CENTRAL AND NORTHERN EUROPE of
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CENTRAL AND NORTHERN EUROPE of book
Yet despite the importance of socio-economic issues, religious tensions and administrative changes, our attention should not be too long diverted from the explicitly political debates of the restoration years. For politics could not then, and cannot now, be dismissed as mere window-dressing for other interests. Political parties, as distinct from homogeneous sects, cliques or court factions, were no longer strange or new. We saw them at work in the French revolutionary assemblies and in many countries divided over the question of how to respond to the Revolution. Even earlier, during the 1780s in Holland, Poland and elsewhere, we identified groups of men of diverse socio-economic backgrounds who nevertheless shared certain opinions regarding the proper functions of government and the direction of public policy. Finally, for anxious Europeans after 1815, the history of English parliamentary struggles combined with the example of the American Revolution to suggest lines of argument and forms of action.