This chapter deals with Europe in the Early Modern period and must be preﬁxed by two deﬁnitions. First, the term ‘Europe’ will be used for the geographic area that was loosely referred to under this term by contemporaries. This area is difﬁcult to deﬁne with precision, and has always been subject to change. We will exclude south-east Europe from our considerations, which in the Early Modern period was not crystallized into politically distinct, state-like entities, and the Ottoman Empire which, according to its self-perception, belonged to another intellectual and mental sphere altogether. Second, the Early Modern period is taken as limited on the one hand by a new stage in state interactions at the end of the Middle Ages, and on the other by the extensive collapse of the old sociopolitical order on the Continent in the wake of the French Revolution.1 In this context, the state wars of the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries – for which the unfortunate term ‘cabinet wars’ has gained currency – will be the principal object of our reﬂections.