chapter
Part IV
Pages 6

While the religious wars of the previous period and the English Civil War were also ideological wars, the era of interstate ideological conflict in a strict sense began with the French Revolution and its wars (1792-1802). The French Revolutionaries came into inevitable conflict with those states whose rulers sought to defend the old hierarchical order of their internal societies (which put those rulers on top) against the new internal order which was founded on the equality of all men. When the universalist revolutionary fervour was perverted into expansionist imperialistic nationalism under Napoleon (1802-15), France arrayed as enemies against herself the states which until 1806 formed the Holy Roman Empire (above all Austria and its possessions), Prussia, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and Spain. Together, they defeated Napoleon’s France. In their determination to turn back the clock and to re-create the ancien régime (in which the monarchy, not the people, is sovereign) of France under Bourbon King Louis XVIII (1814-24), they soon readmitted France, its royalist credentials re-established, into their midst. France lost the Napoleonic conquests, but the peace imposed on her was not a humiliating one.