chapter  18
3 Pages

Conclusion

Politically, the European state-system and the balance of power were altered fundamentally by the dramatic rise in the international significance of Russia after 1709 and of Prussia after 1740. These developments involved a great eastward extension of the geographical scope of European diplomacy and the domination of international relations by east European problems to a quite unprecedented extent in the generation after 1763. The economic structure of the continent, though it developed fairly rapidly in some respects, remained as far as the majority of Europeans were concerned essentially what it had been for generations. By the 1780s, a few favoured areas on or near Europe's western seaboard were beginning to develop a type of economic organization so different from anything hitherto known, so complex, rational and productive, that its growth constitutes the most revolutionary change in the human condition since Neolithic times.