 1689 and 1789, a complex period which saw:
* the decline of dynasticism
* the emergence of economic power as a concomitant of military might
* the growth of British influence
* the dawn of nationalism
For easy reference, this book also contains extensive chronologies of the important battles, treaties and alliances of the period, along with a list of further reading.